CQ Bazaar

CQ Bazaar kicks off the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival with a feast of delights in the majestic St. Annes Cathederal.

Live Music all evening with an Eclectic mix of DJs, Independent record lables, second hand vinyl, Vintage clothes, antiques and Retro furniture. The best Art, design and craft and a feast of delicious food from local producers.

We have the unique Crypt bar brought to us by the award winning Sunflower. Come and treat your eyes, ears, mouth and pockets. Sure to be a great way to kick start CQAF 2019!

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

SOLD OUT – Bernard MacLaverty

Bernard MacLaverty read at the very first Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in May 2000 so we are honoured and delighted Bernard will open this, our 20th edition, of the Festival.

In Midwinter Break, 16 years on from his last novel, Bernard MacLaverty reminded us why he is regarded as one of the greatest living Irish writers.

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

In tonight’s event, Bernard will read from his work and discuss a remarkable career in writing.

Doors 7.15pm | Unreserved Seating

Howe Gelb

Howe Gelb has been called one of the most resilient and consistently inventive American artists his generation.

Based in Tuscon Arizona since 1972 Howe has collaborated with artists such as M Ward, PJ Harvey and John Parish, and his band Giant Sand spawned and inspired bands such as Calexico who are part of Howe’s extended musical family.

The key question with any Howard Gelb show is what guise he will take on for the occasion – solo piano music, free jazz excursions, late night crooning, dusty acoustic Americana, flamenco, , another version of one of his songs, or something that he hasn’t done yet. If there is such a thing.

CQAF is honoured to welcome Tucson’s unique, freewheeling Americana icon Howe Gelb.

Doors 7.15pm | Unreserved Seating

Teenage Fan Club

Over the past three decades, Teenage Fanclub have produced consistently exquisite songs that nod to ’60s sunshine pop and folk-rock as much as they do to classic power pop and the grungier sounds of electric Neil Young.

Teenage Fanclub’s radiant brand of pop classicism has yielded numerous outstanding albums including Bandwagonesque (covered in its entirety in 2017 by super-fan Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie)Grand Prix and Songs from Northern Britain. It’s a body of work that remain utterly timeless, utterly compelling.

Fortunately for us – and rest of the world – the band have recently regrouped for standalone single Everything is Falling Apart and a slew of summer festival dates.

Heartfelt, lyrical with vocal harmonies to crack the hardest rock exterior, Teenage Fanclub remain one of our favourite bands and it’s a great honour to welcome them back to the CQAF stage for our 20th celebrations.

Doors 7.45pm | Limited Unreserved Seating 

Hen Ogledd

The four musicians of Hen Ogledd (Richard Dawson, Rhodri Davies, Dawn Bothwell, Sally Pilkington) each hail from historically different tribal regions of the Old North, and come together to create Mogic – a record that challenges the idea that the ancient world was rife with magic, while the new is infiltrated by cold logic.

The tracks on Mogic create new phantasmal blends of images and ideas that draw upon the mystical and technological.

Mogic is a discombobulating pop prayer exploring artificial intelligence, witches, nanotechnology, pre-medieval history, robots, romance, computer games and waterfalls.

This dynamic record of eddies and swirls, ravishing melodies, hallucinatory textures and bonkers rhythms is pinned down by some deft performances: Pilkinton’s picture-perfect pop and earthy singing, Davies’ blazing harp splutterations and guitar moans, Bothwell’s twisted telephone techno and bamboozling lyric-bombs and Dawson’s utter bass.

‘Phantasmal electronic, squelching synths and a bass that almost clangs with detuning.’ – Wire

‘While it’s easily the most accessible material from the project to date, a few listens will reveal that it’s every bit as chaotic as their early outsider sounds.’ –  All Music

Their improvisational roots are still evident, but the bursts of outsider pop shining through proves they have plenty more to dig up.’ –  Mojo

Doors 7.45pm | Limited Unreserved seating

William The Conqueror

William the Conqueror’s new album Bleeding on the Soundtrack is out now on Loose. Produced by Ethan Johns (Kings of Leon, White Denim, Laura Marling) at Peter Gabriel’s iconic Real World Studios, it is the second instalment of William’s story following on from debut album, Proud Disturber of the Peace, released in 2017 to widespread critical acclaim.

A character, a mythology, the flicker of a younger self, William the Conqueror is many things, but in simplest terms it is the name of a band put together by songwriter Ruarri Joseph, alongside his close musical conspirators Harry Harding(drums) and Naomi Holmes (bass). The trio have been picking up praise from far flung corners ever since Joseph took the step to go public with his erstwhile secret alter-ego, their shows steadily winning over fans up and down the country.

The indie-rock three piece channel classic blues and roots rock through a grunge/indie filter, with diverse influences including The Doors, Pearl Jam and The Lemonheads. Praised for their grit and authenticity by The Guardian and NPR’s Ann Powers, they signed to Loose, joining a roster that includes Courtney Marie Andrews, Israel Nash, The Handsome Family and Treetop Flyers. Praise for their live performances has drawn wildly enthusiastic comparisons to the likes of Kings of Leon, Nirvana, Buffalo Tom and The Marshall Tucker Band.

“there are few more heartfelt and soul-baring writers in any medium today” Mojo ★★★★

“Fantastic second album” Americana UK 9/10

“strikes a rich vein of gold” Culturefly ★★★★

UNCUT 8/10

Doors 7:30pm | Unreserved Seating

Neu! Reekie!

Neu! Reekie! are a prize-winning literary production house based in Scotland with anchors in poetry, music, animation & film, performance and the weird realms in between. Neu! Reekie! curated The Curfew Tower, Cushendall in 2018. This show will reflect this and involve writers that participated including Neu! Reekie! Founders poets Michael Pedersen and Kevin Williamson.

Salena Godden
Salena Godden is one of Britain’s foremost poets whose electrifying live performances have earned her a devoted following. Her latest poetry collection, Pessimism is for Lightweights, was published in July 2018 to wide acclaim.

Bill Drummond – Elvis & Me
In the November of 1992, Bill Drummond, deep into his midlife crisis, formed the belief that it could only be Elvis who had the power to save the world from itself.

Drummond’s course of action to enable Elvis saving the world, was for him, to take an icon of Elvis to the North Pole. Once there this icon of Elvis would be left to leak love, peace and happiness down the longitudes and out across the latitudes and world peace would shortly follow.

This course of action lead to a set of circumstances where Bill Drummond ended up owning The Curfew Tower in Cushendall, County Antrim which he ran as an artist residency for almost 20 years.

As part of this year’s Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival and the Neu! Reekie! involvement with it, Bill Drummond will be joining the dots between Memphis, Tennessee, The North Pole and Cushendall, County Antrim. The joining of the dots will have the title Elvis & Me.

Eugene Kelly
Eugene Kelly is a Scottish musician best known as a founding member of the group The VaselinesKurt Cobain was a big fan of the band, with Nirvana covering several Vaselines songs including Molly’s Lips, Son of A Gun and Jesus Don’t Want Me For a Sunbeam.

Kelly’s solo album, Man Alive was released in 2003. Since 2008, The Vaselines have continued to perform around the world and Kelly continues to perform as a solo artist.

Michael Pedersen
Leading the way in new Scottish Writing’, Michael Pedersen is a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship winner, a John Mather Trust Rising Star of Literature, a Canongate Future 40 and much mare. His recent collection, Oyster (Polygon 2017), was illustrated by and performed live with Frightened Rabbit’s lost giant Scott Hutchison.

Kevin Williamson
Writer, publisher, poet and performer of BurnsKevin Williamson has an impressive track record of building a community around his activities. Williamson is also co-founder of the political and cultural publication, Bella Caledonia, and founded and ran the cult literary powerhouse, Rebel Inc, which published early work by authors including Alan Warner and Irvine Welsh.

Doors 7:45pm | Unreserved Seating

The Gold Tips + Joe Lindsay DJ support

Belfast’s newest soul outfit make their hometown debut – brought together by a love of StaxSam Cookeand Northern Soul, the live show promises to be an energetic, sweat drenched testament.

A trip to Trondheim in autumn 2018 led to the unearthing of Parade, The Gold Tips debut album. Not a moment wasted. It was recorded, it is said, in an old barn in the middle of nowhere, with a generator, a brass section and a long way back to the nearest town.

From the Northern European wilds comes an idiosyncratic soul shouting, heart-breaking testament. It’s the sound of 2019, echoing down through the ages. Preach, brothers and sisters.

Doors 7.45pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

SOLD OUT – Echo and the Bunnymen

Plus special guest CONCHUR WHITE

It would be remiss of us not to invite “the best band in the world” (copyright Ian McCulloch 1984) to play at the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival 20th anniversary celebrations. And speaking of anniversaries, it’s been 40 years since the release of the incendiary Pictures on My Wall introduced a startled world to Echo and the Bunnymen.

In the decades since, McCulloch and Sergeant have steadfastly followed their own dazzling star. Building a stunning body of work (including the likes of The Killing Moon, Seven Seas and Bring on the Dancing Horses) along the way, their masterful ability to blend the epic and the intimate has influenced inferior copy bands too numerous to mention (*cough cough U2).

Throughout a career of dramatic highs and lows though, the music has always burned bright.  The recent release of The Stars, The Oceans and The Moon, in which the band revisit many of their classics, not only found McCullouch in fine voice, but reminded us all – if a reminder were needed – what a truly seminal act The Bunnymen are.

So it’s with a thrill in our heart and an artful scouse swagger in our gait that we welcome Echo and the Bunnymen back to the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.

Doors 7.45pm | Standing gig with very limited seating

Lisa O’Neill + special guest Kú Kilian

With support from Kú Kilian.

Lisa O’Neill from Cavan is an Irish songwriter like no other. Her roots may be sourced in folk and traditional music but her work opens up a landscape beyond any settled sense of genre.

On her last album, Pothole in the Sky, she has set her remarkable incisive voice against impressionistic instrumental back-drops, like Margaret Barry colluding with the Dirty Three or some such meeting of minds.

Over the years she has quietly built a reputation for herself on the Irish and international scenes and now has a growing following with her unique folk sound, strong song-writing and distinctive voice.

Her work is filled with tension and emotion, contextualizing themes of love, loss, heartache and sorrow today through referencing tales from the past with beauty, honesty and defiance.

Lisa’s latest release Heard A Long Gone Song has garnered huge acclaim.  It has recently been ChoiceNominated, had a 5/5 star review from The Guardian on release and a coveted Best Folk Album of 2018 from the same publication.

‘At a time when sameness threatens to drain the world of charm and surprise, Lisa O’Neill stands tall for difference, as an outlier with a mission to frame the world as she sees it and to perform it accordingly. Her voice is her own. No small achievement.’ THE IRISH TIMES

‘It’s uncompromising, stunning, soul-shaking stuff’ – THE GUARDIAN OCTOBER 2018 5*****

‘A record that is personally political, uniquely beautiful, heartfelt and witty. And perhaps as timeless as the passed down songs Lisa sings as if they were hers.’ – FOLK UK


Kú Kilian is a folk singer and a songwriter from Dublin, Ireland. Having spent the past four years performing around Ireland as a solo act, he has been the guest singer at “The Night Before Larry Got Stretched” as well as performing opening slots for “Skipper’s Alley”, “Lisa O’Neill” and most recently “The Sick And Indigent Song Club”. Kú Kilian is also an accomplished Traditional Irish Musician (Fiddle and Guitar) having played in a number of countries including Germany, China and the U.S.

Doors 7:45pm | Unreserved Seating

SOLD OUT – Jason Lytle (Grandaddy) & Malojian

If Jason Lytle learned anything from nearly 15 years at the helm of Grandaddy – the Modesto, California quintet whose celebrated five-album run started as a project in Lytle’s bedroom and took him around the world – it’s that he’s just not cut out to be a 21st century pop star.

There were triumphs, no doubt – they toured the world, created a technological dystopian classic with 2000’s The Sophtware Slump, shared stages with Elliott Smith, and talked shop with David Bowie when he turned up at their shows.

But Lytle was a poor fit for life in a breakthrough indie rock franchise. By the time he was writing 2006’s Just Like the Fambly Cat, he knew it was over, that the machine had simply lost its momentum, its gears too clogged with years of frustration, substance abuse, and diminishing returns. His choice became clear: he needed to go somewhere else and start over completely.

Jason moved to Montana, and enjoys hiking in woods, skateboarding in skateparks, bicycling on anything, skiing on mountains, playing the piano in his living room, and recording music, and occasionally playing shows.

As a solo artist, Lytle has built a catalogue of inventive and evocative works. Dept. Of Disappearance (2012) followed up his critically heralded 2009 release Yours Truly, the Commuter which American Songwriter called “one hell of a re-emergence.”

Jason will be joined in this special performance by Stevie Scullion AKA Malojian. Over the last few years, Malojian has released 4 stunning solo albums, along the way collaborating with some musical legends, including Steve Albini, who earned his chops producing NirvanaThe Pixies etc.

Malojian’s latest album features Joey Waronker (BeckR.E.M.Atoms For PeaceRoger Waters), Gerry Love (Teenage Fanclub) and more…But it’s Malojian’s own voice and songs that sets him apart from the crowd.

This will be an amazing night of music by two masters of their craft.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved Seating


One of the UK’s most potent and electrifying rappers, Lowkey is a towering figure of the scene who renews the old tradition of conscious hip-hop activism for the war on terror generation.

Fusing politically charged lyrics and deft dissection of topics such as race, war, global poverty and politics with anthemic choruses and unrelentingly energetic performance, Lowkey commands a keen and growing legion of followers – still treading new ground and generating fresh hysteria 14 years after releasing his first mixtape.

Born Kareem Dennis in London in 1986 to an Iraqi mother and English father, he first started rapping at the age of 12 and cut his teeth at Carnaby Street’s legendary Deal Real records.

After releasing his respected 2003 Key to the Game mixtape, he took a hiatus and returned in 2009 with debut full length Dear Listener, at the same time as releasing an album with Reverend and the Makers frontman Jon McClure, Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders and members of Babyshambles to form the group Mongrel.

Following several humanitarian aid missions in Palestine and various charity projects, he released his critically acclaimed sophomore outing, Soundtrack to the Struggle, in 2011.

Back on form and with a slew of new releases and collaborations including his poignant singles Ahmed & Children of Diaspora alongside a largely sold-out UK tour in 2016, Lowkey is out of retirement and ready to make more memorable marks in the global hip-hop consciousness.

“Arguably the biggest name on the UK hip-hop underground scene” The Guardian
“Soundtrack To The Struggle solidifies Lowkey’s position at the forefront of UK hip hop” SBTV

Doors 7.30pm | Very Limited Unreserved Seating

Kitt Philippa

Who is Kitt Philippa? They are human, they are searching and in music they find hope. Although raised on classical, the songs are strangely urban and often conveyed with digital sleight. An organ scholar and an experimentalist, KP plays piano, guitar, clarinet, prayer bowl and bicycle wheel.

The 2018 emergence of Kitt Philippa with new single Human and follow up single Grace has been championed by Mary Anne HobbsTom Robinson, Phil Taggart, Huw Stephens, RTE 2FM, Today FM, Hotpress, The Line of Best Fit and Nialler9.

They took new music on the road in support of SOAK, Villagers, Lisa Hannigan, Hilary Woods, Wye Oak and closed out 2018 by winning ‘Single of the Year,’ by public vote, at the Northern Ireland Music Prize.

’they are extraordinary. I think they are a shining future star’ – Mary Anne Hobbs (BBC 6 Music)

‘Kitt Philippa is very talented and thoughtful singer and musician who performs in an open and honest way, unburdened by external pressure and it shows’.– Nialler 9

‘… full of sparse, graceful, elegantly pitched wonder. There’s a beautiful minimal soulfulness…’

The Irish Times

‘Bright, dynamic and boasting one of the most interesting new Irish voices we’ve heard in aeons, this one’s a must for lovers of Fiona Apple or James Blake.’ – Hotpress Magazine

Doors 7:45pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

Skipper’s Alley & The Conifers

Skipper’s Alley

Described by The Irish Times as “gloriously three-dimensional”, the group spring from harp-accompanied Sean-Nós songs to feral, unkempt sets of reels, creating a sound that is both “scintillating” and “a model of tender delicacy” (David Kidman, The Living Tradition).

Rinne The Irish Times cur síos ar Skipper’s Alley mar ghrúpa “iomráiteach agus tríthoiseach”… preabann an ghrúpa ón t-amhránaíocht ar an tsean-nós leis an chruit mar thionlacann go dtí seiteanna ríl fián. Cruthaíonn siad fuaim bríomhar atá mín agus séimh ag am chéanna.

The Conifers

The Conifers are five young musicians from different parts of Ireland and one member from Berlin. Conor O’Loughlin (Concertina), Bryan O’Leary (accordion), Marty Barry (Guitar + vocals), Cathal Ó Curráin (fiddle, bouzouki + vocals), and Felix Morgenstern (bodhrán).

While their music is energetic, lively and has a wholesome sound, the band members strive to remain true to a traditional repertoire rooted in the regions of Clare, Sliabh Luachra and Donegal. This is also shown through their repertoire of songs in English and Irish.

The Conifers met while studying traditional music at the University of Limerick and have since developed a lasting friendship, which comes through in their music – a heady blend of traditional and modern sensibilities.

Doors 8.45pm | Unreserved Seating

SOLD OUT – Marian Keyes in conversation with Roisin Ingle

Marian Keyes is one of the most successful Irish novelists of all time. Though she was brought up in a home where a lot of story-telling went on, it never occurred to her that she could write. Instead she studied law and accountancy and finally started writing short stories in 1993 “out of the blue.”

Though she had no intention of ever writing a novel (“It would take too long”) she sent her short stories to a publisher with a letter saying she’d started work on a novel. The publishers replied, asking to see the novel and, once her panic had subsided, she began to write what subsequently became her first book, Watermelon.

It was published in Ireland in 1995, where it was an immediate runaway success. She has gone on to write thirteen novels and three collections of journalism and short stories, all of which have been bestsellers. Marian is now published in thirty-six languages. Marian’s latest novel, The Break, was published by Penguin in 2017.

Roisin Ingle is a columnist, editor and podcaster with The Irish Times. She is the author of two collections of her columns, Pieces of Me (Hachette) and Public Displays of Emotion (Irish Times Books) and is the co-author of The Daughterhood (Simon and Schuster) with Natasha Fennell which has been published in several languages.

She produces The Women’s Podcast and presents her own podcast ‘Roisin Meets …’ on The Irish Times online.

Doors 12:30pm | Unreserved Seating

SOLD OUT – Mary Coughlan

Mary Coughlan is one of Ireland’s greatest female jazz and blues singers a true artist who has carved out a highly regarded career and a legion of devoted fans worldwide.

Described as Ireland’s Billie Holiday, Mary has overcome childhood trauma, alcoholism, drug addiction to become a musical force like no other. Her life story gives weight to the truth that the best singers are the ones with the most painful lives (The Guardian).

Her seminal first album Tired and Emotional rocketed her to overnight fame in 1985, and fifteen albums later, her ability to deeply connect with both the song and her audience remains undiminished, a testament to her inner strength and to the power of transformation redemption.

Mary live is in a league of her own, her glorious husky voice pulling every ounce of emotion from the music. As the Observer rightly said “Mary Coughlan’s talent is awesome.”

Resonant with the grief of Billie Holiday the soul of Van Morrison and the defiance of Edith Piaf, to hear Mary sing is to be at the core of the human heart.

“Her husky gin-soaked voice has been compared more often to Billie Holiday… at times she is more like an incredibly relaxed KD Lang or Edith Piaf.” The Times.

Doors 1:45pm | Unreserved Seating

Sean O’Hagan + guests Big Monster Love

Sean O’Hagan is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and arranger who leads the avant-pop band the High Llamas. His musical career started with seminal Irish band Microdisney which he co-founded in the 1980s.  For several years he was also a member of the English-French band Stereolab.

As well as writing and performing, Sean is also an arranger working in film, art and cultural events. His talents have lead to numerous collaborations with Brian Wilson, Paul Weller, Super Furry Animals, Doves, Vanessa Da Mata, Sondre Lechre, The Charlatans, The Coral , St Etienne, Mercury Rev, Gilberto Gil  and Terry Hall.

This concert is being staged to remember Thomas McCabe who successfully opposed the formation of the Belfast Slave Ship Company in 1786.

Proceeds from the concert will be given to the N. Ireland Law Centre with a brief introduction from historian Raymond O’Regan author of Hidden Belfast. Supported by Experience Belfast Walking Tours (www.experiencebelfast.com).

Doors 2.45pm | Unreserved Seating

Robbie Fulks

Unfortunately Robbie Fulks has had to withdraw from his UK/Irish tour due to a personal matter.

We hope to bring Robbie back in the near future and apologise for the inconvenience.  


Robbie Fulks is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter whose early solo work helped define the alt-country movement that began in the 1990s

He can write lyrics and prose, heart-tugging and knee-slapping. He plays his well-worn acoustic guitar with abandon, speed and, periodically, precision (but mostly abandon). He sings with a tenor that aches and snarls, sometimes at once.

And he is entertaining in a manner that truly classifies him as a must-see artist. Loquacious, wickedly witty, and possessed of a talent bigger than his home state of Illinois, Fulks is a musical traveller, adept at multiple styles, but too restless to stay in one place for too long.

In the “if people only knew about him, he’d be huge” discussion, Fulks has remained a hot topic for 20 years.

‘A soulful singer with an expressive honky-tonk tenor, and he’s a natural performer.’ – NEW YORK TIMES


Washington DC-based Sneaks is leading the resistance against the mundane. Breathing new life into the DIY post-punk scene, Eva Moolchan takes a minimalistic approach to creating tunes that rebel against the over embellished.

Using only a drum kit, bass, and whispery vocals, she makes songs you’ll find yourself humming along to after you’ve stopped listening.

New album Highway Hypnosis plays on hip-hop, post-punk, and invented words to fill a gap between the feminist underground and genre-specific singles charts. Through it, Moolchan joins the resistance forged by queer black feminists who create, explore, empower, conquer, and play bass.

Like a piece of art with as many interpretations as people who view it, Sneaks’ music is kaleidoscopic, completely unique to the listener—and live, it takes on even more power. A potential ‘show of the festival’.

Doors 8:30pm | Unreserved Seating


Jason Pierce has always created his own worlds. It began almost 4 decades ago with Spaceman 3’s mesmerising fuzzed-up drone, which metamorphosed into Spiritualized’s majestic, beautiful soundscapes. Hypnotic hymns, throbbing blues rock, and swooning lullabies about love and self-doubt, backed by cathedral-sized arrangements full heart-swelling crescendos..

“I want to make music that catches all the glory and beauty and magnificence, but also the intimacy and fragility, all within the space of the same 10 seconds,” Pierce has said, and boy does he deliver. Each Spiritualized album is a unique and perfectly assembled collection of sounds that are bruised and beautiful, intimate and glorious.

There’s 1997’s masterpiece Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space; the swelling, spectacular, Let It Come Down, and last year’s And Nothing Hurt, a record which seemed a perfect distillation of what’s gone before: glorious gospel, rock’n’roll, country and psychedelia sound-tracking his cracked vocals.

Just listen to I’m Your Man, a perfect, lilting supernova nursery rhyme. Backed by choirs and strings, these hymns soar as high as the stars. Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for an epic evening at the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.

Doors 7.45pm | Standing gig with very limited seating

Wonders of the Wake

The Wonders of the Wake is a totally unique Irish Trad Arts show that in laughter, song, keening and haunting Gaelic laments celebrates the ancient rite of the Irish Wake.

Our hauntingly beautiful Mná Caointe, three keening female singers, will bring a tear to your eye and shiver in your spine and take you on a 90 minute magical adventure to the best Irish wake you could ever experience.

The  Wonders of the Wake is artistic collaboration between the acclaimed writer of My Father’s Wake author Kevin Toolis and the world renowned  Henry Girls, Joleen, Karen and Lorna McLaughlin.

In association with The Duncairn Arts Centre. 

Doors 7:45pm | Unreserved Seating

Barb Jungr: Bob, Brel and Me

Barb Jungr’s reputation as “one of the world’s great cabaret singers” (Time Out) may have gone to her head, as she will now only sing songs by writers whose names start with the letter B. But this means she can return to two colossi of popular song, whose writing has helped define her whole career. A good plan, because she is “one of the best interpreters of Jacques Brel and Bob Dylan anywhere on this angst-ridden planet today” (Village Voice).

In this brand new collection for 2019, Barb will turn her acclaimed ability at reinvention and reinterpretation to exploring her relationship with a set of Dylan and Brel songs she has never tackled before. They include Les Cœurs Tendres (The tender hearts), Voir un ami pleurer (To see a friend break down and cry), Mr Tambourine Man and This Wheel’s on Fire.

Placed alongside them will be some of Barb’s own songs, written with a number of wonderful collaborators.

‘it’s as if Edith Piaf and Nick Cave had a love-child, who was adopted by Carmen McRae’ – GLAM ADELAIDE

‘the alchemist among jazz singers… electrifying… the top rank of jazz singers… she is truly a marvel, who should not be missed.’ –  TELEGRAPH

Doors 7.45pm | Unreserved Seating

Men of North Country

Another winner from the Superfly Funk and Soul Belfast and CQAF team – Rock’n’roll from the soul of Tel Aviv.

After a string of successful tours in continental Europe, recording a live session for Craig Charles on BBC Radio 6, and playing the Madness House of Fun weekender, it is time for the soul-boys to tour the UK!

Emerging from Tel Aviv’s small soul scene, geared with a fresh approach to creating the perfect three-minute nugget, the sextet that has been described as ‘Soul with influences of Mod 79 and Punk 77’, lived up to the expectations with its sophomore LP for the London based Acid Jazz label.

12 tracks that dare infuse Northern Soul, Post-Punk and Rock’n’roll into heady visions of their city’s buildings, streets, bedrooms, clubs and bars, while remaining dedicated to MONC’s brass section extravaganza and their firm belief in the power of a great pop song. It’s the work of a small collective of music fans in a culturally diverse city.

Doors 8.45pm | Very limited Unreserved Seating

Hannah Peel & Will Burns – Chalk Hill Blue

‘… a damp wood

and the madness, really,

of a dawn chorus being taped.

Our field recordings made

so we might never lose a thing.’

A new album of poetry and electronic music: A dislocated, slippery examination of memory, social and familial relations, landscape and our urge to both belong and move elsewhere.

This is an anti-pastoral picture of a middle-England that could be anywhere, lost, empty, and beautiful even in its decaying phase.

Existing and reacting off each word and sound in the studio together; with the words of poet Will Burns, the analogue electronic compositions of Hannah Peel and the overarching eye of producer Erland Cooper, all tracks were produced and recorded in its entirety within 12 hours.

Scoring these strange worlds of electronic ruralism Peel says, “After only meeting Will at a few gigs before, we met at the studio to try out some ideas. Whenever he heard a sound or texture, he instinctively brought out a poem that he thought fitted the mood. It was like ‘Tone Poetry’. Equally when he read a poem to us in the studio, we reacted straight away with sound… casting away apprehensions, creating an album with no boundaries or expectations”.

Doors 3:30pm | Unreserved Seating

Alejandro Escovedo + guest Don Antonio

Crossing borders, jumping barriers, taking risks, betting it all: that’s the path Alejandro Escovedo has been taking in his lifelong search for the heart of rock and roll.

Alejandro’s new album, The Crossing is about that journey: searching, but not necessarily finding, eyes and ears open all the way. It is his first for Yep Roc Records and his first ever recorded in Europe. “This says more about me than any of my records without it being a record about me,” Alejandro says.

The Crossing tells the tale of two boys, one from Mexico, one from Italy, who meet in Texas to chase their American rock and roll dreams. They discover a not-so-welcoming, very different place from the Promised Land they imagined, with cameos from the likes of Wayne Kramer of the MC5, Joe Ely and James Williamson of the Stooges to show the boys the way.

It was recorded in an Italian farmhouse near Mogdliana and features his collaborator and co-songwriter Don Antonio with his band whom will be backing and opening for Alejandro.

Escovedo’s trailblazing career began with The Nuns, San Francisco’s famed punk innovators, to the Austin-based-based alt-country rock pioneers, Rank & File, to Texas bred darlings, True Believers, through countless all-star collaborations and tribute album appearances and finally a series of beloved solo albums beginning with 1992’s acclaimed Gravity.

Escovedo has earned a surplus of distinctions: No Depression magazine’s Artist of the Decade Award in 1998 and the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Performing in 2006, just to name two.

His last album Burn Something Beautiful was co-produced, written and recorded with Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey.

Alejandro worked with producing legend Tony Visconti (David Bowie/T-Rex) on Real Animal and Street Songs of Love; he has previously worked with Chuck Prophet, John Cale, Los Lobos, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen.

A true artist and craftsman, CQAF is delighted to welcome Alejandro Escavado to this year’s Festival.

Doors 7:30pm | Unreserved Seating

Craig Charles (DJ Set) with special guests

The legendary actor, host and broadcaster Craig Charles is one of UK’s most beloved Funk and Soul DJ’s. From Robot Wars to Red Dwarf, Craig has now grounded himself as a Funk & Soul icon after 10 years of broadcasting on BBC 6 Music with their primetime Saturday night show.

Live every Saturday night with an assortment of classic gems and emerging artists, Craig has garnered global support as one of the UK’s foremost Funk and Soul commentators, DJ’s and promoters of new music. The show has become a European benchmark for artists who want to connect directly with their fans.

Mr. Charles and his trunk of funk is back to help CQAF celebrate it’s 20th birthday. In the words of the soulful don himself, ‘No Sleep till Bed time’.

The crowd lapped it up and danced their socks off and Craig seemed to enjoy every minute.” – Nottingham Post

From there the seemingly jet propelled jockey has carved out a career as a dynamic, knowledgeable and frankly electric DJ, merging classic tracks with modern numbers.” – Skiddle

For three hours the DJ would not relent, feeding off the intensity of the night throwing sonic curve balls of genres you never knew would be dancing bed-fellows. It’s difficult to imagine the whole night without being on that dancefloor.” – Yorkshire Evening Post

Doors 6:45pm | Unreserved Seating

SOLD OUT – Jerry Sadowitz: Make Comedy GRATE Again!

Jerry Sadowitz, Britain’s FAVOURITE COMEDIAN, is back!

Yes, the man with no visible demograph returns to make you laugh while simultaneously parting you of hard earned cash!

Affectionately known as ‘miserable c**t’ to his imaginary friends, Sadowitz is the only comic hardly working today who campaigns against human rights.

His television appearances include Love Island, Hard Talk, Michty Me!(still in production) and Loose Stools. He now suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and has to watch Netflix comedy specials so he can remember his own material.

Doors 7.45pm | Unreserved Seating

SOLD OUT – Joshua Burnside

Northern Irish experimental folk songwriter and producer Joshua Burnside is something of an anomaly in local terms.

With a brooding, powerful sound echoing artists of places afar and time long gone, his enthralling craft defies local comparison in striving towards an aesthetic as much as visual as it is sonic.

Balanced with a diverse palette of sounds, Burnside deftly blends alt-folk and elements of the Irish folk song tradition with South American rhythms and Eastern European influences, whilst introducing synthetic and found-sounds, synths loops and crunching beats to create a stormy world that shifts and swirls perspective like a lingering lucid dream.

Joshua was the winner of the NI Music Prize 2017 and has chalked up over 10 million streams on Spotify with extensive radio play and support from BBC Radio 1 and 6 MusicGuy Garvey, Tom Robinson, Tom Ravenscroft, Lauren Laverne, Huw Stephens and Phil Taggart.

The setting of the 1st Presbyterian Church will make this a special show and a great one to witness an artist at the height of his song craft.

Doors 7:45pm | Unreserved Seating

SOLD OUT Kevin McAleer – Guru

Tyrone’s biggest living lama Kevin McAleer has just been voted ‘Ireland’s Most Humble Guru’ by Mindfulness Magazine for the eighteenth year running.

To celebrate this modest achievement, he has announced a majestic interplanetary tour for 2019, taking in the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Venus and Pluto, before returning to his home planet Earth for a series of spectacular live apparitions.

It’s almost fifty years since Guru McAleer first coined the word ‘mindfulness’, and he is still coining it today. He achieved global fame and fortune with the bestselling Be Your Own Brexit, and has appeared dozens of times on Celebrity Zen Master Chef and as an outspoken judge on Tibet’s Got Talent.

McAleer’s Advanced Awareness seminars promise total self-discovery on the night, or your money back; participants are gently guided to a state of deep relaxation, emptying the mind of all thought, and replacing it with meaningless laughter. An evening of divine light entertainment not to be missed.

Immaculate mastery of language’  The Scotsman
Will leave your head spinning and your cheeks hurting‘  British Comedy Guide

Doors Tickets 7.15pm | Limited Unreserved Seating 

SOLD OUT – Visit to the Homeplace and tour of Heaney Country

In what would have been Seamus Heaney’s 80th year (b. 13 April 1939), we invite you to join us for a visit to the award-winning Seamus Heaney Homeplace in Bellaghy, Co. Derry, which celebrates the life and work of the late poet and contributes to his legacy.

Leaving Belfast at 10.00am, the day will consist of a tour of the Centre and lunch followed by a guided tour of Heaney Country by Eugene Kielt.

Eugene’s tours are recommended by the Guardian, the Irish Times, National Geographic and other travel guides.

The bus will return to the John Hewitt at 5.00pm.

Meet at 9.45am outside John Hewitt | Limited capacity on coach

SOLD OUT – Tom Stade – ‘I Swear To…’

Following last year’s smash-hit UK tour, the Canadian comedy legend is back with a new show.  Welcome back to ‘I SWEAR TO…’ picking up just where he left off as an hour simply wasn’t long enough.

Direct from the Edinburgh Festival, join Tom as he attempts to figure out exactly where he fits into this emerging new world of feelings and FaceTime.  Exactly when did he, and all his stuff become vintage – and why didn’t he see it coming?

Armed with his usual swagger and playful sense of mischief, join Tom as he explores these generational conundrums, and a whole lot more….

One of the most prolific and engaging stand-ups of our time.  As seen on Ch4’s Comedy Gala, BBC One’s Michael McIntyre’s Comedy RoadshowThe John Bishop Show and Live at the Apollo (twice, bitches!)


‘Sack loads of charm, poise and free-flowing spontaneity. Mischievous, high-spirited, no-nonsense stand-up from an expertly skilled Pro.’ – CHORTLE

‘Every inch the star. If comedy is the new Rock and Roll, then Tom Stade is Keith Richards! ‘– DAILY RECORD

‘So cool he could well be the answer to global warming. Gloriously funny.’ – SCOTSMAN

Doors 7:30pm  |  Unreserved Seating

Rufus Wainwright

Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, and composer Rufus Wainwright will play a special intimate solo show at the Festival Marquee.

This is the 20-year anniversary of his eponymous debut which first burst him onto the music scene. Immediately beloved and critically acclaimed, both Rufus and the record were widely hailed as a breakthrough. It influenced many artists that came after him and set the path for his illustrious career ever since.

One of the great male vocalists, songwriters and composers of his generation, Rufus Wainwright has released eight studio albums, three DVDs, and three live albums. He has collaborated with artists ranging from Elton John, David Byrne, Mark Ronson, Joni Mitchell to Burt Bacharach. At the age of 14 he was named Canada’s best young musician and later received the Juno Award for Best Alternative Album. His album, Rufus Does Judy recorded at Carnegie Hall in 2006, was nominated for a Grammy.

Doors 7.45pm | Limited Unreserved Seating


whenyoung are Aoife Power (Vocals/Bass), Niall Burns (Guitar) and Andrew Flood (Drums) who hail from Limerick but are currently based in London.

First meeting as teenagers, sneaking into the only indie bar of their city in Ireland, they bonded over cheap vodka and The Velvet Underground. Soon after, Niall moved to London, with Andrew and Aoife quickly following, and here they began writing songs together.

Following the release of their critically acclaimed debut EP, Given Upwhenyoung are back with an epic new single, Never Let Go, released through Virgin EMI.

A massive slab of joyous guitar-pop, Never Let Go finds the band expanding their sound. Produced by Al O’Connell (The Big Pink, Superfood), The slow burning track features layers of chiming guitar and vocals, creating a wall of sound that beautifully compliments Aoife’s evocative lyrics.

Doors 7.45pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

SOLD OUT – Kevin McAleer – Guru


Tyrone’s biggest living lama Kevin McAleer has just been voted ‘Ireland’s Most Humble Guru’ by Mindfulness Magazine for the eighteenth year running.

To celebrate this modest achievement, he has announced a majestic interplanetary tour for 2019, taking in the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Venus and Pluto, before returning to his home planet Earth for a series of spectacular live apparitions.

It’s almost fifty years since Guru McAleer first coined the word ‘mindfulness’, and he is still coining it today. He achieved global fame and fortune with the bestselling Be Your Own Brexit, and has appeared dozens of times on Celebrity Zen Master Chef and as an outspoken judge on Tibet’s Got Talent.

McAleer’s Advanced Awareness seminars promise total self-discovery on the night, or your money back; participants are gently guided to a state of deep relaxation, emptying the mind of all thought, and replacing it with meaningless laughter. An evening of divine light entertainment not to be missed.

Immaculate mastery of language’  The Scotsman
Will leave your head spinning and your cheeks hurting‘  British Comedy Guide

Doors Tickets 7.15pm | Limited Unreserved Seating 

SOLD OUT – Patty Griffin

With support from Erika Wennerstrom

Grammy Award winner Patty Griffin has just released her 10th studio recording and first-ever eponymous LP, PATTY GRIFFIN on her own PGM Recordings label.

PATTY GRIFFIN represents an extraordinary new chapter for this incomparable singer-songwriter and immediately stands among the most deeply personal recordings of her remarkable two-decade career.

The album – which follows 2015’s Grammy-nominated Servant of Love – collects songs written during and in the aftermath of profound personal crisis, several years in which she battled – and ultimately defeated – cancer just as a similar and equally insidious disease metastasized into the American body politic.

Yet as always, like very few others, Griffin’s power lies in how, as Holly Gleason in the Martha’s Vineyard Gazetteobserved, “her songs seem to freeze life and truth in amber.” It’s in how Griffin can express the strikingly intimate while never making it about herself, all wrapped in sparse arrangements that breathe an incomparable force and import into her songcraft.

A very special performance is guaranteed.

SOLD OUT – Kieran Hodgson: ’75’

Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Show nominee 2018.

Passion. Betrayal. Harold Wilson. Character comedian Kieran Hodgson returns with the epic and surprising tale of how Britain joined Europe in the first place.

On a deeply personal quest for understanding, Kieran perfects a series of obsolete impressions and discovers that the 70s were about more than just TISWAS, the colour brown and the words ‘Let’s go on strike again’.

Three-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee, Star of Radio 4’s Earworms and Lance, and as seen regularly on BBC2’s Two Doors DownUpstart Crow and Dad’s Army: We’re Doomed.

 ‘A terrific show’ ★★★★ THE GUARDIAN

There’s a delicious perfectionism here to the writing, structure and delivery that puts most other shows to shame’ ★★★★ THE TELEGRAPH

‘Ravishingly entertaining, informative, full of insight and plenty of laughs’ ★★★★ THE TIMES

‘Incredibly dense in laughs…it’s not half as niche as it sounds, and ten times funnier’ ★★★★ CHORTLE

 Doors 7.45pm | Unreserved Seating

Anna Calvi (Solo)

In less than a decade Anna Calvi has received two Mercury Prize nominations, praise from the highest quarters, and established herself as an artist fearless of examining identity and passion. The three Anna Calvi albums to date are dark-inked essays in turbulence and drama.

She’s collaborated with Brian Eno, Marianne Faithful and, on the 2014 covers EP Strange WeatherDavid Byrne. In 2017, she composed the music for The Sandman, an opera directed by Robert Wilson.

Hunter, the third album from Anna Calvi, is the embodiment of the feeling of truly letting go.

For the art-rock singer-songwriter it was a catharsis, and an opportunity to be more truthful than she has ever been before. Hunter is a galvanising record which explores freedom. It’s about the female protagonist being the hunter; it goes beyond gender, it is visceral and primal.

Doors 7.45pm | Unreserved Seating

SOLD OUT – Chris Difford

2019 Grammy nominated, double Ivor Novello Award winning lyricist Chris Difford comes to CQAF with his 2019 “stand-up, sit-down” tour Up the Junction and we couldn’t be more excited.

The tour carries on from a successful show at 2018’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and sees Difford discussing extracts from his book Some Fantastic Place, which takes a look back at his career, whilst performing hits from across his Squeeze back-catalogue, and debuting some new solo material.

Over 40 years in the business, Difford rose to fame with his first incarnation, co-founding Squeeze with his longtime collaborator Glenn Tilbook. The pair quickly demonstrated an ability to turn characters and sketches from everyday life in to music, going on to write some the nation’s best-loved hits: Up The Junction, Cool For Cats, Labelled with Love, Tempted to name a few.

2017 saw Squeeze return with new album The Knowledge, followed by extensive worldwide touring the following year.

Always keen to bridge the gap between artist and audience, for the last 25 years Difford has hosted songwriting retreats in prisons, rehabs and with the Buddy Holly Foundation.

What’s more, he is one of the country’s most respected songwriters, having co-written with the likes Wet Wet WetJools Holland and Steve Nieve (Elvis Costello & The Attractions/Madness). Paul Carrack and Mick Jones of Foreigner.

Get tickets fast – this one will sell out.

Doors 7.45pm | Limited unreserved seating

The Fretless

The Fretless is the Canadian fiddle foursome playing an essential part in the traditional Irish folk music movement. Through the deconstruction and transformation of the usual rhythmic, harmonic and structured arrangements of fiddle styles around the world, The Fretless push traditional music into new plains.

Debuting in 2012 the band has steadily moved into the public eye, winning Instrumental Album of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards and Instrumental Group of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Award, along with a Juno award for their 2016 album Bird’s Nest.

Their most recent album, Live from the Antfarm, takes this a step further leading the charge in a new wave of folk music.

The Fretless is an innovation in music that must be heard.  They harbour all the energy of fiddle tunes, while shattering expectations.  Their approach takes string music to fascinating new places as it transforms traditional tunes and folk melodies into intricate, beautiful, high-energy arrangements. An absolute must-see.

Doors 7:45pm | Unreserved Seating

Mick Flannery

With Special Guest Mo Kenney.

Mick Flannery is widely regarded as one of the finest singer-songwriters to come out of Ireland in recent years.

An award winning- double platinum selling artist, Mick has released five albums to date – including two number ones and received widespread airplay. He became the first Irish musician to ever win awards at the International Songwriting Competition in Nashville, aged 19.  His critically acclaimed live performances have seen him sell out shows in Ireland’s Olympia Theatre and Cork Opera House.

Mick first picked up a guitar at age of 14 under the musical influence of his mother’s family in their old farmhouse in Blarney, Co. Cork where he grew up listening to Tom Waits, Bob DylanJoni Mitchell, Van Morrison, and Jim Croce.

Mick wrote songs throughout his teens, while training as a stonemason, which culminated in him signing to a major label at just 21 and releasing his first album Evening Train.

2018 has seen Mick Flannery step out of his comfort zone both musically and geographically, touring new cities across UK, Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand whilst working with a number of celebrated producers along the way.

What has transpired over the last year is one of his strongest bodies of work in his fifteen year song-writing career.

“astute and sophisticated lyrics”  RTE

 “strong, imaginative melodies”     Irish Examiner

 “a song-writing force to be reckoned with”  Irish times

 “an album dripping with maturity, poise and potential”   Entertainment.ie

Mo Kenney

Mo Kenney is fuelled with quirky songs, a unique voice, and the admiration and support of industry veterans such as Joel Plaskett and Ron Sexsmith.

Since the release of her self-titled debut recording in September 2012, Mo Kenney has toured the country selling record numbers of CDs off-stage and gleaning outstanding reviews.

Doors 7.45pm | Unreserved Seating

Nina Conti – In Your Face

Strap into the mask as Nina, Monkey and a bag of tricks improvise their way through an adventure of hilarious witchery. No two shows are ever the same!

She’s won a British Comedy Award, stormed Live at the ApolloRussell Howard’s Good NewsSunday Night at the Palladium, and made a BAFTA nominated film – all without moving her lips. Expect the unexpected…

Doors 7.45pm | Unreserved Seating

Nubya Garcia

London-based saxophonist and composer, Nubya Garcia, is one of the leading forces behind the resurgence of jazz-influenced sounds in the UK.

Raised in a creative environment built by a set of Caribbean parents, her brand of afro-tinged Jazz has made her a key component in a string of new and established groups: from work with MOBO Award-winning drummer, Moses Boyd, legendary Jungle producer and toaster, Congo Natty, through to her own works as part of six-piece, Maisha, and theNérija septet.

What makes her music so compelling is how she is able to weld together the various musical influences of her youth into a bright new sound. Whether it’s the gospel, soul and Latin that she grew up with at home, or the grime, garage and dub she used to dance to at London clubs; it’s all there.

Joined by a full band, this is already guaranteed to be a festival highlight.

Doors 7.30PM | Unreserved seating

Keep Telling Me Lies

(Matinee Saturday/Sunday)

Love and betrayal set against the music of the showbands. Written and directed by Brenda Winter-Palmer, developed

by Antoinette Morelli and the Karma Theatre Company.

Of all the iconic buildings in Belfast, the now derelict Floral Hall stands as a monument to the life, love, loss and music of the Showband era.

This is the story of two Belfast women as they reminisce about the lives they used to lead. Set against the backdrop of the crumbling Floral Hall and driven by the music of the Showbands, they recall the fateful night they met their future husbands.

Carla Dal Forno

Carla dal Forno is an Australian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, currently based between London and Berlin. Her acclaimed debut album You Know What It’s Like (2016), released on Blackest Ever Black, have established her as a singular new talent who navigates the in-between zones of post-punk, industrial, narcotic dub and dream pop.

As a solo artist Dal Forno crafts artfully atmospheric and emotionally ambiguous songs, displaying an observer’s eye for detail and a painterly sense of proportion. Her productions feature synth textures, pulsing drum machines, stripped back guitar lines and disorientating bass undertows, with her glacially detached voice soaring high above.

It is the perfect embodiment of dal Forno’s emotionally ambiguous songs: their lyrics rooted in the everyday, observing and exposing a series of uncomfortable truths. This voice asks difficult questions of singer, subject, and sung-to. Live she performs as a shadowy and transfixing duo with multi-instrumentalist Mark Smith.

You Know What It’s Like, is album for inbetween days, that occupies inbetween states: plain-speaking pop, disorientated by dub. Psychedelic folk delivered with (post-)punk economy. Drifting in space while still tethered to the ground. Ending and beginning, dying and becoming. Longing for adventure and an unquiet life. Struggling to get out of bed.

The Garden EP (2017) contains obliquely confessional dispatches from the edge zones of feeling. It marks both a refinement and an evolutionary leap from her debut. The EP’s title track – and its clear climax – pays tribute to Einsturzende Neubauten’s song of the same name.

 The Garden is a compact masterpiece from a remarkable artist who – frighteningly, excitingly – has only just begun to hit her stride.

Recommended for fans of Anna Domino, Coil, Raincoats, Kendra Smith, Antena, Flaming Tunes, Another Green World

‘Smoky and ominous, Australian singer/songwriter Carla dal Forno’s You Know What It’s Like simmers, both musically and thematically, while she inhabits the gloom of her arrangements like a ghost’ — PITCHFORK

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, are eight horn-playing brothers (plus one unrelated drummer) – all sons of jazz trumpeter and composer Kelan Phil Cohran (a member of Sun Ra’s Arkestra).

Together, they have formed a formidable reputation as one of the best live bands around, releasing three acclaimed albums on UK label Honest Jon’s Records.

With a sound that calls to mind traditional New Orleans big-band jazz and nods to the avant-garde angularity of their father and his contemporaries, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are equally informed by rap, funk and hip-hop.

They have worked alongside Mos Def, Prince, Ghostface Killah, Childish Gambino, Gorillaz (including 3 tracks on Plastic Beach), Erykah Badu, Robert Glasper and Tony Allen among others. Their stirring song War even featured on The Hunger Games soundtrack.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble’s signature dose of hard brass will have you on your feet, singing along and bouncing around ‘like trampoline testers’ (Evening Standard).

Doors 7.45pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

Awesome Tapes from Africa

Since 2006, Brian Shimkovitz’s Awesome Tapes From Africa blog has been shedding light on obscure and wonderful sounds from across the continent. As a DJ he brings the blog to life with 2-3 hour sets blending folkloric pop, left-field dancefloor gems and hip-hop bangers he’s collected on African marketplace finds.

Travelling from club to festival to DIY space, Awesome Tapes From Africa DJ sets celebrate the music and musicians whose cassettes Shimkovitz has collected over the years.

Drawing on his vast African cassette archive—which includes highlife, fuji, benga, tsonga disco, soukous, hip-hop, rhumba and ethio-soul, among countless other genres—his role now combines that of educator, promoter and selector, finding him DJ across the world.

His DJ sets on twin tape decks explore deep, regional sounds using analog-anchored agility not heard/seen anywhere else.

Doors 7.45pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

Peter Broderick with Brona McVittie

Born in 1987, Peter Broderick is an American-born multi-instrumentalist and singer, now based in Ireland.

Aside from collaborations with M. Ward, Laura Gibson, Dolorean, Efterklang, Nils Frahm, Greg Haines, David Allredand many more, Broderick recorded several acclaimed albums of solo material, ranging from sparse classical compositions or homemade folk music to piano and voice recordings – constantly experimenting with different musical genres and making his name as an increasingly essential artist in today’s musical panorama.

Along with some of the most prestigious venues across the world, Peter Broderick has also performed in festivals like Roskilde, Montreux Jazz Festival, Misty Fest, CTM Festival and Green Man

Peter’s performance will be preceded by a performance by harpist Brona McVittie. Decorated with an array of four and five star reviews singer-songwriter and musician Brona is quietly steering traditional folk into the 21st century with her recently launched debut solo album We are the Wildlife, described by The Guardian as ‘Beautifully embroidered folk with sweetness and bite.’

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved Seating

DADDY LONG LEGS + Protex & The Sabrejets

Support from Protex and The Sabrejets

Brooklyn-based trio DADDY LONG LEGS make their Yep Roc Records debut this May with Lowdown Ways, their third studio album.

Lowdown Ways sees the boys widen their sonic horizons with field hollers, gospel, Cajun, and Mississippi Hill Music, coupled with their renowned supercharged, harp-driven R&B bangers.

When asked by Village Voice “What is DADDY LONG LEGS?,” Frontman Brian Hurd answered, “Rock and roll salvation through the spirit of roots and blues.”

While influenced by the likes of Son House, Captain Beefheart, Howlin’ Wolf, MC5, and Dr. Feelgood, their sound personifies garage rock and punk with a contemporary raw twist performed in their own brand of supercharged R&B.

Since forming in 2010, the band has released two studio albums, a live album and two 45s on Norton Records. Their last album was 2015’s DADDY LONG LEGS Rides Tonight. The band has toured with Jon Spencer, Hurray For The Riff Raff, The Sonics, Nikki Lane, Nick Waterhouse, amongst others.

“…like Chicago blues fired at the moon, played by the demented children of the Pretty Things.” –Rolling Stone

“DADDY LONG LEGS takes the blues and turns them inside out, upside down, round about and renews their primal energy. My favorite rompin’ stompin’ New York band of the moment.” -Lenny Kaye Doors

7.45pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

Deirdre O’Kane – A Line of O’Kane

Footloose from a glittering turn on Dancing with the Stars and revelling in her return to stand-up, Deirdre has really hit her stride.

Don’t miss this hilarious and frank take on twelve frantic months in the life of a tango-tripping, family-minding, telly-making, house-moving, comedy dynamo.

‘O’Kane is an instantly charismatic stage presence and her brand of day-to-day anarchism stormed the place.’ – Three Weeks 

‘O’Kane dazzles the audience from start to finish.’ – The List

‘Unique star quality.’ – The Guardian Doors

7:45pm | Unreserved Seating

Glasshouse Ensemble perform Sufjan Stevens

Glasshouse are a music ensemble from Dublin. They present performances of popular contemporary music in singular locations. Glasshouse produce their own unique concerts, presenting musically exciting albums in their entirety.

Their arrangement of Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois is now famous on the Irish scene after performances at The Sugar Club, Douglas Hyde Gallery and Another Love Story.

‘Broderick’s voice, full of emotion and boasting a gorgeous range, perfectly captured the vulnerability Stevens’ lyrics. As predicted, the opening bars of ‘Chicago’ resonated throughout the packed tent and the crowd, revelling in nostalgia, sang along, not missing a single word.’ – THE THIN AIR

‘Their multifaceted approach to music transcends sound’ – TOTALLY DUBLIN

Doors 7.45pm | Unreserved Seating

The Eskies

The Eskies are purveyors of music that meanders from seasoaked waltz to Italian tarantella, from Brassy funeral
march-esque lament to weep-along Klezmar knees-up, from chaingang holler to ragtime finger snap.

Skipping through the dark side of anything that makes you want to dance, steeped in melodrama and usually with not
a small amount of tongue in cheek.

The band have brought this unique brand of folk noir/gypsy jazz/sea shanty and their all screaming, all sweating,
swaggering stage spectacle to ballrooms and booze-houses the length and breadth of Europe; sullying soirees and
lowering inhibitions of get togethers and social occasions wherever they have ventured.

Doors 7.45pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

SOLD OUT – Stephen Frost’s Improv Allstars

Featuring Stephen Frost (Whose Line is it Anyway), Andy Smart (Comedy Store Players) with Steve Steen and Ruth Bratt (Showstoppers).

Stephen Frost’s Impro Allstars have been making people laugh all over the world with their very own brand of irreverent improvised comedy. You shout it out, they act is out – no safety nets! Fast, funny and furious. Not to be missed.

‘I’m so proud to bring Stephen Frost (The Young Ones, Who’s Line is It Anyway, Blackadder) to play the Bivouac Comedy club. These are four legends from the first wave of alternative comedy in the early 80’s scene performing in the Sunflower bar. A mighty second instalment of Belfast’s very own nomadic alternative comedy club night Bivouac. A guaranteed sell out.’ – PAUL CURRIE

Doors 7.45pm | Unreserved Seating

SOLD OUT – UNLOVED + David Holmes DJ Set

In association with Strange Victory

It’s an unwritten rule: All good things must end, but all transcendentally remarkable things must end with an almighty bang.

And so, it is with both a tear in the eye and a celebratory fist in the air that we announce the last ever God’s Waiting Room (GWR) will take place at the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival on Friday 10 May. And it’s a big one.

Belfast-based music legend and GWR mastermind David Holmes’ own band Loveless(fresh from sound tracking the award-winning BBC TV show Killing Eve) will be headlining the last ever God’s Waiting Room.

For the uninitiated, God’s Waiting Room was the crazed, beautiful brainchild of David Holmes: a legendary series of evenings of curated music, found sounds, weird visuals and wonderous acts in amazing spaces.

No two GWRs were ever the same. You never knew who was going to turn up (Jarvis Cocker, Primal Scream, Andrew Weatherall all dropped by). And nobody got out with their mind unblown…

Featuring vocalist Jade Vincent, Keefus Ciancia and David, Unloved evolved out of a late-night Hollywood bar in 2015.  Following their 2016 debut album Guilty Of Love, the band announced their second album Heartbreak of which the eponymous lead single was playlisted on BBC6 music.

At the close of 2018 the band played five sold out nights with Étienne Daho at Olympia in Paris and two sold out headline shows at Hoxton Hall in London.  Heartbreak was released on 1 February on Heavenly Recordings.

Expect magic and dancing, mayhem and more dancing. Come join us down the rabbit hole as, we take our places for the last ever God’s Waiting Room…

Doors 19:45 | Unreserved Seating

My Darling Clementine

My Darling Clementine return to CQAF with a full band following the release success of their critically acclaimed third album Still Testifying. Uncut magazine described it as ‘where gospel, country and southern soul happily collide… and it’s terrific.’

Since Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish shook up the world of country and americana with their much lauded 2013 debut How Do You Plead?, they have continued to push the boundaries of country music. With Still Testifying they have adopted a more soulful and gospel approach and the album, like its predecessors, has been greatly hailed in both Europe and America.

After hundreds of shows across Europe and the U.S, and some ingenious musical collaborations (Texan author and musician Kinky FriedmanThe Brodsky Quartet, iconic singer and songwriter Graham Parker plus their audio book and unique song and story show collaboration with crime writer Mark Billingham), My Darling Clementine have won numerous awards, become regulars on the BBC and gained an ever-growing, passionate fan base.

Wry, witty, acerbic , and at times incredibly poignant, the duo always run their audiences through the full gamut of emotions with their match-made-in-heaven harmonies and songwriting of the very highest order.

Doors 1.30pm | Unreserved Seating

Emma Dabiri – Don’t touch My Hair – Cancelled

From Emma’s agent;

‘For medical reasons, Emma Dabiri is unable to take part in this event. We regret any inconvenience caused.’


Straightened. Stigmatised. ‘Tamed’. Celebrated. Erased. Managed. Appropriated. Forever misunderstood. Black hair is never ‘just hair’.

This book is about why black hair matters and how it can be viewed as a blueprint for decolonisation.

Emma Dabiri takes us from pre-colonial Africa, through the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power and on to today’s Natural Hair Movement, the Cultural Appropriation Wars and beyond.

Dabiri looks at the trajectory from hair capitalists like Madam CJ Walker in the early 1900s to the rise of Shea Moisture today, touching on everything from women’s solidarity and friendship, to forgotten African scholars, to the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian’s braids.

Doors 4.45pm | Unreserved Seating

Cabaret in the Cathedral

The Community Arts scene in Belfast has been an important element of the cultural life of the city for over 30 years.

Many organisations have developed from a grass roots level, supplying music, theatre, carnival arts, street entertainment and circus to all, and helping to sustain many artists working and living in our city.

This one-off event brings together a range of talent from across Belfast’s community arts organisations to present a unique family cabaret within St Anne’s Cathedral.

As well as showcasing some of the finest acts Belfast community arts has to offer, the cabaret is being held in support of Ash Reynolds, one of our best known and loved artists.

For the final line up of acts please check our website and social media #CabaretintheCathedral

Doors 6.15pm | Unreserved Seating

SOLD OUT – Johnny, Barry & Jim of Horslips + Pat McManus Band

This promises to be very special. Featuring Barry Devlin, Jim Lockhart and Johnny Fean of Horslips who, along with Eamon Carr and Charles O’Connor, explored the frontiers of Celtic music since the 1960s.

In their trilogy of albums, The Book of Invasions, Aliens and The Man Who Built America, the band explored Irish history and the forging of new frontiers in the new world. Horslips paved the way for many Irish artists including U2.

With hits such as Dearg Doom and Trouble with a Capital T, the band became infamous for their blend of Irish trad and rock. Their songs re-tell Irish myths and legends while giving them a unique twist.

Last November fan Rob Aiken put on an event, Horslips Con 2018, for fans who came from as far away as the USA and Europe to see Barry Devlin, Jim Lockhart and Johnny Fean with Myles Lally on drums. This was the first time that such an event had been staged. Rob is delighted that CQAF are presenting this year’s Horslips Convention 2019.

When the band step onto the stage at the Festival Marquee, the response will be rapturous. Do not miss this one.

Please note neither Eamon Carr or Charles O’Connor will be performing at tonight’s event.

Support from The Pat McManus Band –  a powerful three-piece Blues/Rock Trio, headed up by the former Mama’s Boys and Celtus guitarist/violinist virtuoso and true gent Pat McManus who has a long association with Horslips.

Doors 7.00pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

Revisited – Jeff Buckley ‘Grace’

Oh Yeah’s Revisited series returns to CQAF by celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Jeff Buckley’s masterpiece album Grace.

Released in 1994 Grace gained cult status at first before going on to sell over 2 million albums and is consistently acclaimed as one of the greatest albums of all time.

It was unfortunately the only studio album Buckley would record due to his death only a few days later. Featuring his soaring and heart-breaking version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah as well as favourites Mojo Pin, Last Goodbye and Grace.

To celebrate the legacy of a remarkable, sincere and mesmerising record the Oh Yeah will re-imagine the album with local artists including David C Clements, Reevah and Sam Wickens.


Doors 7.45pm | Unreserved Seating

Rob Auton

The Talk Show is a comedy/theatre/spoken word show about talking by award-winning writer and performer Rob Auton.

Following on from his shows about hair, sleep, water, faces, the sky and the colour yellow, Rob now turns his attention to talking because he is ready to talk about talking.

Since 2012 Rob has chosen a specific theme for his shows and challenged himself to create an hour of material about each subject.  These shows have given rise to sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe as Rob continues to build his audience through his unique use of words and humour.

After his appearances on the Russell Howard HourBBC at the Edinburgh Festival and Channel 4’s Random Acts, Rob now looks to talk to as many people as possible with The Talk Show.

The Talk Show was the second best-reviewed comedy show at the Edinburgh Festival 2018.

Doors 7:30pm | Unreserved Seating

A Certain Ratio

English post-punk purveyors A Certain Ratio are set to deliver the perfect balance of funk and dance-oriented industrial realness on the Black Box.

The show coincides with the release of ACR:BOX, marking the 40th anniversary of A Certain Ratio’s debut release, the Martin Hannett produced All Night Party (Factory Records’ first single release).

A Certain Ratio embraced the ethic and culture of the late seventies post-punk explosion, but sounded like nothing else around them and refused to fit in.

Their dub-infused punk-funk recordings have proved massively influential over the past thirty years – their sound can be heard on everyone from LCD Soundsystem, Happy Mondays, Franz Ferdinand to ESG, and Factory Floor.

Five albums were released on Factory , two for A&M and two albums on Robs Records, the label set up by New Order’s manager and Factory’s director, Rob Gretton.

Their sound is not easily pigeon holed combining the avant-garde elements of funk, jazz, electronics, tape loops and technology to the pop song, wrapping it in a post punk aesthetic, adding great clothes and the coolest haircuts.


Doors 7.45pm | Limited Unreserved Seating

Say Sue Me

Say Sue Me are a Surf inspired Indie-Rock/Pop act from Busan, South Korea and cited as one of 2019’s ‘break-out bands’.

Childhood friends Jaeyoung Ha (Bass) and Byungkyu Kim (guitar) met drummer Semin Kang and played in bands together since winter of 2012, when they met Sumi Choi at a tea shop in Nampo-dong.

They liked her speaking voice and immediately offered her a spot as the vocalist in a new band that would become Say Sue Me. Sumi turned out to be a natural at songwriting. Semin sadly suffered trauma from a fall. New drummer Changwon Kim stands in while they await Semin’s recovery.

Following showcases at SXSW in 2018, the band released their sophomore album Where We Were Together and a RSD covers EP which won praise from Pitchfork, NPR, Billboard, The Independent, Stereogum, Paste, MTV, Fader and more.

Three tracks were playlisted on BBC 6Music three times where Lauren Laverne, Tom Ravenscroft, Gideon Coe and Don Letts have championed the band as well as Elton John on Beats1 and KEXP.

The band toured the Europe twice in 2018  and count Yo La Tengo, Japanese Breakfast, Snail Mail, The Coathangers, The Ravonettes and Speedy Ortiz as fans.

 Doors 7:30pm | Unreserved Seating

SOLD OUT – The Breath + special guests Lemoncello

The Breath is guitarist Stuart McCallum and singer Ríoghnach Connolly. Based in Manchester, their unique take on alt-folk journeys from lush, beguiling storytelling to uplifting, punch-the-air anthems.

At its heart is Rioghnach’s deeply soulful, utterly engaging, stop-you-in-your-tracks voice alongside Stuart’s understated brilliance and their exquisitely crafted, personal songs. Yet it’s the emotional depth of the songs and the remarkable connection the duo share on stage that make The Breath’s live performance so compelling.

Their latest album Let the Cards Fall, is a collection of songs allowed to mature and breathe without losing the multi-textured kaleidoscope of sound that marked their debut, Carry Your Kin.

Expect a performance that is ‘gentle and rolling, mountainous and anthemic… and emotionally charged’, according to fRoots. A great band in a great venue. Yes, we’re very, very excited about this.

Special guests Lemoncello.

Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved Seating


 Yola Carter’s star is definitely on the ascendant after an amazing performance on Jools’ Annual Hootenanny on the BBC on New Year’s Eve rounding off a busy year which saw her record her long-awaited debut album Walk Through Fire.

Produced by The Black Keys’ Dan AuerbachWalk through Fire is out February 22, 2019 on Easy Eye Sound. Dan Auerbach said, “The moment I met Yola I was impressed. Her spirit fills the room, just like her voice…she has the ability to sing in a full roar or barely a whisper and that is a true gift. She made everyone in the studio an instant believer.”

A song from the record, Ride Out In The Country, premiered on Rolling Stone earlier this month to positive reviews from Brooklyn Vegan and Refinery29, among others. Additional media acclaim includes coverage in the Wall Street Journal, Paste, Stereogum, and NPR, who have praised Yola’s powerhouse vocals and songwriting, comparing her to a diverse range of artists from the Staples Singers to Dolly Parton.

Yola said of Ride Out In The Country, “Lyrically the song is about escapism and the video adds an awesome twist. We wrote the song about getting away from an oppressive environment. I was in an abusive relationship a while back, so I drew on the feeling of relief and release that I had when I truly felt free.”

Certain to be one of the standout shows of this year’s festival.

Doors 1.30pm | Unreserved Seating

Folsom Prison Blues: A Tribute to Johnny Cash by the Junior Johnson Band

On January 13th 1968 Johnny Cash performed two of the most important gigs of his life. Much against everyone’s advice at Columbia records, Cash, June Carter, Carl Perkins, the Statler Brothers and the Tennessee Three went to Folsom Prison to record a live album in front of an audience of inmates. His career seemed to being stalling, this was a make or break live album.

The setlist included the gallows-humoured 25 Minutes To GoI Got StripesJackson with June Carter and Greystone Chapel written by inmate Glen Sherley, who was in the front row unaware Cash was going to perform his song.

The gamble paid off and was the first of 4 albums he would record in prisons. The Man In Black reminded the world how much of an outlaw he truly was. It has since gone platinum three times and is considered one of the greatest live recordings in American music history.

This will be a special gig recreating that iconic album by Junior Johnson and his band.

Presented by Snow Water.

Doors 1.45pm | Unreserved Seating

Son of Liverpool – From Scottie Road to Town.

Performance poet Gerry Potter’s powerful evocation of his home city.

“Y’know somethin’, I’m pretty sure Liverpools me real Ma ‘n’ Da.”

Son of Liverpool is an epic theatre-verse exploration of birth, life, parenting, hysterical partying, howling laughter and death.

Where the raucous power of bricks and mortar, cranes and dock-lands collide with back alley Scouseology and dancing.

Gerry asks, from the rare auld times till now, are we more our ever-evolving native cities than we are our families?

Does accent, industry, demolition, discos, church, school, dead ‘ard scally girls, chippies, indeed do those auld Dock Road pubs, have more than a hand in our upbringing?

Son of Liverpool will ask you if you are a child of your city.

Doors 7:15pm | Unreserved Seating

SOLD OUT – Roy Walker

It is both good and right that we sign off the 20th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival with one of Belfast’s (and the festival’s) favourite sons with the living legend that is Roy Walker returns to the Festival for one night only.

Roy’s career is well documented, building a reputation as a master comedian in the 60s and 70s in the clubs and on television, to hosting throughout the golden years of Catchphrase in the 80s and 90s, to his recent career as break out TV star in a range of shows including The Real Marigold Hotel and Celebrity Come Dine with Me.

His first love though, has always been comedy. Give him a microphone, an audience and a spotlight and Roy Walker is truly in his element.

One of the finest Irish comedians of his or any other generation, and a true friend of the Festival, ladies and gentlemen, we give you Mr Roy Walker.

Doors 7.45pm | Unreserved Seating 

Johnny, Barry & Jim of Horslips + Paddy Goodwin and the Holy Ghosts

Horslips Con 2019

This promises to be very special. Featuring Barry Devlin, Jim Lockhart and Johnny Fean of Horslips who, along with Eamon Carr and Charles O’Connor, explored the frontiers of Celtic music since the 1960s.

In their trilogy of albums, The Book of Invasions, Aliens and The Man Who Built America, the band explored Irish history and the forging of new frontiers in the new world. Horslips paved the way for many Irish artists including U2.

With hits such as Dearg Doom and Trouble with a Capital T, the band became infamous for their blend of Irish trad and rock. Their songs re-tell Irish myths and legends while giving them a unique twist.

Last November fan Rob Aiken put on an event, Horslips Con 2018, for fans who came from as far away as the USA and Europe to see Barry Devlin, Jim Lockhart and Johnny Fean with Myles Lally on drums. This was the first time that such an event had been staged. Rob is delighted that CQAF are presenting this year’s Horslips Convention 2019.

When the band step onto the stage at the Festival Marquee, the response will be rapturous. Do not miss this one.

Please note neither Eamon Carr or Charles O’Connor will perform at tonight’s event.

Support from The ‘Paddy Goodwin and the Holy Ghosts’, legendary blues rockers.

Doors 6.45pm | Standing gig with very limited seating

See less

CQAF 2019 Artist in Residence DANI

Singer-songwriter DANI has been wowing audiences for the past few years with her virtuoso guitar playing and highly individualistic self-penned songs.

In 2017 DANI travelled to Indonesia to work with instrumentalists KunoKini. The combination of KunoKini’s exploration of Indonesia’s traditional instruments with DANI’s traditional Irish style of songwriting allowed for a powerful musical partnership.

She recently composed the music for The Silver Branch a collaborative project with playwright Alice Malseed which explores the narrative surrounding contemporary abortion debate through the lens of Celtic Mythology.

‘A multi-instrumentalist with a remarkable knack for eking out sublime, burrowing melodies evocative of Irish traditional music.’THE THIN AIR

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

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