Dublin Street Art – The Drifters Showband
Image by infomatique
"There Was No Show Like a Joe Show"
The Irish Showband was a dance band format which was popular in Ireland during the early rock and roll era from mid 1950s to the late 1970s. The showband was based on the internationally popular six or seven piece dance band. The band’s basic repertoire included standard dance numbers and cover versions of pop music hits. The music ranged from rock and roll and country and western songs to traditional dixieland jazz. Key to a showband’s popular success was the ability to perform songs currently in the record charts.
The line up usually featured a rhythm section of drums, lead and bass guitars, a keyboard instrument, and a brass section of trumpet, saxophone and trombone. The band was fronted by one or two lead singers, who were assisted by other band members on backing vocals. Comedy routines were sometimes featured. The Irish showband, unlike the Big Band, played standing. It created momentum by playing while stepping, dipping and bopping in the manner of Bill Haley & His Comets. Initially, the bands’ tours were limited to Irish venues. As the scene progressed, the more successful bands toured Irish clubs located in Britain, the United States and Canada. Some later rock and soul oriented showbands toured German nightclub circuits and US Army base clubs in Europe.