Richard Dawson – Black Box, Belfast

December 3rd, 2017 by

“Everybody keep your eye on this mic stand,” says Richard Dawson, half stern-faced, half-giggled, as he gestures towards the offending article that’s innocently standing on stage in the Black Box. “It might transmogrify,” he enlightens us. And with a sense of bumble he launches into his first song of the show, ‘We Shepherds are the […]

Foghorn Stringband..”I always loved Irish traditional music”

September 13th, 2017 by

The bar was bustling in Raheen House Hotel after Foghorn Stringband had finished playing. They were rubbing shoulders with people who had been singing along with them half an hour earlier. Gerry Lawless who runs Clonmel World Music was explaining why, after travelling the length and breadth of Ireland to catch bands and attend gigs, […]

Chuck Prophet – Errigle Inn, Belfast

August 1st, 2017 by

Chuck Prophet played the Real Music Club in Belfast’s Errigle Inn on 26th July as part of his Ireland/UK tour. He’s the Californian singer songwriter, guitarist and producer who first grabbed the music world’s attention back in the ’80s on joining American rock band Green On Red. They parted ways in ’92 and since then […]

Chuck Prophet…”I choose my battles”

July 21st, 2017 by

“I think Chuck’s talent is only superseded by his taste, without that he would just be another great guitar player.” (Dan Stuart) That’s Charles William “Chuck” Prophet to you and I. The Californian singer songwriter, guitarist and producer who first grabbed the music world’s attention way back in the 80s when he joined American rock […]

Neil Hannon..”I’m just automatically working on the next record”

April 28th, 2017 by

Neil Hannon is feeling “a bit morningy” when I call him. He reckons it’s a hangover from all the golf he’s been watching into the wee small hours of some nights previous. He’s the man behind The Divine Comedy, the band that started to catch people’s attention in the 90s with an unusual attitude to their […]

2017 Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival

April 24th, 2017 by

The annual difficulty with the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival is pretty much the definition of a ‘First World Problem’ – how does one choose from the myriad acts on offer? 2017’s programme shows no clemency either. It’s a mix of comedy, poetry and readings, theatre, family events, music, film, and visual arts over a ten day period from 27th April to […]

Alejandro Escovedo – Errigle Inn, Belfast

April 17th, 2017 by

“There we go!” Alejandro Escovedo laughed into the microphone at the sound of a glass hitting the deck. “The party’s started – it sounds like Texas.” He was on stage in Belfast’s Errigle Inn on the Irish leg of his Burn Something Beautiful 2016-2017 Tour. Flanked by his touring compatriots Don Antonio from Italy, Escovedo […]

Nadia Reid – Preservation

February 27th, 2017 by

A lot belies the fresh water voice of Nadia Reid. Pristine enough to carry sweetness, warm and rich enough for comfort. And yet,“There were two little words that I used one was fuck, the other was you.” The final “you” is honeyed, it drips off the line. The “fuck” is calm, unhurried, shared between two […]

Chris Wood – So Much To Defend

January 3rd, 2017 by

Described by The Irish Times as “the renaissance man of English folk,” Chris Wood is an English singer and writer of folk who works true to its original intention – to talk, and to tell, to join-up, debunk and expose what is happening. A new year is upon us, and as a Brexited, Trumped, migrated, […]

Freddy Trujillo – Little Birds

December 9th, 2016 by

“When I think of Ireland I think of a ‘home’” said Portland musician Freddy Trujillo, bass player with The Delines and Richmond Fontaine. He was in Ireland as recently as October with alt-country-rock legends Richmond Fontaine. They were playing shows on the island as part of their European farewell tour before disbanding after 22 years […]

Passenger – Waterfront Hall, Belfast

December 7th, 2016 by

“It’s such an honour to be here, I’m going to play you a bunch of sad songs,” said Gregory Alan Isakov, the singer-songwriter opening for Passenger last Sunday evening in Belfast. When all is said and done though, it seems that both artists who held the stage that night have a penchant for the miserable. […]

Curse of Lono – Curse of Lono

October 5th, 2016 by

Curse of Lono is a group spawned from the British roots band Hey Negrita, pioneers of a particular alternative country, blues, folk, southern rock sound. After Hey Negrita’s demise, its founder Felix Bechtolsheimer started to spend time with people who were apparently obsessed with Krautrock and Radiohead, and this shift in scene bent a wire […]