Homegrown talent and overseas acts are appearing in Belfast in abundance in the months leading up to Christmas.
There’s also plenty of big names lined up for next year as well, but we’ll just concentrate on the rest of 2016 for now as we pick our highlights…
Shane Todd: Holywood To Hollywood
Ulster Hall, Friday September 16, 8pm, £17
Shane Todd returns to Belfast with this brand new solo show, direct from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Holywood is a small town that produces big names. Shane Todd (star of BBC’s Late Licence & Live at The Sunflower) is miffed that the local Council have yet to book him to switch on the Christmas lights. It doesn’t help that fellow hometown heroes Rory McIlroy and Jamie Dornan keep stealing the limelight.
So Shane’s gone to the other Hollywood in a bid to keep up with his neighbours. What could possibly go wrong?
Empire Music Hall, Friday October 28, Doors 8.30pm, £16
Celebrated New York City-based rock trio Augustines have announced that their upcoming live shows will be their last. The final run includes the band’s October 28 show at Belfast’s Empire Music Hall.
Formed in 2010, Augustines were introduced to the world via Rise Ye Sunken Ships, a critically-acclaimed body of work that would propel the group to becoming mainstays of international music festivals in the years to follow. The band released a second, self-titled album, in 2014, followed earlier this year by the LP, This Is Your Life, their most ambitious and organic work overall.
Through their incomparable live spirit and gripping story, Augustines leave behind an impressive legacy that will be documented extensively through Director Todd Howe’s film titled RISE: The Story of Augustines, which will see a proper release in 2017.
Tickets are £16.00 (including booking fee) from ticketmaster.ie
The Limelight 1, Wednesday September 28, Doors 8pm, £24.50
Jamie T released his hugely anticipated fourth album Trick on September 2 on Virgin EMI.
It arrives after a gap of less than two years shot through with the kind of vigour and vibrancy that can only come from a man who’s rediscovered his love of writing, recording and performing. Spearheaded by lead single Tinfoil Boy, the track was Annie Mac’s Hottest Record and has since been added to Radio 1, 6 Music and Radio X.
Inspired by claustrophobic London Summers, the album is a proud, punchy summing-up of all Jamie’s unique signatures – Clash-like anthems, youthful reminiscence, high-speed raps, earworm choruses and snarky humour. It follows the triumphant success of 2014’s comeback album Carry On The Grudge.
Tickets available from limelightbelfast.com
Mandela Hall, Friday October 30, Doors 8pm, £22
Following a packed Belsonic performance in August, KT Tunstall is due to release her fifth studio album in September of this year.
Two years ago, KT Tunstall thought she was done with music. Not done as in she’d never again play guitar or sing, but done playing professionally, at least for the foreseeable future.
It had been ten years since she’d released her multi-platinum debut, Eye To The Telescope (2004), and twenty-some years since she started playing gigs as a teenager back home in St Andrews, Scotland. She’d lived a decade in obscurity and a decade in the brightest of limelights, releasing three more critically acclaimed albums – Drastic Fantastic (2007,) Tiger Suit (2010,) and Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon (2013). She’d had a good run, Tunstall thought, but it was time to take a serious time out.
Thankfully, the mind is no match for the spirit. Fast forward a year or so, and Tunstall is back with a collection of songs that chronicle her resurrection. Following the summer release of her three-song EP, Golden State, this September Tunstall will put out her latest album, KIN.
Tickets on sale from www.shine.net
Waterfront Hall, Saturday October 22 & Friday October 28, Doors 8pm, £25.50 / £20
The Irishman from Australia and star of TV’s Sunday Night at the Palladium, several Live at the Apollo’s, John Bishop Show, Channel 4’s O2 Comedy Galaand Royal Variety Performance musters his ever-evolving live show and the most famous eyebrows in comedy to bring you an unforgettably hilarious evening of world-class stand-up.
Jimeoin’s 2015 shows sold out, so make sure you mosey on down and lasso your tickets early!
Waterfront Hall, Friday & Sunday November 11 & 13, 8pm, £27.50
Jimmy is gathering a selection of his very best jokes along with brand new material for the ultimate comedy show.
A man who has devoted his life to crafting perfect jokes and has left a trail of laughter in his wake, Jimmy distils everything we love to laugh at and be shocked by, into one unparalleled night of entertainment.
The British Comedy Award winner has performed nine sell-out tours, playing nearly 2,000 shows to over two million people across four continents.
Now Jimmy puts all that experience to good use: this is the very best of Jimmy Carr.
The Limelight, Friday October 14, Doors 7pm, £15
British soul musician and the 2012 BBC Sounds poll winner Michael Kiwanuka returns with his new album Love & Hate. It was recorded in LA and London, and produced by Grammy Award winner Brian Joseph Burton AKA Danger Mouse, and young British producer, Inflo.
In line with its announcement, the British musician is proud to unveil the first single from the album, Black Man In A White World. The track is backed by a Hiro Murai directed video. The Japanese director is renowned for his work with Flying Lotus and Earl Sweatshirt.
Love & Hate is a fascinatingly assured and resonant body of work, and follows Michael’s acclaimed 2012 debut LP, Home Again. Having introduced himself and that voice to the world in 2011 with the raw soul of Tell Me A Tale, Love & Hate is a record that sounds as though it has been unearthed from a long forgotten studio canister in the seventies, but is permeated with a timelessness that defies any artist of any specific era. If the ‘death of the album’ is still an ongoing conversation, Michael Kiwanuka’s new record is a startling, emphatic response to its enduring importance.
Tickets on sale Friday April 8 at 9am from limelightbelfast.com
Jimmy Eat World
The Limelight 1, Tuesday November 8, Doors 7pm, £22.50
US rock giants Jimmy Eat World’s new studio album Integrity Blues will be released on October 21, and having already released Get Right, they’re now sharing new track Sure and Certain.
The four piece’s commercial breakthrough came with the successful release of several singles from the album Bleed American (2001). Four singles from the album charted within the top twenty positions of the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart, with The Middle reaching the number one position. Jimmy Eat World’s follow-up album Futures (2004) featured another Modern Rock Tracks number one song, Pain. The RIAA certified Bleed American platinum and Futures gold, rewarding the two albums for selling over one and a half million records between them. The band’s sixth album Chase This Light (2007) became the band’s highest charting album, peaking at number five on the Billboard.
Tickets £22.50 plus booking fee are available from limelightbelfast.com
Empire Music Hall, Sunday October 30, Doors 7pm, £15
Cathy Davey will embark on an extensive Irish tour in support of new album The Forest, released on September 9. It’s Cathy’s first new music in six years.
Cathy Davey has released three previous albums, Something Ilk (2004), Tales of Silversleeve (2007) and The Nameless (2010). Her second album garnered her a Choice Music Prize nomination, Meteor Award for Best Irish Female, and spawned a number of successful singles including Reuben, Moving and Sing For Your Supper. The Nameless was the top selling album in Ireland upon the week of its release. It was also nominated for the Choice Music Prize.
Tickets are £15 (including booking fee) from ticketmaster.ie
Ulster Hall, Tuesday October 25, 8pm, £17.50
The six-strong team of Northern Ireland’s best young comedians will take to the stage of the Ulster Hall for a night of mirth and merriment in October.
The event, organised by General Banter, presents The Comedy Squad featuring Colin Geddis – creator of I Am Fighter, Besty McD and General Banter Micky Bartlett – star of BBC’s Monumental and Bad Language, Ciarán Bartlett – star of BBC’s Late Licence and Baking A Murderer, Aaron McCann – fresh from supporting Daniel Sloss and Paddy Kielty, Ruairi Woods – star of BBC’s Late Licence and Live at The Sunflower, and Dave Elliott – star of BBC’s Late Licence and Nordie Shore.
Tickets (£17.50) are available from ulsterhall.co.uk
Lennon: Through A Glass Onion
Waterfront, Saturday and Sunday October 1 & 2, 8pm, £21.50
Smash hit show, Lennon: Through A Glass Onion, celebrates the genius and music of John Lennon at Belfast Waterfront.
Lennon: Through A Glass Onion is part-concert, part-biography and features 31 iconic hits of Lennon and his collaborations with Paul McCartney, including Imagine, Strawberry Fields Forever, Revolution, Woman, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Working Class Hero and Jealous Guy.
This unmissable production features Liverpool actor Daniel Taylor in the lead role. Daniel reveals the true essence of the life of the music icon, who’s astonishing talent is still treasured the world over. He is currently wowing audiences as Mickey in acclaimed writer, Alan Bleasdale’s Down The Dock Road.
So far this year, Lennon: Through A Glass Onion has enjoyed an acclaimed 16-week season Off Broadway in New York and has won the hearts of audiences in Liverpool, John Lennon’s birthplace. This followed a hugely successful three-week residency at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Tickets are £21.50 plus booking fee and are available from online at waterfront.co.uk
Ulster Hall, Tuesday December 6, Doors 7pm, £25.50
The Coronas have sold out everywhere they play from Dublin’s 13,000-capacity 3Arena to an open air concert at Royal Hospital Kilmainham and they have supported the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, The Script, Justin Timberlake and Pink on a full UK tour.
The Coronas’ latest album The Long Way has achieved platinum sales since its release in November 2014. New single What A Love is the sixth single to be lifted from the record and is available for download now.
Tickets are available online at ulsterhall.co.uk
Ulster Hall, Monday December 5 and Saturday December 10, 7pm, £19.50
Empire Music Hall, Monday December 19, Doors 7.30pm, £19.50
Lisa Hannigan has announced details of her Irish tour in support of her #1 selling album At Swim out now via Play it Again Sam. The tour sees Lisa play Galway, Wexford, Derry, Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Drogheda, Belfast, Kilkenny, Donegal and Waterford this December.
Lisa’s third-and arguably most bewitching- album, has received universal critical acclaim since its release last month. Produced by Aaron Dessner, the record follows the double-platinum, Mercury and Choice Music Prize-nominated debut Sea Sew, and 2011’s Passenger which charted #1 and earned Lisa a second Choice Music Prize nomination. As well as topping the Irish charts, At Swim is also Lisa’s first UK top 40 entry
The Limelight 1, Thursday December 1, Doors 7pm, £27.50
Chaosmosis is the eleventh studio album by Scottish rock legends Primal Scream.
It’s quite possibly the freest-sounding album the band have ever made (and this 11th studio effort in the better part of three decades) – 10 songs by turns angry and euphoric, personal and political, sounding like the distillation of so much that has come before plus a shot into the future. Opener Trippin’ On Your Love arrives with a drum loop and Duffy’s keyboards, then blasts into untrammeled ecstasy, picking up from It’s Alright, It’s Ok, the last track on 2013’s More Light. Backing vocals come from Danielle, Este and Alana of Haim, friends with the Scream since playing with them at Glastonbury two summers ago. “It’s pure love,” says Bobby Gillespie of the song.
Tickets are available from limelightbelfast.com
Limelight 1, Wednesday October 12, Doors 7pm, £14
Following the release of their brand new record Bottomless Pit, Death Grips are set to perform at The Limelight 1 on Wednesday October 12.
With exceptional reviews from their fifth album in four years, the band is known for their experimental methods drawing on various music categories such as hip-hop, industrial, punk and electric. Bottomless Pit is no exception.
Tickets on sale from limelightbelfast.com
The Limelight 1, Wednesday November 2, 8pm, £23
Ivor Novello and Brit Award winning English singer/songwriter Tom Odell is pleased to announce a return to Belfast at The Limelight 1 on Wednesday 2 November 2016. Back with his new album Wrong Crowd which is due for release on 10 June.
Thomas Peter Odell (born 24 November 1990) is an English singer-songwriter. He released his debut extended play, Songs from Another Love, in 2012 and won the BRITs Critics’ Choice Award in early 2013. His debut studio album, Long Way Down, was issued in June 2013. His second studio album Wrong Crowd is out on June 10 via Columbia Records.
The rousing new single Magnetised features a driving drumbeat and soaring chorus, showcasing the progression of Tom’s sound on his new album, whilst still channelling the raw emotion and honesty his song-writing is known for.
SSE Arena, November 9, 6.30pm, £30
Bastille have built up a solid following in Belfast since their first show at the Oh Yeah Music Centre in 2012.
Having sold out the 200 capacity venue they have gone on to sell out Mandela Hall and The Ulster Hall a year later and then Belsonic.
Tickets available from ticketmaster.ie
SSE Arena, November 27, 6.30pm, £34.50
Citing influences as diverse as Tears For Fears’ Songs From The Big Chair album, DJ Arca and Deafheaven, Simon Neil has described Ellipsis as more of a punch to the nose than a big cuddle. Lyrically, the album’s songs tackle personal issues with the idea of fighting back a recurring theme.
Hal Cruttenden: Straight Outta Cruttenden
Waterfront Hall, Thursday October 27, 8pm, £17
Hilarious comedian Hal Cruttenden has extended his huge UK tour due to popular demand! The show Straight Outta Cruttenden covers many topics including – Hal’s love of hard core rap music and the real evils of the modern world – over sharing on social media and the 5:2 diet. The hungrier he gets the funnier he becomes!
After 50 dates in 2015, the hugely talented stand up Hal Cruttenden has announced a further 50 dates of his critically acclaimed tour. Earlier this yearHal performed at The Melbourne Comedy Festival and you no doubt recognise him from the ‘Hell on the High Seas’ challenge for Sports Relief and The One Show. He also had his Radio 4 show Hal re-commissioned and performed at the O2 Comedy Gala for Channel 4.
He’s appeared three times in the last four years on Live At The Apollo, as well appearing twice on ‘The Royal Variety Performance’.
Tickets are available via waterfront.co.uk