We had assumed that Simple Minds were always going to play Belfast Child at Custom House Square next Tuesday. After all, the city was name-checked in their first number one release and it led to the 1989 comeback that revived the band’s career.
Carol Clerk was a student at Regent House school when her first piece was published in Melody Maker. The 1973 headline was Bombs, Boredom and No Bands. It was a diary of teenage life at a horrendous time.
The Tom Robinson Band made a connection between punk rock and the pride movement back in 1978 with the release of the song Glad to be Gay. Tom boldly set off on a tour that included some Irish dates in October of that year. Homosexuality was still illegal across the island.
Kate Bush is happily back in our thoughts with the success of Running up that Hill and the song’s dramatic placement on the Stranger Things soundtrack. New listeners are captivated and the singer’s Irish connections have been revisited.
When you’re playing a gig in the Banana Block, you have a licence to dress like a banana. This is why Thibault Barillon is dressed in vivid yellow, with matching nail polish. He is hanging out in this prime east Belfast location and he’s ripe for a great art moment.
An amusing festival moment took place a decade ago on the side of the Sperrin mountains. An unshaven chap placed his tent in the middle of the sheep dung. He popped it open and let out a groan of disgust.
Before he became a Green Party councillor and a potential MLA, Brian Smyth was the singer with a Belfast band called Dirty Stevie. Their big moment was a single called Do You Wanna Have Sex With Me.
The old ghosts of slavery and the modern abuse of people trafficking will be remembered at a special event in Belfast on April 29. The music will resound in the First Presbyterian Church, asking us to measure how far we have traveled as a city.
The Nazis wanted to ban jazz music from Germany because they thought it was “degenerate”. Ballymena City Council refused to allow the Electric Light Orchestra on their civic grounds in 1993. They cited ‘the four ‘D’s’, namely “devil, drinking, drugs and debauchery”.
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