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Van Morrison: Ulster Hall, Belfast Additional Dates

  • Friday July 23rd 2021
  • Saturday July 24th 2021
  • Friday July 30th 2021 
  • Saturday July 31st 2021

Tickets go on-sale Friday 27th May at 10am from www.ulsterhall.co.uk

Van Morrison returns to the iconic Ulster Hall after over a decade for an evening of rhythm & blues.

Join Van and his full band for an unforgettable evening of rhythm & blues in the iconic surroundings of Belfast’s historic Ulster Hall, a venue which has been the pulse of the City’s live entertainment
scene for over 150 years. 

These will be the first concerts held at the venue since March of 2020. 

Julia Corkey, Chief Executive ICC Belfast | Waterfront Hall | Ulster Hall said: 

“We are delighted that Van Morrison will take to the iconic Ulster Hall stage this summer. Visitor and staff safety is our number one priority. The team is finalising plans to welcome live audiences back and we are confidently planning for what promises to be a great schedule of concerts. We will continue to work with the relevant authorities to ensure that live music fans have a safe and enjoyable experience that is fully compliant with any public health requirements.”

Born in 1945, Van heard his Shipyard worker father’s collection of blues, country and gospel early in life. Feeding off musical greats such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson and Leadbelly, he was a travelling musician at 15 and singing, playing guitar and sax in several bands before forming Them in 1964. The band enjoyed chart success with instant hits such as the much covered ‘Gloria’ and ‘Here Comes The Night’.

Since striking out on his own in 1967 with the release of Blowin’ Your Mind!, Morrison’s music has continued to span genres including R&B, Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Folk and Soul. Van’s unrivalled song writing and musicality continues to evolve with the creation of new material and reinterpretation of older classics.

2021 has seen the release of Van’s 42nd studio album Latest Record Project Vol. 1, a 28 track double album delving into his ongoing love of blues, R&B, jazz and soul. The album is out now and available here.

Limited tickets for Van Morrison, Live at The Ulster Hall go on-sale Friday May 28th at 10am from www.ulsterhall.co.uk

Music

Irish Alt-Pop Artist, Rebekah Fitch Releases New Single ‘Goodbye’

Rebekah Fitch’s new single ‘Goodbye’ is a song that perfectly captures the struggle to express the true weight of a permanent goodbye between two cherished people – what our heart is longing to say, but our words can never fully express. Heart-wrenchingly fraught with bittersweet desperation, it marries the deep gratitude for everything they have given them with the profound grief that comes in a parting of ways.

A follow up to recent single, Loose Ends, it is a bold endeavour to form language where no words can suffice, and if you have ever sought to express such a goodbye, let this song take the reins and sing it for you.

Fitch says, “I have had several significant goodbyes in my life, but I never felt that I honoured them with enough recognition, as I was always looking ahead to the next stage in my life. I wanted to write a song that paid homage to those people that have had such profound influence and significance, and have given me so much. It’s so important to acknowledge this in a time of so many goodbyes, and so I wanted to write a song that others could relate to, and weave beautifully into their own personal stories. 

“It feels significant too to be releasing it at this time, as we leave behind a period of unhurried stillness, not to rush back into busyness but to reflect and grieve what we have lost well, taking forward all we have learnt.”

This release follows on from Rebekah’s recent singles, Dust, Game Over and Loose Ends, which were playlisted on BBC Radio, RTE1 and RTE 2FM, Q Radio and more.

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Music

An Evening With Foy Vance set for The Empire Music Hall

Foy Vance has announced details of his forthcoming fourth studio album Signs Of Life and released new single “Time Stand Still.” Vance’s second studio album on Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records and the follow-up to 2016’s The Wild SwanSigns Of Life will be released on September 10 on CD, LP and digital formats and is available to pre-order. Additionally, Vance has announced details of an An Evening With Foy Vance, an intimate UK & US tour to celebrate the album’s release including The Empire Music Hall, Belfast on Sunday 12th September 2021. 

“Time Stand Still” is the third track taken from Signs Of Life following “Sapling” and title track “Signs Of Life”, which have racked up almost half a million Spotify plays in the last two weeks. The New York Times wrote that “Sapling” “harks back to Van Morrison’s better days, grainy and impassioned”, Clash magazine called it “an instant fan favourite… a song about renewal and survival,” while Americana UK described the song as “simply beautiful…all about (Vance’s) wonderfully characterful voice and the gorgeous melody it enfolds.”

Signs of Life

Signs Of Life is the sound of a beloved singer-songwriter at the peak of his powers. It’s also the sound of a man – a husband, a father, a sinner, a drinker – belatedly coming to terms with his demons. Driven by powerful percussion, “Time Stand Still” features a soaring, emotive vocal from Vance, who was struggling with an addiction to alcohol and painkillers at the time of writing.

“I had my first extended period off the road after twenty years of constant touring,” says Vance. “And I realised: wow, I drink two bottles of wine and at least a half bottle of vodka a day. I’d start the day with codeine to get myself sorted, and I’d smoke joints throughout the day. So I realised: I have so many incredibly bad habits here. I’m showing all the signs of death, getting ashen, grey, smoking more, drinking more, smoking more…I hit a wall.”

“It was my manager that made me get help,” Vance continues. “And in those moments, you do wish time would stand still. Can’t I just stop here and sit in this moment before I have to take up that mantle?”

Signs Of Life was recorded in three locations: Vance’s Pilgrim studio at home on the shores of Loch Tay in Highland Perthshire, another recording set-up in a nearby Dunvarlich House, and at Plan B’s Kings X studio in London. The album was written and played more or less entirely by Vance, with able assistance from young Northern Irish producer Gareth Dunlop. Serendipitously, Dunlop had been inspired on his career path by a chance encounter with Vance many years before.

“When I was around 14 years-old I wandered into a coffee shop in Belfast and saw Foy playing in the corner,” Dunlop explains. “I was completely spellbound by what I heard. It was a lightbulb moment that sent me on the road of wanting to discover my own voice and musicality. I would never have imagined that I would be co-producing a record with him 18 years later, and that I would be just as inspired and spellbound by what he does.”

Created out of the grimness of 2020, Signs of Life is an album of dawn after darkness, hope after despair, engagement after isolation, uplift after lockdown. It comes in bold sleeve artwork that reflects Vance’s desire to embrace all sides of everything, all humanity’s textures. Shot on a 160-year-old camera which does arresting things with colours and shading, the back image is of Vance as a bare-chested, bare-knuckle boxer. On the front, he’s in a dress, blonde wig and theatrical make-up.

“They’re just mad, striking images, and I loved the fact that it was male and female. You know, life’s extreme, life’s volatile, life explodes into reality sometimes, and stops just as quick. So to be struck by images on the cover made sense.”

At any time, Foy Vance’s new collection of songs would be a tonic. At this particular time, they can’t arrive a moment too soon. “That’s a huge part of it,” says Vance. “Signs of Life is about re-emergence – me in my own soft revolution, the world re-emerging in what we’re about to see as we hopefully go back to some semblance of normality. But just life in general – flowers growing through the cracks in Chernobyl. Life finds a way, doesn’t it?”

Bangor’s Own

Hailing from Bangor in Northern Ireland, Vance independently released his debut album Hope in 2007, quickly garnering acclaim from fans and fellow musicians alike. His second full-length album, Joy of Nothing, released in 2013 on Glassnote Records, won the inaugural Northern Ireland Music Prize and saw Vance tour the globe with Ed Sheeran, Bonnie Raitt, Marcus Foster, Snow Patrol and Sir Elton John, as well as his own solo headline tours.


In 2015 Vance was became the second signing to Gingerbread Man Records, Ed Sheeran’s label division within Atlantic Records. His debut recording for the label, The Wild Swan – Executive Produced by Sir Elton John – contained the BBC Radio 2 playlisted singles “Coco”, “Upbeat Feelgood”, and “Noam Chomsky Is A Soft Revolution”, and saw Vance perform on NBC’s Today and CBS’s The Late Late Show with James Corden. 

As a songwriter, Vance’s collaborations include co-writing four cuts including “Galway Girl” on Ed Sheeran’s 2017 album Divide. He has also worked with Alicia Keys, Rag N Bone Man, Keith Urban, Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, Plan B and Rudimental among many others, effortlessly switching between genres.

Last year, Vance launched the podcast series The Vinyl Supper in which he talks music, food and life stories with special guests and friends from the world of music, poetry and film. Recorded remotely during the global pandemic, series one featured Anderson East, Atticus, Benny Blanco, Blake Mills, Bruce Cockburn, Chrissy Metz, Courteney Cox, Devin Dawson, Josh Groban, Keith Urban and Passenger.

Foy Vance has headlined globally to sell-out crowds and splits his time between London and the Scottish Highlands with his family. 

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