BY PETER MCGORAN
We know how you’re feeling. You probably had the best summer of your life. You went to all manner of exotic places and had incredible experiences and the idea of going back to the grind of university seems repellent. But don’t despair, Belfast isn’t that bad. In fact, the list of ways to entertain yourself or experience some authentic culture in Belfast this October is almost endless. Read on.
Shine Productions, always armed with a plethora of talented live bands, offer up successful new-comers Lawsonperforming at the Ulster Hall on the 20th. Nina Nesbitt at Mandela Hall on the 24th and KT Tunstall at the Ulster Hall on the 31st.
Not interested? Go to Limelight and see internationally recognised local band The Answer begin their UK & Ireland tour in Limelight 2 on Friday 11th of October. Then for something lower-key, folk-rock band Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit will be at Limelight 2 on Thursday the 17th of October.
Pubs & Clubs
For those interested in quirky venues with a sense of character, try the Filthy Quarter. Originally just a bar – Filthy McNastys – this establishment has expanded and offers up a minimalist cocktail bar, a Secret Garden (complete with plants, fireplaces and fountains) and a 3 room upstairs nightclub. Always good craic, any night of the week.
For club nights out, nothing beats Sketchy. After 8 years of fantastic Djing every Thursday night in the Stiff Kitten Bar, Sketchy has garnered a kind of cult following and moves into its new home in Limelight 1 this month. Specialising in Hip Hop, Indie, 80s/90s/00s dance and all manner of classics, I defy you not to be up dancing like you’re on something by the end of the night. (Follow the hyperlink above to request guestlist).
The Lyric Theatre has already gotten its Autumn Season underway with Pride & Prejudice – The Musical kicking off what is sure to be a fantastic season. Not to be outdone, Adrian Dunbar plays Brendan Behan in Brendan at the Chelsea. A warm and funny drama of an Irish national treasure. Check out the Lyric Theatre website for a full listing of events.
Festivals & Exhibitions
The Belfast Festival at Queens, which has been running for over 50 years now, is an artistic celebration which has something for everyone. Running from the 17th – 27th of October, the festival contains classical music and visual arts, theatre and dance acts, as well as a talk by bestselling author Simon Singh about decoding the mathematical secrets of The Simpsons…I told you, something for everyone.
Movie House Cinemas are also putting a special one-off showing of Thor before premiering Thor: The Dark World on October 29th.
Finally, the QFT has a special event this month in the form of “My Noir: Belfast“. Chosen by leading critics, programmers and curators this selection of films encompasses the classic 1940’s Hollywood noir of Double Indemnity and Gilda and the emergence of neo-noir in the 1990s, taking in Japan (Stray Dog) and Norway (Insomnia) en route.