Neville Staple is credited with changing the face of pop music not only once but twice.
His 40-year career in the music business is well documented. From the early days with his Jah Baddis Sound System, The Coventry Automatics, The Specials, and Fun Boy Three in the ‘70s and 80’s, to The Special Beat and various other collaborations during his solo career from the 90’s up to the present day.
Following on from the 2009 Specials reunion and his departure from the band in late 2012, he continues to be a forerunner of the Ska movement, and continues to thrill audiences with his own excellent band at venues and festival appearances worldwide.
His highly celebrated album Return of Judge Roughneck was released in 2017 to outstanding reviews.
Doors 7.30pm | Mostly Standing
Matt McGinn is an Irish songwriter like no other. It’s obvious by now that with the release of his 4th album Lessons of War, Matt does not follow any blueprint in any genre. Although the sentiment of his lyrics are forged in folk music, the sonic landscape he creates can really transcend most genres.
His 2018 album The End of the Common Man won praise far and wide – AMERICANA UK called it ‘an outstanding blend of soulful passion and melody that will haunt and inspire.’
Early critical acclaim is already coming in for Lessons of War with Line of Best Fit declaring it ‘a plaintive and devastating reassessment of the futilities of war, its horrors, effects and after-effects’. The lead single Bubblegum featuring Ciara O’Neill has been labelled as “one of the best singles you will hear this year” by HOT PRESS magazine.
Matt’s work is filled with tension and emotion, adding some ointment to the disparaging current affairs of today. This album was Matt’s own way of coming to terms with the world’s mistreatment of decent people over this last few years.
Teaming up with leading Irish songwriters like Mick Flannery, Ciaran Lavery and Ben Glover, the album tackles the huge subject of war and its affects. At the same time he sought out musicians from areas of conflict across the world to play their part on this important work.
In this unique festival event, Matt will be joined by his very special guests Ciara O’Neill and Ria Maguire, who both feature heavily on Lessons of War. Also on stage will be Matt’s incredible touring band that includes Nicky Scott and piano virtuoso, John McCullough.
‘Well isn’t that just extraordinary?…A tune that jumps out of the speakers and shakes hands with your ears’ – TOM ROBINSON, 6MUSIC
‘A track that puts goosebumps on your goosebumps’ – HOT PRESS
‘Fantastic…stops you in your tracks.’ – LYNETTE FAY, BBC RADIO ULSTER
‘It just keeps getting better and better with every listen.’ – RALPH MCLEAN, BBC RADIO ULSTER
Doors 1:30pm | Unreserved Seating
Tickets also available from: Visit Belfast | 028 90 246 609
9 Donegall Square North – Open 7 days a Week
The Black Box
Sunday 3 May, 8.00pm
Grace Petrie’s unique takes on life, love and politics, and the warmth and wit with which they are delivered, have won over an army of loyal fans across the alternative, folk, political and comedy scenes.
She’s toured to arenas with Frank Turner, supported comedians Robin Ince, Josie Long and Hannah Gadsby, and has collaborated with Leon Rosselson and Peggy Seeger as well as touring with the hugely successful Guilty Feminist shows.
She has done a prestigious live session on the BBC Radio 2 Jo Whiley Show and her frequent festival appearances have included Vancouver Folk Festival, Latitude and Cambridge Folk Festival. In 2019 she played The Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury Festival.
Her current album, Queer As Folk, was released in Sept ’18 and was a Mojo magazine top 10 Folk Album of the Year.
‘She’s the urgent, pulsing, compassionate talent this world desperately needs.’ THE OBSERVER
‘She writes the sort of songs you want to pin the lyrics of on your bedroom wall, or on the office door, to remind you and everyone else who might read them what is important and true’ BUZZ MAGAZINE
Doors 7:30pm | Unreserved Seating
‘John Shuttleworth’s Back’… is giving him trouble.
Years of strenuous DIY, not to mention playing his organ whilst perched upon a multi pack of Diet Sprite with no lumber support, has taken its toll.
But – ever the trouper – John returns to regale audiences with an evening of his classic songs (plus new ones and hilarious ‘back’ stories), pausing only to reapply his deep heat rub!
‘A ludicrously compelling night out.’ – Evening Standard
Shows at 1pm + 8pm| Unreserved Seating
The Delines plus Jerry Joseph
The Black Box
Saturday 20 February 2021, 8.00pm
Country-soul outfit, The Delines, return to Belfast as part of a European tour this coming February with Jerry Joseph support. The Delines who are well known to Belfast audiences will be returning with new material for this special date with the full line up.
The band hails from Portland, Oregon, where they have been working on new material over the past months before the lockdown which is set to be finished shortly. Look forward to new songs and older classics from their previous albums.
The Delines are led by vocalist Amy Boone (The Damnations, TX), the keyboard and horn work of Cory Gray, as well as Richmond Fontaine members: Sean Oldham, Freddie Trujillo, and Willy Vlautin.
Vlautin, the acclaimed novelist and songwriter for Richmond Fontaine, has penned all ten tracks. Vlautin’s book Lean on Pete was recently released as a major motion picture. Richmond Fontaine broke up in 2016 after releasing over ten records.
Jerry Joseph will be supporting and has just recorded his new album with the Drive-By Truckers featuring Jason Isbell which will be out this August 21st on Décor Records.
Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved Seating
In association with Moving on Music
GoGo Penguin have been hailed as hailed as the “Radiohead of British Jazz”, but they draw equally on rock, jazz and minimalist influences, alongside the intricacy of Aphex Twin or Four Tet to create their punchy, experimental, but always beautiful music.
Their 2014 album v2.0 (Gondwana Records) was named a Mercury Prize album of the year alongside albums from Damon Albarn, Young Fathers and Jungle.
In 2015 they signed to Blue Note Records and released the albums Man Made Object in 2016 and A Humdrum Star in 2018. Their EP, Ocean in a Drop (Music for Film) was released in October 2019 and they are currently mixing a new album for release in 2020.
GoGo Penguin are: Chris Illingworth – piano, Nick Blacka – bass, Rob Turner – drums, Joe Reiser – sound.
‘Powered by fluttering, junglist drums, slithering bass lines and an increasing bank of Eno-esque digital manipulations. Hypnotic stuff.’ – THE GUARDIAN
‘Glistens with niggling bass and stabbing piano chords …..contemporary British jazz’s great experimenters’ -BEARDED
Doors 7.30pm | Unreserved seating
The Black Box
Monday 3 May, 2021. 8.00pm
“This is an examination of madness and loss,” says Brian Christinzio, the inimitable force behind BC Camplight. “I hope it starts a long overdue conversation.”
Fired by his ongoing battle with mental illness, Shortly After Takeoff is the final, and finest, chapter of what Christinzio calls his “Manchester Trilogy”, following 2015’s How To Die In The North and 2018’s Deportation Blues.
All three albums were created after the native Philadelphian had moved to Manchester. Like Deportation Blues, Shortly After Takeoff spans singer-songwriter classicism, gnarly synth-pop and ‘50s rock’n’roll, with Christinzio’s similarly distinctive, flexible vocal carrying a fearless approach to lyrical introspection, but the new album is a major leap forward in songwriting sophistication and lyrical communication.
The album has alreadfy been revered by critics, become a stalwart on the BBC Radio 6 Music playlist, and put BC Camplight back on the stage where he belongs. With a slew of tours and festivals on the horizon Christinzio, a remarkably relentless entertainer, will bring his immense new live show to the UK and Europe.
“It’s no fun giving an audience a standard show that they can get elsewhere” explains Christinzio. “Sometimes it’s intense, sometimes it’s emotional, sometimes it’s basically a fucking stand-up routine. I always like to involve the audience and make it memorable for everyone involved. I think we are one of the best live bands in the world and it’s an odd feeling finally getting an opportunity to get in front of loads of ears and eyes. In a perfect world I’d be able to organise a concert on the roof of the Home Office one day”.
Doors 7:30pm | Standing/Seated
Hollie McNish: Slug Tour 2021
The Black Box
Saturday 8 May, 2.00pm
Ted Hughes Award winner Hollie McNish is a poet whose live readings are not to be missed. Expect strong language and adult content ribbon wrapped in poetry and chat as Hollie reads from her new collection: Slug…and other things I’ve been told to hate.
Hollie is a writer based between Cambridge and Glasgow. She has published four poetry collections Papers, Cherry Pie, Plum, Slug, one play Offside and one poetic memoir Nobody Told Me, of which the Scotsman suggested “The world needs this book”. She was the first poet to record at Abbey Road Studios.
Her poems have been translated into French, German, Spanish, Hungarian, Polish and Japanese and she has performed them worldwide alongside the likes of Irvine Welsh, Kae Tempest, Jackie Kay, Helen Pankhurst and Young Fathers. Her new title – Slug: and other things I’ve been told to hate – is published in May 2021 with Fleet, Hachette, available now to pre-order.
As well as live readings, Hollie is a big fan of online accessibility – her poetry videos have attracted millions of viewings worldwide.
From Finnish mermaids and soppy otters to Kellogg’s anti-masturbation pants, Slug is a book that holds a mirror up to the world, past and present, through Hollie’s driving, funny and beautiful words. A blend of poetry, memoir and short story, Slug is an absolutely joyful read about the human condition: from birth to death and her attempt to manage the tangle in-between.
‘She writes with honesty, conviction, humour and love. She points out the absurdities we’ve grown too used to and lets us see the world with fresh eyes’
Doors 1.45pm | Unreserved Seating