in a week full of so much turmoil for our country and as northern ireland hits the headlines once again for all the wrong reasons, i felt it was quite significant to be standing in the ulster hall on monday night as it reopened to the sound of 14 quality bands.


it’s such a special venue and has been missed over the last 2 years as it’s been closed. i’ve had many special nights in it at various concerts, at the monthly mannafest which was significant in my own spiritual journey, and even getting to play on the stage one night at a new years eve party.

not too sure why it’s taken so long to refurbish as it just looked a fresh lick of paint and cleaned toilets, but i was relieved the old look of the venue had remained in tact!

anyway, the gig just made me so proud to be from this wee country as one after the other, amazing, creative and unique bands stepped forward to perform their short set. highlights of the night for me were…

:: duke special’s set (as always!!) and his crowd surf
:: ash performing ‘mrs robinson’
:: the ‘teenage kicks’ finale
:: a great band i’ve never heard before called Cashier No. 9
:: gary lightbody performing unexpectedly
:: bumping into lots of familiar faces and old friends

however, it was foy vance who stole the show a bit with a brand new song which hushed the crowd into silent. a very special moment and can’t wait to hear it again at his gig in May!!

all in all, a great night for music in northern ireland and a reminder of what an amazing and creative wee country i am part of.