This year’s Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival will take place in a variety of Belfast venues next month; and over eleven days, the 14th CQAF will stage music, comedy, spoken word and visual arts. We’re going to focus on the festival’s musical elements, and with the bill boasting old favourties such as Dexys and Adam Ant as well as a truly eclectic mix young and unknown talent, there should be something for anyone who finds themselves at the festival. There’s even a guy covering Nick Cave if you fancy it.
Thursday, 2nd May
Confessional to the point of masochism, the American singer-songwriter comes to the Belfast in support of his sublime Pale Green Ghosts.
Experimental electronic producer with a taste for the harp, proving that Joanna Newsom isn’t, in fact, the only one allowed to play it.
Derry’s Bridie Monds-Watson has been making waves since last year’s Sea Creatures EP, and will be celebrated with an evening of music and conversation tonight.
Friday, 3rd May
Kevin Rowland stopped cross-dressing, dropped the Midnight Runners and went back to Dexys. They’ll be playing latest album One Day I’m Going to Soar and may do ‘Come on, Eileen’ if you heckle them enough.
Old-fashioned rock music from Californian Prophet, always has a story to tell and and rolling guitar licks aplenty.
Saturday, 4th May
Trippy, maximal electronic producer from Norfolk; last year’s Steam Days is worth a listen or five.
The dandy of 80s pop may be getting up there in years, but he has a new moustache, face-paint and few new-romantic gems up his sleeve.
Sunday, 5th May
Some lovely acoustic folk to help wile away your afternoon from the young Scottish songstress.
The San Franciscan burnouts return with their brand of mumbling, vaguely psychadelic garage-punk.
Monday, 6th May
The distinct and emotionally fraught voice of Angel Olsen is really something. With little in the way of musical backing, it quavers and yelps in a way that will resonate and attract many to the Black Box.
The Tyrone singer-songwriter/cellist is sure to impress with her alternately eerie/sweet songs that blend folk and classical in a rather intriguing manner.
Tuesday, 7th May
Easy-going indie/Americana highlights a fairly quiet day, music-wise.
Wednesday, 8th May
The Father Jack of post-punk, Mark E. Smith, and his revolving cast of band members will play a set cherry-picking from the band’s 37 years and 30 albums.
The forgotten men of widescreen indie are on hand to tout their sixth album, Machineries of Joy, and hopefully some stuff off Do You Like Rock Music?. Easy, easy, easy…
Thursday, 9th May
Nothing says ‘world music’ like Amadou and Mariam, besides maybe Youssou N’Dour and Graceland.
Former Bombay Bicycle Club collaborator and very much part of the Britain’s youth folk movement.
Friday, 10th May
Despite suffering two debilitating cerebral hemorrhages, the former Orange Juice frontman powers on, surveying brassy poer pop and reflective acoustic standards.
A full A/V set from the master Jedi/hyper hip-hop DJ.
Saturday, 11th May
The Stay Golden tour as curated by ASIWYFA begins in the Cathedral Quarter before heading nationwide – a victory lap for All Hail Bright Futures.
Nick Drake is one of the few mysteries that remain in British pop, and with the recent release of The Daily Swarm – an album by his mother, Molly Drake – being heralded as the missing piece in the Nick Drake puzzle, Joe Boyd’s presentation on 60s folk artist should endlessly illuminating.
Sunday, 12th May
Texan Cedric Watson follows in a long line of Cajun musicians and his violin-playing is specifically of the creole culture. Transporting, harkens back to a time before the Louisiana Purchase.