Belfast Telegraph

Prince Charming and legendary Dexys to star at Belfast arts event

By Adrian Rutherford

He was the artist behind hits such as Room At The Top and Prince Charming — and 80s legend Adam Ant will be charming Belfast this year as part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.

Pop group Dexys are also among the initial batch of headline acts performing this year.

Organisers of the festival, which takes place from May 2-12 across Belfast city centre, also revealed that 2011 hit John Grant would be returning, as well as acclaimed author Will Self, club guru DJ Yoda and award-winning comic Richard Herring.

Critically lauded music acts such as Lucy Rose, Chuck Prophet, Angel Olsen and Amadou and Mariam are also among the “early bird” acts announced.

Festival director Sean Kelly said he was thrilled to offer music, comedy and literature fans some good news ahead of the main programme launch in April.

“Dexys for one has been a festival ambition of mine for some years now,” he said.

“We’re beyond thrilled to finally get Kevin Rowland and the band over to Belfast for the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.

“The word legend is bandied about far too much these days, but the great man’s musical legacy speaks for itself, and he’s still producing work of staggering beauty.”

Mr Kelly is also thrilled to secure Adam Ant for the festival.

“He has more classic number one singles than I can count and I know there’s a fair few local Ant People who’ve been waiting a while for him to come back and play Belfast,” he added.

“But probably more importantly, we’re also chuffed to be able to offer festival fans the opportunity to get advance tickets for what promises to be a great year for Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.”

Today’s Dexys announcement was preceded by the appearance of Geno Washington at last month’s Out To Lunch — the companion festival to May’s main Cathedral Quarter event.

Geno was immortalised in the number one single of the same name by Dexys over 30 years ago.

“It’s funny how things turn out, and there’s a certain kind of symmetry now between having a storming Geno gig in the Black Box in January and then having the guy over who immortalised him in May,” added Mr Kelly.

He promised more big names are in store for the main programme launch in six weeks’ time.

“I can’t say too much at the minute, but there’s more to come, including another big comedy name next week,” he added.

“But we thought we’d like to give people an early sample of what’s to come in May.

“John Grant, of course, blew our main marquee away on closing festival night two years ago and, a man of his word, promised he’d come back. To get names the calibre of Will Self, Richard Herring, DJ Yoda, Amadou and Mariam over to Belfast, we felt was something to shout about.”

Noirin McKinney, from the Arts Council, said it was an exciting line-up.

She added: “These early programme announcements show once again that Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival is a lively, eclectic and popular festival that continues to attract new audiences every year.”

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