Preview – Showbands: How Ireland Learnt to Party

Ardal O'Hanlon

Irish comedian and actor Ardal O’Hanlon looks at how showbands became hugely popular in his native land between the 1950s and 1980s.

These bands, normally consisting of six to seven members, played pop covers, folk songs, Dixieland jazz and ceilidh dance music. O’Hanlon, touring the country in a VW camper van, looks at how these bands helped to change Ireland socially as well as musically. There was also the issue of bands playing against the backdrop of raising sectarianism.

Showbands: How Ireland Learnt to Party is on BBC Four at 21.00.