2016 marks the eleventh annual edition of the Out to Lunch Arts Festival. Centred around its home in the Black Box within Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, Out to Lunch runs from 8th – 31st January featuring live music, spoken word, theatre, comedy and literature, with both afternoon and evening performances scattered throughout the next few weeks. Here at Chordblossom we are all about the music, so below is a few of our top musical picks to check out this January. With shows such as Villagers and Jim ‘The King’ Brown already sold out, 2016 looks to be another successful and vibrant year in the festival’s history.
► Saint Sister, Prima Quartet, Jealous of the Birds
Dublin based Saint Sister featuring Belfast’s Morgan Macintyre and Derry’s Gemma Doherty only released their debut EP in November 2015 but have already propelled themselves to the ‘ones to watch’ lists of many publications including The Irish Post and Joe.ie. Their stunning blend of organic and electronic instrumentation alongside two assured vocalists produces a unique style of experimental folk. The duo will be performing alongside Prima Quartet and the justifiably lauded Jealous of the Birds for a Sunday afternoon. Those wishing for an afternoon of chilled and dreamy music should look no further, and with Saint Sister set to take 2016 by storm this may be the best time to see them.
Sunday 17th January – 2.00pm
The Black Box – Tickets £6
► Ciaran Lavery & Emily Barker
Hailing from Aghagallon Ciaran Lavery had an exciting 2016. He has played numerous festivals, was nominated for the NI Music Prize for his ethereal and understated collaboration with Ryan Vail, won Hot Press Magazine’s Big Break Award, reached 27 million Spotify streams… we could go on and on. With the release of another album in the coming year, it’s safe to say the gravelly vocalist and gifted songwriter Lavery is another with a bright 2016 ahead of him. He will be performing for Out to Lunch alongside award winning English singer-songwriter Emily Barker. With her blend of folk, americana and country Barker’s music should match with Lavery’s perfectly. Indeed, the two toured the UK together in March last year and we could be treated to a few joint performances on Sunday.
Sunday 10th January – 2.00pm
The Black Box – Tickets £10
► The Strypes
Cavan’s blues rockers The Strypes have accomplished a lot at a young age, including as it happens playing their first ever Belfast show at the Out to Lunch festival three years ago. With the band always sure to deliver a blistering live performance their return to the festival this January should be worth a look in.
Friday 29 January – 8.00pm
The Black Box – Tickets £14
► Lindi Ortega
The majority of the musical acts playing this year will find themselves in the Black Box. Toronto-born Nashville resident Lindi Ortega however has been there, done that. The country tinged songstress played to a packed Black Box on her last visit to Belfast and this year the festival will be hoping she packs out the Empire Music Hall.
Saturday 16 January – 8.30pm
Empire Music Hall – Tickets 8.30pm
► Matthew E. White
Another artist finding themselves outside the Cathedral Quarter will be Virgina’s Matthew E. White. Combining a heap of American classic genres including jazz and soul, White’s performance won’t be one to miss.
Friday 22 January – 8.00pm
Voodoo – Tickets £10
Full programme available here
Tickets available from the Cathedral Quarter Arts website.