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The first thing I noticed was Death, standing there nine feet tall, moving silently, scythe in one hand and bony fingers pointing out on the other.

Death wants to know just who caused the arson attack on Cathedral Buildings, formerly home to a row of small, independent businesses on the ground floor and a hive of studios, also formerly home to many incredible creatives across a range of disciplines. Illustrators, violin makers, graphic designers, textile artists, writers, photographers and so much more. Continue Reading…

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives”.

Author Annie Dillard’s musings on our perceptions of life call for a closer examination of the minutiae of living, the routines that may seem mundane yet are slowly carving living, hopefully functioning, people out of us. Continue Reading…

Becky McNeice – Profile

August 26, 2022

If we had forever, I still don’t think it’d be enough” sings Becky McNeice on ‘Freeze’. It’s music made for a daydream, but if you stay long enough, you’ll get something to think about. The Belfast artist’s string of pop songs have a slow-burning effect with gentle production and intimate lyrics.

“My family told me to shut up whenever I was singing in the shower, they’d be knocking on the shower saying, shush! So I knew had to get a wee bit better before I put myself out there.” Continue Reading…

Eleanor Gilmore has been awarded the first Carol Clerk Bursary for music journalism. This project aims to support the skills and potential of a female or non-binary music journalist in Northern Ireland.

The bursary honours the trailblazing life of Carol Clerk (1954-2010), an award-winning music writer from Belfast who was News Editor of Melody Maker and also authored books on the likes of Madonna, The Pogues and The Damned. Continue Reading…

Too bad if you missed the return of New Pagans in 2021. We shouldn’t gloat, but hey, it was monumental. It was all the stuff you had yearned for in the silent months before – volume, roaring communion and festival kicks. New Pagans came onto the stage and called it. It was time, again, to be alert. To transmit fierce ideas in a public place. To cook up the synapses and release the joy. Continue Reading…

Raised in south Belfast, Winnie Ama currently works out of London. She travels keenly and during a youthful visit to New Orleans, she came to understand and love the jazz legacy. Continue Reading…

John came on from stage left and David made his appearance from the other side. They walked cautiously, past the microphone stands, the amplifiers and the effects pedals. The pair met in front of the drum riser and with some ceremony, they shook hands. David crunched down firmly, but John was also a practiced gripper. There were a few more reassuring pats, taps and exchanges and 2,000 school children roared over the awkwardness. Continue Reading…

The world of Lemonade Shoelace is a kaleidoscopic soundscape of synths, hypnotic basslines and reverb-drenched vocals. In his new music video for debut single ‘Autopilot Paradise’, viewers are presented with a surreal version of Newcastle, Co. Down, distorted through the dual lens of Salvador Dali and Wes Anderson. Teenagers in clout goggles and Spike Island bucket hats ride Chopper bikes and drive yellow convertibles around the coastline. It’s bliss.

Continue Reading…

Stevie Wonder once sang about it being “hotter than July”. We’re guessing that Stevie was never in Limavady on a wet Friday in midsummer, when the de rigueur fashion statement at a music festival was the dryrobe®. Oh well. There are 8,000 people ready for an excellent time at Ballymully Cottage Farm and if the rainwater fills the river past capacity, then perhaps there are a few takers here for bonus, wild swimming action. Continue Reading…

Just ahead of the Brand New Friend gig at the Limelight. Belfast on July 4, vocalist and songwriter Taylor Johnson selects the important tunes from the jukebox of his heart.

THE SUPREMES
This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You)

As a 17-year-old my dad shipped off to Naples by himself to explore the world and escape the Troubles. He had a tiny Walkman and a handful of cassettes he would dance to in the evenings. This consisted mainly of Kate Bush, but The Supremes were one of his favorites and he passed on his love of 60s girl bands to me. The Supremes/Ronettes sound was a big influence on our new record, our song ‘Hey Blue’ is an ode to them. I love how sad it is too, Diana Ross has been hurt here, but she’s still in love with whoever she’s singing to. Continue Reading…