This week, I was delighted to attend a screening of John T Davis’s film ‘The Uncle Jack’ at the QFT in Belfast. The man himself was there to introduce the film and talk a little about his career, and it was a great excuse for me to revisit this Belfast director’s work and rewatch some of his classics. ‘Route 66′ was his breakthrough, an emotive & nostalgic road/mindtrip through America’s heartland. But ‘Shellshock Rock’ is what started it all: a roadtrip through Belfast’s clubs and bars of Troubles-laden Belfast.
In the lates mid 1970′s, when the world saw Belfast through the heavily mediated telescopic lens of news organisations and war reporters looking out of their hotel windows, John T Davis captured life from the beating heart of what Joe Strummer called the ‘real’ punk rock city. Quite simply, Shellshock Rock is a masterpiece that, whatever your musical, political or artistic tastes, must be seen to be believed.