Trouble Songs – Music and Conflict in Northern Ireland book set for film treatment

Trouble Songs – the Stuart Bailie book about music and conflict in Northern Ireland – is set for a film treatment. 

The book was published in Belfast in May 2018 and was keenly received. It was awarded #2 Music Book of the Year in Hot Press and #7 by Uncutmagazine. The book has been celebrated by events in New York, California and London. 

Author and broadcaster Stuart Bailie (left) & producer & director Vinny Cunningham, pictured with Tim Wheeler from Ash during filming for Trouble Songs

Now it is being prepared for a film documentary treatment. Stuart is working alongside Vinny Cunningham, the director and producer who has delivered documentaries such as Teenage Kicks: The Undertones, Squaddies on the Frontline and Battle of the Bogside

The team has already filmed interviews with 15 participants, including Christy Moore, Jake Burns (Stiff Little Fingers), Bronagh Gallagher, John O’Neill (The Undertones), Tim Wheeler (Ash), activist-writers Eamonn McCann and Anne Devlin plus Terri Hooley from Good Vibrations Records. 

Christy Moore (left) and author and broadcaster Stuart Bailie, pictured during filming for the forthcoming documentary Trouble Songs

The project has received support from Northern Ireland Screen under their Feature Documentary Development scheme. 

“The film prospects are exciting,” says Stuart Bailie. “The interviews are intense and revealing. We’re now working on a short edit of Trouble Songsto take to the film industry. Vinny wanted to be involved as soon as he heard about the book and we’re making steady progress. We’re also talking to young artists like Touts and Susie Blue and discovering that the era of Trouble Songs is far from over.”  

Vinny Cunningham says: “I’m delighted to be involved in developing this important documentary. Most of my past film work has been archive-based and has included some music from Northern Ireland. This film marries the two and I’m excited to see it move forward.”

Author and broadcaster Stuart Bailie (left) and producer and director Vinny Cunningham, who are working on a documentary film based on Trouble Songs

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