Joanne McNally – Bite Me

Bite Me was postponed in our Out to Lunch Festival when Joanne made her way to the Black Box – in Galway.

With Sat Nav co-ordinates duly reset, finally, we bring you – BITE ME.

This is the story of Joanne’s amaaaaaaazing diet. She didn’t just lose weight though; she lost jobs, friends and fellas, but she didn’t care because she could wear bangles as belts and that’s all that mattered.

Then one day, over her morning carrot, Joanne realized she’d lost her mind. Turns out it was pinned to a lost property board up in space, enjoying the view and its new found freedom.

Trying to entice it back became the hardest, funniest, greatest and weirdest time of her life.

A major hit at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe festival, we are delighted to host this Belfast premier.

‘Brazen, bold and beautiful, the sky’s the limit for Joanne McNally’ – IRISH MIRROR

Seamus Fogarty + support by Arborist

One of the albums of 2017 for us was Irish alt-folk and electronica alchemist’s truly magnificent second album and Domino Records debut The Curious Hand.

A record not born of grand ideas realised at a stroke, but eked out slowly and steadily, honed and cultivated, turned over and around, deconstructed and put back together again. A record made through open-spirited collaboration with friends and family and hours lost in a headphone world.

All that and Seamus’s natural inclination to take his songs and “screw them up,” as he puts it. By which he means squirreling them back to his home studio and applying the synthesiser drones and circuit burps, found sounds and spoken-word audio samples that give all of his records such wonderful atmosphere. It’s as if they’re haunted by rogue half-tuned signals from another world.

Produced by Seamus and Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno, Wild Beasts), The Curious Hand elevates Fogarty into another bracket of artists doing fascinatingly skewed and modern and heartfelt things with roots-influenced and electronic music.

He’s an evocative and thoughtful lyricist and melodicist as well as an inquisitive sonic explorer for fans of Alasdair Roberts, Will Oldham and Kieran Hebden.

Arborist’s debut album Home Burial has been lauded by some of the music industry’s biggest publications.

MOJO music magazine gave the album 4/5 stars describing it as a staggering debut of depth and substance. UNCUT magazine described the album as ‘a deliciously self–assured collection’ and scored it 8/10.

Led by singer–song writer Mark McCambridge the style could best be described as slow, smooth, melancholic Americana.

Doors 7:45pm | Unreserved Seating

Peggy Seeger – Book Talk

*Limited Tickets available on the Door*

Peggy Seeger is one of folk music’s most influential artists and songwriters. Born in New York City in 1935, she enjoyed a childhood steeped in music and left-wing politics – they remain her lifeblood.

After college, she travelled to Russia and China – against US advice – before arriving in London, where she met the man with whom she would raise three children and share the next thirty-three years: Ewan MacColl.

Together, they helped lay the foundations of the British folk revival, through the influential Critics Group and the landmark BBC Radio Ballads series. And as Ewan’s muse, she inspired one of the twentieth century’s most popular love songs, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.

With a clear eye and generous spirit, Peggy writes of a rollercoaster life – of birth and abortion, sex and infidelity, devotion and betrayal – in a luminous, beautifully realised account.

Doors 1:45pm | Unreserved Seating

Mary Gauthier

*Limited Tickets available – Please contact Waterfront Hall Box Office on 02890 334455*

Adopted child, teen runaway, addict, convict—instead of wearing her many pasts on her sleeve, Mary Gauthier wears them sewn into her songs like trophies from battles mainly lost.

Now deep into her second decade of spinning dark poetry into lyrics that are three parts autobiography, two parts short story, and five parts brutal candour, Gauthier has rightfully taken her place alongside America’s premier songwriters.

While the sentiments may be stark, they are beautifully disrobed, and the musical phrasing provides gentle relief. Listening to Gauthier perform is like finding hidden gems in a vintage clothing store.

We are delighted to welcome Mary back to CQAF with her new album Trouble & Love, one of the wisest testaments of broken-heartedness an Americana singer-songwriter has ever committed to tape

“To be affected by these songs, you don’t have to know anything of Gauthier’s backstory (Louisiana orphan addict chef turned sober troubadour), the respect she commands across gender lines in the Americana scene, or the heavyweight catalog she’s built out of unflinching introspection and Southern Gothic-shaded storytelling.”  NPR Music

“Every tune is a rough gem of melody, misery and economy, as Gauthier excavates romantic wreckage like an archaeologist telling the story of a fossilized love.” Rolling Stone

“…her razor-sharp eye for detail and her commitment to unsentimental self-reflection puts her in a class with greats such as Kris Kristofferson, John Prine and yes, Bob Dylan.”  Los Angeles Times

Doors 1:45pm | Unreserved Seating


Kimmie Rhodes: Radio Dreams Tour

*Tickets available – Please contact Waterfront Hall Box Office on  02890 334455*

Radio Dreams is a ‘duet memoir’ which invites readers into the unique and private world of platinum-selling songwriter and recording artist Kimmie Rhodes and her deceased soul mate, beloved radio personality Joe Gracey, Jr.

Weaving her own poetic prose with wry and witty words from his journals, Rhodes returns him to the conversation to tell the fascinating story of their three decades together.

Riding with fellow outlaws Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Cowboy Jack Clement, Emmylou Harris, and other famous and infamous characters, they helped make American music history before facing Gracey’s final cancer battle.

Through triumph and tragedy, grief and gratitude, these pages express the extraordinary life and inspiring love they shared.

To coincide with the Spring release of Radio Dreams and a companion audio documentary and retrospective CD we’re delighted to welcome BBC Radio Ulster’s Ralph McLean and Kimmie to a special “In Conversation With” show where, no doubt, a few songs will also be forthcoming.

Doors 7:45pm | Unreserved Seating


!!! (Chk Chk Chk) + Support MMODE – SOLD OUT

We’re beyond excited that New York based dance-punks !!! (Chk Chk Chk) are set to make their Belfast debut at CQAF – and in the Black Box no less!

Joining the welcomed re-emergence of mid-00s alt-dance this year, including contemporaries LCD Soundsystem, the announcement comes after the release of their seventh studio album, Shake The Shudder, which came out in May.

The album harks back to their punk roots, blurring the boundaries between genres, incorporating elements of high energy disco and European electronica, yet lyrically leans towards the self-reflective as opposed to the political, as we see on previous offerings.

MMODE are an Irish music duo based in Belfast consisting of siblings Lucy and Thomas Gaffney. The duo exchange beguiling vocals and deeply insightful lyrics over the melancholy of classic brooding art rock, and the bouncy, bohemian haze of psychedelia.

This will be sweaty and magnificent and a guaranteed sell out show.

Doors 8.00pm | Standing

The Deep Dark Woods + support from Kacy and Clayton

*Tickets available on the Door*

Floods and plagues, ghosts and slaughter: woe to those who populate the songs of Yarrow. A gentle summer breeze swings the gallows ropes, flowers bloom callously on lovers’ graves. These anthems are definitely not from Eden.

The Deep Dark Woods’ newest album was borne in a fever – scarlet fever, to be medically specific. A disease of the last century is a fitting backdrop for songs that dig bare handed into the loam to unearth the corpses of old English folk and country blues.

Yarrow is Deep Dark Woods reimagined by leadman Ryan Boldt, and accompanied by the same band that crafted prairie psychedelics and a “loose grungy folk sound” (Paste).

For nearly ten years they developed an international following with particular success in the Americana realm, nominated alongside Alabama Shakes and Dawes for Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2012 Americana Music Awards.

Now wrest out of the woods, their outlook is decidedly more macabre, tapping into a rich vein of gothic surrealism that aligns with some of the great murder balladeers of our time. With Appalachian soil under his fingernails, Boldt writes in a deep tradition of bleak and forlorn storytelling, drawing lines from Ireland to Tennessee, the Oxford Girl to Folsom Prison.

In Yarrow, there’s a juicy unease to frontman Boldt’s presence, as if a new door has opened to let loose the weirdness. In place of the freewheelin’ jammy vibe there’s a darker, stranger tenor that sides with those modern mystics whose music exists in the creepier, freakier corners of existence.

The music of Kacy and Clayton (Canada) exists outside of time, and burgeons with beautiful contradictions. It’s psychedelic and traditional, contemporary and vintage, melancholic and joyous.

All at once, it showcases a slightly psych-folk sound of Linda Perhacs, Fleet Foxes, and First Aid Kit; rare country blues records and English folk tunes; and 1920s disaster songs and murder ballads.

Doors 7:45pm | Unreserved Seating

Kate Rusby

Of all the stars in Folk Music’s wondrous firmament, few shine as brightly as Yorkshire’s Kate Rusby. A career which spans over 25 years in music showcases her as one of the finest interpreters of traditional folk songs and one of our most emotive original songwriters.

Forever proud to call herself a folk singer, Kate’s beautiful, expressive vocals never fail to connect the emotional heart of a song to that of her audience. The crossover appeal Kate enjoys is unprecedented for a folk singer and has been achieved without resort to compromise.

Rusby’s wondrous singing and hugely engaging Yorkshire wit and the intuitive support of the band ensure that audiences will be treated to a truly remarkable and unforgettable concert experience.

This festival special will feature Kate’s choice of much-loved classics from her back catalogue stretching over her two decades of music making together with a selection of songs from her most recent studio album Life in a Paper Boat.

As ever, Kate will be joined on stage by the cream of British folk musicians who formher select band.

‘Everybody loves and respects Kate Rusby, not just for her lovely voice, but for the way she has moved folk forward while remaining true to tradition’ – SUNDAY TIMES

Doors 7:30pm | Unreserved Seating

An Evening with Molly Tuttle & Rachel Baiman – SOLD OUT

Touring as co-headliners, Molly Tuttle and Rachel Baiman will join one another for their respective sets, making both sets a duo performance.

Molly Tuttle was the first woman in the 27 year history of the International Bluegrass Music Association awards to be nominated for ‘Guitar Player of the Year’, the only instrumental category that had not yet nominated a woman, and she has just won it! Blazing a trail Stateside with appearances at top tier festivals, including RockyGrass Festival, and on programs such as A Prairie Home Companion, Molly has expanded her audience in the USA and is about to do the same in the UK. She will be showcasing songs from her debut solo EP, Rise.

Nashville Americana songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Baiman was one half of the excellent 10 String Symphony and has played fiddle for numerous other artists, including Kacey Musgraves. Rachel will be showcasing songs from her debut solo album, Shame, which has received hugely positive reviews since on released in the UK earlier this year. Inspired in equal parts by John Hartford and Courtney Barnett, Rachel’s influences span a wide range, but years spent playing traditional music shine through in the album’s firmly rooted sound.

A fine night of Americana is promised by these two emerging stars.

Doors 7:45pm | Unreserved Seating

Bridget Christie

*Tickets available on the Door*

Brexit. Trump. Nuclear apocalypse. Environmental catastrophe. Is rolling news affecting your ability to enjoy the simple things? Like baking, gardening and autoerotic asphyxiation?

This new show from multi-award winning member of the Metropolitan Liberal Elite, and star of her own Netflix special, is for you. Join Bridget (Room 101, Have I Got News for You, Harry Hill’s Alien Fun Capsule) for a night of hope and despair.

Winner of Rose D’Or, Edinburgh Comedy Award and Southbank Sky Arts Award.

Bridget’s last show was The Guardian’s No 1 Comedy of 2016.

‘A masterclass’ – GUARDIAN

‘Superb’ – TELEGRAPH

Doors 7:30pm | Unreserved Seating

Beans on Toast – ‘Sitting on a Chair’ Tour

*Tickets available on the Door*

The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival are delighted to present Beans on Toast on his aptly titled ‘SITTING ON A CHAIR TOUR‘ will see the enthusiastic songwriter playing seated theatres and venues rather than pubs and clubs.

He’s promising a unique evening of stories about his travels and songs from his huge nine album back catalogue. Love songs, protest songs and drinking songs are intertwined with the stories behind the songs and the random adventures they’ve led him on.

The tour will coincide with the release of ‘DRUNK FOLK STORIES‘ his first book. A collection of ten, short, true-life stories about songwriting, travelling and drinking. Featuring the likes of Billy Bragg, Banksy and The Cookie Monster.

From Glastonbury to Wembley via The Bahamas, these first-hand accounts of drunken escapades, car-crashes, recreational drugs and burning pubs are full of humour, grace and honesty – just like his music.

The book is released worldwide on 1st May via ‘Play on Words Publishing’ The 1st May also sees the re-release of the 2009 album ‘STANDING ON A CHAIR‘. The whopping 50-track debut will be released on vinyl for the first time – a double vinyl nonetheless.

Produced many moons ago by Mumford and Sons’ Ben Lovett, this much-loved album features crowd favourites such as ‘MDMAmazing’, ‘The Price of Rice’ and ‘Don’t Believe The Bullshit’ and cameos from the likes of Emmy The Great, Justin Young and Frank Turner.

9 years might seem a strange anniversary to celebrate but when he started putting these plans together Beans thought it had been 10 years. But he thought fuck it and went ahead with it anyway. Such is his way.

Doors 7:45pm | Unreserved seating

Ben Folds and a Piano – SOLD OUT

Ben Folds is widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of our generation. He’s created an enormous body of genre-bending music that includes pop albums with Ben Folds Five, multiple solo albums, and collaborative records with artists from Sara Bareilles and Regina Spektor, to William Shatner. His most recent album is a blend of pop songs and his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra that soared to #1 on both the Billboard classical and classical crossover charts.

For over a decade he’s performed with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras, and was recently named as the first ever Artistic Advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Centre in Washington, DC.

Folds continues to perform with symphonies and also recently returned to solo touring reminiscent of his earliest years, delivering a high energy rock performance using the intimacy of just a piano.

An avid photographer, Folds is a member of the distinguished Sony Artisans of Imagery, and recently completed an assignment as a photo editor for National Geographic. He is also an outspoken advocate for music education and music therapy as a member of Americans For The Arts, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Symphony.

Doors 7:30pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

I’m With Her – SOLD OUT

I’m With Her is Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan. From their early contributions in bands such as Nickel Creek and Crooked Still, these three musicians are noteworthy for their recent and extensive solo career successes, including several Grammy awards.

An impromptu show in 2014 at the Sheridan Opera House in Telluride, CO, sparked the formation of I’m With Her and sent the trio touring the world together the next year.

Along the way, I’m With Her formed a special, family-like chemistry, garnering acclaim for their unique blend of instrumental interplay combined with their indelible harmonies, as the New York Times describes, “… that could be sweetly ethereal, or as tightly in tandem as country sibling teams like the Everly Brothers, or as hearty as mountain gospel.”

Their debut album, See You Around, was recorded in Bath, England, with Ethan Johns at Real World Studios and will be released in February 2018.

Doors 7:30pm | Unreserved Seating

The Iconettes + Terri Hooley DJ set – SOLD OUT

The Iconettes are a unique musical homage to some of the most famous girl groups and divas of a golden era of Motown and Soul; The Ronettes, The Three Degrees, The Marvelettes, The Crystals and of course the irresistible Supremes create just some of the template for The Iconettes style, glamour and musical influences.

Performing stunning harmonies live, this female close harmony vocal trio are a fun, sassy, tightly choreographed tribute to the iconic girl groups of the Soul and Motown era and the sounds of Philadelphia and Detroit.

Out to Lunch Extra Portion
After The Iconettes, massive Girl Group fan Terri Hooley will play some of his favourite tracks from the era for an hour (or maybe two).

Feel free to stay and enjoy.

Ibibio Sound Machine – Sold Out

Fronted by London-born Nigerian singer Eno Williams, Ibibio Sound Machine is a clash of African and electronic elements inspired in equal measure by the golden era of West African funk, disco, modern post-punk, and electro.

Recent months has been spent forging a reputation as a high-energy live act appearing on stages such as Later… with Jools Holland, Glastonbury, Roskilde, and the BBC 6 Music Festival, as well as at iconic venues such as Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London as part of Lauren Laverne’s Wonder Women series.

Weird and wonderful folk stories, recounted to Eno by her family as a child in her mother’s Ibibio tongue, form the creative fabric from which the band’s unique musical tapestry is woven.

Evocative poetic imagery and empowering messages set against an edgy, Afro-Electro soundscape give the band a unique space within the current wave of modern Afrocentric sounds sweeping across the globe.

The 4 of Us (support by Simon Murphy) – SOLD OUT

THE 4 OF US bring their critically acclaimed acoustic show to Out to Lunch showcasing songs from their forthcoming new album Sugar Island, as well as songs from their extensive back catalogue.

From their first anthem Mary – still a radio favourite, through to the UK-charting She Hits Me, to Sunlight – the band has notched up over two decades of radio hits and six top 20 charting albums.

Don’t miss this rare chance to catch them live in the intimate setting of the Black Box.

‘Never before have I been to a gig where the atmosphere has been so electric …’  THE IRISH NEWS


Following the viral success of his Stranger Things Mixtape – and quarter of a million plays on Soundcloud – DJ Yoda is taking his Eighties pop-culture nostalgia mix to Out to Lunch for the ultimate post-Festive season party.

Featuring favourites from 1983 (when Stranger Things is set) and laced with samples from the Netflix original series, expect Dolly Parton, Toto, Jefferson Airplane, The Clash, Joy Division and Foreigner mixed with dialogue from Chief Hopper, Eleven, Jonathan and Nancy.

Experience the mixtape live!

Hollie McNish & Tony Walsh – SOLD OUT

Hollie McNish: Out to Lunch is proud to Hollie performing poems from her new collection, Plum, as well as performing some favourites from previous books.

Plum is a new collection of poems which charts Hollie’s journey from childhood to attempted adulthood. Expect strong language as she talks about fruit and flesh, school discos, guilt, sex, politics, death, transformers and a lot of friendship.

With Benjamin Zephaniah stating ‘I can’t take my ears off her’, Kate Tempest describing her poetry as ‘welcoming, galvanising and beautiful’ and fans ranging from Pink, Tim Minchen, Marian Keyes to most of the UK’s midwives, Hollie McNish is a poet whose readings are not to be missed.

Tony Walsh: Millions have watched footage of poet, Tony Walsh, aka ‘Longfella’, reading his poem, This is the Place to those gathered in Albert Square in the aftermath of the terror attack in Manchester.

Liam Gallagher said it was ‘the best thing I’ve ever heard come out of any Mancunian’s mouth, ever’, whilst Jeanette Winterson said, Walsh “found words where there are no words”.

Tony’s passionate performances of his unashamedly defiant and political work have resonated with millions across the world, and the festival is excited to be hosting a poet truly of our time.

Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle

For some people, a housing crisis means not getting planning permission for a loft conversion. For others it means, quite simply, losing their home.

Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle is a feature documentary directed by Paul Sng (Sleaford Mods – Invisible Britain) and narrated by Maxine Peake, exploring the catastrophic failures that have led to a chronic shortage of social housing in Britain.

The film focuses on the neglect, demolition and regeneration of council estates in London, Glasgow and Nottingham, and investigates how the state works with the private sector to demolish council estates to build on the land they stand on, making properties that are unaffordable to the majority of people in the UK.

Dispossession is the story of people fighting for their communities, of people who know the difference between a house and a home, and who believe that housing is a human right, not an expensive luxury.

Fern Brady – SOLD OUT

Fern’s past two Edinburgh Fringe shows sold out through word of mouth alone and now she’s ready for her debut tour.

Scottish comedian Fern is here with a Scottish hour. Scottish. As seen on English comedian Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central, English comedian Stewart Lee’s Alternative Comedy Experience and Viceland’s new series Brexit Stage Left.

‘Suffer Fools’ is a stunning hour of incisive, relentlessly sharp comedy from one of the UK’s rising stars.

As heard on BBC Radio 4’s State of the Nations and BBC Scotland’s Breaking the News.

An astounding hour ***** List
Quick witted acerbic stand-up ***** Skinny

Hollie McNish & Tony Walsh

Hollie McNish: Out to Lunch is proud to Hollie performing poems from her new collection, Plum, as well as performing some favourites from previous books.

Plum is a new collection of poems which charts Hollie’s journey from childhood to attempted adulthood. Expect strong language as she talks about fruit and flesh, school discos, guilt, sex, politics, death, transformers and a lot of friendship.

With Benjamin Zephaniah stating ‘I can’t take my ears off her’, Kate Tempest describing her poetry as ‘welcoming, galvanising and beautiful’ and fans ranging from Pink, Tim Minchen, Marian Keyes to most of the UK’s midwives, Hollie McNish is a poet whose readings are not to be missed.

Tony Walsh: Millions have watched footage of poet, Tony Walsh, aka ‘Longfella’, reading his poem, This is the Place to those gathered in Albert Square in the aftermath of the terror attack in Manchester.

Liam Gallagher said it was ‘the best thing I’ve ever heard come out of any Mancunian’s mouth, ever’, whilst Jeanette Winterson said, Walsh “found words where there are no words”.

Tony’s passionate performances of his unashamedly defiant and political work have resonated with millions across the world, and the festival is excited to be hosting a poet truly of our time.

Keith James presents the music of Yusuf – Cat Stevens

Keith James presents an honest and loving reflection on the insightful and timeless music of Yusef – Cat Stevens.

The amassed body of music from this hugely popular and sincerely adored singer/songwriter made for a collection of ‘must have’ records across a whole generation.

Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat were on everyone’s turntables and on every radio station, live versions are played in concerts, bars and on the world’s beaches to this day.

Songs such as Wild World, Father and Son, Moonshadow and Where do the Children Play have been covered by hundreds of Artists worldwide.

Keith James is one of the most active and inventive performers on this Country’s concert scene. All of his concerts are based on dedicated studies of poets and songwriters with whom both he himself and audiences identify as having a quality and integrity far above the norm.

‘Keith James has become a pillar of trust. A sublimely intimate and engaging voice’ – SUNDAY TIMES

Opera for Lunch – Sold Out

In this Out to Lunch special Northern Ireland Opera and the Lyric Theatre stage Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s thrilling and darkly comic The Threepenny Opera.

In anticipation, join members of the Northern Ireland Opera Studio as they transport you back to the 1920s for a recital exploring themes of love, war, and class.

Featuring music from The Threepenny Opera, as well as songs and showtunes of the era, don’t miss this perfect lunchtime musical treat!

Maria Hughes soprano
Lauren Scully soprano
Dawn Burns mezzo-soprano
Cormac Lawlor bass-baritone
Kevin Neville bass-baritone
Keith McAllister piano

Andrew Maxwell – Showtime – Sold out

Renowned for his cutting-edge comedy and intrepid social commentary, Andrew is also the recognisable voice of MTV’s hit show Ex On The Beach, which is now in its sixth series and has featured on Live At The Apollo (BBC One), Have I Got News For You (BBC One), Celebrity Juice (ITV2) and Mock The Week (BBC Two).

Throughout his career, Andrew has had many sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and has also performed at Channel Four’s Secret Policeman’s Ball, Glastonbury, Kilkenny’s Cat Laughs and several appearances at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival.

An Evening with Jonathan Meades – CANCELLED

Jonathan Meades has written and performed in more than 50 television shows on predominantly topographical subjects such as shacks, garden cities, megastructures, buildings associated with vertigo, beer, pigs, and the architecture of Hitler and Stalin.

His credits include Jonathan Meades: Off Kilter (2009), Jonathan Meades on France (2012), The Joys of Essex (2013). His films, Bunkers, Brutalism, Bloodymindedness: Concrete Poetry, were broadcast on BBC4 in 2014.

His books include: An Encyclopaedia of Myself, which won the Best Memoir Award in the Spear’s Book Awards 2014, three works of fiction: Filthy English, Pompey and The Fowler Family Business and several anthologies including The Museum Without Walls.

‘Meades has been compared, favourably, to Rabelais and, flatteringly, to Swift. The truth is that he outstrips both in the gaudiness of his imagination.’ – HENRY HITCHINGS, TLS

‘A human Enigma machine…Jonathan Meades is the Jonathan Meades of our generation.’ – AA GILL,  THE SUNDAY TIMES

Andrew Maxwell – Showtime

Renowned for his cutting-edge comedy and intrepid social commentary, Andrew is also the recognisable voice of MTV’s hit show Ex On The Beach, which is now in its sixth series and has featured on Live At The Apollo (BBC One), Have I Got News For You (BBC One), Celebrity Juice (ITV2) and Mock The Week (BBC Two).

Throughout his career, Andrew has had many sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and has also performed at Channel Four’s Secret Policeman’s Ball, Glastonbury, Kilkenny’s Cat Laughs and several appearances at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival.

Bernard MacLaverty – Reading & Q&A – Sold Out

Sixteen years on from his last novel, Bernard MacLaverty reminds us why he is regarded as one of the greatest living Irish writers.

A retired couple, Gerry and Stella Gilmore, fly to Amsterdam for a long weekend. A holiday to refresh the senses, to do some sightseeing and generally to take stock of what remains of their lives. Their relationship seems safe, easy, familiar – but over the course of the four days we discover the deep uncertainties which exist between them.

Bernard MacLaverty is a master storyteller, and Midwinter Break is the essential MacLaverty novel: accurate, compassionate observation, effortlessly elegant writing and a tender, intimate, heart-rending story – but it is also a profound examination of human love and how we live together. Forty years on from his first book, Bernard MacLaverty has written his masterpiece.

‘This is a novel of great ambition by an artist at the very height of his powers.’ COLM TOIBIN

Booka Brass Band

Booka Brass’ debut album captures the live energy of the band lauded as one of Ireland’s greatest live acts.

Chilled Milk is a ten-track album full of the bands signature melodies and rhythmic pizazz. The album is made up of nine self-penned tunes and a raucous cover of Jason Derulo’s ‘Talk Dirty’ by the New Orleans inspired outfit.

Formed in late 2012 when a group of students were drawn together by their classical background and desire to experiment musically. Since then their trajectory has been constantly on the rise, from the success of their critically acclaimed debut EP BBB, a sold-out nationwide tour alongside collaborations and live performances with Irish music heavyweights including The Frames, Lisa Hannigan, Jape and James Vincent McMorrow.

The band laid the basis of the album in true Booka Brass style through jamming through ideas in an improvised setting. The album has drawn influence from jazz greats like Miles Davis and Art Blakey, to hip-hop icons Dr. Dre and Kendrick Lamar.

The albums sound is a fusion of Booka Brass’s classical mastery of their instruments combined with their understanding and passion for jazz sensibilities. Potentially the show of the festival.

‘Everyone’s favourite horn wielders..spicing jazz, hip hop and pop and adding lashings of brass, it’s a fun and inventive few minutes’ – HOT PRESS

‘Booka Brass Band have every right to be claimed as Ireland’s best live act right now’ – GOLDEN PLEC

‘If you can only take in one new act this festival season, make it Booka Brass Band’ – THE IRISH INDEPENDENT

The Irish Video Game Orchestra

The Irish Video Game Orchestra is a semi-professional orchestra dedicated to bringing new audiences to the orchestral music by performing famous video game scores that listeners already know and love.

Brought together by their mutual love for video games, and the wealth of music that can be found in their scores, the IVGO aims to create unforgettable performances for both its audiences and musicians.

Having only been performing for two years, the IVGO has received rave reviews from their concerts at Q-Con, Eirtakon, and their most recent independent concert, “A Journey of Heroes.” Christopher Hastings of Queen’s Radio said, “… if you are into orchestral music, video games, or both, there is definitely no reason why you shouldn’t keep an eye out for the next time the Irish Video Game Orchestra performs, because honestly, it was one of the most entertaining musical evenings I’ve experienced for a long while.”

With repertoire spanning the 30+ years of video game scores, every concert is different, but features music from both new games as well as the classic tunes known by all from The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., Final Fantasy, and so much more.

Wolfgang Flur

Wolfgang Flür is best known as the electro drummer of German electronic super group Kraftwerk between 1973 and 1986.

Along with his Kraftwerk musical partner Florian Schneider, he developed the world’s very first electronic drum machines and, as the first Electric Quartet, changed the face of music forever.

Arguably every electronic release of the last thirty years has been inspired by Wolfgang Flür’s amazing development and his colossus of a band.

Since 2004 Flür has been DJ’ing world-wide in clubs and festivals, playing tech house, industry and electro specialties of his own – he likes to call it ‘selected electro tunes for dancing’.

Wolfgang sees himself as a music presenter with historical electric background. Post Kraftwerk he’s busied himself writing books and collaborating with all sorts of intriguing musical master minds.

Tonight’s set will be accompanied by video projections and rare images from his Kraftwerk past shot to Wolfgang’s present projects.

Nuala Kennedy

For anyone who enjoys an imaginative blend of contemporary and traditional music; beautifully constructed airs, jigs and reels; love songs and ballads in both Gaelic and English; something rather special is special in the Black Box during Out to Lunch.

Singer and flute player Nuala Kennedy celebrated 10 years as a solo recording artist in 2016 with the launch of Behave the Bravest, her fourth solo album and her first album release on her own label Under the Arch Records.

Nuala Kennedy’s origins as a player and singer of traditional music in Ireland shine through on Behave the Bravest. Old traditional ballads of love, loss and immigration, are recomposed by Kennedy and continue to find resonance in the modern world.

Played and sung with verve and panache by a woman at the top of her game, Behave the Bravest is a fitting album to celebrate a decade of music making.

Nuala has performed and recorded with Will Oldham (Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy), Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), Norwegian musicians Frode Haltli and Vegar Vårdal as well as the late Canadian composer Oliver Schroer.

For this very special Festival show Nuala will be joined by Mike Bryan (guitar) and Donald Hay (percussion).

‘She instils a zesty, fresh brilliance for all her dazzling performances, which are enticingly enhanced by all her imaginative compositions. This album is just a complete winner all the way.’FOLKWALES

The Ballad of Shirley Collins

Widely regarded as the 20th century’s most important singer of English traditional song, Shirley Collins stood at the epicentre of the folk music scene during the 1960s and ’70s.

However, in 1980 she lost her voice in mysterious circumstances, and was forced to retire from musical life.

Rob Curry and Tim Plester’s documentary sets out to explore the story behind the icon, and chronicles Shirley’s battle, at the grand old age of 80, to rediscover that voice she lost so many years previously.

The film offsets this contemporary journey with a more literal one taken from the other end of her life, and makes fertile use of authentic 1959 audio-archive to recount the tale of Shirley’s seminal road-trip around America’s Deep South alongside her then-lover (and pre-eminent ethnomusicologist) Alan Lomax.

Featuring cameos from the comedian Stewart Lee and David Tibet of Current 93, the film eschews a straightforward biopic approach and mindfully sidesteps any rockumentary talking-heads; the filmmakers instead offering up a meditative and richly textured piece of portraiture.

One which uses Shirley’s story as a prism through which to explore and reflect upon themes of heritage, posterity and the true ancestral melodies of the people.

Here then is a film about loss and redemption. A film about sacrifice, healing and rebirth. A film which suggests that, during these turbulent and increasingly untethered times, we might just need Shirley Collins now more than ever.

Cosey Fanni Tutti (in conversation)

Punk pioneer and provocative performer Cosey Fanni Tutti was a thorn in an anxious establishment’s side during the 70s and 80s.

Her 1976 performance art exhibition, Prostitution, hit the tabloids and caused an almighty stir, with one Tory MP denouncing Cosey and her COUM Transmissions collaborators as ‘wreckers of civilisation’.

Art Sex Music is the autobiography of a musician who, as a founding member of the avant-garde group Throbbing Gristle and electronic pioneers Chris & Cosey, has consistently challenged the boundaries of music over the past four decades and whose work continues to be held at the vanguard of contemporary art, some of which resides as part of the Tate permanent collection.

Art Sex Music is the wise, shocking and elegant autobiography of a uniquely provocative artist. Come and hear how she look back on a fascinating life.

Robin Ince – Pragmatic Insanity SOLD OUT

Robin Ince’s first new stand up show in three years is a clash of the two cultures, a joyous romp through his favourite artists and strangest scientific ideas.

From the work of Stanley Spencer to Niels Bohr, it is 90 minutes fizzing with ideas about creativity in science and art, as well as asking why we believe we see what we see and why we believe what we believe.

Robin is the winner of a Sony Gold and Rose d’Or for the Infinite Monkey Cage and the Time Out Outstanding Contribution to Comedy, as well as The Francis Crick Science Journalism Award and 3 Chortle awards.

As seen on Mock The Week, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, The Now Show, The News Quiz and Loose Ends. Robin has just finished a 70 date, record breaking tour with Brian Cox that concludes at Wembley Arena.

‘An evening so bursting with energy and ideas…it’s a bundle of fascinating, surprising digressions’ – THE TIMES

*Evening Event – SOLD OUT*


Made up of sisters Shauneen, Maria and cousin Emma, the melodies and harmonies which are the signature Saffyre sound are a culmination of the country, folk and trad influences they grew up with in their native County Down.

After several releases here at home, the girls travelled to Florida to work with Grammy Award winning producer Jim Jonsin who co-wrote and produced the girls current release Run For Your Life.

The track has been playlisted by every major radio station in the country and the momentum around the band is growing by the day.


Tenx9 is a storytelling sensation. Nine people have up to Ten minutes each to tell a true story from their lives.

Begun in Belfast in 2011, it’s now spread to 10 cities round the world. Join the Tenx9 regulars for this night on 17th January in the Black Box for true stories of “Never Again” — things we regret are finished; things we’re glad are finished; things we’ll never do again; things we’ll never get to do again.

Adam Kay – This is Going to Hurt

Welcome to 97-hour weeks. Welcome to life and death decisions. Welcome to a constant tsunami of bodily fluids. Welcome to earning less than the hospital parking meter.

Wave goodbye to your friends and relationships . . . Welcome to the life of a junior doctor.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, comedian and former junior doctor Adam Kay’s This Is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line.

Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking by turns, these diaries are everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward.

And yes, it may leave a scar.

‘Painfully funny. The pain and the funniness somehow add up to something entirely good, entirely noble and entirely loveable.’

‘…(a) heartening, laugh-out-loud confessional on the indignities and quiet joys of being a junior doctor in the UK National Heath Service’ – THE FINANCIAL TIMES

The Carole King & James Taylor Story – SOLD OUT

The Carole King & James Taylor Story takes you on an incredible journey through the career of the six-time Grammy Award winner and 20-time platinum hit maker Carole King and five-time Grammy Award winner American folk legend James Taylor.

This new “show-umentary” format gives a fascinating insight into the lives behind the music.

Featuring passionate renditions of Fire and Rain, Sweet Baby James, I Feel the Earth Move, Natural Woman, You’ve Got a Friend and many more this astonishing back catalogue is realised with authenticity by Phoebe Katis and Dan Clews, both well established artists in their own right.

The James Taylor & Carole King Story comes fresh from a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe festival where it delighted audiences and wowed critics.

“both guitar and voice took these fans back to The Troubadour in 1970” **** BROADWAYBABY

“Will leave any folk-rock fans wholly satisfied” **** SCOTSMAN

“Wow, what an experience” BBC KENT

“performance was immaculate” **** THREE WEEKS

Bernadette Morris – EP Launch

Having travelled the world since the release of her first album, including tours in Australia and the US, Bernadette Morris returned to the studio, this time with her own original material.

At this EP launch, Bernadette and her band present her new material which sits easily within the folk genre, as well as her fresh take on traditional Irish folk songs and lilting Gaelic laments.

Amy McAllister

From County Antrim, traditional harpist and singer Amy McAllister takes a contemporary distinctive approach to performing traditional harp airs, dance tunes, traditional songs alongside her original material.

Amy has toured internationally, represented Ireland twice at the Rio Harp Festival, and released her debut album String on String to critical acclaim in Spring 2017.

Deirdre Galway of Realta will  be accompanying her for this performance.

‘Amy McAllister’s vocals and instrumental skills are absolutely beguiling…a distinctive traditional vocal sound… a debut album which delivers on every level.’ Andy McMillen, BRIGHT YOUNG FOLK

“…An album that both understands the wealth of tradition and reveals a talent for innovation. Amy’s vivid voice is purely addictive; hear once, you want more.’ Tim Carroll, FOLKWORLDS

GoGo Penguin – SOLD OUT

Noted for their hypnotic melodies, visceral bass-lines and tidal rhythm, Manchester-based leftfield piano trio GoGo Penguin are pianist Chris Illingworth, bassist Nick Blacka and drummer Rob Turner.

Their music has been described as acoustic-electronica but they draw equally on rock, jazz and minimalism, game soundtracks and glitchy-electronica to create their unique music.

It’s music for the heart, head and feet and saw their album v2.0(Gondwana records) named a Mercury Prize album of the year 2014 alongside albums from Damon Albarn, Young Fathers and Jungle.

In 2015 they signed to Blue Note Records and released the album Man Made Object in 2016. More recently they have been touring their own score to Godfrey Reggio’s cult film Koyaanisqatsi.

Their new album, A Humdrum Star will be released on February 9, 2018.

‘The members stayed locked in their grooves, three young men making music with jazz instruments, rock dynamics and circumscribed dance-music strategies.’ – NEW YORK TIMES

‘Jazz dances with minimalism in the hadron collier of GoGo Penguin.’ – THE GUARDIAN

We are grateful to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for the loan of the Steinway Model D Grand Piano, for the purpose of this event.

Dave Arcari

Scottish guitarist & songwriter Dave Arcari’s alt.blues sounds owe as much to trash country, punk and rockabilly as they do pre-war Delta blues and have been showcased via ten internationally-acclaimed solo album releases.

Arcari’s recent album, Live at Memorial Hall, was released on 1 September 2017 on Buzz Records. As well as showcasing Arcari’s trademark National steel guitars, the release features performances on banjo, regular guitar and and cigar box which help capture the full breadth of Arcari’s song-writing and performance.

With a busy live schedule in the UK plus regular shows in USA, Finland, Estonia, France, Germany, Belgium, Poland and Ireland Arcari is one of the hardest gigging live artists on the circuit.

A series of shows with folks including Steve Earle, Alabama 3, Seasick Steve and Jon Spencer along with his relentless UK and European tour schedule have established Arcari as a formidable international solo performer who is fast building a media reputation as a ‘hell-raising National guitar madman’.

‘Dave plays like he got his skin turned inside out and pretty soon my skin was inside out too listening and it was all good. That boy bleeds for you – he a real down deep player and a soul man…’ – SEASICK STEVE

Yola Carter

Inspired by country and soul from the likes of The Band, Gillian Welch, Gene Clark, The Byrds, Staple Singers, Emmylou Harris, Otis Redding and Dolly Parton, Yola Carter is a force of nature and an incredibly talented singer-songwriter.

After 15 years as a writer, producer and featured vocalist with dance and pop artists such as Massive Attack, Duke Dumont, Katy Perry and Chase & Status and two albums and several years fronting the acclaimed band Phantom Limb, she embarked on the latest chapter of her career as a solo Americana artist at the start of 2016.

Live, the killer combination of Yola’s powerhouse voice, stage presence and superb soul-baring songs has proved completely irresistible from her very first show. 2017 has seen her play major stages all over the UK as well as festivals in Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Canada, blowing audiences away everywhere – whether performing as a stripped down acoustic trio, her full 10-piece country soul orchestra or in several different lineups in between.

Yola was chosen to represent the UK at the prestigious Americana Music Association showcase in Nashville in September 2016, where she made a huge impact.

She returned in Sep 2017 as part of the main AMA showcase programme and confirmed her status as a major Americana star in waiting generating an even more electric music industry and media buzz than the previous year. Yola was also an incredibly popular choice as the UK Artist Of The Year at the AMA UK Awards in London in Feb 2017.

“Country gospel with the driving energy of old-fashioned soul music…Her songs brandished big hooks and she filled them with stirring vocals, shouts, and yes, yodeling.” The Guardian

“A phenomenal talent, drawing on gospel, soul and country” The Independent

“A voice to die for…it could be likened to Aretha Franklin. She is that good.” Maverick

“Loose limbed, soulful and funky…it sounded like Mavis Staples fronting The Band…a stadium-sized talent.” Bristol 24/7

Music in the Glen

Music In The Glen are an exciting new trio performing the very best of Irish traditional music. Featuring the combined talents of Brendan Mulholland (flute) and founding Réalta members Conor Lamb (uilleann pipes, whistles) and Deirdre Galway (guitar), these musicians deliver the infectious rhythm and soul which are the hallmarks of Irish music.

Forged from a relationship of 20 years playing music together, Conor and Brendan have joined forces with Deirdre on accompaniment to create a sound that draws upon a long-developed bond and mutual musical understanding.

Each musician is a respected artist in their own field. Through different projects they have performed across the globe from Belfast to Washington, Moscow and Seoul in venues ranging from your local folk club to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Milwaukee Irish Festival Main Stage.

Individually they have featured on a dozen albums and have performed with a variety of international acts including Réalta, Gráinne Holland, Craobh Rua, Micky McCluskey and Mary Dillon. Collectively they are one of the finest trios on the Irish music scene today.

Music In The Glen’s debut album will be released in January 2018 and the launch concert is sure to be a night to remember! Expect good times and a number of special appearances from the team’s musical friends.

Gone with the Gin – A Faculty Lecture – Sold Out

Let’s start 2018 as we mean to go on – with gin.

We’ve asked Graeme Millar, Head Distiller at the Echlinville Distillery, to kick off our 2018 Lecture series with an exploration of gin. Graeme will take us through the history, the process and the craft of gin but most importantly how to taste and enjoy it.

His work with with the hugely successful Jawbox Gin is the latest instalment in a long and international career in spirits and gin. As head distiller he oversees production and ensures consistency of quality and flavour.

So join us for an afternoon with a master gin distiller and start you’re year feeling ginvincible

Bunch of Kunst – A Film about Sleaford Mods

Thanks to their sweary rants about modern England, Nottingham duo Sleaford Mods have been called “the voice of Britain” by their fans, “Britain’s angriest band” by the Guardian and “The world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band” by Iggy Pop.

Jason Williamson, a former chicken factory worker and father of two, his band mate, beatmaker Andrew Fearn, and their manager Steve Underwood, avant-garde bedroom label owner and former bus driver, have won over fans with their brutally honest lyrics and DIY ethos.

Following them on their two-year journey from bedroom recording sessions to mainstream success, Christine Franz’s official documentary feature tells the story of three guys taking on the music business on their own terms.

Dave Johns – I, Fillum Star

The award-winning star of I, Daniel Blake brings his hit Edinburgh show to Belfast.
What happens to a comedian when he’s plucked from obscurity by master film maker Ken Loach and cast in the title role of one of the most acclaimed and talked about British films in recent years?

I, Daniel Blake became a beacon for social realism and, for Dave Johns, a rollercoaster ride of red carpet surrealism. From Cannes to the BAFTAs, chatting to Woody Allen in a lift and accepting awards alongside Hollywood’s greatest… he was there, wide-eyed… through it all.

Now, he’s back doing the thing he loves best – making people laugh.

Jan Ravens – Difficult Women

Who runs the world? Fiftysomething women, apparently. Dead Ringers star, Jan Ravens takes to the road with her well-loved impressions of Theresa May, Nicola Sturgeon, Diane Abbott, Hillary Clinton and many others, including Kirsty Wark, Lyse Doucet and Fiona Bruce.

Why, she asks, are women perceived as Difficult, when we are just being decisive, ambitious and tenacious? Well, come on, why?

Jan has been seen on, and contributed across the satirical spectrum on shows such as Newsnight, The Daily Politics, Mock the Week, QI, Question Time and Today.

‘A consummate impressionist’ – TIMES

‘Modern, topical, with a fresh satirical twist’ – TELEGRAPH

‘A brilliantly funny woman in her prime’ – KIRSTY WARK

Alison Spittle – Worrier Princess

Alison Spittle is one of Ireland’s brightest young comedy talents. The star and writer of RTE’s new major sitcom series Nowhere Fast, in 2018 Alison embarks on her first national tour, including a show at Dublin’s prestigious Vicar Street.

The host of The Alison Spittle Show on the Headstuff Podcast Network, Alison appears regularly on RTÉ (Brendan O’Connor’s Cutting Edge, Republic of Telly, Des Bishop, This is Ireland), TV3, Sky Arts and heard on Newstalk.

‘Whether character or citizen, Spittle comes across as a kind of genius.’ **** IRISH TIMES

‘Breezily chatty and effusively funny, Alison Spittle is a likeable combination of openness and chortling mischief.’  THE SCOTSMAN

‘Spectacular in a beautifully surreal way’ IRISH INDEPENDENT

Plus support from Andréa Farrell.


Lau is the pioneering contemporary folk trio comprising three of the UK’s finest traditional musicians: Kris Drever (vocals, guitar), Martin Green (accordion, wurlitzer, keys, electronics) and Aidan O’Rourke (fiddle).

Lau has garnered four awards for Best Group at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and also appeared on the Later… With Jools Holland TV show (BBC 2 TV). Individual members have all won multiple awards and recognition for their solo work.

Lau announces the release of its first ever retrospective album, Decade (The Best Of 2007-2017), a compilation of the band’s best tracks, curated by the band and manager Tom Rose from the song and tune suggestions of their very many fans.

They are taking this retrospective material to concerts and festival stages throughout the UK for a series of electrifying live shows.

‘The U.K’s best live band, Lau are remarkable – the most musically adventurous trio in British folk: exquisite and hypnotic, musicianship at its best.’ – THE GUARDIAN

A Rabbie Burns Lunch

Today is all about celebrating the poet and Scottish hero Robert Burns. And what better way to do so than by reading and sharing some of his most famous works over a plate of steaming haggis.

Scotland’s favourite son Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns was known as the Ploughman Poet, the Bard of Ayrshire or simply The Bard. Burns was born on January 25, 1759 and Burns celebrations have been held in his honour on this date for over 200 years.

We’ll be having a special Burns Lunch complete with a bagpiper, toasts, haggis, neeps and tatties, a bit of poetry and some famous Burns songs led by singer songwriter Hugh Jordan.

The Selkirk Grace
Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat
Sae let the Lord be thankit.

Le Vent du Nord

Combining a great stage presence with an energetic, dynamic flair, Le Vent du Nord are one of the leading names in Québecois folk music performing original songs inspired from their tradition- a truly fabulous sound!

Following their knockout success at festivals and events throughout the UK in 2017 the Québec-based quartet have been invited to return in 2018 with a new line –up to make them a Quintet! The group never fail to delight crowds with their glorious mix of fiddle and foot-tapping, guitar, accordion, piano, bass, hurdy-gurdy and wonderful four part harmonies. The band delivers catchy songs and tunes, inspired and influenced by Québec traditional folk styles, and their well-polished musical arrangements simply enhance this uplifting repertoire.

The band consist of singers / multi-instrumentalists Nicolas Boulerice, Simon Beaudry, Olivier Demers, Réjean Brunet and new member Andre Brunet (formerly of La Bottine Souriante; Celtic Fiddle Festival, De Temps Antan) and are now one of the best-loved Québec folk outfits throughout the world. Considered a driving force in progressive folk, Le Vent du Nord capture the energy and mirth of a Saturday night kitchen party, infusing old Québec with a breath of fresh, cosmopolitan air.

‘Puts all traditional folk naysayers to shame’ ~ VOIR MONTREAL

‘What stands out about the music… is its power and vitality. Québec couldn’t hope for better advocates.’ ~ ★★★★ nes

Hayes Carll

Hayes Carll is wildly literate, utterly slackerly, and impossibly romantic.  The 41-year old Texan is completely committed to the truth and unafraid to skewer pomposity, hypocrisy and small-minded thinking.

Carll connects with music lovers across genres lines. Playing rock clubs and honkytonks, he combines Ray Wylie Hubbard’s lean freewheeling squalor with Todd Snider’s brazen Gen Y reality and a healthy dose of love amongst unhealthy people.

He also looks to Kerouac, Dylan, Guy Clark, and John Prine for inspiration. Fiercely individual, Carll’s banged-up take on classic country is honed by the road – sometimes as a man and guitar, sometimes with his scrappy band, but always taking in the vistas and humanity before him.

About recent album he says: ‘Lovers and Leavers isn’t funny or raucous. There are very few hoots and almost no hollers.. But it is joyous, and it makes me smile. No, it’s not my “Blood on the Tracks,” nor is it any kind of opus. It’s my fifth record — a reflection of a specific time and place. It is quiet, like I wanted it to be. Like I wanted to be.”

The Leading Ladies

Michelle Baird, Ceara Grehan and Lynne McAllister bring three richly flavoured voices, unique harmonies and versatility to the stage. The ladies, who originally met through Northern Ireland Musical Societies, have all played leading roles in some of Ireland’s major theatres.

They have appeared at the Grand Opera House, Belfast’s Waterfront Hall and the National Concert Hall, Dublin, winning the Association of Irish Musical Societies’ coveted award for Best Female Singer in Ireland three times between them.

Their impressive repertoire, from stage to screen and opera to swing, offers a diverse range of entertainment to rival any West End show and their unique talent has been winning critical acclaim throughout the country.

Sit back, relax and enjoy a special lunchtime treat of Vintage 50s Swing & Jazz classics, along with some of your favourite West End & Broadway hits in an intimate cabaret setting. All performed in their own inimitable vocal arrangements and close harmony style.

The Oh Hellos + Sound of The Sirens

Since forming, The Oh Hellos has earned a rightful reputation as a very special live act. The siblings are joined on stage by an often-epic ensemble—a rotating roster of pickers and players numbering as many as 13 at any given time (hence the need to take this show to The Empire).

Dear Wormwood, the latest album from beloved brother and sister act The Oh Hellos, is out now. It was recorded, piece by piece, in the house where Maggie and Tyler live in San Marcos, Texas, and much like The Oh Hellos’ live performance, the album presents two alternating faces: at times delicate, intimate, affectionate; and at others, soaring and towering and joyfully explosive.

Their influences range from Fleet Foxes and Sufjan Stevens to The Middle East and the Muppets, bending and blending styles and genres into a unique mixture of eclectic folk rock.

The Oh Hellos are Maggie and Tyler Heath from Southern Texas. The two began making music together in 2011 with a song written for their mom’s birthday, followed later that year by their self-titled, self-produced, independently released EP. The 4-track recording featured the hit song Hello My Old Heart which received national airplay in the US and currently has over nine million streams on Spotify.

Shirley Collins

Having released her first new album in 38 years at the end of 2016, and barely sharing her voice at all during such times, the legacy and importance of Shirley Collins simply can’t be overlooked.

A pivotal player in the English Folk Revival of 60s and 70s, which included the likes of Nick Drake, Tim Buckley, Fairport Convention, Bert Jansch and many more, few would disagree with Billy Bragg when he said of Shirley “without doubt one of England’s greatest cultural treasures”

Often using little more than her wonderful voice and a sparse instrumental backing, Collins music has always had a haunting quality to it and it remains the case to this day. It’s an honour to bring Collins to Belfast and the Out to Lunch Festival this January. We can’t wait.

Hazel O’Connor & Cormac De Barra – SOLD OUT

Hazel O’ Connor has fast established herself as a concert artist and performer to be reckoned with.  From initially catapulting to stardom with the starring role in Breaking Glass and the ensuing hits that followed, Hazel continues to tour extensively delighting sell-out audiences along the way, winning over fans old and new.

Her husky voice remains charged with passion and her enthusiasm, love of music, and wicked sense of humour, is ever present.

Having now returned to her Celtic soul folk-roots, live and on-stage for this very special set of shows, she performs in a captivating acoustic line-up with Cormac de Barra on Irish Harp, her musical partner for some 15 years.

The live-show combines Hazel’s unforgettable voice with the musicianship of Cormac in a stirring musical marriage, together they will reach into the very depths of your soul.  Cormac De Barra has represented Ireland internationally and currently also performs with Clannad and Moya Brennan. He has recorded three of his own harp-led CDs. The combination of de Barra’s harp with Hazel’s unforgettable voice is truly magical.

Today’s show will feature some great newly composed songs celebrating 37 years of song-writing and performance. No O’Connor show is complete without her original classics Will You, D-Days and Eighth Day or her new classics Rebecca, Driftwood, I’m Still Breathing and Acoustically Yours. Un-missable!

‘The expressive power of her singing, her songwriting craft and warm, strong personality here with Cormac De Barra’s expert playing of the Irish Harp.’ – THE TIMES

‘Simply stunning’ –   Janice Long – BBC RADIO 2

‘Sumptuous songs with a soulful, introspective lyrical depth. The arrangements are largely traditional in feel, helped by Cormac de Barra’s exquisite harp..Sseamless forays into pop blues and soul, and the familiar silken gravel of O’Connor’s voice’ –   IRISH TIMES.

Moon Duo with support from Documenta

Portlandian space-rock outfit Moon Duo bring their new album Occult Architecture Vol. 1 (out now on the Sacred Bones label) to the Black Box for the closing weekend of Out to Lunch.

The album takes the reliably excellent Moon Duo sound, built around Ripley Johnson’s remarkable, fluid guitar and Sanae Yamada’s Nuggets-meets-Conny Plank keyboards, adds a little more electronics than usual and also throws in some high concept darkness to boot (as borne out by titles like Cold Fear and The Death Set).

Written and recorded in Portland, the two-part epic reflects the hidden energies of rainclouds and sunshine and the deep creep of Northwest forests along with their effect on the psyche, inspired by the occult and esoteric literature of Mary Anne Atwood, Aleister Crowley, Colin Wilson, and Manly P. Hall

As the first instalment in a two-album series for 2018, it’s an immediate and hypnotic listen and this promises to be a momentous live gig.

Kaia Kater + support by Underhill Rose

Born of African-Caribbean descent in Québec, Kaia Kater grew up in two musical worlds:  the Canadian folk music of her Toronto home, and Appalachian music of West Virginia, where she has studied and lived.

Fueled by her rich low tenor vocals, jazz-influenced instrumentation, and beautifully understated banjo, her songs cast an unflinching eye on the realities faced by people of colour in North America.

Kater is part of the new generation of American roots musicians, with an original repertoire that weaves together Appalachian stories, personal narratives of the digital age, and hard-hitting songs that touch on modern issues like Black Lives Matter.

Her work has as much in common with Kendrick Lamar as it does with Pete Seeger, reminding us of the troubled pathways of our own history.

Underhill Rose
Harmonies. Soul-touching lyrics. Eye-catching stage presence. Underhill Rose have become synonymous with beautiful music, charming personalities, and rippling success.

The duo from North Carolina have released two albums which have garnered critical acclaim from around the globe. We’re delighted to welcome these female troubadours back to Belfast for what promises to be a stunning closing Out to Lunch show.

Iain Lee – The Rabbit Hole Live Podcast

The Rabbit Hole is a podcasting first – a free form phone-in, recorded in front of a live audience.

Hosted by Iain Lee (11 O’Clock Show, Big Brother, LBC, talkRADIO) and Katherine Boyle (BBC Radio, talkRADIO) this surreal and sometimes rather silly show is streamed online, allowing the audience at home as well as on site to call the shots.

The ideas come from all angles, and people can ring at any time to add to the conversation, or start their own. And don’t worry, the audience on site are allowed and encouraged to shout out and chip in any time they want.

From the big questions to the stupid ones, life changing moments to those you’d rather forget, no subject’s off-limits and there are no holds barred.

So join Iain and Kath down The Rabbit Hole. Where you’ll end up, nobody knows – but it’ll be a lot of fun finding out!

Listen –
Follow – @HeyRabbitHoleShow
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The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival and Out To Lunch are annual festivals of music, comedy, theatre, art and literature which take place in January and May in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival / Out To Lunch Arts Festival
Unit 8
Northern Whig House
Bridge Street