The documentary tells the incredible story of The Miami Showband, one of Ireland’s most popular cabaret bands in the 1970’s. Referred to as “The Irish Beatles,” the band had seven number one singles on the Irish singles chart and were adored by those in the south and the north alike. This was incredible considering Ireland was right in the midst of The Troubles. Though the documentary’s first few minutes are spent establishing the backstory of the band and introducing us to the members of it, the majority of the documentary follows what happened on and after July 31, 1975.
The Miami Showband’s minibus, destroyed as the result of a planted bomb.
Traveling home to Dublin after a show in Banbridge, the band’s minibus was stopped halfway to Newry at what appeared to be a military checkpoint. Members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), a loyalist paramilitary group, ordered the band members to line up at the roadside. Moments later a time bomb that had been planted in the minibus went off killing two of the gunmen. The remaining gunmen opened fire on the band, killing three and wounding two, leaving them for dead.
The documentary follows Stephen Travers, who was the bass player in the band and survived the attack. Then 24 years old, Travers had no interest in politics and just wanted to play music. But since the massacre he has been on a quest to reveal the truth of what happened on that fateful night that killed three of his friends and changed the lives of him and the other survivor of the attack, Des McLea, forever.
Travers’ goal has been clear from the start – to find out how and why this could happen. It was something as unlikely as one of the gunmen’s voices causing him to look further into the incident. A man with a British accent should not have been there.
It’s revealed that it was likely the British officer at the scene and who organized the killings was Captain Robert Nairac, who was captured and executed by the IRA in 1977. The man who lead the members of the UVF present was Robin “The Jackal” Jackson, who is credited with killing over 100 people during The Troubles. Seemingly thwarted each time that he gets too close to uncovering that there may have been collusion by the British Government in the killings, Travers is relentless in finding a truth that we may never fully know.
ReMastered – The Miami Showband Massacre is a gripping documentary that doesn’t waste its time in telling you the details of the event and where all of the threads lead to. If you’re a fan of stories about music, history, conspiracy theories, or all three, this documentary will definitely scratch that itch a little bit for you.