Belfast Telegraph

Is this Northern Ireland's very own Bez? Man takes Armagh concert by storm with fancy footwork

By Claire Williamson

Is this Northern Ireland's very own Bez?

Mystery surrounded the 60-year-old man who lives in Armagh after footage of his fancy footwork appeared online.

Malcolm Stewart was captured on camera in full swing at The Market Place Theatre on Saturday past.

He lives for music and wowed the crowd as he showcased his impressive dance moves to Van Morrison.     

The footage has had thousands of views online.

Malcolm regularly tries to encourage others to get up and join him at gigs and told the Belfast Telegraph people shouldn't be so concerned about what others think.

Malcolm said his dancing began at discos when girls wouldn't dance with him and his friends when they were younger - so in order to make sure they had a good time regardless, he got up and danced himself.

He said: "I've been doing this since the early 70s. I used to go to discos occasionally and got turned down by girls so I eventually came to the conclusion why not dance by myself.

"I just enjoy the music. It fills me with a sense of freedom. It's a type of expression - people play music, paint, write poetry, it's similar to that."

Malcolm has now become well-known in the music scene as he is a frequent concert-goer - even getting the nickname 'Mad Malcolm'.

"I didn't do it to become well-known or famous- I simply enjoyed the music. I became known from one concert to another.

"When I finished exams at Queen's University we all went down to Kelly's to see a Coleraine cover band.

"We were dancing about and someone said 'that's Mad Malcolm from Belfast' and that's how the nickname came about."

Over the years Malcolm has got to know many people in the Northern Ireland music scene including Belfast punk legend Terri Hooley, the Undertones and Moondogs.

He said: "People in the music scene accept everyone. There are no religious labels. It's a wee community.

He added: "Everyone dances in  different ways and I try to encourage others to dance and just have a good time. It kind of breaks through the fear of people's opinions.

"Just go into your own space and interpret the music and if people like it, it's a bonus.

"Everybody can do it. All you have to do is start. We would be the first ones up and by the end of the night the whole floor is full."

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