mon 26/09/2022

Northern Ireland

Album: Two Door Cinema Club - Keep On Smiling

Three and a half years on from 2019’s False Alarm, Keep On Smiling comes album number five from Northern Ireland trio, Two Door Cinema Club. Known for having more bounce to the ounce than your average band, their brand of guitar-flecked electro pop...

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Prom 31, Alder, Ulster Orchestra, Rustioni review - a summer night's dream

The Ulster Orchestra’s Prom finished early to accommodate a late-night concert by the esteemed Tredegar Band – but by then, we’d already enjoyed one spectacular brass showcase. Under its justly-praised chief conductor Daniele Rustioni (formerly...

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Album: Van Morrison - What's It Gonna Take?

The mystifying chasm between Van Morrison’s personality and music became total with last year’s Latest Record Project Volume 1, as masterfully sung, textbook R&B rolled under biliously paranoid words. This 28-song more than double-album was...

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Here Before review - family values under supernatural pressure

You generally find that a movie with Andrea Riseborough in it is worth a look, and so it proves here. Written and directed by Belfast-born Stacey Gregg, Here Before is a nicely-focused story which plays echoes of the supernatural off against a taut...

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Belfast review - coming of age amid the terror of the Troubles

For all his achievements as actor and director, Kenneth Branagh isn’t immediately thought of as a screenwriter, despite his multiple Shakespeare adaptations. That may all change with Belfast, because Branagh’s deeply personal account (he’s both...

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The 4th Country, Park Theatre review – sympathetic and intriguing

History is a prison. Often, you can’t escape. It imprints its mark on people, environments and language. And nowhere is this more true that in Northern Ireland, where the history of conflict between the Republican Catholic community and the Loyalist...

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First Person: composer Conor Mitchell on challenging religious orthodoxy from a queer perspective in MASS

A mass, in its simplest form, is the order of prayers that are said in a religious service. It is standardised and has been for centuries, in order to create a theatrical journey that takes us through a service. Composers have always been drawn to...

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Baeva, Ulster Orchestra, Rustioni, Ulster Hall, Belfast review - magic from an Italian star conductor

At last! The eagerly awaited first opportunity in the new 2021-22 Belfast concert season to catch up with the Ulster Orchestra’s Chief Conductor, Daniele Rustioni has arrived. He took up his appointment for the new autumn season in 2019, but the...

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Album: Van Morrison - Latest Record Project Volume 1

If you want to understand the psychic harm that prolonged lockdown can do to a man, then take a listen to Van Morrison's new 28-song set. Actually, you don't need to listen, the song titles say enough: “Where Have All the Rebels Gone?”; “Stop...

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Bloodlands, BBC One review - ghosts of the Troubles return to poison the present

Belfast-based thriller Bloodlands comes from the pen of first-time TV writer Chris Brandon, though he may find some of his thunder being stolen by the show’s producer, Line of Duty supremo Jed Mercurio. Line of Duty is filmed in Belfast too, though...

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Album: Django Django - Glowing in the Dark

It’s odd that there’s still no name for the wave of genre-agnostic British bands of the '00s. Not manic enough to be nu rave, way too interesting for the retro-guitar nu rock revolution / landfill indie tsunami, the likes of Hot Chip, Metronomy,...

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Marcella, Series 3, ITV review - Anna Friel returns as the defective detective

Anna Friel’s unstable detective Marcella Backland has been on the brink of existential burn-out ever since her first appearance on ITV in 2016, but it seems audiences have a perverse desire to see what psychological black holes she might plummet...

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