Polish band, named Ira, banned in Britain


POLAND: A popular Polish rock band has been forbidden from performing at a British music festival in September because of its name: Ira.

The band, formed 20 years ago and most popular in Poland during the 1990s, was booked to appear at next September's London Polish Festival, a two-day celebration of Polish life in Britain.

"We were told that the British police and media got interested in our name and somebody decided that a band by the name Ira cannot play in Britain," said lead singer Artur Gadowski to Radio Polonia.

He said the band was disappointed about the decision as they had no political ambitions and had no connection to the Irish Republican Army.

The Polish Ira is a band of common musicians. Their videos show them to be a kind of Polish Def Lepard meets Red Hot Chili Peppers, but with more stone-washed denim. "Our name is simply a Latin word standing for anger," said Mr Gadowski.

The organisers of the festival admit that, apolitical or not, engaging a band with the name Ira might be seen as in poor taste.

Concert bookers in Britain should be aware that Poland is not the only country to produce an IRA band. IRA is a Colombian hard-core punk band founded in 1985 under the name Sucios y Desordenados Anarkistas", (the dirty and wild anarchists), before they changed their name a year later to "IRA", "Ideas de Revolución Adolescente", (ideas of adolescent revolution).

Then there's the Brazilian band "Ira!" formed in the early 1980s, influenced by The Who and The Clash and enjoying a comeback in recent years.

Finally, there's a German "sludge" band that goes by the name "ira". The five musicians from Lake Constance describe their musical direction as "soft melancholy meets metallic sound landscapes, paired with energetic hard-core".