Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Banter at Belfast Music Week

While Belfast celebrates its musical legends, does it have the momentum to keep the contemporary scene moving forward?

Thu, Oct 24, 2013, 14:32


Next month, Belfast Music Week swings into action again in the city. A week of gigs, events, talks, workshops and much more, there’s over 250 different events happening at 70 different venues all over the city from November 11 to 17. From the big ‘un – that would be Van Morrison’s do at the Waterfront Hall – to some very interesting ones – for example, this lunchtime freebie featuring More Than Conquerors and Joshua Burnside – there’s a rake of stuff to suit all tastebuds.

Thanks to an invite from Belfast Music Week co-ordinator (and Oh Yeah music centre founder) Stuart Bailie, there will be a Banter panel in the middle of things. Print the Legend takes place on Thursday November 14 at the Group Space in the Ulster Hall (12.30pm-1.30pm, admission free).

In the here and now of Belfast’s musical world, the past still rings loudly. The city has very successfully packaged its legends from the last few decades – from Van to Good Vibrations – but a danger arises when nostalgia and the feel-good moments of the past takes over. The momentum and energy required to keep a contemporary scene going is instead used to lionise and mythologise the past. It’s not a case of “Belfast is dead, long live Belfast”, but more about teasing out if a city which often finds itself living in the past is a good place from where to plan for the future.

Our guests for this discussion on the city’s creativity then and now are Sean O’Hagan (The Observer), Glenn Patterson (author, lecturer and Good Vibrations’ scriptwriter), Katie Richardson (Katie & The Carnival) and Brian Coney (editor, The Thin Air).

More info on Belfast Music Week here

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