Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Out to Lunch at Belfast

I made my first festival  excursion last week to catch a couple of events at the Out to Lunch Festival. I haven't been to Belfast very often and it is so accessible now with good road and public transport routes. We made the journey by car by passing Dublin on the M50 and the journey time was 3 and 1/2 hours with a coffee stop. I hope it won't be too long before I visit again and next time, I would consider going by bus or train. There are several venues that I haven't visited yet and there is  always plenty of events  happening on the lively arts scene. I'd love to see something in the Grand Opera House and the Waterfront Hall.
If You Can Find Me: A celebration of Stephen Sondheim
The Black Box is pretty much as you'd expect. It is a large functional space with a bar on the side and a small stage.. It has a relaxed clubby atmosphere. It was full for a lunchtime Sondheim selection. There was a light lunch thrown in for the modest entry fee of £8. The dozen songs drawn from diverse shows were loosely wrapped in a obscure  narrative and showcased singers, Margaret Bridge, Elaine McDaid and Rebecca Murphy from the NI Opera Studio programme . There was some adaptation of lyrics to inject some local humour. It was good to hear Wicklow tenor Ross Scanlon in fine form .  Keith McAlister accompanied on piano.

I was back later for tenx9, a regular monthly storytelling session. The format is in the title. Nine people have ten minutes to tell a true story and there is a theme. The event was free and coordinated by Padraig O Tuama and Paul  Doran. There was queue at the venue of an inter-generational audience. The theme on the night was 'Pets' and  even if some of the tales about endearing moggies weren't that gripping, the format meant no item was too long. More about the event here
You can listen to a podcast of the evening here.

We finished the evening in a salubrious velvet clad booth at Bert's Jazz Bar in the Merchant Hotel where the mood was mellow for a midweek guitar, piano and drums trio.

No comments:

Post a Comment