As you may have seen from all of the colourful advertising around Belfast recently, the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival returns on the 1st May for its fifteenth year. Running for 11 nights, 2014 sees it go beyond its usual eclectic mix of festivities, with some real gems in the pipeline from Folk to Motown to Electronic to Soul to Punk to pretty much something for every set of ears and eyes in the country.
We see local talent amongst the likes of Girl’s Names, The Henry Girls and Soak to name but a few, all fresh from success, home to take part. It’s this sprinkling of current local talent along with bands such as Fuck Buttons and Yuck, who are all so musically contemporary that makes this festival exude a general feeling that you just might miss something special if you don’t catch one of these gigs.
And at the other end of the festival’s spectrum, there’s a bunch of musical legends taking to the stage too. There’s Wilko Johnson – who embarked upon his Farewell Tour in 2013 after stating he was terminally ill – and amazingly he’s still going to be thrashing it out on 3rd May as ferocious as ever. Not to mention Ginger Baker who was once labelled “the musician least likely to survive the 60’s” who will hopefully still be going strong on 7th May. Moreover there’s Motown Queen Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, Shonen Knife and De La Soul to literally name just a handful of the greats who are taking part.
Along with the performances that will be ongoing during the festival, there are a few different musical treats too. There’s a night of Getting To Know Duke Special for anyone who has ever wanted just that. And of course, not forgetting the return from a string of sell out London shows, of The Rubberbandits and their musical Continental Fistfight. A little further afield, we also see the group of poet guitarists from the Southern Sahara Desert, Tinariwen perform which coincides with the Free as a Bird discussion about artist freedom that will also be taking place on 3rd May.
But as the festival draws to an end, it does so somewhat delicately by paying homage to one of the Northern Ireland greats, perhaps in a way that hasn’t been done before. Moondance: The Van Morrison Project will be happening on Sunday 11th, and sees some exquisite versions of his songs in the Irish Language. And that evening also sees former Doves’ frontman Jimi Goodwin perform, just before he goes off on tour with his new album.
So it’s safe to say, that from this range of talent taking part in this year’s Cathedral Quarter Art’s Festival, which is only the tip of the talent iceberg, it’s going to be a very eventful, exhilarating and sensational 11 nights of music and will allow the festival to live up to its fantastic reputation.
You can view the full Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival 2014 Programme & buy tickets here