In the early hours of 31 July 1975, The Miami Showband was stopped at a military checkpoint. As they were held at gunpoint outside their WV minibus, a bomb that – unknown to the band members – was being loaded on to their bus exploded prematurely destroying the bus and catapulting the band members into a nearby field. As Stephen Travers lay seriously wounded in the field he listened to the cries of his friends as they were mercilessly gunned down and the steps of the gunmen getting closer … Here is his story. What is it like to survive such an atrocity? To live when those around you die? Now Stephen Travers remembers the highs and lows of being in one of the most successful showbands of the 1970s and how it all ended in a terrifying moment. In a moving and honest quest for truth and reconciliation, he tries to come to terms with what happened as he looks for the answers as to why his friends were killed. Stephen wants to understand but will he find the answers when he meets the men responsible for the massacre face to face?
“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The Day The Music Was Massacred
Hodder Headline Ireland publish The Miami Showband Massacre this week, the events of an infamous episode during the Troubles narrated by survivor and ex-band member Steve Travers (right), and the blurb elves have been grinding their quills down to stumps thusly: