Muriel Anderson's strum-thing else with eclectic set
Given the money pumped into the likes of the Waterfront and Odyssey, it's ironic that one of the best music venues in Belfast is a near-80-year-old cinema on the outskirts of town.
But last night the Strand once again held its own by hosting a gig by the American guitarist Muriel Anderson as part of the Belfast Festival.
The art deco building's fine acoustics and its atmospheric environs proved a sublime setting for the talented solo strummer.
Every note from Anderson's harp-guitar was relayed to the respectful audience with crystal-clear clarity, and her wry banter kept things lively.
At one point she even managed to get everyone onto their feet to dance in 13/8 time – pretty good going for a wet Sunday evening in October.
Set-wise, it was as eclectic as anything, with the musician pulling Spanish, French, Irish and Japanese songs from her repertoire.
Before giving us a rendition of the Oriental folk song Sakura, Anderson explained that in Japan the word can be slang for someone planted in the audience to clap and cheer.
As she wound up last night with a standing ovation and a well-deserved encore, no such cheating was required.