Have You Got It Yet? The Story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd (N Irish Premiere)

We’re teaming up with our partners at The Avenue Cinema for a series of N Irish premieres at Now Press Play.  Enjoy our films in the luxurious art deco surroundings of the Avenue Cinema, with big comfy chairs and food and drink service to seat!
Directed by award-winning filmmaker Roddy Bogawa and the late, acclaimed album cover designer Storm Thorgerson (Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, and Black Sabbath), the feature-length documentary lifts the lid on the relationship between Pink Floyd and founding member Syd Barrett, who left the group before they met stardom.

It was Syd who gave Pink Floyd their moniker by combining the names of two obscure blues players – Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

Intimate interviews with band members David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Roger Waters along with Pete Townsend and others, uncover Barrett’s ongoing impact on the group – markedly their sound and image – including his inspiration on worldwide hits The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, written in tribute to him. Syd’s music influenced a generation of musicians as his songs were covered by David Bowie among others.

“Syd Barrett was irresistibly charismatic, but this crazy diamond didn’t shine for long, as this comprehensive portrait shows.”— Glenn Kenny, The New York Times


ABBA in Studio 2 (1976)

The date is Saturday evening on 13 November 1976, the place is TVP Studio in Warsaw, Poland, the occasion is a television special by the greatest pop band on earth ABBA.

At the height of their powers, the fab four arrived in Warsaw to promote their new album Arrival behind the Iron Curtain on Polish television.

There’s a strange documentary about their trip, including a short in flight interview plus ABBA performing almost all new songs from the new album plus a few belters from the back catalogue.

Join us for this gloriously kitsch snapshot of a byegone era of broadcasting, peppered with rare footage and rarer outfits. Not to mention a cavalcade of the most enduring songs in the modern pop canon, or your Money, Money, Money back! Afterwards join resident ABBAteurs – The Stalemates, for an audiovisual celebration of the music of Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid.

Say Amen, Somebody (N Irish Premiere)

An instant classic on its original release over 40 years ago, this is a powerful documentary about the men and women who pioneered African-American gospel music. And where better to show this classic than in the evocative surroundings of Rosemary Street Presbyterian Church?

Widely praised upon its release in 1982; the late Roger Ebert called it “One of the most joyful movies I’ve ever seen.”

A moving mix of concert film and documentary, this singular exploration follows the rich history of gospel music in America through the testimony of two towering figures who lived it, composer Thomas A. Dorsey and singer Willie Mae Ford Smith.

Add performances by such greats as Delois Barrett Campbell and The Barrett SistersZella Jackson Price, and The O’Neal Twins, and the result is an acclaimed, joy-filled celebration.

Tickets £8.00

Doors 7.30pm, Unreserved Seating


It’s a Fine Thing to Sing (N Irish Premiere)

We’re teaming up with our partners at The Avenue Cinema for a series of N Irish premieres at Now Press Play.  Enjoy our films in the luxurious art deco surroundings of the Avenue Cinema, with big comfy chairs and food and drink service to seat!   

(dir. Bob Gallagher 2023)

When singers Ian Lynch (Lankum), Ye Vagabonds and The Henry Girls were invited to create their own interpretations of songs from the Inishowen Song Project, they ended up arranging and singing six songs from Clonmany and Buncrana singers from the famed Inishowen Peninsula.

Captured in this beautiful film by award winning filmmaker Bob Gallagher, audiences are transported to a richly evocative world of local singers and song, documented over 40 years from within the community itself. Framed within the stunning landscape of the area, these new performances, atmospheric archival recordings, and interviews with key community figures, demonstrate how songs pass from singer to singer, while also examining the question of why we sing.


Dio: Dreamers Never Die (N Irish Premiere)

We’re teaming up with our partners at The Avenue Cinema for a series of N Irish premieres at Now Press Play.  Enjoy our films in the luxurious art deco surroundings of the Avenue Cinema, with big comfy chairs and food and drink service to seat!  


It’s not every day an acclaimed documentary about a heavy metal god gets made.

This much-celebrated career-spanning film follows one of rock and metal’s greatest all-time vocalists – Ronnie James Dio’s journey from his childhood days in upstate New York, through his iconic turns in Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio, to his death in 2010.

At turns familiar, illuminating and even laugh-out-loud funny (such as photographer Gene Kirkland’s account of shooting the band photo for the Holy Diver album), Dreamers Never Die is a well-paced and engaging ride from start-to-finish.

Condemned by religious groups and misunderstood by conservative parents, Dio emerges as a righteous messenger inspiring an entire generation of rockers to believe in themselves and chase their dreams. Their metal dreams…

“Illuminating, funny and occasionally brutally honest, Dio: Dreamers Never Die is an insightful portrait of one of metal’s most beloved figures” Louder Sound


Human Highway

We all love Devo, sure. And we all love Neil Young, mos def. But what about Devo and Neil Young performing “Hey Hey My My” together? Throw in David Lynch luminaries Dean Stockwell & Russ Tamblyn, a bit of Dennis Hopper at his most deranged and a large helping of hyper-real visual storytelling and you’ve got yourself Human Highway.

It’s a movie one critic described as “The Wizard of Oz on acid”. Directed and produced by Young himself (under the soubriquet Bernard Shakey) Human Highway has to be seen to be believed.

It’s the place were day-glo nightmares converge with pop trash and yet somehow, it all works. Did we also mention that it’s very very funny? Panned on its initial release, but subsequently critically reassessed, Human Highway is the missing link between John Waters and Tim Burton.

Featuring Devo as “Nuclear Garbagepersons”. Need we say more?


I am Weekender

Initially banned on its release, Weekender – the film of Flowered Up’s classic acid house cri de cœur – is today hailed as one of the most innovative music films ever made.

Now WIZ’s pioneering meditation on the British rave experience is celebrated in I Am Weekender, Chloé Raunet’s documentary about the film’s making, impact and legacy, with contributions from Irvine Welsh, Jeremy Deller, Lynne Ramsay, Bobby Gillespie, Clive Langer, Mark Moore, Róisín Murphy, Annie Nightingale, Shaun Ryder, David Holmes, Roy the Roach and more.

Once described as ‘the Citizen Kane of acid house’, Weekender, the film that started it all, is also included here in a brand new 2K restoration.

“Feels like a shot of the street”- Lou Reed

“Without Weekender there’d be no Trainspotting”-Danny Boyle

“Crazy, hedonistic, light and dark”- Lynne Ramsay

Double feature: Eno/ Roxette (aka The Life of Brian/ Bryan)

Oh the thrill of it all! Join us for a double-bill of rare and glamorous archival glory, featuring Brian Eno and his former band Roxy Music, led by namesake and one-time nemesis Bryan Ferry.

ENO (30 MINS) is a short BBC documentary film from 1973, directed by Alfons Sinniger. It follows synth brat Brian Eno shortly after his departure from Roxy Music. The documentary features amazing footage of the man himself swaggering about London, plus recording sessions for Eno’s debut record and stone-cold classic “Here come the Warm Jets” that was recorded in twelve days at Majestic Studios in London during September 1973.

The fascinating ROXETTE (30 mins) is where fine art meets mod cool. It follows a group of students at Manchester Polytechnic in 1978, whose personal style and social lives were dedicated to the music of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music. The art student ‘stars’ of the film – inhabitants of the new pop sensibility that Roxy created, are filmed in a manner that emphasizes the high glamour of their sub-cultural creation against the harsher backdrop of Salford.  All styles served here…

Talking Heads Day

What better way to celebrate the approaching 40th anniversary of Talking Head’s seminal Stop Making Sense concert movie than a screening of a concert from their (whisper it) EVEN BETTER Remain in Light tour of 1981?

David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison were at the peak of their powers when they entered the studio with Brian Eno in 1980 to record Remain in Light; an album that’s on most people’s greatest-ever list.

The ensuing tour featuring some of the best session players in tow is the stuff of legend now. Join us for scintillating footage of the European leg of that tour, plus a rare screening of the excellent documentary made at the same time. Book early to avoid disappointment, or you just might end up asking yourself, “My God, what have I done?”.


Heavy Metal Parking Lot / In Bed with…Chris Needham

Heavy Metal Parking Lot

Short and oh so sweet.

John Heyn and Jeff Krulik filmed Judas Priest fans in a concert arena parking lot in suburban Maryland. Thirty years later, Heavy Metal Parking Lot is hailed as one the greatest rock documentaries ever. It’s a definitive cultural touchstone for the 1980s metal scene: spandex, big hair, denim, mullets, muscle cars, and beer.

Welcome to the World of Heavy Metal Parking Lot. Hell Yeah!

In Bed with Chris Needham.

Quite simply the greatest documentary video diary ever made…

In 1992, Chris Needham was a bored 17-year-old thrash metal freak with a mullet, a bumfluff moustache, lots of spots, the most awkward girlfriend of all time and a bedroom in his parents’ house in Loughborough.

During the twenty years since it was made for the BBC’s Video Diaries strand, In Bed With Chris Needham has become the stuff of legend; not just for its wealth of quotable lines, but because it plugs you straight into the sensation of being a teenager at battle with the world.

“Chris has been absolutely lacerated by the puberty stick, and is about to play his first gig with his band, Manslaughter. The problem is, they’re complete rammel.Between their first painful attempts to stand musically upright and their debut gig, Chris takes the time to defend Metal and Youth, unleashes torrents of adolescent venom upon ‘old bastards’, ‘Chart Music’, teachers, and Neighbours, conducts a relationship with his girlfriend in excruciating silence, gets hassled by Mr Taggart and His Amazing Shirt, and goes fishing.”   – Al Needham (no relation), Leftlion


Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes

A celebratory showcase of the life, music and activism of a trailblazing artist who employed his talents to challenge the status quo and inspire change.

Max Roach was one of the towering figures of jazz, whose collaborations, as both drummer and composer, chart the history of the form, from his work with Duke Ellington, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, to his own pioneering 1950s quintet with Clifford Brown.

Samuel Pollard and Ben Shapiro’s insightful film highlights Roach’s innovative approach to music – viewing it as part of a broader concept of sound – alongside his ability to remain ahead of his time, often at the risk of commercial failure.

It features interviews with notable figures, including Sonny Rollins, Questlove, Harry Belafonte, as well as his family and many others, shedding light and offering diverse perspectives on Roach’s life, his career, legacy and enduring influence.


Bronagh Gallagher – SOLD OUT

Bronagh Gallagher is considered one of Ireland’s leading actors and voices of soul music and is deeply respected for both the quality of her song writing and her stellar live performances.

From the beginning of her acting career at age 17, as Bernie, one of the backing singers in Alan Parker’s The Commitments, Bronagh has appeared in countless films including Pulp Fiction, Star Wars, Sherlock Homes, The Personal History of David Copperfield by Armando Iannucci and award-winning TV dramas such as Jimmy Mc Govern’s The Street, and The Accused.

She has also appeared in London’s West End, The Royal Court, The National Theatre and Broadway Theatre Productions including Complicité’s Street of Crocodiles, Bob Dylan & Conor Mc Pherson’s award-winning musical Girl from The North Country, Sky’s hit TV show Brassic, and her lead role in the multi-award winning Bump Along the Way.

Alongside her acting career, Bronagh writes and produces her own music with her band and runs her own independent label, Salty Dog Records. She has released three albums to date and a recent highly praised EP Witch it Up.

Bronagh has just completed filming of Joshua Oppenheimer’s movie THE END, and is currently filming Series 6 of Sky TV’s comedy drama Brassic.

Tickets £20.00

Doors 7.30pm, Mostly Standing

‘One of the purest, clearest talents I know – a fabulous singer, bursting with raw Irish soul. Striking and original songs and an effortlessly brilliant band’ –BRIAN ENO

‘Swaggering like Carole King in her golden years’ –Q Magazine

‘Bronagh Gallagher has several strings to her creative bow, including a talent for penning thundering power ballads and soulful musings.’ –THE IRISH TIMES

With generous support from the Dormant Accounts Fund NI

BC Camplight (Full Band Show)

Is there a curse that says Brian ‘BC Camplight’ Christinzio cannot move forward without being knocked back? That the greatest material is born out of emotional trauma?

Whilst making his new album The Last Rotation Of Earth, Christinzio’s relationship with his fiancé crumbled after nine inseparable years. The album follows this break-up amid long-term struggles with addiction and declining mental health.

The outcome is an extraordinary record, with Christinzio describing it as “more cinematic, sophisticated and nuanced than anything I’ve done before.” He goes on to describe how the separation altered his creative focus and caused him to “scrap 95% of what I’d already recorded”, finishingThe Last Rotation Of Earth in two months and making what he believes to his most vital album.

That Christinzio has bettered his previous album is an achievement, given that Shortly After Takeoff received the best reviews of his life. “A masterpiece,” said The Guardian’s 5 star review, “a half hour or so that roils with anxiety, stuns with beauty and, occasionally, provokes laughter.” Even then, fate intervened when the album was released in April 2020, just as Covid and lockdown kicked in, so he was unable to tour the record until late 2021.

Talk about tempting fate. But it’s true to say that Christinzio has made his best music under immense duress, andThe Last Rotation Of Earth is an inimitable work; a heady, heavy slice of lustrous hooks, moods bursting with classical sophistication and fractured paranoia.

Christinzio’s world-class live shows are an exhilarating, phrenetic and exhausting experience for both performer and audience. Headlining Bella Union’s 25th birthday show in November 2022, he pulled a couch on to the stage, as a prop to reinforce the idea of music and performance-as-therapy; his between-songs patter is equally charged and self-deprecating. The dynamic of light and shade also impacts the music.

So, what does lie ahead? And can Christinzio ever trust the future? When he began releasing records in 2005, backed by members who would eventually join The War On Drugs, and guest-starring on Sharon Van Etten’s Epic album, the future looked bright. “But if I’d stayed,” he once mused, “I’d be dead. Period.”

So Christinzio took a friend’s advice to escape his alcohol and drug addictions in Philly and move to Manchester, leading to his debut album for Bella Union,How To Die In The North; though just two days before it was released in 2014, he was deported .

Back in the UK (with an Italian passport), he made Deportation Blues but just days before it was released in 2016, his father died, triggering a breakdown that inspired Shortly After Takeoff, the last part of what Christinzio calls his Manchester Trilogy.

So, he must begin again; new album, newly single, clean slate. And without tempting fate again, before the last rotation of earth, BC Camplight and his band will tourThe Last Rotation Of Earth, including his biggest headline shows to date, at London Shepherd’s Bush Empire and Manchester’s Albert Hall. “It’s wonderful to realise the songs in front of that many people,” says Christinzio, “I know I’m never going to be Coldplay, but ten years ago, I was certain I wouldn’t make music again.”

Ten years later Christinzio is still making important music, still channelling the forces that have beleaguered him and making the most honest and candid work he can, because anything else wouldn’t be BC Camplight.

Doors 7.30pm | Mostly Standing

Jon Ronson in Conversation

Kathy Clugston in conversation with Jon Ronson on his books, writing career and podcasts.

Jon Ronson is a British-American journalist, author, and filmmaker whose works include So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, The Psychopath Test, Them: Adventures with Extremists, Lost at Sea and The Men Who Stare At Goats.

The Psychopath Test spent more than a year on the UK bestseller list. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is frequently cited as having kickstarted the conversation about the perils of social media shaming.

Jon is currently working on the second season of his acclaimed, award winning BBC podcast Things Fell Apart – named by the Observer as the number one audio show of 2021.

Before that came two Audible Original audio series, The Butterfly Effect (2017) and The Last Days of August (2019). Both went straight to number one in the US and UK audiobook charts, and were named by multiple critics as two of the best podcasts of recent years.

Jon’s original screenplays include Okja, which he co-wrote with Bong-Joon Ho, and Frank, which he co-wrote with Peter Straughan. His many UK documentaries include Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes and The Secret Rulers of the World.

He lives in New York.

This event is supported with Dormant Accounts NI Funding.

John Francis Flynn

John Francis Flynn will release a new album Look Over the Wall, See the Sky on Nov. 10th, following on from his critically acclaimed debut album and accompanying live performances.

Look Over the Wall, See the Sky picks up where I Would Not Live Always left off. John masterfully unpicks traditional songs and rearranges them with an emotional force. They float in a surreal space between the past and the present, the analog and the digital, between love and tragedy.

The unconventional use of instruments and jagged arrangements gives the work a magnetism by drawing you into its curious orbit of experimental folk. Look Over The Wall, See The Sky is a re-imagining of traditional Irish music: powerful, hopeful and free.

John Francis Flynn is a singer and multi-instrumentalist who creates contemporary music using traditional and folk material. His debut album I Would Not Live Always was released on Rough Trade imprint River Lea Records in 2020, earning rave reviews and winning 2 awards at the RTE Folk Awards.

‘I Would Not Live Always offers a singular and striking clarity of vision.’ **** UNCUT

‘John Francis Flynn’s ‘My Son Tim’ Is An Extraordinary Piece Of Music’ CLASH

‘like a threatening thunderhead perforated with golden shafts of sunlight: lysergic synth lines, intermittent bursts of overdriven guitar, a clarinet saturated in tape delay and a treated tin whistle disrupt the atmosphere of these old songs without ever diminishing their power.’ **** THE GUARDIAN

Sooz Kempner: Y2K Woman

The award-winning, viral sensation returns with a brand-new hour following her sell-out 2022 run.

As the year 2000 approached, Sooz was about to turn 15 and the PlayStation 2 was about to launch… it was a new beginning for the world. But with the Millennium Bug, was the world also about to end!?

Now, almost a quarter of a century later, things feel eerily similar… New millennium, video games, Alanis Morissette… a show for anyone who remembers the year 2000 or had big dreams as a kid.

‘Kempner has funny bones’ **** (Scotsman). 

‘Brilliant’ (LA Times).

Wild Child

Formed in Austin, Texas by main songwriters and lead vocalists Alexander Beggins and Kelsey Wilson, Wild Child emerged with their first album, Pillow Talk, in October 2011. The band quickly earned a reputation for spirited live shows and won multiple awards at the SXSW Festival in March of 2013.

Their second LP, October 2013’s The Runaround, featured the viral hit Crazy Bird, which led to U.S. television appearances on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and CBS This Morning.

Wild Child released their third album, Fools, in October 2015. It spent a week at number 14 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart. The following June, they drew a crowd of 25,000 at a local radio station’s outdoor music series.

Another album, Expectations, appeared in February 2018 and reached as high as number six on the Heatseekers chart as well as landing in the Top 20 of the Billboard Independent and Vinyl Albums charts.

During the five years between Expectations and their next album, End of the World, Wild Child were sidelined from touring with the rest of the music industry due to the pandemic, endured the Texas ice storm of 2021 (the inspiration for the title track) and established their own label, Reba’s Ranch Records.

End of the World arrived on the label in March 2023 and has been met with widespread critical acclaim. A live act not to be missed.

Sam Baker

Sam Baker is a lyric writer, artist, and survivor. His songs are stories of everyday people facing everyday challenges: a young Mennonite welder who finds love, a ditch digger supporting his family, a veteran grappling with post-war life, a single mother driving around with a car full of baby junk, a widower writing ‘her’ name in the sand, and a straight-haired orphan in a house full of curls. They are survivors. Like Sam.

In 1986 Sam was on a train for Machu Picchu when a bomb exploded in the carriage he was riding in. Seven died. Through a series of miracles, and the help of everyday people doing their best–his angels–he survived.

Physical recovery was hard.  Emotional recovery harder. Melody came to him–compelled him to turn an old guitar upside down so his gnarled hands could play.

Slowly, the words came–one true line–“Sitting on the train to Machu Picchu, the passenger car explodes.”  He made a record. Then another. There were glowing reviews, more records, awards in Rolling Stone; sold-out shows in Europe, Canada, and the US and songs in TV shows; and an hour with Terry Gross on Fresh Air.

Sam uses his art to tell his story–whether from a symphony in Oregon, an art gallery in Santa Fe, a large theatre in Kansas City, a small room in The Netherlands, or a song-writer retreat with soldiers. He travels the world sharing his songs, grateful for each day, helping us see the beauty in little things and hope for things to come.

Simultaneously beautiful and broken…Sam Baker is an artist worth waiting for.’ – NPR

‘The Bard of the Workaday World’ – WALL STREET JOURNAL

‘Maybe the most captivating songwriter in America.’ – LONE STAR MUSIC

Sam Baker is an island of warmth and hope in dangerous times.’ – NEON FILLER

John Craigie

Portland, OR-based singer, songwriter, and producer John Craigie adapts moments of solitude into stories perfectly suited for old Americana fiction anthologies.

Instead of leaving them on dog-eared pages, he projects them widescreen in flashes of simmering soul and folk eloquence. On his 2022 full-length album, Mermaid Salt, we witness revenge unfurled in flames, watch a landlocked mermaid’s escape, and fall asleep under a meteor shower.

After selling out shows consistently coast-to-coast and earning acclaim from Rolling Stone, Glide Magazine, No Depression, and many more, his unflinching honesty ties these ten tracks together.

The album comes from the solitude and loneliness of lockdown in the Northwest. Someone whose life was touring, traveling, and having lots of human interaction is faced with an undefinable amount of time without those things.

So, he began writing new songs and envisioning an album that was different from his past records. The sound of everyone playing live in a room together was traded for the sound of song construction with an unknown amount of instruments and musicians—a quiet symphony.

During this period, he explored the environment around him “from the Oregon coasts to the waterfalls” and read books about Levon Helm, Billie Holiday, and Ani DiFranco. “I got time to silence all the noise and chaos of touring and look inward,” he observes.

Craigie had reached a series of watershed moments in tandem with Mermaid Salt. Beyond headlining venues such as The Fillmore and gracing the stage of Red Rocks Amphitheater, his 2020 offering Asterisk The Universe earned unanimous tastemaker applause.

Rolling Stone noted, “tracks like ‘Don’t Deny’ and ‘Climb Up’ bridge a Sixties and Seventies songwriter vibe with the laid-back cool of Jack Johnson, an early supporter of Craigie,” while Glide Magazine hailed it as “one of his best records.”

Perhaps, No Depression put it best, “For many weary and heavy- listeners hearted, the album might be exactly what they need.” Along the way, he generated over 40 million total streams and counting, speaking to his unassuming impact. In the end, Craigie offers a sense of peace on Mermaid Salt.

Hollie McNish: The Lobster Tour with Michael Pedersen

After a run of sold out shows up and down the UK, Hollie McNish is back with a brand new book, Lobster and other things I’m learning to love. A Sunday Times bestselling writer whose live readings are not to be missed, expect strong language and adult content, gift-wrapped in gorgeously crafted poetry.

In Lobster, Hollie brings her much-loved style to questions offriendship, flags and newborns, clocks, cocks and volvos, shining a ridiculous and beautifully poetic lens upon all those things we have been taught to hate, and which we might just learn to love again. Here, she will be joined by fellow poet Michael Pedersen reading from his latest brilliant books The Cat Prince and Boy Friends.

Adult content warning 14+ / Book signing after the gig

“Makes me cry and howl with laughter” – Paapa Essiedu

“Her writing is sublime” – Ellie Taylor

“like Pam Ayres on acid” – Lemn Sissay

“One of the best poets we have”. – Matt Haig

“Rubbish” – The Telegraph

About the Author
Hollie McNish is a poet and author based between Glasgow and Cambridge. She was the first poet to record at Abbey Road Studios, London and won the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry for her poetic parenting memoir – Nobody Told Me -of which The Scotsman stated ‘The World Needs this Book’.

She has published four further collections of poetry – Papers, Cherry Pie, Plum and Slug, which was a Sunday Times bestseller.Her new book, Lobster, and other things I’m learning to love is out now. She loves writing.

Clifton House Tour: Experience The Belfast Poor House

The history of Belfast begins at Clifton House. From the moment you step through our door you will be transported back in time to the Belfast Poor House – opened in 1774 – which provided sanctuary to thousands of people, from the young and old, to local citizens and passing sailors, throughout the years.

With our augmented reality, visitors can now fully immerse themselves in what life was like in the late eighteenth century. Staff and volunteers from Clifton House will share the history of this fantastic building and its people, while they come to life right before your eyes. See how the children learned in the nursery school, experience the ‘Black Hole’ – the punishment room for those who misbehaved. Feel and hear how it was to work in the first cotton mill of the town and how Belfast influenced the rest of the world.

Set up by the philanthropic merchants of the town, the Belfast Charitable Society and its home in Clifton House, has survived rebellions and revolutions, while looking after the welfare of the people of the city. Today, 270 years later, the Belfast Charitable Society continues to address disadvantage and support those in greatest need, through the proceeds from our tours.

Hit the North

On Sunday 30 April, Seedhead Arts (supported by Hennessy) are proud to bring the Hit the North Street Art Festival back for its 11th edition.

Hit the North brings some of the world’s finest artists to Belfast for a unique gathering on Union Street and Kent Street.

This year’s event will feature 50 local, national and international artists with an array of styles and techniques on show as onlookers watch the artwork develop throughout the day and with refreshments available from nearby Sunflower Bar.

Admission Free

Belfast Before Flood – Guided Tour- CANCELLED




Belfast Before Floodis a new location-activated audio walk that looks at present-day Belfast from the vantage point of 200 years in the future.

Throughout the festival you can download the audio walk to your smartphone and explore at your own time.

On Saturday 29th April, join the artists for a guided walk to experience the interactive audio-walk ‘Belfast Before Flood’ at the locations around Cathedral Quarter and hear some insight behind the production of this speculative fiction.

Please bring your phone smartphone and headphones to the guided tour.

Please download ‘Echoes’ app in advance of the guided tour (search ‘Echoes spatial audio’ in your app store).

Full information and download instructions here: https://explore.echoes.xyz/collections/mJWGVc66qSBbSp

Produced by Una Lee and John D’Arcy.

CQ Bazaar

Admission Free

CQ Bazaar returns to Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival with a feast of delights in (where else?!) the Common Market.

An eclectic mix of DJs, Independent record labels, second-hand vinyl, Vintage clothes, antiques and Retro furniture. The best art, design and crafts.

Common Market Bar and food vendors are open during the market hours.

Come and treat your eyes, ears, mouth and pockets.

Brought to you by CQAF, Little Fox Events and CQ Bid.

Congregation by Ray Lee

Let a magical sphere take you on an outdoor sonic adventure to a secret location, guiding you by sound alone. Seemingly possessed of its own mind it guides you through familiar and unfamiliar terrain. Can you keep the sphere ‘happy’ by going in the right direction? In return the orb will lead you on a listening voyage to the mysterious final destination where you will encounter a meeting of the spheres, a chiming, pulsing web of electronic sound.

In Congregation the audience are invited in small groups to discrete locations in a city where they are given a silver sphere. They are instructed that the sphere will guide them to a location by emitting sounds, one sound for the correct direction and another for the wrong direction.

Dumbworld commissions Congregation for it’s Irish premiere as part of their Ambulatory Arts programme- a series of immersive artistic interventions experienced on foot across the city.

Generously hosted by The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival

Commissioned by Norwich and Norfolk Festival and Out There Festival Great Yarmouth with financial support from Without Walls, OCM, Oxford Brookes University and 101 Outdoor Arts, Newbury.

Booking essential here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/congregation-by-ray-lee-tickets-579011548127

Price £5

Dates : Sat 6th May 11am & 3pm/ Sunday 7th May 1pm & 4pm

Congregation headlines Dumbworld’s Ambulatory Arts programme- a series of immersive artistic interventions experienced on foot across the city.

Commissioned by Norwich and Norfolk Festival and Out There Festival Great Yarmouth with financial support from Without Walls, OCM, Oxford Brookes University and 101 Outdoor Arts, Newbury.

‘The Lie of the Land’ Joanne Coates

The Lie of the Land‘ – Joanne Coates

Joanne Coates is a visual artist and documentary photographer working in the North East of England. Her new work The Lie of the Land, addresses the erasure of contemporary working-class histories and culture in the countryside.

Coates works at the intersection of socially engaged practice and traditional British documentary photography. The Lie of the Land explores the erasure of contemporary working-class histories and culture in rural communities. Based on 12 months of socially engaged work with twelve women living and working in rural or agricultural settings in the North East of England, and who identify as working class, The Lie of the Land tells the long-ignored social history of gender and class in these settings. Images, objects and spoken word testimony are combined to give an insight into the lives of these women that is both honest and revealing, as well as being tied to the artist’s own personal experiences of being a part of the communities she documents.

‘Our partnership with Photoworks has been further established through the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 4 Exhibition coming to Belfast Exposed this year. Both organisations understand that investment and commitment in early career artists is required to give them the opportunity to hone their skills and realise their ambitions. Heather Agyepong’s work drawing attention to black mental health is impactful and aids our understanding of racism and associated mental health issues. Meanwhile,  Joanne Coates’ work focused on the female working class voice in a community context is thought provoking and relevant in contemporary terms. Both are artists of the future and the here and now. It is important to bring them to bring them to Northern Ireland audiences’.

– Deirdre Robb, Director, Belfast Exposed

Heather Agepong – Jerwood / Photoworks Awards

ego death‘ – Heather Agyepong

British Ghanaian visual artist Heather Agyepong has developed a new work for the Awards, entitled ‘ego death’, inspired by Carl Jung’s concept of ‘The Shadow’, it is a journey of discovery, exploration and acceptance of the self.

Seeking to unpick and discover the hidden aspects of her own personality, Agyepong’s work dissects issues of shame and repression through a series of double-exposed self-portraits and mixed media, to reveal hidden aspects of her true self. Exploring techniques including free writing/painting, observation, and self-reflection, Agyepong has produced twelve self-portraits using double exposure to create an arresting new visual language where her shadow characters are revealed.

ego death is a project about self-discovery, imperfection, compassion, and radical acceptance.

Tomas Monteiro

Tomas Monteiro is a ceramic artist based in Belfast. His practice examines the exploration of personal experience and his identity as a queer person. He approaches work as a syncretic experience of his life and expressions of his interests. He works with processes of mould-making, performance, sculpture, installation, and grounds his practice in ceramics. His recent work traverses the experience of a young queer artist who is self-examining ideas of queerness alongside simultaeneously trying to make sense of personal traumatic experiences he has experienced as a young queer artist including mental, physical and sexual abuse.

Bond of Memories
Bond of Memories‘ explores themes of connection in the context of the mind and queer sexuality. By way of ceramics, the show explores sexuality and love through the queer lens, questioning how connections occur and how queer people create and live with their chosen family. Central to Bond of Memories is the idea that experiences create inter-personal links and these links become a chain; as the chain gets larger it creates weaknesses.

“I think of memories and my mind as a chain, a chain of memories from the good ones to the bad ones. The show takes big inspiration from my childhood and core memories of it as it grabs inspiration from one of my first games; Kingdom Hearts.

When I started to think about this show I wanted it to represent my mind and how we as people have experiences that shape us. Using ceramics, audio and elements of multidisciplinary practice I was able to create this show to represent different experiences, good and bad while still pulling inspiration from core childhood memories.” – Tomas Monteiro

Niamh O’Malley’s Gather

The Golden Thread Gallery is excited to host Irish artist Niamh O’Malley in our main space after the hugely successful Gather; Ireland at Venice 2022. Gather was the national representation of Ireland at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia by Niamh O’Malley, curated by the Temple Bar Gallery + Studios.

The exhibition for Golden Thread Gallery, opening in April 2023, is informed by her work for Gather and will explore the breadth of O’Malley’s current practice. O’Malley’s sculpture and moving image works are intended to hold us in the space for which they are made. She uses steel, limestone, wood, and glass, and shapes and assembles objects to create a purposeful landscape of forms in the gallery space. Her sculptures, tall and free-standing, ground-bearing and cantilevered, with paced and looped moving image, inhabit and animate the gallery.

Niamh O’Malley was born in Co. Mayo, and lives in Dublin, Ireland. She has made numerous major exhibitions in recent years including The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin; John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; Bluecoat, Liverpool; RHA, Dublin; Lismore Castle Arts; Grazer Kunstverein. Niamh O’Malley studied in Belfast, lived there for over ten years and was part of the early days of Catalyst Arts. She returns to present a selection of her moving image and sculptural work in the large industrial spaces of The Golden Thread Gallery.

Dani Larkin – ‘Walking With Natives’ Tour

Pipped by RTE Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, Double J (Australia) and Folk Radio UK as a rising star on the Irish folk and alternative scene, the last few years have been a breakthrough for this emerging alt-folk artist, with 2023 shaping up to be an even bigger year with new music on the way and several debut global live tours.

Nominated for ‘Best Single’ (2022) ‘Best Album’ (2021) at Northern Ireland Music Prize, and ‘Best Emerging Artist‘ at RTE Folk Awards (2021), Dani Larkin has been an artist picking up speed with each release, and one that has been making her mark on the industry, in her own way.

An artist renowned for her unforgettable live performances, her magical songwriting with her vocal always taking centre stage, accompanied by her impressive guitar and banjo playing. Larkin has the ability to blend the old and new perfectly through her songwriting, delicately weaving themes of Celtic folklore with the more modern day landscape of her own experiences.


In 1994 hundreds of coal miners hung up their pit boots as Grimethorpe Colliery was destroyed, along with the tight-knit working-class community that surrounded it. WASTELAND, Gary Clarke’s sequel to COAL, looks at how two generations coped in this era of radical upheaval. As we see one generation grind to a halt, we follow the next into the 90s illegal rave scene, where derelict warehouses and abandoned work spaces became home for a new-found community of music and dance.

Bringing together Clarke’s vivid physical dance language performed by a company of exceptional dancers, a community cast of singers, brass musicians, archive film footage, a powerful rave soundtrack and unique artwork by Jimmy Cauty (co-founder of The KLF), WASTELAND dives headfirst into a gritty story of loss, hope, escapism, and survival.

Gary Clarke Company will recruit 2 brass musicians from a local championship brass band and 4 men from the community to perform as Pit Men Singers in the show. More details of the recruitment guidelines can be found here.

Ages 14+

Contains some strong language, strobe lighting, loud music, haze and smoke effects.

Christine Bovill – From Piaf to Pop

Christine Bovill’s award-winning Paris established her reputation as one of Europe’s finest interpreters of French song. In her new show, she travels into the 60s and the Americanisation of French music: le yé-yé. A time of great cultural change in France, would the high art of chanson survive…?

This new show – a smash-hit sell out at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe – offers a sexy and delicious celebration of the Golden Age of French song and how it evolved during the Swinging Sixties. Singing in both French and English, she honours many stars including Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg and Francoise Hardy.

Edinburgh Fringe reviews:

“Christine Bovill concocts a sublime evening of French pop classics in Paris: From Piaf to Pop, bringing a sense of warm charm, vocal prowess, and knowledgeable insight to the fold” ★★★★★ Culture Fix

“For a brief escape from the troubles of the world, there can be no finer prescription than a healthy dose of Paris” ★★★★★ Braw Theatre

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating


Spencer Cullum’s Coin Collection

Spencer Cullum’s Coin Collection 2, sees the Nashville-based musician step further from the pedal steel and towards centrestage. Released on the evergreen Full Time Hobby label, this new collection of tracks is a kaleidoscopic collection of folk, jazz, and pop, cut through with immaculately-rendered songwriting.

Romford to Nashville is hardly the most well-trodden of paths, but for Spencer Cullum it was a way of getting to the essential heart of pedal steel, what was then and remains to this day his musical raison d’être.

Growing up in a large East London town brought him early exposure to classic pub rock by way of his father such as Dr. Feelgood and Thin Lizzy, and farther-flung music by way of his mother, such as Talking Heads and Lou Reed. However, it was learning pedal steel from legendary English player B. J. Cole that set him on the path he still walks today. 

After touring with Nashville-based groups and hearing tales of “seasoned Nashville steel players”, the young musician upped sticks and found a “nice little crowd of weirdos” in his chosen city. Cullum has always maintained a somewhat silent presence-even now saying “I still want to hide behind my pedal steel in fear”-but 2020 saw him release his debut solo effort, Spencer Cullum’s Coin Collection. Despite his project with Jeremy Fetzer, Steelism, showing off more of his talents, never before had he felt the limelight so firmly on him. 

Although…Coin Collection’s modus operandi was “a very quintessential English folk record, but with really good Nashville players”, Cullum says of…Coin Collection 2 that “I wanted to be different. I wanted to try and pull away from wearing my influences on my sleeve… I was trying to pick out ideas that were new to me. You can never escape your musical influences but I wanted them to be more hidden subconsciously than upfront.”Though you can pick out the odd similarity to other things here and there-The Beach Boys’Friends LP, perhaps, or The Incredible String Band, or Joni Mitchell-the thing is decidedly Cullum’s own. 

What’s also reassuring is that there hasn’t been some giant sonic leap from…Coin Collection, instead that the beautifully sun-kissed, English country garden, bees-buzzing-round-lager atmosphere has remained, but complicated, weirded, deepened. Much in the same way that the album doesn’t wear its influences (Amon Duul II, Skip Spence, Ennio Morricone, ChuKosaka, Michael Chapman) lightly but rather is steeped in them and toys with them, Cullum brought in a host of guests to turn…Coin Collection 2 loose from being a purely solo effort.

Rich Ruth
Rich Ruth – a.k.a. veteran Nashville-based musician Michael Ruth – took a break from touring with various bands in 2018 and dedicated himself to composing ambient music in his small home studio, focusing on the diverse traditions of ambient, new age, spiritual jazz, Kosmiche, and minimalist music. His ideas became fully realized with the inclusion of additional players, pairing his repetitive, droning synthesizer movements with spur-of-the-moment improvisation to transform the material into something much more lush and unpredictable.

One summer morning, Ruth was held up at gunpoint and carjacked by two people outside of his home. His music allowed him to work through this personal struggle, infusing his 2019 debut album, Calming Signals, with striking layers of angst and emotion. Where There’s Life followed in 2021, a collection of meditative pieces written in the early months of the pandemic manifesting the collective sense of uncertainty and solitude of the time.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating



Pye Corner Audio – Live set

Pye Corner Audio is a British electronic music project by Martin Jenkins. He deals in an eerie, fragile strain of electronic music mixing the Radiophonic/library music sound, sometimes with a post-punk influence that aligns him firmly with such seasoned hauntologists as Mordant Music, Belbury Poly and The Advisory Circle.

Jenkins refers to himself as the mysterious and nameless Head Technician in most of his online profiles, and extra detail is taken to make the audio and visual elements of his performances look and sound worn and vintage.

PCA first came to attention with 4 volumes of Black Mill Tapeson his own label Pye Corner Audio Transcription Services. Like his contemporaries Demdike Stare and Ghost Box, Martin seemed to be tapping into some hidden energy current, channelling spirits via electrical means. The pioneering transmissions of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop could be detected lurking within the music’s staticky swirl; so could the ominous throb of John Carpenter’s film soundtracks.

Since 2021 he has recorded three timeless LPs for Ghost Box and the 5th Black Mill Tapes volume for Barcelona label Lapsus, and has also contributed numerous singles and Eps that come across as mini-albums for labels including Death Waltz, Lapsus and Ecstatic.

The musical landscape has changed considerably in the past decade, but what is remarkable about Pye Corner Audio’s material is that it hasn’t aged a day; its retro-futurist transmissions sound just as mysteriously compelling as they did the first time around. While they purport to faithfully transcribe the sound of yesterday’s technology, they end up being something more: a record of what we wish the past sounded like –a rickety tape transfer of desire itself, spooled and boxed, just awaiting discovery.


Matthew and the Atlas (Solo)

Across Matt Hegarty’s first three LPs, and the four stripped back EPs that preceded and followed them, he has traversed a range of musical territories from classic acoustic folk, to dramatic synth-laden electronica, and urgent guitar led alt-rock.

The common thread in his Matthew and the Atlas project has been a songwriting style that marries a subtle melodic sensibility  with lyrics full of natural imagery and dark emotional heft – all delivered in his striking and  distinctive vocal. In the process Hegarty has quietly built a major cult following in Europe and and the US.

‘[Morning Dancer] weaves an emotional tapestry around you as you listen.’ (Thank Folk For That)


With support from Lemoncello


Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved Seating


Donovan Wylie

Bank Gallery (High Street)
Donovan Wylie

Belfast Exposed is delighted to present Blinded by the very force it imagines it could handle, a new film from Donovan Wylie and Peter Mann, which contains never before seen footage from the demolition of the Maze Prison in 2007.

Blinded by the very force it imagines it could handle builds on work done by Wylie as part of his landmark exhibition The Maze (2004) – which was first shown at Belfast Exposed – that saw Wylie given access to the Maze/Long Kesh Prison site as in stood empty, but kept ready for future use, in Northern Ireland’s post-Good Friday Agreement political landscape. By this time, the Maze had become a location synonymous with the Trouble, due to its role in holding ‘special category’ prisons with links to paramilitary organisations and as the site of the infamous Hunger Strikes of the early 1980s. It was arguably one of the most famous prisons in the world. Despite having been emptied in the years following the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, the site was maintained and kept in readiness for several years, prepared in case conflict returned. It cast a long shadow over the early years of post-Good Friday Agreement Northern Ireland, as the first steps towards devolved, power-sharing government were being made.

It was in this context that Wylie was given free, unsupervised access to the Maze in order to document the site. His images captured both the physical structure of the prison, as well as the psychological impact of the Maze’s architecture. The Maze brought Wylie widespread critical acclaim and was a powerful documentation of living history in Northern Ireland.

In 2007, Donovan Wylie and filmmaker Peter Mann recorded the demolition of an internal perimeter wall of the Maze/Long Kesh Prison, as part of Wylie’s work to document the demolition of the site following the prison’s final closure. It is this, previously unseen, work that forms the basis of Blinded by the very force it imagines it could handle.

In this new work, Wylie continues to chronicle the architecture of conflict. His work is rooted in the idea of art as an antidote to the nihilism that conflict can induce, and was influenced by his experiences as a child growing up during the Troubles (Wylie was born in Belfast in 1971). In Blinded by the very force it imagines it could handle,  the scenes of the demolition are directed so that at different moments, the viewer feels oppressed by the wall of the Maze, and then paradoxically protected by it. The almost overwhelming sound as the wall is destroyed evokes Wylie’s childhood memories of sleep broken by explosions in the city, and the destruction of the wall creates a space into which a sense of peace emerges. The film features excerpts of Simone Weil’s ‘The Iliad or the Poem of Force’, read by Paula McFetridge.

Belfast Exposed will also be using Blinded by the very force it imagines it could handle as an opportunity to publicly open the Bank Gallery, a new complex of exhibitions and event spaces and artist studios on Belfast’s High Street. This will be the first public event held in the Bank Gallery.

Kate Nicholson: Heart Sells Poison Single Launch

Currently based in the North Coast following spells in both Belfast and Australia, Kate Nicholson has been immersed in music from an early age and has been writing songs since acquiring a guitar at age 17.  The combination of a global pandemic and new motherhood created the catalyst for the creation of her debut album Fallen from Grace released in 2022.

This has led to recognition as both a singer and songwriter with National radio play, TV support and festival performances as well as a nomination for the NI Music Prize Best Album and Best Single in 2022. 

Kate blends sounds from New Orleans, Nashville Tennessee and home with inflections of Americana, Blues and Alt-Country. Her songs tell tales of love, loss, treachery and ultimately hope. 

“Her Voice-Simultaneously warm, gritty and enthralling- immediately marks itself as the record’s central force…”a hugely promising talent” – Hot Press Magazine

“It’s a great voice- A great songwriter”  – Ralph McLean (BBC, IMRO Specialist Broadcaster of the Year)

“An Outstanding Debut Record- awash with colour and creativity” – The Daily Mirror

“Fallen from Grace is crammed with brilliant music”.  – The Sunday Life

Paul Brady ‘Crazy Dreams’ Book Launch

Paul Brady will be in conversation with Ralph McLean about Crazy Dreams, a compelling and highly anticipated autobiography from a musician whose remarkable career has spanned six decades and who is indisputably one of Ireland’s greatest living songwriters.

This evocative memoir chronicles Paul’s many years at the forefront of the Irish folk scene, from The Johnstons and Planxty through to his seminal work with Andy Irvine and onwards to his own vaunted solo career.

Along the way are the many encounters and collaborations with such musical luminaries as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Carole King, Tina Turner, Mark Knopfler and Bonnie Raitt to name but a glittering few.

From such celebrated tracks as The Island, Nobody Knows and The World is What You Make It to his interpretations of traditional folk songs like Arthur McBride and The Lakes of Pontchartrain, Paul has carved out his own unique place in Irish musical history.

In Crazy Dreams he tells how it was done and regales the reader with remarkable stories of life on the road and the journey from small-town Tyrone to the world stage.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

James Yorkston & Nina Persson

James Yorkston, the gentleman-songwriter of the East Neuk of Fife, has released a series of albums of tenderness and melody, insight and empathy. His eye for the details in life and the richness of his brogue make a Yorkston song instantly recognisable.

His 2021 collaboration with Karl-Jonas Winqvist – the Swedish music producer, leader and conductor of The Second Hand Orchestra – resulted in the soothing, warm and sublime The Wide, Wide River (a Guardian Top 10 Folk Album of the year).

Shifting from writing on guitar to piano in early 2021, James sent 5-6 songs to Karl-Jonas, and a second collaborative release, featuring Nina, was born, the equally beguiling The Great White Sea Eagle (out January 2023).

Nina Persson became an international star in the 1990s fronting Swedish pop/rock sensations The Cardigans, before releasing a series of acclaimed albums under her own name and as A Camp. She’s also collaborated with such artists as composer David Arnold and Manic Street Preachers, and – as Nina Letar Jazz – The Soundtrack Of Our Lives‘ Martin Hederos and Nils Berg.

On The Great White Sea Eagle, Yorkston shows again that he is a significant 21st century songwriter who has chosen the perfect, if unlikely foil of Persson to help realize his compositions. It’s a beautiful, hand made collection of natural and unforced songs to be treasured. 

‘Songs crisp as winter sunlight’ – 8/10 MOJO

‘Unearthly beauty from Scottish folk musician/author and Cardigans singer’ ⭑⭑⭑⭑ UNCUT

‘A beautifully absorbing album…The two voices – one a Scottish folk mainstay, the other a Swedish pop luminary – intertwine to bold, sometimes dramatic effect. A work of real refinement’ – CLASH

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating


Terry McHugh – The World on a String

Before he was a non-award-winning comedian! Before he was Jake O’Kane’s opener! Before he appeared on the Blame Game or in Game Of Thrones – North Belfast Comedian, Terry McHugh was an International YoYo Champion, travelling the world bringing joy to the masses with his yoyo.

In 1997 Terry left home as a 17 year old child ready to travel the globe with his World on a String. In 2023 he’s leaving the house as a 42 year old child ready to drive up the road to tell you all about it.

It’s a hilarious show with tales of GIANT Dublin Spiders, Amsterdam’s best Chapel, Eastern European Gangsters and loads more… And just in case that’s not enough for you, there’ll be yoyo tricks too. The yoyo champ in him is coming out of retirement and he plans to come out spinning.

‘Terry McHugh is the best comedian from North Belfast who isn’t Tim McGarry or Jake O’Kane.’-IRISH NEWS

‘Terry McHugh is the finest comedian to leave North Belfast. He’s Funny as Feck’TIM McGARRY

‘Buy a ticket for Terry’s show it’ll help fund his escape plan from Tyrone…oh, and he’s funny’JAKE O’KANE

Doors 7.45pm | Unreserved seating

Sister Sledge + Full Live Band

With dance floors all over the world set alight with the contagious joy and expression in their music, the Sledge sisters became a household name and a symbol of unity with their 1979 world-wide hit and iconic album We Are Family.

The multi-lead vocal group are responsible for some of the biggest dance albums of all time. Lost in Music, He’s the Greatest Dancer and Thinking of You are universally cherished songs bring people together in love, life and soulful groove.

The group have amassed a string of Gold and Platinum hits and GRAMMY nominations and played Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, Glastonbury and before Popes and Presidents.

Specialising in BRINGING THE PARTY with the family’s classic hits, Debbie Sledge, Camille Sledge, Tanya Thiet, Thaddeus Sledge and David Sledge make one funky family affair.

Sister Sledge continues to deliver the ‘Sledgendary’ message: ‘Nothing is Greater than LOVE’, honouring sister Joni Sledge’s memory, the gift of family and spreading joy and togetherness that uplifts and celebrates life through love and music.

Featuring support from Winnie Ama.

Doors 7.30pm | Mostly standing

The 4 of Us – Album Launch

Thirty years of playing together, and with a brand new album release lined up for 2023, the creativity of brothers, Brendan and Declan Murphy, shows no sign of abating.

The pair have forged a unique musical identity, producing original and award-winning recordings and building a loyal fan base along the way.

With an enviable catalogue of timeless songs including Mary, Washington Down, She Hits Me, Sunlight and Sugar Island, expect some beautiful songs, stunning interplay and great stories from the road.

We think it’s safe to say, this one will sell out.

Doors 1.30pm | Unreserved seating

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

The 4 of Us – Album Launch

Thirty years of playing together, and with a brand new album release lined up for 2023, the creativity of brothers, Brendan and Declan Murphy, shows no sign of abating.

The pair have forged a unique musical identity, producing original and award-winning recordings and building a loyal fan base along the way.

With an enviable catalogue of timeless songs including Mary, Washington Down, She Hits Me, Sunlight and Sugar Island, expect some beautiful songs, stunning interplay and great stories from the road.

We think it’s safe to say, this one will sell out.

Doors 1.30pm | Unreserved seating

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

David Kitt

David Kitt’s inconspicuous debut album, Small Moments, was a slow-burn collection of lo-fi recordings that crept up on the record-buying public in 2000 leading to the breakthrough success of his sophomore LP, The Big Romance. In 2002, Kitt even appeared as part of Meltdown Festival in London, as curated by David Bowie.

Kitt’s follow-up, Square 1, debuted atop the Irish charts in the balmy summer of 2003. Kitt’s initial success aligned him with a then-burgeoning scene of radio-friendly indie and folk- rock breakthrough acts, including David Gray, with whom Kitt has regularly toured alongside as a supporting musician.

However, Kitt was quickly drawn into his wider sphere of influences, from optimistic, MPC-driven hip-hop, melancholic Arthur Russell-esque funk and the more traditional but ambitious folk of his heritage. Each of these avenues were wandered at ease throughout 2004’s The Black and Red Notebook and it’s follow-up Not Fade Away.

A long history of supporting and then playing with the acclaimed rock group Tindersticks, lead to Kitt officially joining the group for the release of their 2010 LP, Falling Down a Mountain.

Touring internationally, Kitt remained creatively fertile, and yet, eight years passed between the release of his LP The Nightsaver and 2018’s Yous reaffirming him as one of Ireland’s best singer/songwriters. Yous was released on Dublin’s own All City Records, the notably and suitably eclectic label through which Kitt released From Night to Night, his debut album under the alias of New Jackson.

Solely focused on techno and house music influences, but energised by the same sense of melody and experimentation that defines Kitt’s work under his given name, the music of New Jackson has featured on some of the best-respected electronic and dance labels across Europe, including Hivern Discs, Cin Cin and Permanent Vacation.

With more releases incoming on All City and beyond, Kitt remains a unique, sincere artist and songwriter, able to meld influences, eras and sound with a timelessness earned after more than twenty years immersed in music.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

Neville Staple – From the Specials

When the sad news of Terry Hall’s passing came through recently, our minds returned to one of the finest live shows CQAF have presented in many a year.

“Nothing came close to the sensational Neville Staple Band who really got the party started and had the masses dancing along” Anita Merritt-Exeter Express & Echo.

Neville Staple, Legendary front man ofThe Specials, Fun Boy Three and Special Beat, also known as The Original Rude Boy, is credited with changing the face of pop music not only once but twice. His celebrates a super 40-year career in the music business which is well documented and started out from the early days withRay King, The Coventry Automatics and his Jah Baddis Sound System, before taking to the stage withThe Specials during the famous ‘Clash’ tour.

Neville states, “I remember the massive reactions to the hit songs like Ghost Town, Too Much Too Young and Gangsters and fans still write to me about my rugged, energetic and fun stage presence. The way we brought ska to the mainstream was by mixing Jamaican music with the English style, which at the time was punk. A lot of young bands are now putting their own spin on ska -some with dance music and some with a rock beat. It’s all good. The music just makes you want to dance. Even when singing about tough times, every-day things or bad things, the beat and the rhythm makes you want to move. I turn all our live shows into a massive party. The crowd love it and sing along to all the tracks!”

Neville’s 2-Tone legacy is huge 2-Tone fused traditional ska music with punk rock attitude, energy and musical elements. The movement helped to transcend and defuse racial tensions in Thatcher-era Britain. The actual black and white chequered imagery of 2 Tone has become almost as famous as the music itself.

With support bands and DJ’s, this will be a celebration not just of Neville’s amazing 40-year career but also one of the greatest talents of this generation – Terry Hall.

Doors 7.30pm | Limited Unreserved seating

Carson McHone

There is something almost excruciating about the places in between. The feeling of falling, a reassertion of gravity as one step leads to another, but just before the foot lands. The purgatory between borders, before clarity becomes whole.

Still LifeCarson McHone’s third album and first release with Merge Records, quivers like a tightrope, with songs about existing within such tension and surviving beyond the breaking point. These are stories of sabotage, confusion, and surrender. The album is a testament to the effort of reaching, sometimes flailing, for understanding and for balance. Still Life invites us to gasp at our own reflection, while acknowledging the unsettling beauty in this breath.

​McHone’s 2018 internationally released Carousel  was a reimagining of songs from her formative years coming of age playing in Texas bars. It established her as a shrewd artist who raises unconventional questions with language equally at home in a short story or a poem.  Still Life addresses a broader picture. It is thematically more refined and yet more daring. McHone’s voice remains front and center, but it’s richer, darker. Wielded more than woven. A gorgeously wrought instrument for pushing meaning forward.

The songs of Still Life were written in quiet moments between tours and recorded away from Texas in Ontario with Canadian musician and producer, Daniel Romano. Together in a home studio they cut almost the entire record themselves, calling on two friends, the versatile Mark Lalama on accordion, piano, and organ, and David Nardi with some savvy saxophone to round it out. The phrasing and tones recall the late 60’s and early 70’s, another era of transition and innovation (think John Cale, The Kinks, Richard and Linda Thompson).

This first time collaboration brings a compelling dynamic. The musical punctuation is intricate, erratic, and at times even playful. The arrangements provide texture to the landscape of the songs while sustaining the underlying thematic tension.

The album opens with “Hawks Don’t Share” a literary allusion to the creative sabotage that often confronts artistic alliance.  A pair of sparring electric guitars sets the scene, mirrored in the line, We’re both boxers babe/ we don’t make love.  Bright horns pop between phrases overtop a tight rhythm section. A jangly twelve string leads us into a driving chorus with big vocal harmonies and layered synth. The title track plays out an anguished spiraling. Right at the point where language fails, the vocals break away into fuzz guitar and violent, incessant piano, as if the turmoil can only be expressed by music.

In “Sweet Magnolia” the strings, horns, and piano create a perfect orbit for the mannered intensity of a song that soars but is essentially spoken. “End of the World” builds with dark and dissonant violins over a repetitive major guitar progression leaving us hanging on its final line, tell me what do you know of restraint?

The punchy sax and tumbling toms of “Only Lovers” play into the ruse of pretending you haven’t already fallen when you have. The background vocals are like a playground taunt.  “Someone Else” cuts right to the punch. I’m caught between the two/ sweet despair and hope renewed/ say it ain’t profound babe. The lyrics are wry and the vocals perfectly nail the attitude.  The rollicking organ and the hammering piano conspire to bust down the door and pull us along.

There are raucous and light hearted moments but ultimately this album is concerned with serious themes.  More than timeless, this record is timely, inherently modern, immediate. The final song, “Tried”, acts as a kind of eulogy for the spaces these songs embody. The bardo one must emerge from. The album challenges us to take responsibility for what we experience and how we negotiate gravity moving forward. Still Life summons us to the present in all its complexity, daring us to join in the deliberation. Here is an exposé of conscience, and a confirmation of the inherently hopeful act of creation.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

Dark Tropics

A quick return for Dark Tropics after a packed-out and stunning show in January’s Out to Lunch. This time the setting is the atmospheric St Joseph’s Church and we think it will be very special.

Drawn together by a bond that stretched from Ireland to Morocco, musicians Rio McGuinness and Gerard Sands found common ground in the form of Radiohead, Aretha Franklin and The Velvet Underground.

Armed with the influences of Somerset Maugham, Paul Auster and John Cooper-Clarke, the pair formed a partnership – one that relies equally on instinct and guile.

Their creative vision has borne fruit with timeless, cinematic pop-noir. Powered by analogue instruments and retro recording techniques the music sways and breathes naturally.

Their themes are everywhere – the burning highs of lust, the fragility of heartache, the sting of betrayal and defiance in the face of hurt.

Dark Tropics released debut album Ink in late 2021 to widespread critical praise and are currently working on its follow-up.

‘Lovely, cinematic, understated pop’ -STEVE LAMACQ, BBC 6MUSIC 

‘This sounds beautiful’ – JO WILEY, BBC RADIO 2

‘Atmospheric, moody and complex with a maturity that goes beyond the realms of a debut release.’ – HOT PRESS

Doors 7.30pm | Limited Unreserved Seating


Beirut Groove Collective

Obscure 1960’s + 1970’s Clubbing Records from Africa, The Middle East + Around the World, with a special focus on Arabic Psych – Sudanese Jazz – Ethiopian Funk – Lebanese + Armenian Stompers.

Now entering its 13th year, BGC is the premier destination for soul-fuelled clubbing records from ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s Middle-East, Africa and the rest of the world. For over a decade, the DJ collective has thrown one of the Middle East’s most popular club nights in Beirut, pioneering obscure records from Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Armenia.

Representing an underground alternative to the nightlife of Beirut through regular parties in basement clubs, alternative beach venues and warehouse spaces at the forgotten fringes of the city, the BGC has been home for genuine crate-diggers and tastemakers from all over the world.

The New York Times included the BGC club nights in their list of the “Top 15” parties around the world.

Johnny Aux

Twitch Belfast presents Johnny Aux, the man behind some of the most interesting music to come out of the UK at present with acts including Paranoid London, Warmduscher, Decius, Sworn Virgins and more!

Quinn Whaley aka Johnny Aux has gained a reputation for creating distorted masterpieces in his various groups and under various pseudonyms.

The disco and 80’s sounds of Decius alongside members of Trashmouth Records/Medicine8 and Fat White Family, the rough techno anthems of Paranoid London, the classic disco sounds of Sworn Virgins or the wonky indie-pop Warmduscher, Quinn has had his influence stamped on all of these projects.

After a sellout show at the tail end of 2021, Johnny Aux returns to Twitch for a very special 2 hour set to showcase his distorted sounds!

Support on the night comes from More Gain and Twitch residents.

Doors 9.45pm | Mostly Standing

Dan Shipsides

Deployed throughout the Cathedral Quarter area, Shipsides will present a public artwork that features a series of twinned flags that play with and celebrate the expanding communicative beauty and potential of the spaces between laughter and language. A photographic series of the flags from another location will also be exhibited in the Green Room, Black Box, capturing the syzygetic unfurling and furling of the uttering of time, space, language and laughter. Ha ha.

Dan Shipsides, an artist based in Orchid Studios, Belfast, exhibits nationally and internationally and has received multiple awards. He works individually and within collaborative dynamics, notably that of Shipsides and Beggs Projects. He also teaches at the Belfast School of Art.

Wild Mountain Thyme

“WELCOME TO OIRLAND!” So opines the great Christopher Walken in the trailer to this infamous star-studded blarney from the pen of the man who brought us the equally infamous gorilla flick Congo.

The starry cast delivers a wildly diverse array of Irish accents – often at the same time and in the same scene – as they gurn and emote their way through this hokey cinematic tale set amongst the “wild mountain thyme”.

Headstrong farmer Rosemary Muldoon (Emily Blunt) has her heart set on winning her neighbour Anthony Reilly’s love. The problem is Anthony (Jamie Dornan) seems to have inherited a family curse, and remains oblivious to his beautiful admirer.

Stung by his father Tony’s (Christopher Walken) plans to sell the family farm to his American nephew (Jon Hamm), Anthony is jolted into pursuing his dreams in this unintentionally hilarious moving picture.

Join us for an unparalleled afternoon of celtic cringe, take part in our terrible Irish Accent competition and drink deep from the good stuff every time Jamie Dornan looks confused.

‘Makes the Quiet Man seem like Mean Streets’  – WHAT FILM

‘Finally, a film Christopher Walken is rubbish in.’  – CAHIERS DU CINEMA

Doors 1.30pm | Unreserved seating


David Browne Murray – Square One Album Launch

Having studied music at the Belfast School of Music, Belfast fingerstyle guitarist David Browne Murray received a scholarship to attend the Berkelee School of Musicin Boston.

In 2004 he won the Ards Guitar Festival Young Guitarist Competition and in 2011 he was the outright winner of Lee Ritenour’s Six String Theory Competition.

David has been actively involved in the music scene in Belfast since his return from Berklee in 2011. Since then he has toured Ireland with some of the world’s great guitarists such as Frank Vignola, Andy McKee, Jan Akkerman and had the privilege of opening forTommy Emmanuel in a sold-out Ulster Hall.

Musical interests and inspirations couldn’t be more varied from film scores to electronica, choral and orchestral music in particular – all of which have enabled him to develop a wonderfully original take on the world’s most popular instrument.

Now, some 10 years after the release of his debut CDLift and Drag, it’s high time for a new volume aptly titledSquare One.

Recorded this year in Dock Street Studios, the new album of all original compositions contains many of the tunes that have become favourites at his live gigs over the last five years.

Doors 2.30pm | Unreserved seating

Bad Bridget

Join Elaine Farrell, Leanne McCormick and guests as they discuss ‘Bad Bridgets’ and the untold stories of generations of Irish female immigrants to the USA that history chose to forget.

Elaine and Leanne, creators of the celebrated ‘Bad Bridget’ podcast, have unearthed a world in which Irishwomen actually outnumbered Irish men in prison, in which you could get locked up for ‘stubbornness’ and in which an Irish serial killer called Lizzie Halliday was described by the New York Times as ‘the worst woman on earth.

In their book, Bad Bridget: Crime, Mayhem and the Lives of Irish Emigrant Women  (Sandycove), they reveal the social forces that bred this mayhem and dysfunction, through stories that are brilliantly strange, sometimes funny, and often moving.

Doors 6.30pm | Unreserved seating

Róisín O

Enjoying a triumphant return to the Irish music scene as a solo artist, 2022 Saw Róisín O top the Irish and independent charts with her rapturously received album Courageous.

With tracks such as Heart +Bones, Still Gold, top 20 hit 2023, as well as Stolen, a co-write with Gavin James, still making waves at home and abroad, Róisín is delighted to bring her new show to CQAF.

Fresh from a world tour, Róisín entertained audiences across Europe, USA and Australia and is gearing up for an extensive Irish tour in 2023.

As well as many Irish festival appearances Róisín O has also shared the stage with a host of internationally renowned artists, including Lionel Richie, Bryan Ferry, Brad Paisley, Hozier and Colin Hay.

Róisín’s newly released album and recent world tour builds on a hugely successful musical career for the illustrious singer, but 2022 was Róisín O’s biggest year to date, with a number 1 Irish album, multiple top 20 singles and, for 2023, her renowned stage presence and electric energy is not to be missed.


Fly Magic

Timo Vollbrecht is a Brooklyn-based saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and scholar. His music combines jazz with elements of post-rock, electronics, and instrumental songwriting. Originally from Germany, he has been a celebrated force in the creative music scenes of New York for over a decade. He has toured over 30 countries, appeared on numerous albums, and performed on landmark stages like the Village Vanguard and NYC’s Winter Jazz Fest.

Aside from his longstanding signature band FLY MAGIC, he also leads a trio with guitarist Ben Monder and vocalist Theo Bleckmann and has played with Branford Marsalis, Miho Hazama, Kenny Werner, and Ralph Alessi.

His latest recordings, Fly Magic (2016) and Faces in Places(2018), were both the featured “Jazz Album of the Week” on NDR Radio and appeared on influential playlists such as Spotify’s State of Jazz. His newest release, Givers & Takers, is coming out on October 21, 2022. The NYC Jazz Record describes Timo as a “luminously-fine” saxophonist whose music is “blessed with rhythmic fluidity and intricate twists.” As a composer, he has worked with dance, film, and podcasts and wrote a string quartet that was performed by the NYC-based JACK Quartet.

Moreover, Vollbrecht utilizes his insight as a practitioner to conduct scholarly research. He holds a Ph.D. from NYU with a dissertation entitled “Manfred Eicher, ECM Records: An Analysis of the Producer as Auteur.” It is an in vivo case study that portrays producer Eicher as an improviser whose ‘instrument’ is the studio. He was recently appointed Director of Jazz Studies at Brown University.

Website: www.timovollbrecht.com

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating


ARXX are a Queer Alt-Rock Gal Pal Duo. They have been making moves all over the UK and Europe, including appearances at BBC Radio 1 Big WeekendGreat Escape, Icebreaker, and Left Of The Dial, headlining House of Vans Next Era show, supporting Black Honey, Liz Lawrence and Pillow Queens on their UK Headline Tours.

Now, having been making music together since 2017, they’ve received acclaim from the likes of BBC Radio 1’s Jack Saunders, Sophie K and Huw Stephens, Radio 6’s Steve Lamacq and John Kennedy on Radio X.

In 2021, ARXX have landed their first TV sync, with their single DEEP being featured on Prime Time BBC One for the Match of The Day coverage of the 2020 Euros.

They’ve received 1.7+ million streams and have been featured on editorial playlists such as New Music Friday, Hot New Bands and The Rock List.

Doors 7.30pm | Mostly Standing

‘Honestly everything about that I just love. Oh my god that one is definitely getting me super fired up, just love it.’ Jess Iszatt – BBC Radio 1

The duo have a knack for bruising riffs and deadpan lyrics.  Their no-fucks spirit is infectious and invigorating.’  NME

‘It cements them as one of the UK’s most exciting up-and-coming guitar acts’. The Forty Five

‘A Serenading Pop song’ Steve Lamacq

‘ARXX are at the top of our every playlist right now. Their unapologetic attitude paired with a pop-edge, makes ARXX a vital addition to the queer music scene.’ – Diva Magazine

Aja- The Music of Steely Dan

Aja, taken from the classic and iconic Steely Dan album, is an 8-piece musical powerhouse of a band whose members have over 40 years’ experience in the business.

They replicate in incredible detail the original recordings of the legendary Steely Dan.  Aja have been performing these classic songs for 15 years and have grown accustomed to packed houses of music lovers of all ages and genres.

Original guitar, brass, keyboard solos and vocal harmonies are as true as can be to the original album recordings.  Their 2-hour set generally consists of theentire Aja album in the first half and is a sight and sound to behold.

Aja are:

Gerard Farrelly – Keyboards, Alan Cunningham – Drums and Percussion, Colm Lindsey – Guitars, Mark Wilde – Saxes, Serge Stavilla – Saxes, Tommy Moore – Bass and Vocals, Sinead Stone – Vocals, John Graham – Lead Vocals.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

Studio Electrophonique (Film)

A euphoric record of Sheffield-based Studio Electrophonique, which nurtured a generation of superstars such as ABC, The Human League, Heaven 17, Clock DVA and Pulp.

Ken Patten was a panel beater who sported a rakish moustache and had a passion for music.

He built his own creative universe in the downstairs extension of his Handsworth council house.

It was here that he set about recording the sounds of Sheffield, nurturing a generation of nascent superstars who would go on to form some of the most iconic British bands of the 1980s and 1990s.

James Taylor’s film, the little-known story of Studio Electrophonique, celebrates a vision unconstrained by means and a name that almost died unheralded, but now survives on the outer ring road of art.



Ryuichi Sakamoto Coda

We were gutted to hear of the recent passing of the great Ryuichi Sakamoto.

One of the most important artists of our era, his career spanned from techno-pop stardom to Oscar-winning composer and anti-nuclear activist.

Sakamoto was a polymath in the truest sense of the word. Whether he was innovating with the legendary Yellow Magic Orchestra or going toe to toe with David Bowie in the movie Merry Christmas Mister Lawrence, his charisma, style and breath-taking talent shone through.

In honour of the great man, we’re showing a free screening of his beautiful 2017 documentary Coda.

This intimate, elegiac portrait explores Sakamoto’s return to music following a cancer diagnosis, leading to the creation of a haunting new masterpiece.

Rest in power.

This is a free screening, but advance booking is essential.

Ghouls On Film presents…Rosemary’s Baby

Join Ghouls On Film as they screen the cult classic ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ (1968), and consider the implications of a feminist reading, with a post-screening discussion facilitated by Dr. Jolene Mairs Dyer.

Rosemary’s Baby is one of the greatest movies of the late 1960s and one of the best of all horror movies, an outstanding modern Gothic tale. An art-house fable and an elegant popular entertainment, it finds its home on the cusp between a cinema of sentiment and one of sensation.

John Robb in Conversation – The Art of Darkness: A History of Goth

>Finally, after a decade of work, countless interviews and immersing deep into the culture, John Robb’s definitive book The History Of Goth is a journey deep into The Art Of Darkness. The first in-depth book on Goth is a deep dive into the enduring culture and the social, historical and political backdrop that created the space for the art of darkness to thrive.

JOHN ROBB is a ournalist: TV and Radio Presenter: Mentor: Musician (The Membranes), best-selling Pop Culture Author (Stone Roses, Punk Rock – An Oral History, Manchester – the North Will Rise Again): Public Speaker:  Head of Louder Than Words – the UK’s biggest music and books festival: Head of the Green Britain Academy, an about to be launched scheme for training young people in Green and Eco jobs.

Taylor Lally – CQAF 2023 Artist in Residence

We think 2023 is going to be quite the year for Millisle-born artist Taylor Lally. After receiving her first guitar for Christmas at 11, she became enchanted with the instrument and, inspired by the music of James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Bob Marley, started writing her own songs. Taylor moved to BIMM (Brighton Institute of Modern Music) to study music performance and eventually graduated with a degree in songwriting.

Waiting until she finally felt comfortable and ready, Taylor started releasing her own music independently last year. Bliss-Less Musing Life is her first single and is a warm and poignant reflection on her experiences while studying songwriting in Brighton.

Recent support slots for Steve Forbert and Mary Coughlan have contributed to her growing reputation and headline slots are now beckoning, including a sold-out Courthouse show in Bangor in February.

‘‘2023 is the start. I am finally just stepping into the world.” muses Taylor “After so many years of playing cover songs in bars, studying, writing, and sculpting my style, no words can describe how that feels

‘The singer from Co. Down has been compared to the likes of Rikki-Lee Jones with the guitar sensibilities of John Martyn. She also strikes a chord with her poignant songwriting craft. Dealing with themes of growing up in a changing Northern Ireland and healing from heartache … you can’t help but admire Taylor Lally’s impressive knack for pulling our heartstrings’ – CHORDBLOSSOM

Taylor’s performances during CQAF will be released in the coming weeks, please check back for details.


Joshua Burnside

We are very proud to welcome Joshua Burnside, a former CQAF Artist in Residence, to headline the biggest stage of the festival.

Joshua has grown immensely as an artist over the past few years and it’s been a pleasure to watch him develop. In December he sold out the Ulster Hall so it seems the rest of the world is catching up.

Joshua Burnside is an experimental folk songwriter, singer and producer. He takes influence from alternative electronica and Irish traditional song heritages, chopping and blending them with a mixture of found sounds, world music and unorthodox production methods.

Joshua Burnside is the best songwriter in Ireland right now, and probably beyond – PHIL TAGGART, SIRIUS XM

“He creates a world and lets us live in it for a while… He’s like going to the theatre” – MARK RADCIFFE, BBC Radio 2


Catherine Bohart: Work in Progress

An hour of new material from Catherine Bohart. As seen and heard on Live At The Apollo, Mock The Week, Roast Battle, 8 Out of 10 Cats, The Stand Up Sketch Show and The Guilty Feminist Podcast.

Catherine started performing stand-up in 2015 and since then has enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks of UK and Irish comedy.

In 2016, she was a finalist in both the BBC New Comedy Awards and Funny Women, drawing praise in the final of the former for having “a distinctive voice and a story you’d like to hear” (Chortle) and in the latter for being “pretty much the perfect comedy package” (Beyond The Joke).

Catherine was named on the BBC’s New Talent Hotlist 2017 and was runner-up in the Irish Comedian of the Year Final 2017. Catherine was selected for the prestigious Pleasance Reserve 2017 and has been named a Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year Nominee 2018.

‘Destined for stardom’ (Evening Standard)

‘The laughs keep coming and, finally, so does a tear or two. Marvellous’ ★★★★ (Times)

‘Beautifully-delivered hour’ ★★★★ (Skinny)

‘Packed full of laughs’ ★★★★ (Herald)

‘A winning mixture of self-deprecation and confidence’ ★★★★ (Beyond The Joke) 

‘A fully developed comic voice’ ★★★★ (Fest)

‘Truly special’ ★★★★ (Edinburgh Festivals Magazine) 

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

Anne Gildea – How to Get the Menopause and Enjoy It

Anne Gildea is waxing her moustache, slathering on the Oestrogel and boiling with excitement about bringing her fabulous hit show to CQAF.

How to Get The Menopause and Enjoy It has been wowing audiences and critics alike, and playing to packed house all over Ireland, since it’s sell-out launch last year.

An original, informative, wet-your-pants excursion through one of life’s last great mysteries – The Menopause! What is it? Why does it happen? Is there anything you can do about it? Why is it named after men? And why oh why is so little known about this inevitable phase of a woman’s life? Anne answers all these questions and more as she brings TMI to a whole new level.

‘This funny and taboo-busting work blasts the lid right off…Never has the female body been put under such an hilarious microscope…utterly punk’ –KATY HAYES, IRISH INDEPENDENT

What Audiences Are Saying

“I rarely find myself laughing so hard for so long at a live comedy event. Your writing, your energy and your added sparkle is worthy of the over-used term.”

“awesome…there’s nothing for it now but to bring a few buddies to forthcoming shows. I will be a How to Catch the Menopause and Enjoy It groupie.”

“Went with 10 friends tonight. Actually have a pain in my stomach from laughing n tears ran down my face! Thank u so much for this important work.”

“I enjoyed it so much I went a second time and brought the husband. He had tears streaming down his face with laughter.”

‘The funniest, most honest, and real show I have ever been to!”

“I’m sitting here today still laughing away to myself… loved every minute of last night … thank you.” “Fab night full of laughs, great for the soul.”

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating


Jeffrey Lewis and the Voltage

Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage have more or less perfected a scuzzy and urban style of indie-folk – a 21st Century mash-up of Pete Seeger, R. Crumb and Sonic Youth.

A born and raised New Yorker, Lewis has been hard at work in the underground music and art world since the turn of the century – touring throughout the world and releasing eight acclaimed albums on the record labels Rough Trade and Don Giovanni.

He is also a widely respected comics artist who self-publishes a comic book series called ‘Statics’.

On stage Lewis is backed by his band the Voltage, including long-time collaboratorsBrent Cole(drums) and Mem Pahl (bass) as well as recent addition Mallory Feuer (violin and keys).

The spectacular full-length Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage albumBad Wiring was recorded in Nashville, TN with producer Roger Moute not (Yo La Tengo) and was released November 1, 2019.

Doors 7.30pm | Mostly Standing

Scaredy Fat

Scaredy’s working the late shift at the cinema. Tonight’s schedule? Horror movie sexual awakenings of yesteryear. Lost in steamy recollections of Jesse Walsh dancing, Carrie and Tommy at the prom and the sinful duo of Ryan Philippe and Freddie Prinze Jr., Scaredy should be in ecstasy but evil horror host Count Calories keeps cutting in on the fun. It’s finally time for Scaredy to face their fears and stop being such a big Scaredy Fat.

Come to the movies with Scaredy as they poke fun at fat and queer representation in the horror genre, asking what it means to love a genre that doesn’t love you back.

We’re gonna need a bigger shirt…

Winner of the Les Enfants Terribles Award 2023 and the CQAF Theatre Bursary. See this Big Gay Spooky Treat before its Edinburgh debut. 

Written and Performed by Colm McCready 
Directed by Seón Simpson
Produced and Production Managed by Gina Donnelly 
Costume Design by Níamh Kearney
Animation/Set Design and Poster Image by Fergus Wachala-Kelly 
AV Design by Colm McCready 

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

MEMENTO – AGREEMENT by Amanda Dunsmore

A series of artworks based on Amanda Dunsmore’s recollections of making the silent filmed portraits which comprise the artwork AGREEMENT.

AGREEMENT started in 2004 with an aim to film and acknowledge the important roles played by all the signatories of the Belfast ‘Good Friday’ Agreement. The resulting artwork consists of 14 video portraits through which the audience reflect on each of the sitters, as the sitters reflect silently.

This exhibition presents new work, entitled MEMENTO – AGREEMENT, involving drawing, text and printing process to revisit each of the video portraits that Dunsmore undertook between 2004 and 2022.These reflective portraits are made from a mix of typed text, pen & ink portraits and map etchings.

The drawings are accompanied by a video installation of Billy’s Museum, another artwork by Amanda Dunsmore that the AGREEMENT sitters viewed as their silent portraits were captured.

Zandra Rhodes in Conversation

Dame Zandra Rhodes has been a notorious figurehead of the UK fashion industry for five decades, CQAF and Ulster University are delighted she joins us for this special Q and A with with Kathy Clugston on her life and career.

Setting up her own studio in 1969 and crowned Designer of the Year in 1972, Zandra Rhodes is one of the fashion world’s longest and brightest burning stars.

Zandra’s dresses and textiles have adorned some of the world’s most famous people, from Princess Diana and Freddie Mercury to Jackie Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Bianca Jagger, Kylie Minogue, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. Her vintage pieces are avidly collected by fashion heavyweights Tom Ford and Anna Sui, Zandra Rhodes really is an icon of British popular culture.

An eponymous pioneer of the British and international fashion scene since the late 60’s, Zandra’s career has seen her collaborate with brands such as Valentino, Topshop and Mac Cosmetics.

Continuing to collaborate with brands that inspire her Zandra has recently launched collections with the likes of IKEA of Sweden, Happy Socks, Free People and Fluevog amongst many other exciting partnerships and projects.

Janey Godley – The ‘Not Dead Yet’ Tour

Janey Godley is ‘still alive, by popular demand’ with a brand-new show for 2023 and can’t wait to be back doing what she does best!

A few words from Janey:

‘My past year has been like a giant “Wordle” game that has swept the nation, I went from “cancel to cancer” in 6 weeks. No, I didn’t smack a man live at the Oscars, in front of millions of people, but I have apologised profusely for historic offensive tweets from over 11 years ago and ended up as the torn, worn out pass the parcel for tribal politics in Scotland.  All my own doing, but now it’s time to laugh, live and celebrate after dealing with this dreadful disease.

I suffered severe mental illness during the online onslaught and whilst on my last tour in 2021 found a giant tumour in my ovary giblets and had to FIGHT to stay alive. Never one for the conventional path in life, I am still NOT DEAD YET and bringing my tour back on the road. So many stories of heart-warming love and outpouring of support to the occasional daily messages hoping I might die soon because … well I am a woman who answered back.’

‘A stand-up so personal in approach I wouldn’t be surprised if she breast-fed the front row’  – TIME OUT

‘The type of act you want to catch again and again, year after year.’★★★★★ – ONE4REVIEW

‘The Glasgow comedy queen’  –  THE LIST

‘The most outspoken female stand-up in Britain… The most ribald and refreshing comedy talent to have risen from the slums of Glasgow since Billy Connolly…‘ –DAILY TELEGRAPH

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

Courtney Barnett – Anonymous Club (NI Film Premiere)

The antithesis of a rock biography, Anonymous Club paints a raw and intimate picture of enigmatic singer-songwriter, Courtney Barnett.

At once an anti-influencer and powerful voice for our times, a recluse acclaimed by audiences the world over and a strong female artist in conflict with herself, this film lays bare the artist, the person and the image that fame creates around them.

With unprecedented, intimate access to the private life of the famously reclusive Barnett, filmmaker Danny Cohen (who also collaborated on many of her award-winning and highly imaginative music videos), Anonymous Club pulls back the curtain and invites us in…

‘Barnett works through creative crises, wrangles doubts and anguish, and the wrung-out exhaustion of giving everything to an audience of hungry strangers night after night. Anonymous Club is unusually candid and open in what it reveals about the cost of the creative process.’ –THE GUARDIAN

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating 


They Live!

“I’ve come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I’m all out of bubblegum…”

35 years after its release, John Carpenter’s cult sci-fi satire about privilege, inequality and the “one per cent” is more grimly relevant now than ever.

They Live tells the story of Nada (“Rowdy” Roddy Piper), a homeless drifter who uncovers a shocking planet-wide alien conspiracy, with a little help from the most iconic shades in cinema history.

Along the way we get some razor-sharp observations, one of the greatest fight scenes ever filmed and some great one-liners. Initially ridiculed on release, it’s now regarded as a stone-cold classic. Come join is for this timely screening of one of our very favourite films.

Shades optional.

“They Live is one of the forgotten masterpieces of the Hollywood Left. The sunglasses function like a critique of ideology… When you put them on, you see the dictatorship in democracy, the invisible order which sustains your apparent freedom”Slavoj Žižek


The Body & Blood

Written and performed by Carol Murphy, The Body & Blood is a 19th Century Irish Famine Folk Fable told in verse. It is the story of Maggie Murtagh, an Irish country girl who transmogrifies into The Vigilante Cannibal Nun during The Famine, after the death of her family.

She steals from the rich to give to the starving poor. She eats the colonizers; becomes an addict; and destroys her soul on her quest to seek revenge.

The Body & Blood was launched online in January 2022 at www.thebodyandblood.co.uk. The first live performance was at The Black Box. The second performance was at VAULT Festival, London, 2023, where Murphy received rave reviews.

Gripping stage presence has you hooked from start to finish. Theatre and Tonic ****

Murphy is a whirlwind of a performer.Fairy Powered Pro ****

Murphy is a captivating performer, herself transmogrifying into the bardic role with electrifying swagger and aplomb. A Young(ish) Perspective ****

Carol Murphy is an artist, filmmaker, writer, and performer based in Belfast. She has attended numerous European art and film labs including The Atleliers, The Binger and The Turino Filmlab with numerous art and feature projects. She is currently developing the Horror/Sci Fi Feature, The Silent Tide, with Fantastic Films in Dublin, with development funding from NI Screen.

Beautiful Evil Things


What if there was another take on the Trojan War, an untold breathtaking adventure you had never heard before?

Enter Medusa. She was there.

Monstrous gorgon? Snakes for hair? A turn-to-stone glare? Perhaps. But she was there – as a bodiless head strapped to the shield of a goddess.

Her forever-open-eyes saw it all: Epic combat. Mighty swords. Giant horse-sculptures filled with men. But as the war raged on, Medusa’s petrifying gaze focused on three extraordinary women who might just hold the key to her ultimate hope.

Beautiful Evil Things is a new, high-energy, one woman show from Ad Infinitum combining physical storytelling with cut-throat wit. Coming hot on the heels of their multi award-winning hit, Odyssey, join Medusa for a thrilling adventure.

Number 4 in The Guardian’s ‘Best Theatre of 2022’

★★★★ Hair-raising, heart-quickening whirl of myths The Guardian

★★★★ High-intensity performance in Ad Infinitum’s signature style The Stage

★★★★  A Greek epic with startling modern relevance Morning Star

★★★★  A powerhouse performance The Fix Magazine

★★★★★ Up there among the best shows we’ve ever seen Lifestyle Distrct

★★★★★ Never was the story of the classical Greek heroes and villains better told StageTalk Magazine

A tour de force…an outstanding performance British Theatre Guide

★★★★★  Absolute masterpiece Fairy Powered Productions

Fast, furious and energetic…a faultless performance What’s on Bristol

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

Nuala Kennedy with Tony Byrne and Tara Breen

World renowned traditional singer and flute player Nuala Kennedy grew up playing Irish music in Dundalk, County Louth and now lives in Ennis, County Clare.

Nuala is known for her creative reworking and reimagining of traditional songs and for her unique Irish flute style, formed in Dundalk and honed in her long-time adopted home of Edinburgh, Scotland.

She is a musical adventurer who is recognized world-wide as a superlative performer of traditional music. Day is Come (2022) by The Alt (with John Doyle and Eamon O’Leary) is the latest release on Under the Arch Records, an independent record label Nuala founded in 2014.

Nuala’s roots are first and foremost in Irish music, but she ‘something of a genre bender’ according to Living Tradition magazine.

Outside of traditional music, Nuala trained as a classical pianist and has toured and recorded with Will Oldham/Bonnie Prince BillieNorman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), Euros Childs (Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci) and is a member of Snowflake Trio, with Norwegian musicians Vegar Vårdal and Frode Haltli.

Nuala recently sang with Janis Ian on her release The Light at the End of the Line.

Tony Byrne, Dublin guitarist, has been involved in music from a young age. Following family holidays in West Kerry, Tony developed an Interest in Irish traditional music and has been involved in the performance, recording and teaching of it since 1999. Past performances include concerts with acts such as Danu, Sharon Shannon, Michael McGoldrick, Gerry o Connor, David Munnelly Band, Matt Molloy, Paul Brady, Julie Fowlis, Lunasa and many more.

Tara Breen, a highly talented multi-instrumentalist from Ruan Co. Clare, has achieved All-Ireland titles on fiddle in every age category over the years, culminating with the All-Ireland Senior Fiddle Title in 2012. In 2014, she joined six-time Grammy award winning band, The Chieftains, and also performs with the legendary band, Stockton’s Wing. Tara recorded a wonderful duet album, Nasc, with concertina player Padraig Rynne in 2021.

‘A flute player and composer of remarkable finesse, fearless of the unknown.’ —THE IRISH TIMES

‘Cheeky, dynamic and full of ideas.’ —SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

Bricolage – Circusful (Gordon St.)

Bricolage brings together a selection of new works by some of Ireland’s freshest up and coming artists for an evening that promises to be unlike anything you’ve seen before.

Part living, moving art installation, part aerial and circus performance –Bricolage is the brainchild of Belfast based aerialist Emmen Donnelly and will transform the warehouse space of Circusful into a dreamlike landscape inhabited by roving human creatures on the ground and in the air.

This re-imagined cabaret will feature Dublin based acrobats Anja Nicholson and Jonah McGreevy from Loosysmokes, renowned for their evocative site-specific work; Chloe Commins whose piece talks about growing up as a child of deaf parents; Sacha Krohnone of Ireland’s only aerial straps artists; local juggler extraordinaire Jacob Anderson and Monika Palova and Sean McIlraith with a duo performance on themes of female experiences and relationships, explored through duo aerial rope and the rarely seen art of hair hanging.

Bricolage is supported by Arts Council Ireland

Jon Snow in Conversation

We are delighted to welcome broadcasting legend Jon Snow to Belfast for this in conversation event with Kathy Clugston.

There has been huge media curiosity about Jon Snow’s politics over the years. In The State of Us, he issues a rallying cry to tackle inequality, to fight injustice, to diversify politics and the media, recover our sense of community and, above all, to empower the news media to tell the truth about the state of our world.

In The State of Us, Jon Snow traces how the life of the nation has changed across his five-decade career, from getting thrown out of university for protesting apartheid to interviewing every prime minister from Margaret Thatcher to Boris Johnson.

In doing so, he shows how the greatest problems at home and abroad so often come down to inequality and an unwillingness to confront it.

But that is not our fate. Despite the challenges, Snow has witnessed profound social progress. In this passionate rallying cry, he argues that at its best, journalism reflects not just who we are now, but who we can be. We’ve had enough of division; the future is for us.


Jon Snow was the face of Channel 4 News from 1989 to 2021. In that time, he reported from dozens of countries, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to Barack Obama’s inauguration, and interviewed countless world leaders including Ronald Reagan, Idi Amin, Tony Blair, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Nelson Mandela, as well as cultural icons from Malala Yousafzai to Marcus Rashford.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved Seating

Gift to the City, Micah Purnell & Rachel Ho

During the last weekend of Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, 6-7 May,
ceramicist Rachel Ho, artist and designer Micah Purnell and painter Orla Gilkeson
will leave 300 beautiful ‘gifts to the city’ around Cathedral Quarter to find and keep,
to remind us to embrace our stories of loss and self-worth.


Artists will leave 100 Kintsugi pots, 100 You Are Enough oak engravings, and 100 square abstract paintings which the public are invited to find, and keep as gifts. The art will be placed on the streets of Belfast around Cathedral Quarter on the final weekend of CQAF, 6-7 May.

Each gift will be accompanied by an invite to share anonymously how the artworks resonated with those who find them at www.gifttothecity.org where you’ll be able to read stories of difficulty and hope as the artworks are found.

Rachel Ho (www rachelho.co.uk) is a ceramicist who has exhibited nationally. Her work is inspired by Kintsugi, an ancient Japanese method of mending broken pottery with gold, resulting in more precious pots. Rachel explains: “I deliberately scar the porcelain pots to symbolize the fragility of our lives. These scars are then filled with gold lustre; expressing the mystery of new beginnings and new life even in our deepest pain. Everyone bears a scar, whether physical, mental or emotional. The scarred pots represent all our stories of loss and reflect the beauty of hope, healing and renewal.  Just as ancient pots have told stories for thousands of years, my art continues in that tradition connecting ceramics with some of our deepest stories.”

Micah Purnell (www.micahpurnell.com), whose clients include The Guardian, Elbow and the NHS, is a text based artist who has exhibited in group shows alongside Turner prize winner Douglas Gordon and global street artist JR. The award-winning artist and designer, renowned for his typographic work that took over Wembley Park during the Euros works to bring the humanities to public spaces. His well known phrase ‘You are Enough’ has appeared across the city over the last few years as giant banners and billboards. He says:

‘My work is a lot about togetherness and self-worth. The oak reminders are made by Chapel-in-the-fields who use wood as a vehicle to work with people who have mental health vulnerabilities. I hope the phrase You Are Enough will help people to cut themselves some slack from the ever demanding voices in society and recognise the spark of beauty in themselves.”

Accompanying Rachel and Micah will be Orla Gilkeson who will be leaving 100 square abstract paintings.

Orla Gilkeson (www.orlagilkesonart.com) is a contemporary Northern Irish artist whose work explores memory and a sense of place, often through abstracted landscape paintings. This collection of 100 paintings uses salvaged wood as a vehicle to communicate the importance of restoration and hope through the connections we make with what we find around us.

‘I have created 100 abstract paintings on wooden squares salvaged from old pallet boards. Each one bears a unique visual history of layers, marks, and scores with faint, gold lifelines of hope running through. We are replenished when we seek to salvage the lost and forgotten parts of ourselves and our worlds, creating threads of hope through connection.’

‘Gift to the City’ is a Passion Art project. It is dedicated to our late friend and founder Lesley Sutton, who passed away shortly after Gift to the City in Manchester, in the summer of 2022. Lesley founded Passion Art to build bridges between sacred and secular spaces through art. She was as beautiful in dying, as she was in living.

The project aims to help people feel seen and less alone, to recognise we all have our daily battles and to create a sense of hope and healing.

www.gifttothecity.org  //  #gifttothecity

@PassionArtTrail twitter @passionartuk insta

Rachel Ho
www.rachelho.co.uk  //  rachdot@hotmail.com  //  @rachelhoceramics insta  @rachelhoceramic twitter

Micah Purnell
www.micahpurnell.com  // studio@micahpurnell.com  //    @micahpurnell insta
0161 236 5459 or  07990 533 749

Orla Gilkeson
www.orlagilkesonart.com orlagilkesonart@gmail.com
@orla.gilkeson.art   insta

You can anonymously share how the gifts resonate with you: www.gifttothecity.org

Steve Harley Acoustic Band: 50 Years A Rebel – Live on Stage

Widely considered one of the most charismatic performers on stage, Steve Harley continues to play to sold-out venues across the UK and Europe. And with the recent release of the all-acoustic CD, Uncovered, the original Cockney Rebel shows no sign of slowing down.

The Acoustic Band finds Steve supported by long-standing bandmate, violinist/guitarist Barry Wickens, with Oli Hayhurst on double bass, and Dave Delarre on lead guitar.

Steve has been playing Live shows around the world for 50 years and the thrill of another night in another place to another audience has not dimmed at all. “We have real adventures on tour, “says Steve. “I’ve seen the Northern Lights, the Midnight Sun and dozens of wonderful galleries, museums and great cities, all on my down-time. I have a great life as a Wandering Minstrel!”

Uncovered includes a re-recording of Steve’s own highly-esteemed song Love, Compared With You with a newly composed third verse, plus his thus-far unrecorded Only You, and nine other songs he’s always wanted to perform.

The acoustic sets will include songs from the new CD, plus a selection from the vast and eclectic Harley Songbook. Mr Soft, Judy Teen, Sebastian and the legendary Make Me Smile will all be reproduced in the unique acoustic style.

Close-Up Culture stated: “It was an intimate night in the presence of a great musician. An individual whose passion for live performance and perfection (it shows in his face) remains undiminished.”.

Rod Stewart, who covered Steve’s song A Friend For Life, describes him as “One of the finest lyricists Britain has produced.”

MOJO said simply, “Harley creates rock songs that are proud, lyrical and full of yearning.”Steve has also been described as “A consummate performer at the top of his game,” and this show will bear that out.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

Sarah Firby: Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time

Sarah Firby has been a favourite on the NI comedy scene for 5 years, and is the founder of Coven Comedy Club.

Sarah is one of Belfast’s most exciting new standup comedians and is performing her debut solo hour for CQAF. Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time is about Fun, not having fun and the inner peace that comes from finally admitting you don’t want to. It’s a brand-new show infused with joy, wisdom, compassion and dark wit (as well as a disturbing amount of cat material).

It’s about bloody time this show happened. Sarah is funny, smart and doesn’t have time for your nonsense.” – Teresa Livingstone

Supported by The CQAF Creative Bursary programme.

Linley Hamilton: ‘Ginger’s Hollow’ Album Launch

Promising to be one of the most significant local jazz releases in many years, Linley’s new album Ginger’s Hollow is a tour de force featuring Derek DOC O’Connor (tenor sax), Cian Boylan (piano), Mark Egan (bass) and Adam Nussbaum (drums).

Linley Hamilton is a trumpeter, educator and broadcaster from Belfast who has been part of the jazz scene for over 35 years.  He has recorded 5 studio albums and has just finished recording Ginger’s Hollow with his quintet, a post-bop follow-up to the acclaimed For the Record.

Linley has maintained an academic path following up his 2009 Masters in Jazz Performance from DIT and Medal for Academic Excellence, with a PhD from Ulster University Magee in 2014, and a full-time position there  as Lecturer in Music.

Linley also has a jazz show on BBC Radio Ulster, Jazz World with Linley Hamilton, which broadcasts on Saturday nights at 9pm.

In recent years, Linley has set up Magy’s Farm with his wife Maggie, a performance space mostly for jazz from around the world.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating


piglet is the project of Irish songwriter and producer Charlie Loane, born and raised in Belfast and based in South London.

His new seven songs EP is a collection of tracks that detail his experiences of mental health, substance abuse, affirmations of self-identity, trans experience and friendship.

The EP includes re-recordings of previously released solo singles ‘mill’, ‘dans note’ and ‘oan’; songs which lead to a deal with London label Blue Flowers (Puma Blue, Nilüfer Yanya, Westerman) in early 2022.

These songs were captured in a live session by NTS Radio of piglet’s expanded 9 piece band featuring members of Goat Girl and caroline.

piglet released his first EP alex’s birthday in February 2020 on South London DIY label Double Dare, a warm set of songs which, like his writ- ing with past project Great Dad, reflects themes of queer/trans experience, but with more of a personal focus. Two collaboration tracks with friends Porridge Radio were released in February 2021 through the Secretly Canadian label.

“indie bedroom-pop artist on the rise”PAPER

“music that wastes no time in getting the point across”Loud & Quiet

“scrappy and melodic songs try to make sense of the world surrounding him”FADER

“playful at times, thought-provoking at others, unfiltered and honest throughout”So Young

“There’s something of the Xiu Xius to the way piglet combines the delicate and the disarming”DIY

Diana Jones

Award winning, US singer songwriter Diana Jones is known for her gritty, literary, Appalachian influenced songs.

Adopted as an infant and raised in Long Island, NY, the fact that Diana couldn’t get enough of her brother’s Johnny Cash records finally made sense when she found her birth family and musical roots in the Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee.

Her maternal grandfather, who had formed his first teenage band with a young Chet Atkins, was happy to pass on the culture and the music that he loved to his granddaughter. Diana’s first album My Remembrance Of You (Proper Records) in 2006 garnered rave reviews internationally and set her on a path which would see her release four further critically acclaimed albums: Better Times Will Come (2008), High Atmosphere (2011), Museum Of Appalachia Recordings (2013) and Live In Concert (2016).

She has toured the globe, including performances at prestigious events such as Cambridge Folk Festival, Galway Arts Festival, Levon Helm’s Ramble in Woodstock, NY, and Bimhuis in Amsterdam, and shared stages with the likes of Richard ThompsonJanis Ian and Mary Gauthier.

She has also appeared on world-renowned TV and radio showsLater With Jools Holland, BBC4Folk America, BBC4’sSongwriters Circle and BBC Radio 2 Country with Bob Harris.

Diana’s progressive, yet historically rich, songs have been recorded by artists including Joan Baez and Gretchen Peters and have won her awards from Kerrville Folk Festival, New Song Festival and nominations from International Folk Alliance.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

Yippee Ki Yay

“You’d have to be as heartless as Hans Gruber not to be touched and uplifted.”

James Seabright presents

Yippee Ki Yay

by Richard Marsh

Acclaimed retelling of classic film Die Hard from Richard Marsh – Fringe First-winner, London poetry slam champion, BBC Audio Drama Best Scripted Comedy Drama award-winner and New York cop (one of these is untrue). This joyfully funny show heads out on tour following rave reviews for its premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe, which also won it a London transfer.

When gunmen seize an LA skyscraper, off-duty policeman John McClane is the hostages’ only hope. This uplifting action romp (and unauthorised parody) pays affectionate tribute to the iconic 80s festive fan favourite. Essential viewing for Hans Gruber superfans and newcomers alike.

Content warning: divorce, foot trauma, German terrorists.

“Whether you’re a Die Hard fan or not, it guarantees happy trails.”

★★★★ The Guardian

“Epically entertaining show is a love letter to a masterpiece.”

★★★★ The Times

“Playful, inventive… genius creation.” ★★★★ Mail on Sunday

“An exciting, poetic dramedy gem… simply to Die Hard for.” ★★★★ Scottish Mail

“Rollicking fun!” ★★★★ British Theatre Guide

“Absolutely glorious! His rhyming Bruce Willis is spot-on, but it’s the concurrent love story that really pulls you in.” British Comedy Guide

Critic’s Choice – The Stage, Time Out, Telegraph

Cast and Creative team

Written and performed by Richard Marsh

Alternate performer Darrel Bailey

Directed by Hal Chambers

Movement and Associate Director Emma Webb

Lighting Designer Robbie Butler

Sound Designer and Composer Ben Hudson


Rob Auton: The Crowd Show

The Crowd Show is a comedy/theatre/spoken word show about crowds, people and connection. The Crowd Show is a show suitable for anybody who has been in a crowd or wants to be in the crowd for this show.

Rob Auton is an award-winning writer, actor and podcaster, named the “Brian Cox of Comedy” by the Guardian.

Rob has written eight hit Edinburgh Fringe shows, which have led to nationwide tours and television/radio appearances. Rob has had four collections of poetry and illustrations published byBurning Eye Books and Harper Collins.

In 2020, Rob started The Rob Auton Daily Podcast which went on to amass over two million listens and win a gold award for Best Daily Podcast at the British Podcast Awards.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

‘A genuine original. Poetical, philosophical, humane, completely charming and funny to boot.’  – THE GUARDIAN

‘Makes laughter out of wonder and brings us all together. We need him.’  –THE SCOTSMAN

‘Something that’ll leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy round the edges.’  – THE HERALD

‘Brilliant.’ –  STEWART LEE

Saphwat Simab + Junaid Ali + guests

Celebrating the music of Afghanistan and Beyond

Saphwat Simab (Rubab virtuoso)
An official disciple of the world’s foremost Rubab master, Ustad Homayoun Sakhi of Afghanistan, Saphwat Simab is a British-born-and-bred artist who has been learning and playing the Rubab since the age of 10.

Saphwat’s tone and melodious playing has captured the hearts of audiences at every performance, his on-stage confidence and command on the instrument as well as his command on the rhythmic cycles whilst improvising in any composition with the Tabla accompaniment is mesmerising.

Saphwat has been accompanied on stage by some of the world’s most renowned Tabla masters, such as Ustad Sukhvinder Singh “Pinky”, Pandit Sanju Sahai and Ustad Shahbaz Hussain.

He has performed at some prestigious venues, such as the Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall, the National Court Theatre, and the Nehru Centre, as well as at some other relevant venues in the UK, Germany, Switzerland and Canada.

Junaid is a tabla player amongst the younger generation. Being born and raised in London, Junaid is the student of Ustad Shahbaz Hussain and the son of Ustad Zeeshan Ali, a prominent ghazal singer. Junaid is a young exponent of the Punjab and Delhi Gharana of Tabla. Junaid hopes to carry on the legacy of his teacher and grand-father gurus, namely: Ustad Faiyyaz Khan, Ustad Allarakha Khan and Ustad Mian Shaukat Hussain Khan.

In partnership with Alghochak (Afghan Association) & Beyond Skin.

Under the current regime in Afghanistan music is forbidden. This event is Belfast sharing its City of Music status to preserve and celebrate Afghan culture.

Fern Brady: Strong Female Character (Book Launch)

Fern Brady will be in conversation about her brand new memoir, Strong Female Character. Fern will be in conversation discussing the different facets of Strong Female Character including growing up as a working-class Scottish woman, her comedy career, and her autism diagnosis.

About Strong Female Character:
If you’ve ever been on a night out where you got blackout drunk and have laughed the next day as your friends tell you all the stupid stuff you said, that’s what being autistic feels like for me: one long blackout night of drinking, except there’s no socially sanctioned excuse for your gaffes and no one is laughing.

A summary of my book: 1. I’m diagnosed with autism 20 years after telling a doctor I had it. 2. My terrible Catholic childhood: I hate my parents etc. 3. My friendship with an elderly man who runs the corner shop and is definitely not trying to groom me. I get groomed. 4. Homelessness. 5. Stripping. 6. More stripping but with more nervous breakdowns. 7. I hate everyone at uni and live with a psycho etc. 8. REDACTED as too spicy. 9. After everyone tells me I don’t look autistic, I try to cure my autism and get addicted to Xanax. 10. REDACTED as too embarrassing.

Fern Brady Author
Fern Brady is a woman. She is also autistic. She was born in Scotland (no, not Glasgow). She has no presets for being a ‘good woman’ – she never hated her body or indulged in messy millennial shame. She now lives out of wedlock in London. She has zero children.

Fern’s caustic wit, exceptional writing and electric stage craft has made her one of the UK’s hottest comedy stars. As seen on Live from the BBC, Live from the Comedy Store, The Russell Howard Hour, and Live at the Apollo. She’s had viral success with her BBC Life Lessons and supported Frankie Boyle and Katherine Ryan on tour. She was recently a contestant on Taskmaster on Channel 4.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating


Japan’s legendary BORIS are greeting their 30-year career as one of experimental music’s most forward-thinking, heavy, and innovative bands.  Continuing to expand their prolific catalog, the group returns with Heavy Rocks (2022) (via Relapse Records) and once again channels the classic proto-metal sounds of the 70’s into something all new.

Boris formed in 1992 and eventually arrived at the band’s current lineup of Takeshi, Wata, and Atsuo in 1996.  In the years since, Boris has tirelessly explored their own rendition of what is heavy through methods entirely their own.

Though the depths of their “heaviness” may intensify, their unique musicianship defies classification in any one genre or style, so let’s just call it real “heavy music” in extreme color. Their music has been called a “game changer” – at the leading edge of the world’s rock scene, and that influence is limitless.

They enter realms that cannot be described simply in terms of the “explosive sound” or “thunderous roars” that have become their trademark.

Recently, the group ramped up during the pandemic and released the most extreme album of their long and widely celebrated career, NO, a self-released the album, desiring to get it out as quickly as possible but intentionally called the final track on the album “Interlude” while planning its follow-up.

It’s successor came with W, their 2022 release for Sacred Bones RecordsNO and W weave together to form NOW, a duo of releases that respond to one another. In following their hardest album with this sensuous thundering masterpiece they are creating a continuous circle of harshness and healing, one that seems more relevant now than ever and shows the band operating at an apex of their musical career.

Doors 7.30pm | Mostly Standing


in partnership with the Japan Foundation


An issues-based music collective from Teesside in the North East of England. ‘We write songs about the urgencies that concern us. These songs are loud.’

Forming in 2019 and consisting of Kingsley Hall on vocals, Robbie Major  and Hugh Major on synths and noise with Cat Myers on drums, they quickly evolved from a fairly standard IDLES-lite shouty punk rock outfit to a highly politicised group that merges noise, hip hop, industrial rock, electronica, garage and an angry twitter feed to get it’s point across.

A resolutely DIY outfit and despite having little radio play (due to the nature of their lyrics),through their releases they have managed to gain fans as diverse as Sleaford Mods, Black Francis, Garbage, Billy Bragg and Elijah Wood as well as getting significant features in the NME, Rolling Stone, and the Quietus.

Now a formidable live outfit with numerous sold out shows and tours under their belt they aim to keep the momentum going into 2023.

Doors 7.30pm | Mostly Standing 


From the North Coast of Ireland, ferna tells the stories that otherwise get lost in the noise.

On a mission to amplify quiet sentiments and shift focus to hidden characters, ferna delivers a remarkable sound that merges the organic and the electronic, filled with conflicting emotions, fragile beauty and powerful hooks.

The musical alias of composer & singer-songwriter Hannah McPhillimyferna has performed alongside the likes of Foy Vance and The Gloaming, and more recently took home the NI Music Prize for Single of the Year for her first official single Wasting.

To celebrate the release of her debut album Understudyferna will perform a rare full-band show in the iconic setting of the Belfast Empire.

‘the future’s bright for ferna’ – BBC INTRODUCING

‘a bit of a wonder’ – THE IRISH TIMES

‘Beautiful and arresting’ – RADIO NOVA

Doors 7.30pm | Mostly Seated

Kate Rusby

Kate Rusby, hailed as the ‘First Lady of Folk’ and a Mercury Music accolade to her name, has forged an impressive 30-year, headlining career.

A folk singer at heart, she’s taken the genre to new heights appealing way beyond the folk scene and her Yorkshire roots, headlining in the UK and internationally, performing with other big names in music across genres.

She has a number of TV, radio and film credits to her name as well as her own record company and a festival, Underneath the Stars.

2023 brings to a close a year of celebrating 30 years in the business with a new album ’30 : Happy Returns’ featuring guests: Richard HawleyKT Tunstall and Ladysmith Black Mambazo to name a few.

This follows the success of her 2020 Top 10 charting covers album Hand Me Down. Kate will be joined on stage by her band, each a virtuoso in their own right including her husband and producer Damien O’ Kane.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved Seating


Julie Campbell, known as LoneLady, is an artist from Manchester. Her music is influenced by the post-punk era, later integrating dance and funk influences.

Self-taught on many instruments including guitar, bass, synths, drum machines and later learning cello, Julie writes all the parts and plays all the instruments on her recordings, with the exception of real drums.

Created on electronic sequencers, synths and drum machines in a basement bunker beneath Somerset House, London, LoneLady’s 3rd studio album Former Things is a tour-de-force of punch-and-crunch electro, r’n’b and pop, shot through with mournful eulogies to the lost golden age of childhood and youth.

She has released 3 critically-acclaimed albums on Warp: Nerve Up (2010), Hinterland (2015) and Former Things (2021).

LoneLady’s influences include Nico, Colin Newman, Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire, A Certain Ratio, Public Image Ltd. and Gang Of Four.

Doors 8.45pm | Mostly Standing

Hero of Belfast: Mary Ann McCracken Walking Tour

Dates and Times
Friday, 5 May 2023, 14.00-16.30
Saturday, 6 May, 10.00-12.30

Meeting Point
Clifton House
2 North Queen Street
BT15 1ES

Please arrive 10-15 minutes before the start of the tour.

Onsite parking is available

Experience Mary Ann McCracken’s Belfast, as you walk in the footsteps of this remarkable abolitionist, philanthropist and social reformer. Mary Ann McCracken, who was born over 250 years ago, is intrinsically linked to the city of Belfast. She lived her fearless life championing causes, moving from place to place, always on a mission to make life better for those less fortunate than herself.

Hear too about her more radical nature. Her role in the work of the United Irishmen, the 1798 rebellion and beyond. How she was devoted to her older brother Henry Joy – hanged for his leading role in the rebellion.

This walking tour takes in the locations linked to her life, her endeavours and that of her family. You will be led by an experienced guide through the same streets she walked over 200 years before. This new walking tour starts at Clifton House, where Mary Ann’s thirst for philanthropic causes first began, and where her impact can still be seen today, and finishes near Belfast City Hall.

Booking link


Early Show – 7.00pm

On Friday 5 May, U.S. indie-rock royalty Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss aka Quasi play their first Belfast show in 17 years at the Ulster Sports Club. After nearly three decades of launching drums and distorted pianos through the shifting interzones of harmony and chaos (moonlighting along the way with the likes of Sleater-Kinney, Elliott Smith, Jon Spencer and the HITmakers, Wild Flag, Built to Spill and a long list of others), the duo continue to be a genre of their own.

Hosted by self-confessed Quasi evangelists The Thin Air, this early show is part of a EU/UK tour, celebrating Breaking the Balls of History, their tenth record – and Sub Pop debut – which lands ten years after their last record, on February tenth. Three tens, which aligns with the thirty years they’ve played together. Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss have become Pacific Northwest icons, and Quasi has always felt so steadfast – their enduring friendship so generative, their energy infinite, each album more raucous and catchy and ferocious and funny than the last.

Tickets £14.

Support  From COWTOWN

Ever evolving rock band from Leeds consisting of Jonathan Nash on guitar/vocals, David Michael Shields on drums and Hilary Knott on keybass/vocals. They began life as a bizarre grungy noise duo before adding Nash and succumbing to the influence of late 70’s/early 80’s punk, post-punk and new wave; Devo, B52’s, Pere Ubu, Walls Of Voodoo, ESG, Liquid Liquid, Black Flag, Minutemen, Tom Tom Club etc, and the soundtracks that galvanised their earliest listening experiences; Teenwolf, Karate Kid, Gremlins, Beverley Hills Cop, Ghostbusters etc. Couple that with an obsessive fascination with They Might Be Giants (which explains away their namesake) and you have some idea of what to expect from the trio. Four albums in with a fifth on the way, there’s a chance you may be stuck with COWTOWN indefinitely…sorry”


Press for Breaking The Balls of History

Breaking the Balls of History is a gritty rendering of Quasi’s classic garage sound, spearheaded by the blistering single “Nowheresville,” serving as a long-awaited return to form for the band—who bring a triumphant masterclass to the forefront of Sub Pop’s modern catalog 10 years after their last record, Mole City.” [“The 33 Most Aniticpated Releases of 2023”] –PASTE

“[Queen Of Ears] Has all the Quasi earmarks: pointed lyrics, jagged melodies, skronky organ, bashing drums, and Sam & Janet’s distinctive harmonies.” – Brooklyn Vegan
“Lead single “Queen Of Ears” finds Coomes and Weiss bashing away on their keyboard and drums, respectively, lending a raw edge to an otherwise bright and poppy song. The backing vocals are clutch on this one.”- Stereogum

“A punchy blend of state-of-things stream of consciousness and melodic brightness signals the much-awaited return of Pacific Northwest legends Quasi.” – Shindig!


On their sophomore album Omens, siblings Kim and Mike Rauss AKA Kayam set off on an ethereal, psychedelic journey of self-discovery building on the success of debut albumSand to Snow.

From the intimacy of folk to indie-pop, Kayam’s sound reflects a lot of nuances and originality rooted in their multicultural upbringing in places like England, Germany, and Israel.

It is in their live performances that Kayam really excel. Kim, who provides stunning vocals, also plays the Celtic Harp.

Mike is a versatile performer who plays guitar and sings. In addition, he also builds intricate fabrics of looped parts, often using his guitar as a percussive instrument and even beatboxing from time to time.  One of the hidden gems of the festival we think.

Not Now

Not Now is a sharply written, heartfelt comedy about the past, identity and moving on – from David Ireland – the multi-award-winning author of Cyprus Avenue.

You’re an Irish Daniel Radcliffe.”
“I’m British!”
“You’re a British Daniel Radcliffe. From Ireland.”

The morning after his father’s funeral, an unsure and still grief-stricken Matthew prepares to fly to London to audition for the prestigious drama school, RADA.

When his painter-decorator Uncle Ray interrupts his private rendition of Richard III’s opening monologue to offer some unwanted direction and dubious career advice, Matthew starts to doubt whether he should really be leaving Belfast in the first place.

Or is Belfast where he truly belongs?

David Ireland’s dialogue is nonstop sparkle; the development of the play is beautifully judged in Max Elton’s production, as the boy (Matthew Blaney) moves from gangle and sullenness to candour and the uncle (Stephen Kennedy) from joviality to reluctant disclosure.

There is, as always with Ireland, an unflinching look at Protestant politics, but Not Now adds different notes. His greatest play so far, Cyprus Avenue, was a satire fuelled by an imaginative flight of which Jonathan Swift would have been proud. This drama has a new warmth. It also clinches on a beautiful reanimation of Shakespeare’s words about changing “dreadful marches to delightful measures”. The Guardian. Review of  Glasgow production.

★★★★★Five Stars, London Theatre 1

★★★★★Five Stars, Close Up Culture

★★★★The Guardian

★★★★Four Stars, The Observer

★★★★Four Stars, The Stage

★★★★Four Stars, Daily Mail

★★★★Four Stars, Morning Star

Off West End Award Nomination for LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY Matthew Blaney

Off West End Award Nomination for LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY Stephen Kennedy

This production was first produced in association with Neil McPherson at the Finborough Theatre’

Approximately 50 minutes with no intervals.

Production Team

Director: MAX ELTON
Designer: CECI CALF
Sound Designer and Composer: JACK BAXTER
Lighting Designer: MATTIS LARSON
Associate Producer: BRIAR KNOWLES
Producer: SARAH ROY


Continuing on from one of his biggest years yet, which included a mini UK & IRE tour and not only performing but being nominated in two categories at the NI Music PrizeLeo Miyagee is one to watch.

Having established himself locally, Leo’s reach is growing across the water, with his rhythmic flow, poetic one-liners and picturesque sounding beats. He’s fast becoming one of the faces of urban music in the north.

Doors 7.45pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

Jolie Holland

Jolie Holland grew up playing music in Houston, Texas and was a traveling musician as a teenager. She formed The Be Good Tanyas with Samantha Parton in Vancouver in 1999. Shortly before The Be Good Tanyas released their debut record, Blue Horse, in 2001, Jolie Holland settled in San Francisco. It was there that she recorded the songs that eventually became Catalpa, released in 2003

Over the span of her career, Jolie Holland has knotted together a century of American song—jazz, blues, soul, rock and roll—into some stew that is impossible to categorize with any conventional critical terminology.

This is her burden and her gift, to know all of these American songs of the last ten decades in her head and her heart, and to have to wrestle with their legacy. She dives straight to the pathos of a song the way the very greatest singers, singers like Mavis Staples, or Al Green, or Skip James, or Tom Waits do.

As evident on her first recordings, Holland has no fear of the truth, and there is no emotional core that she cannot reach in song. In fact she thrives on the red hot centre of a musical composition, in all its strange and brutal detail.

Which brings us to Wine Dark Sea. Listeners to Holland’s work will recognize how her writing over the years has deepened and matured. The classic Holland lyrical concerns are evident in songs like Palm Wine Drunkard, and St. Dymphna, and Out on the Wine Dark Sea, all of which mix a density of literature and poetry to brutalities of romantic love, to the fragmentation of self and narrator in a torrent of loss and grief.

There has been no album of the recent decade with quite this sonic ambition, with quite this command of what a rock and roll song is and ought to be, but Wine Dark Sea is all of that.It is the album of a lifetime with a lifetime of work in it.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved Seating

Blind Stitch

is a project which features the music of Kevin Murphy, a celebrated cellist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter from Cork Ireland.

He is also a founding member of critically acclaimed Irish experimental bands Slow Moving Clouds and Seti The First. Blind Stitch has just released its debut album – The Emperor’s Lung.

Kevin has featured as a guest musician with many Irish and international artists such as The National, Bon Iver, Jenny Lewis, Lisa Hannigan, Gavin Friday, Rick Danko, Seamus Fogarty, Adrian Crowley and Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode.

He has also collaborated with Irish traditional and folk musicians such as John Spillane, Cathy JordanPhil Callery Cormac Breathnach, and Ger Wolfe in live settings and on recordings.

His band Seti The First co-wrote two songs on The Waterboys 2017 album Out Of All This Blue. He also participates in the People collective spearheaded by Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Bryce and Aaron Dessner (The National). This has resulted in collaborations with the above artists and others in festivals across Europe in recent years including the Funkhaus in Berlin 2018 and Sounds from a Safe Harbour Cork in 2017 and 2019.

He has co-composed the score for Michael Keegan Dolan’s Swan Lake/Loch na Heala hailed by the Guardian Newspaper as the second best dance production of the 21st Century.

Kevin co-composed the score for feature film Tomato Red (2017) directed by Oscar long listed director Juanita Wilson and The Lodgers, (2018) which featured at the Toronto Film Festival. He has just finished co-composing the score for acclaimed Irish director Kim Bartley’s new feature documentary True Grit released in 2022.

Glasshouse performs Aphex Twin

Glasshouse is a Dublin–based music ensemble and arts organisation. Their mission is to elevate Irish music through commissioning and collaboration. They combine sound, space and visual design to create unforgettable live music experiences.

This event features chamber ensemble and electronics, accompanied by striking visual projections. Enjoy Glasshouse’s lush and soaring take on Aphex Twin, one of the most influential figures in electronic music.

‘Glasshouse are among the highest calibre of musicians the nation has to offer.’ NIALLER9

Badly Drawn Boy: 25 years of Badly Drawn Boy

Damon Gough aka Badly Drawn Boy has embarked on a a series of intimate shows to celebrate 25 years of releasing music. The shows will feature a career-spanning set of hits and fan favourites as well as being his first full headline tour since 2020’s album Banana Skin Shoes.

“I’ll be playing songs from across my career, including favourites and some rarities and deep cuts. I’d like to think this is the tour I’d want to see if I was a long-time fan. Very much looking forward to it and hope to see you there.” – Damon Gough (aka Badly Drawn Boy)

It’s hard to predict what he will play from such a beautiful and eclectic discography that over nine albums has earned him the reputation as one of the U.K’s most treasured songwriters.

From his still-towering, Mercury Prize winning debut The Hour Of Bewilderbeast in 2000 to the enthralling soundtrack to Nick Hornby adaptation About A Boy (from 2002,) Have You Fed The Fish? (also 2002) which featured You Were Right, his biggest single to date.

Then there was the mental-state-of-the-nation epic Born In The U.K. (2006) and his most recent album Banana Skin Shoes which was met with great acclaim from critics.

Damon is expected mix it up each night and when you’ve got a repertoire like his, why wouldn’t you?

Doors 7.30pm | Mostly Seated

Sleeping Beauty

On the eve of her birthday Rose pricks her finger on her birthday badge, propelling her into a sleepy state where she is mystically enticed from slumber into fairytale land.

Whilst there, Rose makes some new friends who aren’t all what they appear to be. With the help of fantastical flying orbs, a shape-shifting witch, and a neurotic knight, Rose meanders her way through the mystical magical land, returning home to Dad with a big message.

This modern musical adaption of the classic fairytale places deaf and hearing artists together in central roles. Featuring sign song, music, an interactive vibrational sound experience, and puppetry. It’s for all the family and is played in a relaxed environment, making it accessible to all audiences.

Doors 10.30am | Unreserved seating

Getting it Back: The Story of Cymande (NI Film Premiere)

The sons of Windrush parents, Cymande’s music combined influences from funk, calypso, soul and jazz, rock and African rhythms. Their sound ended up being one of the building blocks of hip hop, house and garage, sampled by the likes of De La Soul and Wu-Tang Clan. The story of Cymande is the story of the struggle of black British music, with some banging tunes along the way.

The first British band to play at Harlem’s legendary Apollo, their message of peace, love and funk sailed far beyond Britain’s shores and helped shape music for five decades. Long after they stopped playing in the 1970s, their innovative jazz-rock-funk music played on, with tracks including the iconic ‘Bra’ sampled by the likes of De La Soul, Wu-Tang Clan, the Sugarhill Gang, MC Solaar and the Fugees, so they returned to play some more. In Getting it Back, their story is told on screen for the first time, with tributes from a galaxy of musicians and producers influenced and enthralled by their music, includingMark Ronson, Norman Jay, Jazzie B, DJ Maseo of De la Soul, Jim James and Louie Vega.

Doors 12.30pm | Tickets £5.00


Jimi Hendrix (Film)

A moving and exhilarating celebration of the greatest rock guitarist that ever drew breath.  Featuring classic concert footage of Hendrix from 1967 to 1970, including the Monterey Pop Festival the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, Woodstock and a Berkeley concert.  Join us for a rare screening.

Made fifty years ago – and just three years after his untimely death, Jimi Hendrix is a moving and exhilarating celebration of the greatest rock guitarist that ever drew breath.

Co-directed by legendary music producer Joe Boyd, this wonderful film contains classic concert footage of Hendrix from 1967 to 1970, including the Monterey Pop Festival the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, Woodstock and a Berkeley concert. There are interviews by Hendrix’ contemporaries, family and friends. Others appearing in the film include Paul Caruso, Eric Clapton, Billy Cox, Alan Douglas, Germaine Greer, Hendrix’ father, James A. “Al” Hendrix, Mick Jagger, Eddie Kramer, Buddy Miles, Mitch Mitchell, Juggy Murray, Little Richard, Lou Reed and Pete Townshend.

Join us for a rare screening of this priceless musical document in remembrance of a stone-cold legend.

Doors 2.30pm | Tickets £6.00


Lara Ricote : GRL/LATNX/DEF

WINNER: Dave’s Best Newcomer at Edinburgh Fringe 2022

Lara’s a small Latin American girl (woman?) who won the Funny Women 2021 (right, ‘woman’) Stage Award and is now doing a show about what it’s like to be Latin and deaf and a girl who’s now a woman at the same time.

You know, minority jokes for majority crowds. If you read this and you don’t come, what’s that say about you? Huh? You hate disabled people? Maybe come and prove you don’t. Love you.


As seen on E4, Comedy Central and Dave.

Performance captioned by Claire Hill: Wed 25 Jan, 8.30pm

Doors 1.30pm | Unreserved Seating

Susan O’Neill

Susan has spent the last few years honing her craft as a solo performer. A songwriter of hidden depths, with a timeless voice that is equal parts balm and blowtorch, she is audacity personified, a free spirit; a real performer.

As of now she is Ireland’s best kept secret, however with the release of In The Game her collaboration album with Mick Flannery that has all changed.

In The Game saw Susan receive nominations for theChoice Music prize and the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards for ‘Album of the Year’, ‘Female Folk Artist’ of the Year, and take home the Best Original Folk Track award for the collaborative song Chain Reaction.

Susan was also shortlisted for the Vanda and Young Award for her song These Are the Days.  The collaboration album ended up being the biggest selling Irish independent record of 2021.

Susan’s song Now you see It from her EP of the same name won the 2022 RTE Radio 1 ‘Best Original Folk Song’ of the year.

Doors 1.30pm | Unreserved seating

‘Superb” – Clash Magazine

“Sorrowful Masterpiece” – American Songwriter

“I love this fucking record”  – Phoebe Bridgers

★★★★“Two stars are reborn”  – The Irish Times

9/10 “Electrifying energy”  – Hot Press

★★★★ “Exquisite”  – Sunday Business Post

★★★★“Seductive, beautifully crafted album”  – The Sunday Times

★★★★‘It’s been a long long time since a record like this has come around”- The Independent

“The most beautiful duet album to be released this year” – Heaven Magazine 

Jude Rogers: The Sound of Being Human

We are delighted to welcome writer Jude Rogers to CQAF to discuss The Sound of Being Human–a brillant memoir which explores how music influences and shapes our lives. 

Blending memoir, incisive music criticism and scientific analysis– with the help of psychologists, biologists and academics – Rogers anatomises the powerful effects of music on its listeners. There’s a magic to the way that music makes us feel, and Rogers’s fascinating research only intensifies it.

Since 2005, Jude has written for the Guardian, the Observer, the Sunday Times, the Times Saturday Review, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, MOJO, Q, NME, The Quietus and The Gentlewoman.

She has written many cover stories and interviews, as well as many personal, heartfelt pieces about her love of music. Jude’s favourite anecdotes include Chrissie Hynde spontaneously painting her portrait in her flat at the end of an interview; sharing a Pret fish salad in New York with Björk after been flown over to America by her; Robert Plant making her a cup of PG Tips in Nashville while singing a Welsh hymn, and Lady Gaga feeding her whisky backstage at the O2, while she danced over her lap in her pants.

 ‘Too often we treat popular music as wallpaper surrounding us as we live our lives. Jude Rogers shows the emotional and cerebral heft such music can have. It’s a personal journey which becomes universal. Fascinating.’ – Ian Rankin

‘A stunning hybrid of memoir and music, sound tracking the indelible nature of sound. Rogers’ moving, lyrical sentences sing and stop you in your tracks.’–  Sinéad Gleeson

‘Moving and absorbing, The Sound Of Being Human mixes memoir, analysis, anecdote and personal chronicle into a mosaic that evokes what music means to the individual and the human tribe. A candid, beautiful read.’ – Stuart Maconie

‘Personal but universal,The Sound Of Being Human is a moving, funny and very smart exploration of what music does to you and how it does it.’ – Alexis Petridis

‘A perfect blend of the personal and the scientific, this is a fascinating and quietly brilliant book.’ – Brett Anderson

New Statesman Books to Read in 2022
GuardianBook to Watch in 2022

Doors 2.30pm | Unreserved seating

Tim Key: Mulberry

Tim Key (Alan Partridge, The Witchfinder,Tim Key’s Late Night Poetry Programme) is back with an all-new show. Ruminations about the great indoors with a bit of stamping around. Velour tracksuit, continental lagers, some “poetry”.

‘The greatest stand-up response to Lockdown so far’★★★★★The TimesKey’s new book,Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush, is available to buy at all good bookshops and at www.utterandpress.co.uk

Presented by The MAC and Plosive Live in association with PBJ Management

Doors 7:15pm | Tickets £18


Written over a period of over a year in lockdown, At the Hotspot, produced by Joe Goddard and Al Doyle of Hot Chip, takes the raucous energy Warmduscher solidified on their critically acclaimed 2019 release Tainted Lunch, and injects it with a slightly more polished, ‘80s funk sound, kind of like stumbling home to your squatted loft after a drunken night at the local disco.

It’s crunchy on the outside, smooth on the inside, and might be the most immediately enjoyable music Warmduscher have ever graced us with.

The bulk of Warmduscher’s discography – the aforementioned Tainted Lunch, as well as 2018’s Whale City and 2016’s Khaki Tears – were produced by London stalwart Dan Carey, who was instrumental in helping the band hone their fuzzed out sound.

Unfortunately, at the beginning of At the Hotspot’s recording process, Dan caught COVID, and the band found themselves having to leave their comfort zone and find a new producer fast.

Luckily, they found two, under serendipitous circumstances.  “I was in the studio with Joe and Al of Hot Chip, doing an electronic project with Igor Cavallera of Sepultura and his wife, artist/musician Laima,” explains Clams. “When I got the message saying Dan couldn’t do the album, I was like, ‘Aw, fuck!’ Then Joe and Al were simply like, ‘We’ll do it!’ It was this really weird, happy accident.”

While At the Hotspot is still very much a Warmduscher album, with all its cracks and crevices oozing garage rock bravado, the production values buff out those jagged edges in a way only these two virtuoso producers could have pulled off.

“We’re just really psyched to play this whole thing live now,” states Clams matter-of-factly. “And it’s a whole revamp—new label, new producers, new logo—new everything.”

Doors 7.30pm | Mostly Standing

Joby Fox

Joby Fox’s new album I Once Was a Hawk Now I’m a Dove was recorded in Denmark with a young jazz group and in collaboration with one of Denmark’s top producers, Søren Mikkelsen in Medley Studios, Copenhagen. The songs are a great amalgamation of two cultures, fusing folk, pop and jazz.

Joby Fox is a native of Belfast, a songwriter, musician and storyteller, and a humanitarian; A diverse artist living between Belfast and Denmark with his roots firmly in Irish soil.

Joby is playing CQAF as part of a series of acoustic solo performances, stripped back to the bare bones which exposes the quality and raw power of the songs.

‘He has always been an emotional artist, but this is exceptional work.’ – STUART BAILLIE, BELFAST TELEGRAPH

Bernadette Morris: To The Well For Water Album Launch

Folk and traditional Irish singer-songwriter Bernadette Morris is an engaging performer who takes audiences on an emotional journey with a repertoire of songs that speak from and to the heart.

Bernadette is not only an extremely talented singer, performer, fiddle player and entertainer, she is also an exceptional songwriter.

Ten years on from the release of her critically acclaimed debut album at the CQAF, this is the launch of her latest album To the Well for Water recorded with Ben McAuley.

The recording has an array of talented musicians including Seán Óg Graham and Gerardy Thompson on guitar, Marie Morris on fiddle, Ryan Beagan on Bass, Enda Scahill on banjo and Rohan Young on bodhrán.

The album is a stunning mix of self-penned songs and co-writes with Johnny Brady, Cormac Neeson and Matt McGinn, amongst others.

‘Bernadette Morris is an amazing artist. She’s a powerful voice and a powerful female voice in Irish music.’ – RALPH McCLEAN, BBC

‘Pure of pipes, like an Irish Kate Rusby’ – THE SCOTSMAN

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

Expecting by Charis McRoberts

Shauna and Robbie are expecting… different things. Shauna expects motherhood won’t be easy. Robbie can’t wait to be a dad. Then she arrives.

Encountering financial difficulties alongside the arrival of baby Aisling and the barriers Shauna faces, Robbie spirals. Can Shauna and Robbie adjust their expectations and find a way back to one another? Break down barriers with C21 Theatre Company in an accessible new show as Shauna and Robbie plunge into parenthood. Will they sink or swim?

Directed by Stephen Kelly.

Please note: Both performances will be BSL interpreted.

Bone Machine play the music of Tom Waits

Bone Machine are a band of internationally renowned touring and recording musicians who perform a rebrand, melancholic, and punk jazz set of Tom Waits songs.

Whether or not the songs of Tom Waits play a central roll in your music collection, you simply have to experience this show live to feel the heaven-opening maelstrom of beauty scarcely captured by a live band.

From hits such as Martha, to I hope that I don’t fall in love with you, to Downtown Train, Bone Machine bring the heart, sweat and soul to performances brimming with a ramshackle sophistication and honesty as well as the renowned Waitsian monologues full of the funny anecdotes – for which Mr Waits is universally celebrated.

Their version of What’s He Building in There? has been critically applauded from Durban to Doolin!

From bourbon soaked ballads to evocative Godliness and anarchic elegance, there has never been a show that has captured the golden thread of what makes Tom Waits such a legend until now!

Ladies and gentlemen, let us present to you… BONE MACHINE!

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

Children of Zeus

Elixir live hip-hop Showcase is delighted to make a return to this year’s Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival hosting Children of Zeus at the Oh Yeah Centre. 

Children of Zeus are a soul / hip-hop group from two of Manchester’s most respected artists Konny Kon and Tyler Daley. With both being recognised MCs and beat makers in their own right, the music they make is a reference / reflection and a nod to the music of their childhood influences and their taste for timeless sounds.

Children of Zeus came to break the trend and bring a soulful music to the forefront which was felt with the introduction of Story so Far and repeated with Travel Light providing a much needed continuation of Manchester’s rich musical history. Working with the likes of Beat Butcha on their latest project Balance, Children of Zeus have built up a solid fan base and reputation for a serious live show.

We are delighted to welcome multi–instrumentalists, Belfast Groove Collective on support, specialising in Hip-Hop, Jazz, soul and R&B with guest vocalists.

Northern Irish DJ collective Antidote DJs will host the night and fill in the blanks before, after and in between live performances.

Tom Hingley (Solo, Acoustic)

Tom Hingley is the former frontman of one of the founding members of Manchester’s The Inspiral Carpets.

Tom was the frontman during their most successful period from 1989 – 1995 finally leaving the band in 2011, singing on iconic tracks such as ‘This Is How It Feels’, ‘She Comes In The Fall’, ‘Saturn 5’, ‘Joe’, ‘Sackville’ and many more.

He’s since toured the world as a solo artist as well as with his bands ‘The Lovers’ & ‘The Kar-Pets’ and brings his new show of Inspiral’s classics and solo material to CQAF.

Doors 7.30pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

Brian Bilston

Brian Bilston has been described as Twitter’s unofficial Poet Laureate; with over 200,000 followers on social media, Brian has become truly beloved by the online community.

His first collection of poetry, You Took the Last Bus Home, was published by Unbound. Diary of a Somebody (Picador) was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the McKitterick Prize. Alexa, What Is There To Know About Love?, his last collection, was described by one reviewer as ‘the funniest collection of humorous verse I have seen in a long time’. His poem ‘Refugees’ was set to music by Mark-Anthony Turnage for his 2019 song cycle of the same name, and Fifty Ways to Score a Goal, a collection of poems about football for children, was published in 2021.

Days Like These: An Alternative Guide to the Year in 366 Poems is his latest book and is out now in hardback, a brilliant collection of poems that will take the blues out of Monday, flatten the Wednesday hump and amplify that Friday feeling, from January through to December.

Brian Bilston is a poet clouded in the pipe smoke of mystery. Very little is known about him other than the fragments of information revealed on social media: his penchant for tank tops, his enjoyment of Vimto, his dislike of Jeremy Clarkson.

Doors 1.30pm | Unreserved Seating

Paddy Godfrey & Matt McCrum

A delicious feast of Americana by two of Belfast’s finest singer-songwriters.

Paddy Godfrey:
Paddy Godfrey  is a solo country/folk singer from Belfast with a range of original songs in which he has taken inspiration from the likes of Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. He has been playing around the country for a number of years from the corners of traditional pubs to the stages of festivals such as Stendhal.

Matt McCrum
Lisburn-based singer songwriter Matt McCrum is equipped with an arsenal of cowboy lullabies depicting a life of desperation, addiction, isolation and everything in between while navigating your way through adulthood.

Taking inspiration from the likes of John Prine, Willie Nelson and Townes Van Zandt, Matt has been steadily gigging around Belfast for many years.

Doors 1.30pm | Unreserved seating

Niamh Dunne

Niamh Dunne of Beoga fame has released her first solo project of self-penned songs to a rapturous critical welcome. The album Tides was released September 2022.

After Beoga’s six albums, a shortlist for a Grammy and numerous international tours, Niamh is no stranger to reaching a wider international audience as a result of the band co-writing Ed Sheeran’s massive hits Galway Girl and Nancy Mulligan and appearing as Ed’s special guests on his headlining Glastonbury 2017 performance and subsequent Irish tour.

This is Niamh’s first solo project in ten years and her first ever album made up entirely of self-penned songs.

The album is in two halves; one based on story songs inspired by traditional Irish songs and the other half based on singer-songwriter style, introspective songs that look at lived experience, feminism, family, history and connection.

Both halves are a reflection on her life as a musician, from her traditional roots with the Traveller family The Dunne’s right up to writing with contemporary acts like Foy Vance and Ed Sheeran in recent years. This album is a chance to lend her own voice, with all its contradictions and nuances, to the musical landscape.

‘An unhurried, thoughtful collection that’s full of heart and soul. A long player to be savoured deep into the night.’ **** IRISH TIMES

Doors 2.30pm | Unreserved seating

Tim Key: Mulberry

Tim Key (Alan Partridge, The Witchfinder,Tim Key’s Late Night Poetry Programme) is back with an all-new show. Ruminations about the great indoors with a bit of stamping around. Velour tracksuit, continental lagers, some “poetry”.

‘The greatest stand-up response to Lockdown so far’★★★★★The TimesKey’s new book,Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush, is available to buy at all good bookshops and at www.utterandpress.co.uk

Presented by The MAC and Plosive Live in association with PBJ Management

Doors 7:15pm | Tickets £18

Waiting For Guffman (Film)

The town of Blaine, Missouri may be small, but eccentric stage director Corky St. Clair (Christopher Guest) always dreams big.

Determined to get back to the bright lights of “off-off-off-off-Broadway,” he casts a ragtag group of amateur actors in Red, White & Blaine, a musical celebration of the burg’s 150th anniversary — and when word gets out that New York talent scout Mort Guffman will be in the audience, Corky’s hopes of stardom just might come true.

Shot in 29 days in a small suburb near Austin with one Super 16 camera and no script, director-star Guest’s cult-hit mockumentary was created entirely in collaboration with a superstar cast of improvisational talents, including Eugene Levy, Fred Willard, Bob Balaban, Parker Posey, and, supremely, Catherine O’Hara, as travel agent–cum–theatrical hopeful Sheila Albertson; her audition duet of Midnight at the Oasis with her husband Ron (Willard), performed in matching windbreakers, is so marvellously painful you can’t wait for the mainstage production.

The film that no less than Meryl Streep once as named as her favourite, Waiting for Guffman is both hilarious and heart-warming. Join us in the Green Room for the best movie ever made about theatre!

‘A superb send-up of small-town amateur dramatics’ Empire

‘…the unmistakable delusions of grandeur that are shared by amateurs and professionals alike. All that, and we are treated to the sight of The Remains of the Day lunch boxes. What more could you want?’  The Independent

Doors 5.30pm | Unreserved Seating 


An Evening with Ron Sexsmith

The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival is delighted to present this special evening in the company of one of Canada’s greatest songwriters as he marks the release of new album The Vivian Line.

 The Vivian Line is the 17th album entry in Ron Sexsmith’s compelling discography, one matched by very few contemporary singer/songwriters.

His catalogue has earned him immense peer respect and a loyal international following, and this new release (February 2023) captures Ron at the top of his creative game.

These new songs all flowed from Sexsmith’s fertile musical and lyrical imagination in a short period of 2021 during covid. “The songs came out of nowhere,” Ron explains. “I wasn’t really writing after the [2020] release of my previous album, Hermitage. The older I get, the more I think ‘maybe this is it,’ but then I find myself with new ideas again and got excited.”

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

Otoboke Beaver + Drinking Boys and Girls Choir (Support)

Otoboke Beaver are a punk-rock-garage quartet from Kyoto, Japan. Formed at Kyoto University’s music club, the band consists of Accorinrin (Lead Vocal & Guitar), Yoyoyoshie (Guitar & Vocals), Hirochan (Bass & Vocals) and Kahokiss (Drums & Vocals).

Acco’s off-kilter, self-taught, compositional and confrontational performance skills, together with the band’s incredible musicianship make for a thrilling and unmissable live act.

Damnably Records released the compilation Okoshiyasu!! in March 2016, which was championed by Gideon Coe and Tom Ravenscroft on BBC6Music and John Kennedy on XFM.

2017 was a breakthrough year for the band, with attention from Pitchfork, NPR, i-D and The Fader and more, acclaimed debuts at SXSW and FujiRock Festival, a sold-out show in London’s legendary 100 Club, and their Love Is Short 7” charted in the UK for 4 weeks.

In 2018 the band’s ‘ATTYUUMA’ tour saw them travel over 24,000 miles in a week on a brief UK tour that was bookmarked by slots at Coachella Music Festival. Recent converts include Tadanobu Asano, Aidan Moffat and The Cribs, the latter describing them as “PUNK AS F*CK”.

After kicking things off at the SXSW 2019 music opening party and a run of wild showcases, the band released new album ITEKOMA HITS in April on Damnably, receiving widespread acclaim from the likes of Pitchfork, Stereogum, NYLON, BrooklynVegan and many more.

They made their European debut at Lowlands Festival in The Netherlands, appeared as part of the line up at Koyabu Sonic Festival in Japan, and composed the opening theme song for Japanese comedy series Susumu Inomata & 8 Mojo.

In 2020 the band were about to embark on a world tour. They completed a two week tour in Europe and were getting ready to start their first US tour when the world locked down due to the pandemic.

With touring no longer possible during that time, the band worked on new music. In preparation for the release of their new album, the band are looking forward picking up where they left off and will finally be on their way to world domination in 2023.

Doors 7.30pm | Mostly Standing


in partnership with the Japan Foundation           

Ichiko Aoba

Critically acclaimed Japanese singer, guitarist and composer Ichiko Aoba has announced a short tour of the US and continental Europe.

2022 was a momentous year for Aoba, with her US, UK and EU tours selling out and thousands of new fans falling for her unique and utterly spellbinding brand of music that crosses the boundaries of ambient folk, psych,  jazz and classical.

Her live shows have spawned viral buzz across  social networks, where she plays favourites from 10 years worth of rich catalogue as well as from her latest opus, Windswept Adan. 

Ichiko Aoba’s work gained greater exposure during the pandemic as the need for comfort grew while we sequestered in solitude. She has a rare musical gift that is matched only by her ability to hone it into meticulous craft.

Her music embraces and elevates alone time to a generous and tranquil place. In it, listeners are invited to feel a sense of consolation and possibility – a sensation which is mirrored in her live performances.

Doors 7.30pm | Mostly Standing

in partnership with the Japan Foundation

Sticky City

Alice and Jamie are putting on a party (and it’s on Jamie’s Birthday!)

Words, performance, theatre by Alice Malseed, music by Jamie Nevin.

Sticky City by Alice Malseed is an in-progress rehearsed performance of a new piece exploring dating, imperialism and chaos.

This is Alice’s candid, visceral and fresh theatrical response to being told by some men that she can’t write, while others think her writing is all about them. It asks what will Belfast be without its gory core? Do we risk becoming somewhere boring like Milton Keynes? What happens to people and places, when they stop craving chaos?

From the theatre maker/writer behind The Half Moon, Anthem and Jellyfish.

Dramaturg and Director – Katherine Nesbitt
Sound Design and Composition – Sophie Price

Alice will be joined by Jamie Nevin, her boyfriend (a lovely non-chaotic man who provides no juicy content for her writing).

Jamie is a DJ who’s been collecting and performing music for over 14 years – boasting a singular, uncompromising, necessarily eclectic sonic palette that spans the far reaches of the world and always finds soul, familiarity, space and depth.

Supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Cá a nDeachaigh Mé? Where am i going?

Cá a ndeachaigh mé? Where am i going?

“Cá a ndeachaigh mé?” is a 16mm experimental film that delves into how emigration can transform our sense of self, sometimes requiring us to leave not only our home geographically but also linguistically. The film follows a young couple’s emotional journey from the countryside of Donegal to Glasgow, as they navigate new cultural landscapes.

Through a dynamic and poignant soundscape, the film highlights the challenges that come with moving and acclimatising to a new place, and how this often can lead to a morphing of both identity and relationships.


Fionnuala McCormack – Director
Lia Campbell – Producer
Étáin Saoirse Sweeney – Audio Director & Co Creator

Production Company: Dumbworld



With support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Meath County Council Arts Office and Creative Ireland

Reginald D Hunter (Extra Show)

Since his arrival in the UK Reginald’s searingly honest observations both onstage and on TV have garnered him a cross-generational fan base.

His TV appearances have included Have I Got News For You?, and two series of the BBC2’s hugely popular Reginald D Hunter’s Songs Of The South & Songs of The Border, documenting Reginald’s epic road trip through 150 years of American popular song.

Reginald has been performing comedy in the UK for over 20 years. During that time he has become one of the Comedy industry’s best-known performers for his distinctive take on the most diverse range of subjects.

His work can be brutally honest and is often considered to be controversial but it is always meticulously thought out and he has never been afraid to face challenging issues head on even when the focus is on his own principles or beliefs.

Doors 3.30pm | Unreserved Seating

‘ Reginald D Hunter joins the top rank of stand-up working today…a comedian going for broke, flying in the face of received opinion in a way that is simply exhilarating…this is comedy of a rare scope.’ THE TIMES

‘Compelling onstage charisman. He remains a towering presence in absolute control.’ EVENING STANDARD

Reginald D Hunter

Since his arrival in the UK Reginald’s searingly honest observations both onstage and on TV have garnered him a cross-generational fan base.

His TV appearances have included Have I Got News For You?, and two series of the BBC2’s hugely popular Reginald D Hunter’s Songs Of The South & Songs of The Border, documenting Reginald’s epic road trip through 150 years of American popular song.

Reginald has been performing comedy in the UK for over 20 years. During that time he has become one of the Comedy industry’s best-known performers for his distinctive take on the most diverse range of subjects.

His work can be brutally honest and is often considered to be controversial but it is always meticulously thought out and he has never been afraid to face challenging issues head on even when the focus is on his own principles or beliefs.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved Seating

‘ Reginald D Hunter joins the top rank of stand-up working today…a comedian going for broke, flying in the face of received opinion in a way that is simply exhilarating…this is comedy of a rare scope.’ THE TIMES

‘Compelling onstage charisman. He remains a towering presence in absolute control.’ EVENING STANDARD

Patti Smith – Electric Poet (Film Screening)

Dirs. Anne Cutaia, Sophie Peyrard / France / 2022 / 54 mins

Landing in New York upon the ashes of post-hippie culture, twenty-year-old Patti Smith, will upset all the existing codes: cliché rock’n’roll, the overly prosaic poetry, the perpetually elitist culture, and the restrictive idea of gender.

During her fifty-year career, with only one commercial hit, she achieved the feat of becoming a living legend without ever leaving the fringes of society. A punk at heart, she positions art as a political force and freedom as a necessity.

Doors 1:30pm | Tickets £6.00

Miki Berenyi: Fingers Crossed: How Music Saved Me from Success

Miki Berenyi is a singer, songwriter and guitarist, best known as a member of the indie band Lush and currently a member of Piroshka.

Described as “an extraordinary life story” by MOJO Magazine, her critically acclaimed autobiography, Fingers Crossed: How Music Saved Me from Success tracks the trials and tribulations of being a female singer-songwriter rising to fame in the 90’s.

The book begins with her childhood of extremes. From the bohemian lifestyle of her father’s social circle to the glamour of her mother’s acting career, Miki’s young life was a blur of travel, celebrities and private schooling.

But frequent relocation, parental neglect and the dark presence of her abusive grandmother resulted in crippling shyness, mental health issues and a vulnerability to exploitation. The route out of this hole was music – a passion shared by schoolmate Emma Anderson. The teenagers began attending gigs together and would eventually go on to form Lush.

Peppered with anecdotes involving a cast of hundreds (including Blur, Sean Connery, Tracey Emin, Pearl Jam and the Red Hot Chili Peppers), this uncompromising autobiography documents Lush’s thrilling rise, dispiriting fall and subsequent bounce back, reliving the tours, recording sessions and problematic managers they experienced along the way.

At the heart of the book are Miki’s own battles: the conflict between her mouthy public persona and her thin-skinned private identity; the trials of being a woman in an infuriatingly male world; the struggle to find a middle ground between safe indie obscurity and sell-out international success.

The memoir also explores Miki’s complex relationship with Emma – one that has fluctuated between camaraderie and rivalry over the years – and addresses the most devastating tragedy of all: the suicide of her soulmate, Lush drummer Chris Acland.

Told through frank confession, wry humour and emotional honesty, this is the incredible tale of a trailblazing woman and a seminal band.

Doors 3.45pm  |  Unreserved seating

Andy White

Belfast songwriterAndy White’snew album This Garden is only Temporary is out now on vinyl release and we’re delighted he’s coming to Out to Lunch for its launch and his first Belfast show since before the pandemic.

Touring Canada, Andy met LA producer Steve Dierkens. They hit it off and these songs came together in Calgary, Melbourne, and Belfast. They feature Andy’s long-time collaborator Rod McVeyon keys and Kent McRae on drums. This Garden is only Temporary was released during lockdown to rave reviews and is available on vinyl in time for the tour.

Andy first arrived as a punk poet with an acoustic guitar and debut album Rave on Andy White, recently reissued in a deluxe vinyl edition. Since then he has toured the world many times over, recording with Sinead O’Connor and Billy Bragg, writing with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Allison Russell and Neil and Tim Finn.

Political, literary, wearing his influences proudly on his sleeve, Andy has been compared with Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg and Lloyd Cole. A man of his time and place, reflecting the chaos and beauty of the world we live in. Twenty albums in, things are getting interesting.

‘One of the finest songwriters of his generation’ –R2 MAGAZINE

‘The heart is open and the words are a tumble of sentiment’BELFAST TELEGRAPH

‘Effortless and captivating’–  IRISH TIMES

Lunch with The Ulster Orchestra

There is a growing resolve in the classical music world to shine a light on composers and performers who have been unjustifiably neglected or, worse still, deliberately written out of that genre’s history. Works by female composers and composers of colour are being given a new prominence and celebrated as they always should have been.

The work of Louise Farrenc has featured in recent Ulster Orchestra Seasons and her colourful, dramatic writing is a welcome addition to the UO’s repertoire.

Piano teacher extraordinaire, composer, equal pay campaigner, Farrenc was a force of nature to be reckoned with in the musical circles of 19th Century Paris and we’re passionate about making sure our audiences get to know more about this inspirational woman.

Her Nonet was one of her most celebrated pieces in its day, with the premiere involving the star violinist of the time, Joseph Joachim. It’s a warm and upbeat work, full of imaginative writing for an unusual combination of instruments. We look forward to introducing you to this remarkable woman and her wonderful music!

Alongside the Farrenc will be some other hidden gems of the chamber repertoire, performed by some of the Orchestra’s versatile and talented players.

Doors 12.30pm | Unreserved seating

Isy Suttie: Jackpot

Ever since she can remember, Isy has been searching for ways to make her life more exciting: ouija boards, exploring derelict houses and jumping off things for a bet. She often meets others who share the same love of pushing the boundaries: the Welsh taxi driver who found a mischievous way of brightening up his day, and a neighbour who created a network of tunnels beneath his house just for the fun of it.

Now, things have changed: she’s got children of her own and a partner who detests surprises. In her return to live stand-up, she asks whether it’s enough to try and find that buzz on mums’ weekends away or on family walks in the woods, and quite why she continues to hunt for it at all costs.

As seen as Dobby in Channel 4’s Peep Show, Esther in Shameless, Ally in Man Down, on Would I Lie To You8 Out of 10 Cats,HypotheticalQ.I. and much more, Isy has been nominated for three British Comedy Awards, and won a gold Sony Award for her BBC Radio 4 series Isy Suttie’s Love Letters. The paperback of her second book, Jane Is Trying, was released in spring 2022.

‘Suttie’s eye for revealing detail yields plenty of laughs’ – The Guardian

‘The perfect concoction of warmth and grit’ – The Independent 

Doors 7:30pm | Unreserved Seating

Louise Kennedy

Louise Kennedy

The Black Box

Wednesday 11 January, 1.00pm

It’s been a remarkable few years for Holywood-born author Louise Kennedy. Her debut collection of short stories, The End of the World is a Cul de Sac was described by The Guardian as ‘A dazzling, heartbreaking debut collection’ while the Sunday Times said ‘Kennedy’s voice, and her unforgiving gaze, are electric.

Louise Kennedy’s recent novel Trespasses, is a stunning and devastating love story set against the backdrop of The Troubles. She has written for the Guardian, the Irish Times, and BBC Radio 4. Before becoming a writer, she worked as a chef for almost thirty years.

‘These stories sing, haunt and inspire laughter … One of the best collections I’ve read in years’ Sinead Gleeson 

Tickets £10.00 (including lunch)

Doors 12.30PM | Unreserved Seating


Oops, This Is Toxic

Fresh from the success of her sell-out Edinburgh Fringe run, Julie Jay brings Oops, This Is Toxic to the Out to Lunch Festival.

This dark-comedy love letter to Britney Spears is a nostalgia-fest for anyone who has ever dropped to that ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ beat and for anyone who came of age against the pernicious backdrop of 90s/00s misogyny. Expect post-Caesarean twerking! Jared Leto! Felony Arson! Dizzying double-standards! More Jared Leto! Snakes! (not just the Timberlake kind).

Oops, This Is Toxic is a celebration of surviving sexism and toxic situations. But most of all, it is a celebration of Britney. Warning: this show contains references to 00s fashion which some people may find offensive.

“One of Ireland’s leading comedians” – The Journal 

 “A joy to watch” – Joanne Mc Nally

 “The funniest thing I’ve seen in a long, long time” – Tommy Tiernan

Doors 7.30pm  |  Unreserved Seating

Leading Ladies

Award-winning singers Michelle Baird, Ceara Grehan and Lynne McAllister have brought their rich voices, unique harmonies and versatility to the stage as The Leading Ladies for twenty years.

One of the first vocal harmony groups of the time, they have won much acclaim with multiple performances in venues including NEC Birmingham, Royal Horseguards London, Dublin’s National Concert Hall and Waterfront Hall.

They also achieved a sell-out concert with the Galway Tenors at the Ulster Hall, shared the stage with the Three Tenors Ireland at Dublin’s National Concert Hall, performed at Belfast’s Opera in the GardensDerry Jazz Festival and have made numerous appearances on television, radio and online.

Join The Leading Ladies for a special lunchtime treat that offers something for everyone! From classical crossover and musical theatre, to 40s/50s swing, Celtic and chart hits – all performed in their own inimitable vocal arrangements and close harmony style!

***** “Individually excellent, collectively brilliant!”– Belfast Telegraph

Doors 12.30pm | Unreserved seating

Rob Newman

Fresh from his multi-award-winning BBC Radio 4 series Rob Newman On Air, the comedian’s epic new stand-up show goes from cave paintings to car-free cities, by way of Homo Erectus dance steps,Julius Caesar’s traffic ban, rewilding and Rapper’s Remorses.

‘Refreshingly intelligent and hugely entertaining!’ -The Guardian

Doors 7:30pm | Unreserved Seating

Tickets £12.00

Trad for Lunch with Dónal O’Connor, Harry Bradley and Libby McCrohan

Harry Bradley and Dónal O’Connor first met in the late 1990’s on the vibrant Belfast traditional music session scene. A common grá for the music of South Ulster and North Connaught was the thread on which they shared interests. However, they ventured on their own unique musical journeys thereafter.

Since Harry’s recent return to Belfast, they have rekindled a musical friendship and are mining the rich repository of northern music which has been left by the likes of Andy Dixon, Cathal McConnell, Ciaran Carson, Desi Wilkinson, Tara Bingham, Johnny & Seán Maguire, Gary Hastings and many more. Today’s performance is a new musical coming together with one of Ireland’s finest young musical accompanists Libby McCrohan.

Harry Bradley was born in South Belfast. The vibrant recording heritage from the 1920s and 30s has had a huge influence on his flute-playing style. Noted for his unique tone and driving rhythm, Harry has come to be recognized as one of the most distinctive flute players in Ireland today. In 2014 he was the recipient of the TG4 Gradam Cheoil Traditional Musician of the Year Award.

Dónal O’Connor has inherited a musical legacy of five generations of fiddle playing. His style is heavily influenced by his family, the Oriel tradition and the great northern fiddle masters such as Seán Maguire, Bríd Harper and Tommy Peoples. Having toured the world and recorded critically acclaimed albums with groups such as Lá Lugh, At First Light and more recently Ulaid, he has since established himself as one of Ireland’s leading television and music producers. He has composed music for theatre, television and film and has presented and produced music programmes for RTÉ, BBC ALBA, BBC NI, TG4, BBC Radio Ulster and Raidio Na Gaeltachta.

Libby McCrohan is a bouzouki player from Dublin. She plays an original round back Greek bouzouki. Her approach to accompaniment is sensitive, subtle, and rhythmical, taking inspiration from the regulator playing of uilleann pipers. Libby has performed all over Ireland and abroad and has featured on two albums to date – the critically acclaimed Heard a Long Gone Song by Lisa O’Neill and Not Before Time… 39 Years in the Making by Páraic Mac Donnchadha.

Doors 12.30pm | Unreserved seating

Fionola Meredith – Book Launch: ‘The Stamp of Beauty’

A young married woman begins an intense affair with an older man as a way of escaping her manipulative mother. But she comes to realise that her lover is a mirror image of her mother – just as seductive, just as demanding, and ultimately just as dangerous.

Set in modern-day Ireland, this unsettling novel from Belfast journalist Fionola Meredith charts the course of a deeply dysfunctional ‘age-gap’ relationship to its inevitable conclusion.

Disturbing yet entertaining, forensic but somehow compassionate, this compelling debut unflinchingly reveals what lies at the heart of the male fear of intimacy, and the hidden impulses which can drive our most fatal attractions.

Fionola Meredith is a writer, broadcaster and commentator, based in Belfast. A former academic, with a PhD in Philosophy, she is a long-established contributor to the Irish Times, BBC Northern Ireland, and writes a weekly opinion column in the Belfast Telegraph. The Stamp of Beauty is Fionola’s debut novel.

‘At last we have the opportunity to jump head first into the warped, seductive and darkly humorous mind of Fionola Meredith.’ – DAVID HOLMES

‘Fionola Meredith creates a visceral story of mistaken love that both manages to disturb and entertain.’ – DAVID PARK

Event includes DJ set by Tanya Mellotte

Admission free but ticketed

Blackbird Night Fedora Delight

“Bless me father for I have sinned. And I’m about to sin again…”
Vicor Blackley/ Michael Flatley – Blackbird

We invite you to strap on your fedora, bowtie and big man girdle for one last job and join us for this very special Out to Lunch screening.

Blackbird, the feature directorial debut of famed, flame-footed Lord of the Dance and Riverdance legend Michael Flatley.  is “a spy thriller of the classic genre,”. It’s also a movie what he wrote, produced, self-financed and – you’ve guessed it – stars in.

Victor Blackley (geddit?) is “a troubled secret agent” whose life of retirement running a “luxurious nightclub in the Caribbean” is turned upside down when “an old flame arrives and reignites love in his life, but she brings danger with her”.

Have a drink every time someone tips their hat. Throw your own hat in the ring for our ‘moody-turning-to-face-the-camera-wearing-a-fedora’ competition. Enjoy a specially made Blackbird cocktail (shaken and stirred) and celebrate all things Blackley in this very special screening. Because Flatley my dear, we DO give a damn.

“The acting and writing are like the non-sexy bits that come between the sexy bits in a porn film made in 1985”The Guardian

“Holy Fuckballs” Screen International

Swordfishtrombones at 40

Swordfishtrombones was first released in 1983 on Island Records. It had been previously rejected by Asylum Records as too weird for the masses and not enough ‘Martha’.

All the songs were written during a two-week trip to Ireland and produced by Tom Waits. The record is bursting with unusual and sparse instrumentation, at times heartfelt and haunting.

It peaked at no 164 in the Billboard Pop Album Charts but was lauded by NME, Spin and Pitchfork as one of the best albums of all time from one of the best American pop songwriters of all time.

We have invited a varied section of the musician community here to offer their spin on this cult classic album. Kyron Bourke, Duke Special, Clara Tracey and Mike Mormecha will all offer their versions onstage as part of this Out to Lunch special presented in association with the Oh Yeah Centre.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

‘A kaleidoscopic swirl of urban life in motion.’ – FAR OUT MAGAZINE

‘…weirdness, heartfelt lyrics and haunting instrumentals adds up to a superior LP…’– ROLLING STONE

Deptford Northern Soul Club Vs Superfly Funk and Soul Club

Support by DJ Sarge

After years of parties in Belfast, Superfly Funk and Soul Club are joining forces with Deptford Northern Soul Club with support from DJ Sarge.

Deptford Northern Soul Club are childhood friends, Will Foot and Lewis Henderson, whose early love of soul developed after discovering Lewis’ Dad’s record collection. After finally bringing their musical heritage to the forefront with their debut DJ set at Deptfords Bunker Club 4 years ago, they have since taken their unique club night around the UK, performing at the likes of Glastonbury festival and Green Man, alongside a residency at Manchester’s YES, their beloved Bunker Club and London’s Moth Club.

Whether behind a turntable, dancing out front or in discussion, their sheer love and passion for soul is infectious, as is the spark of friendship and mutual musical appreciation between the two of them. 27-years-old but with old heads on their young shoulders, they have emerged as the new face of Northern Soul, bringing the movement back into the conversation of modern dance music.

Superfly Funk and Soul began as just another regular soul night in the city but has fast become an established brand, combining a popular online radio show with a website packed with interesting content, a range of merchandise and a high energy club night.

The club nights have proven to be one of the best nights out in Belfast and have continued to grow in both stature and in popularity featuring quality acts such as The Allergies, Smoove and Turrell and Crowd Company. Local bands such as The Organauts, Freedom 35s and Supertonic Sound Club have all played, helping to play their part in some brilliant nights.

Doors 10.00pm | Mostly standing

Emer Maguire

Emer Maguire flawlessly blends laugh out loud musical comedy, science, and Northern Irish charm.

Her debut solo show Emer Maguire: Hilarious Humans enjoyed a sell-out run at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Hilarious Humans takes an uproariously funny (and sometimes scientific) look at the oddities of human behaviour through Emer’s ingenious musical comedy.

Her most recent shows In Her Element and Up to High Dohhave sold out the Ulster Hall and the MAC respectively so this is a rare opportunity to experience Emer in the intimate venue where her comedy career first began.

Doors 2.00pm | Unreserved seating

‘Emer Maguire is one of the most unique comic prospects in the country.’– BELFAST TELEGRAPH

‘A person so relatable, daft and plain old funny – there’s no need for fake wigs or silly voices. Just Emer, unfiltered – a truly Hilarious Human.’ - DAILY MIRROR

‘An indie Victoria Wood’– BBC

Nine Below Zero (Acoustic)

Nine Below Zero are one of Britain’s most respected R&B bands, famous for their no-frills, punchy and direct approach.

Forty years since Nine Below Zero first offered a rhythm & blues alternative to the punk-pop of the mainstream, the south Londoners make a welcome return to Out to Lunch with their Are We There Yet? tour.

Formed in 1979 and named after the famous Sonny Boy Williamson song, in 1980 they signed to A&M Records and released the seminal Live at the Marquee album. By the end of that year, they had moved from selling out the Marquee to selling out the Hammersmith Odeon.

With a reputation as “one of the best blues bands around today” for their scintillating live performances, this show will not disappoint – expect a fearsome, supercharged set from start to finish.

Doors 1:30pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

Nine Below Zero (Acoustic) Evening Show

Nine Below Zero are one of Britain’s most respected R&B bands, famous for their no-frills, punchy and direct approach.

Forty years since Nine Below Zero first offered a rhythm & blues alternative to the punk-pop of the mainstream, the south Londoners make a welcome return to Out to Lunch with their Are We There Yet? tour.

Formed in 1979 and named after the famous Sonny Boy Williamson song, in 1980 they signed to A&M Records and released the seminal Live at the Marquee album. By the end of that year, they had moved from selling out the Marquee to selling out the Hammersmith Odeon.

With a reputation as “one of the best blues bands around today” for their scintillating live performances, this show will not disappoint – expect a fearsome, supercharged set from start to finish.

Doors 7:30pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

Swordfishtrombones at 40

Swordfishtrombones was first released in 1983 on Island Records. It had been previously rejected by Asylum Records as too weird for the masses and not enough ‘Martha’.

All the songs were written during a two-week trip to Ireland and produced by Tom Waits. The record is bursting with unusual and sparse instrumentation, at times heartfelt and haunting.

It peaked at no 164 in the Billboard Pop Album Charts but was lauded by NME, Spin and Pitchfork as one of the best albums of all time from one of the best American pop songwriters of all time.

We have invited a varied section of the musician community here to offer their spin on this cult classic album. Kyron Bourke, Duke Special, Clara Tracey and Mike Mormecha will all offer their versions onstage as part of this Out to Lunch special presented in association with the Oh Yeah Centre.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating

‘A kaleidoscopic swirl of urban life in motion.’ – FAR OUT MAGAZINE

‘…weirdness, heartfelt lyrics and haunting instrumentals adds up to a superior LP…’– ROLLING STONE

Dark Tropics

The formation of Dark Tropics was inevitable. Drawn together by a bond that stretched from Ireland to Morocco, musicians Rio McGuinness and Gerard Sands found common ground in the form of Radiohead, Aretha Franklin and The Velvet Underground.

Armed with the influences of Somerset Maugham, Paul Auster and John Cooper-Clarke, the pair formed a partnership – one that relies equally on instinct and guile.

Their creative vision has borne fruit with timeless, cinematic pop-noir. Powered by analogue instruments and retro recording techniques the music sways and breathes naturally.

Their themes are everywhere – the burning highs of lust, the fragility of heartache, the sting of betrayal and defiance in the face of hurt. A meld of contemporary and classic, individual and universal, the scope of Dark Tropics is limited only by how far down the rabbit hole you wish to follow.

Dark Tropics released debut album Ink in late 2021 to widespread critical praise and are currently working on its follow-up.

Doors 7.30pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

‘Lovely, cinematic, understated pop’ -STEVE LAMACQ, BBC 6MUSIC 

‘This sounds beautiful’ – JO WILEY, BBC RADIO 2

‘Atmospheric, moody and complex with a maturity that goes beyond the realms of a debut release. – HOT PRESS

Andy Irvine

Andy Irvine has enjoyed a long and hugely successful career as a traditional Irish musician. He has travelled the world as a solo artist and as a member of legendary Irish groups such as Planxty and Patrick Street and more recently Mozaik.

Throughout his extensive career he has maintained and developed the qualities in his music, which endear him to his audience and fellow musicians alike.After his introduction to the world of touring with Sweeney’s Men in 1965, he continued to travel the world, leaving the band in 1968 to pursue his wanderlust. He travelled through Bulgaria, Romania and Yugoslavia, studying the music traditions and styles of these nations.

On his return to Ireland, Andy formed Planxty with fellow musicians Christy Moore, Donal Lunny and Liam O’ Flynn. Planxty went on to achieve huge success and legendary status, reigniting traditional music as a popular genre. While Planxty took a break in 1967, Andy took the time to record another piece of work with Paul Brady. The two recorded a classic album together, simply entitled Andy Irvine & Paul Brady.

As a member of Irelands first traditional “super group” Patrick Street with Kevin Burke, Jackie Daly and Arty McGlynn, Andy toured the world and released 8 incredible albums.In 2002, Andy finally formed his dream band, Mozaik, with Donal Lunny, Dutch guitarist Rens van der Zalm, Hungarian bagpiper Nikola Parov and American fiddler Bruce Molsky. The group have completed tours of Australia, Europe and America and have released two highly acclaimed albums

Andy continues to tour the world with Mozaik as well as Patrick Street. He has also completed a series of reunion concerts with Planxty and Paul Brady in the last few years. His constant touring is testament to the fact that he is still as passionate about his music as when he began.

As a musician and a living icon, Andy Irvine will remain in the Irish music scene for a long time to come.

Doors 1.30pm | Unreserved seating

‘Andy Irvine’s live solo performance was informative, witty, intense, full of a love for the music, which he transmitted to the audience with an honesty that only the truly committed can attain.’ – AUKLAND FESTIVAL

‘His forte, his genius is playing his mandolin, mandola and bouzouki.I have never heard such clarity of sound, such perfect and precise rhythmic variations or such brilliant melodic figures from this family of instruments.’ – SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER

The Noam Chomsky of Irish Balladry chisels out a new motherlode of sung literature….

A bloody masterpiece – IRISH TIMES

Supported By

dormant embrace FHM


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