Lives Remembered

Phillip 'Doc' Doherty: Former band frontman lived for music and Cliftonville FC

THE Beatles did it in London, U2 in Los Angeles. But for Phillip Doherty and his skinhead/punk band The Evicted, it was Newry Town Hall that was the unlikely location for a rooftop gig in 1983.

It was never going to pass entirely without incident.

All the skinheads from Belfast had come down for the day and when police arrived, it wasn't long before a couple of their hats were in the canal - as well as some of the crowd.

On the way home, the bus that took the fans to Newry also ended up somewhat the worse for wear.

The band would play a few more concerts back on terra firma but always attracted the attention of the constabulary - they were in danger of having more police officers than fans at some gigs.

Eventually The Evicted folded and went their separate ways.

But for those both in the band and part of the wider scene, the thrill and unpredictability of live music in those days has never been forgotten.

Music was a huge part of Phillip 'Doc' Doherty's life, having first got into punk as a schoolboy at St Patrick's, Bearnageeha in north Belfast.

Brought up in the Templar House high-rise flats in the New Lodge, where he enjoyed boxing as a boy, his mother promised to buy him a set of drums if he switched to being a skinhead.

And it was while walking to the school bus along Duncairn Gardens one day that an eviction notice provided the inspiration for his band's name.

The Evicted were formed in Artillery youth club and Phillip and his mates practised there and planned their first gigs.

Doc was the lead singer, with other members including TB 'Chapy' Chapman on guitar, Taz McCoy on bass and Gerard Pauley on drums.

Later he teamed up with Re'bel members Marty Lenane and Fergal Keenan, retaining The Evicted name.

Gerard Pauley said they played gigs around Belfast but the highlight was being invited to perform at Newry Town Hall.

Phillip Doherty performed with his band The Evicted on top of Newry Town Hall in 1983

"It was seven floors up, with no barriers - Doc had to lean over the side to sing," he said.

"Philip was a great guy and we all warmed to him right away. We had great laughs in those days and they are brilliant memories."

After the band split, Phillip did a bit of DJing but he worked for most of his life as a chef.

He became a popular face at various restaurants in Belfast including the Regency Hotel.

However, he was forced to stop work a decade ago due to Huntington's Disease.

His mother had died from the degenerative brain condition and it would also prematurely end the life of his brother Liam.

Lifelong friend John McAuley said despite the debilitating effects of illness, he remained the same "down to earth guy who lived for music and Cliftonville Football Club".

Phillip was a dedicated supporter of Cliftonville FC

"He was a loyal friend, you couldn't have asked for more - a nicer guy you couldn't meet," he said.

Phillip Doherty died on December 28, the day before his 54th birthday.

He is survived by his father Liam, brother Barry and son Caoimhin.

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Lives Remembered