Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>Celtic punk subculture
Subject: punk rocker
Culture: Scottish/Irish youth
Setting: Britain 1980s on
Evolution1975 Anglo-American punk > Celtic punk subculture

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* online
​"Celtic Punk is an Irish sub-genre of punk rock. The genre arose, not in Ireland, but in the UK, by bands who based themselves in Ireland. Common themes in Celtic punk music include politics, Celtic culture and identity, heritage, religion, drinking and being proud of the working class. Celtic punk was brought to light in the 1980s, and was always an underground genre. There is very few bands [SIC] who still work with Celtic punk, as many were never able to break mainstream.
    "Many bands formed as punk bands, but soon grew tired of it and took themes from traditional Irish and Scottish music and implemented them into their music. Like many other genres of punk rock, it was used as a way of protesting."

​* Hendrickson 2009-03-16 online
"When you think about Celtic music, piercing tin whistles, mournful violins and galloping bodhran drums generally come to mind. But in the last few decades, many bands have picked up The Pogues' lead by melding Celtic folk music with punk-rock energy.
    "[T]he exuberant side of Celtic music ... generally manifests itself in sing-along choruses and feisty lyrics about drink, rebellion, lovely lasses and so on. So forget about 'Danny Boy,' green beer and sad songs about hard times. The Irish are old hands at having fun in the face of adversity — and, in this case, turning up the amps way up as they pogo-dance along to the beat."

* Cooper 2019-05-08 online
"Celtic punk is essentially punk rock accompanied by traditional Irish instruments. As a musical movement, it was founded in the '80s by the Pogues, a band of punk musicians in London who were seeking to reclaim their Irish heritage.
    "Celtic punk bands often play a blend of traditional Irish folk and political songs, as well as original compositions. While the plight of the Irish people throughout history is often a topic of their songs, it's not considered an overtly political movement.
    "Most recently, Celtic punk is seeing a rise in popularity as American bands such as Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys put their own spin on the subgenre and give it a decidedly American flavor."


* Punk! 2012 p136
"Early punks commonly cropped their hair and made it look messy or dyed it unnatural colours. Later, the Mohican -- Mohawk in the USA -- began to gain favour."


* Young/Matin 2017 p84-85
"The British punk movement of the late 1970s mixed tartan with leather, ripped nylon and vinyl for an anti-Establishment look that sought to evade class systems. Punks favoured the Stewart tartan, with its subversive historical links, worn ripped, in strips mended with safety pins worn in trouser form or as adapted kilts mirroring the Sex Pistols' cover for God Save the Queen, which featured a defaced image of Queen Elizabeth II, used on T-shirts by Vivienne Westwood. As the styles of different tribes became intertwined, a time of cultural change began in Britain. The movement was led by pioneers such as Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, and encapsulated music, art and politics. Westwood was a trend leader, mixing tartan with spiked dog collars, safety pins and bondage wear, embodying the style revolution taking place around their Kings Road boutique. Experimentation with tartan and clashing patterns was a powerful statement with 'people wearing fancy dress and old clothes, just like they did in Paris in 1972 ... with these clothes, you want to look rakish, you want to look like you can walk down the street feeling like you own it and you're Jack-the-Lad.'"

​* Banks/de la Chapelle 2007 p270
​"... British punks used tartan as a form of protest against the establishment."

​* Horwood 2005 p158
​"[I]n the 1980s, punks added tartan to their wardrobes of leather, chains, studs and Mowhawk hairstyles -- creating just about the strangest interpretation of Scottish clanhood ever seen."

​* Punk! 2012 p142
"Tartan was [a] ... popular material with punks, who often wore short kilts over bondage trousers."

* Young/Martin 2017 p205
"Royal Stewart tartan was perhaps the preferred fabric for punks because it was so easily available from charity shops and bargain bins. A kilt could be customized and modified and the safety pin appropriated for use elsewhere. The tartan also acted as a a symbol both of rebellion and of the Establishment. The Royal Stewart is the queen's official tartan, while also championed by rebels during the Jacobite uprisings, who fought for the House of Stewart."

* Punk! 2012 p168
"Kilts, both full-length and short, became a favourite form of dress among punks, who wore them over tartan or other trousers. A bum flap was a popular addition to a pair of bondage trousers."