Sunglasses after Dark – The Sabrejets + Guest DJ’s – Menagerie 5th July 2014

Here is a press release I received about the latest Sunglasses After Dark night, featuring The Sabrejets and some rocking tunes!

You can visit the event’s Facebook page for more uptodate information.

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Even a casual observer of the roots rock ‘n’ roll scene in Belfast may have heard the name “Sunglasses after Dark” lately. If not a mention of the band The Sabrejets I’m sure will ring more than a few bells.

Belfast’s greaser kings have been playing together for 20 years this year and they have chosen Sunglasses After Dark to mark the occasion promising a wild set spanning their impressive career.

Playing only the wildest, greasiest and fastest 50’s and early 60’s rock and roll, surf, garage, twist ,r&b and rockabilly Sunglasses After Dark have been treating revellers to heady nights at the Menagerie Bar for almost three years now.

The infamous club night returns on July 5th to blow out 20 candles for the Sabregets and will also host a special Guest DJ performance from one of Belfast’s finest DJ’s Joe Lindsay who promises a journey through Russ Meyer inspired 50’s/60’s trash r’n’r and the usual 50’s and early 60’s dance party madness from resident DJ’s Ryan and Luke.

Sunglasses after Dark always promises and delivers a wild, sweaty night of demonic rock and roll beats in the very suitable surroundings of the Menagerie Bar, Belfast. And all for just £5 pounds. Early arrival is always recommended at this always sold out club night.

And one thing you can be sure of judging by the poster, they won’t be showing the world cup!

Saturday 5th of July 2014, Menagerie Bar, Belfast. Doors 9pm , £5.00 admission charge.

Interview with Ryan Fitzsimmons from Sunglasses After Dark

Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Ryan about his role in the Sunglasses After Dark club nights that he puts on. Before we get into the interview here is a poster for an upcoming event, to give you a little visual taste of what Sunglasses After Dark is all about.

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To begin with, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sure ! I’m a 32 year old guy, originally from County Down. I grew up in a house where you would hear a perfect menagerie of music, from my mother’s Wanda Jackson records and my father’s Link Wray records through to my brothers Gun Club and New York Dolls records so I guess by osmosis I was set on a course at an early age to deal out primitive rock’n’roll ! I hope that most folks who come down to my night know a little of me, as I always try and say hello to as many people as possible. Having a “face” for a promoter is something I think is very important. I’m always humbled by anyone who would chose to come to Sunglasses After Dark for the night so getting to know my punters is important to me. I live in Belfast with Amelia Earhart (my trusty hound) and in my professional life I work for NGO’s doing training and lobbying work.

What is your elevator pitch for Sunglasses After Dark if you had to describe it to someone who hasn’t been before?

I find it difficult to be concise, so that’s a challenge ! Let me see , err “ If your vision of 50’S and early 60’S r’n’r is petticoats and dreamboats then Sunglasses After Dark is going to show you it’s a hell of a lot wilder, we’ll take you from Rockabilly to Garage via R&B and Surf and if it isn’t wild or dangerous it isn’t played, same goes with the live bands we pick” Another , perhaps more concise way to put it it “This is one big long love letter to THE CRAMPS and their musical taste/influences. “

Could you give us a short history of how it all started.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 3 years ! Early in 2011 I met someone who I now have the privilege to call a lifelong friend , Joe Lindsay. Joe’s one of the finest DJ’s and promoters in this country and he really encouraged me to consider taking my record collection and passion for wild rock and roll, surf, r&b etc and turn that in to a club night in Belfast. I had some experiences with other similar nights in England and I had thought about it, being the great procrastinator that I am I sat on it for a while. However Joe doesn’t give up easily to his credit ! A gig came up in the Menagerie, which is of course our home now. They needed a DJ to play the sort of stuff I do and they called Joe, Joe told them that he had just the guy and as it turned out that guy was me. I rolled in, played some jams for a few hours and I wasn’t allowed to leave the building until Luke and Mark (the guys behind the menagerie) had made me sign a contract in my own blood to do a regular night for them . And here we are, 3 years later with a sold out show every 6 weeks or so behind us ! So the generosity and belief in me that other people have brought me to this place, and I’m grateful to them all.

Bands have often featured on the nights, what has been your favourite performance?

Indeed, we always have a live band that is consistent with our music policy on stage at 11pm. I set no rules for my bands other than “be on stage at 11pm and give me the wildest 45 minutes you have got” It would be unfair to pick any one out , we have had the best this Island has to offer North and South : The Monotonous Tone, The Sabrejets, The Madcatz, The Slick Hicks, The Screaming Demons of Trashville, Thee Penny Dreadfuls,The Groundlings, Los Reyez, The Fucksakes and Astro’s Hombres and every one of those bands raised the roof. Maybe I’ll say Astro’s Hombres because I got to play guitar with them hahaha !

On that note, who would be your ideal band or bands to play at a Sunglasses After Dark?

Let me just say that I’m actually very close to securing my ideal band to actually play Sunglasses After Dark and it’s going to happen this year. That aside we have had a lot of rockabilly, roots and garage bands play. I would like more Surf Bands, sure we had Los Reyez who were amazing, but I want more. If 50 foot combo would play I would love it.

What has the reception to Sunglasses After Dark been amongst fans of the genres you play?

On the R’n’R scene , like any you can get “purists” who get disappointed when they don’t hear enough of their specific niche. For example , Rockabillies may not want to hear as much Garage, Surf heads perhaps don’t want to hear Rockabilly etc. etc. however we don’t seem to have that problem to an extent. Our music policy is about playing the best , rarest and wildest rock and roll of all types and our crowd is open minded. So we have had a fantastic reception from most , and a lukewarm reception from those less open minded. But I don’t mind that so much, there are other places those folks can go. For me also , one of the things I am most proud about is that my night isn’t a “scene night” so people not on that scene feel as welcome and enjoy the music as much. If it’s too dogmatic and not welcoming to new people who get intimated if they feel they don’t “look right” or “know enough about the music” it will die. They way to keep this rock and roll music alive is to make it appealing to young people, as it was in the beginning. I like to think we do that well, so that everyone is welcome at Sunglasses After Dark and enjoys the music and the atmosphere.

What has been the oddest thing you have seen happen at a Sunglasses After Dark?

Well it does get pretty wild in there at the best of times but nothing beats the surreal scenes of Halloween, zombies dancing with fully draped Teddy Boys , next to Greasers sweating in their leathers with bloody bandaged Mummies shambling about made for a pretty interesting evening!

What do you think the music scene is like in Belfast at the moment?

There are a lot of gigs, and a lot of promoters and a lot of nights. People are spoiled for choice no matter what you like there is something there. One thing I would hope for is that promoters would talk to each other more often and make sure they aren’t clashing dates. I try to do that and have moved shows away from certain dates to ensure they don’t clash with other things. To me that just makes sense, this is a small city and the alternative scene even smaller.

Thanks so much for answering these questions! Is there anything else you would like to add?

I would just like to thank everyone who has ever came down to my night and had a good time. In these tough financial times I know how difficult it can be to get a night out , I’d like to think we offer good value and a night worth going to. I’d also like to say sorry to anyone who ever came down and didn’t get in, we get really full and usually before 10pm ! So please come again (but come earlier)

And finally come see us on July 5th with our good friends The Sabrejets who are celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band with us, it’s going to be a special night and Luke and I can’t wait to play our favourite records for you.

A Vintage Valentine Movie!

I was recently contacted about something cool that is coming up in Belfast that readers of the site might enjoy. To quote the email;

Originally banned in Ireland as it was considered too permissive of adultery, Brief Encounter – Noël Coward’s cinematic classic is to be brought to the Baby Grand Studio stage this Valentine’s week in a UK and Ireland exclusive.

Before I write anymore, take a couple of minutes to watch the trailer :-)

Here is the press release:

For six nights only, theatregoers at Belfast’s Baby Grand Studio will be given the rare opportunity to experience Brief Encounter – Noël Coward’s cinematic classic, brought to the stage in a UK and Ireland exclusive. In their most ambitious project to date, Wireless Mystery Theatre makes use of lush, live music, state of the art 3D audio holograms, and beautiful stagecraft to put the audience in the heart of this sweeping romance from the golden age of cinema as the steam trains of wartime Britain rocket through the theatre.

A classic of cinema, Brief Encounter is repeatedly voted the most-loved romance on screen, a tale of two lovers whose love can never be expressed. Rarely appearing in theatres, this Valentine’s week performance is a special chance to see the story played out live, as Wireless Mystery Theatre bring to the stage, not only Noël Coward’s witty and tender script, but David Lean’s exquisite elegance. With 3D sound technology, silver screen-style lighting and projection, the bustling station of the famous film will come to life around you. Performed with a live score, this story of real love in the face of suburban convention is not to be missed. A brief encounter itself, this is the only run of Noël Coward’s Brief

Encounter in the UK and Ireland this year!

Dates

Valentine’s week: Mon 10th – Sat 15th February at 8:00pm £15.50
Matinees: Thu 13th Feb at 2:00pm and Sat 15th Feb at 3:00pm £12.50

For more information and to book tickets online you can go to the Grand Opera House website.

51222 WIRELESS A3 AW

The Whistle Bait Babes have a new website!

The Whistle Bait Babes, who are touted as being Northern Ireland’s premier burlesque troupe and who are the hostesses of vingage-inspired dance classes have recently launched a new website, and it looks amazing.

Whistle Bait Babes

http://www.whistlebaitbabies.com/

You can hire the ladies to perform at your event and generally find out more about them.

Here at Vintage Belfast we wish the ladies all the luck and we hope their new website brings them plenty of attention!

 

 

 

The Paper Museum

If you are interested in Vintage prints then Belfast’s very own The Paper Museum could be of interest to you.

In their own words, the Paper Museum “curates and collects paper of scientific, artistic and historic interest”.

It has been a labour of love for the two people behind it since it was founded in 2010 and with the recent launch of their website they have been starting to gain traction in the local scene.

You can have a look at their work on their Facebook Page on their Official Website.

Ugly Duckling

Site: http://www.athomewithuglyduckling.co.uk/

Low Down: (Taken from the about page) Based in Belfast, Ugly Duckling brings you customised, one-off pieces of furniture  complimented by carefully selected retro homewares and bespoke home accessories.

Jacob Street

About a week and a half ago we went to the Jacob Street launch.

First things first I would like to apologise that it has taken so long to get something online about it – I hate missing deadlines but things have been a bit crazy here recently.

I had written about the launch a while back and was looking forward to seeing what the shop had to offer.

We were greeted at the door by the lovely Maureen Collins, who actually works for some companies that I also work for in my 9-5 and a lovely spread of champagne and tasty treats.

After chatting to a couple of people and getting our photograph taken for the Ulster Tatler we took a look around the shop, the shop is a decent size and they have used every bit of space for their items – which not only means that there is a good selection of items to browse through but you also get that more laid back sort of indie shop vibe, which I like, especially when it comes to vintage items.

Jacob Street seemed to sell most things, from clothes to furniture and from ornaments to jewellery and all at varying budgets.

My favourite piece was probably a ceramic toad (pictures below), had I not have been going somewhere after the event there was a very good chance I would have taken him home with me!

I thought the event was well attended, the staff were lovely and I was very glad to be asked to come along.

If I am ever near that part of the Lisburn Road again I will certainly be popping in, and I suggest that you do too!

Here are a selection of pictures from the event, sorry about the quality of them – normally my phone is more than capable of taking good pictures but with the amount of professional cameras about I didn’t want to have my phone out for too long!!

Jacob Street Cakes

Our adventures in Jacob Street

Jacob Street's Pet

Jacob Street Toad

Some of the people who came to the event

Jacob Street Launch Event

Jacob Street – The eclectic, concept boutique from interior stylist Maureen Collins is moving to a standalone store at 463 Lisburn Road, Belfast (beside Bedeck).

To celebrate this they are having a bit of a shindig and you are invited!

There promises to be cupcakes and champagne – which is enough incentive for me even if you ignore the fact there will also be some excellent vintage fare on offer.

Check out the flyer and if you are interested RSVP to this email address.

Hope to see you there!

Pictures from the vintage home, interiors and design fair

Today we attended the Vintage Home, Interiors and Design Fair and I snapped a few shots that I thought I would share. Click on any of the images to blow them up!

I enjoyed it, the stalls were well laid out and there was plenty of them to browse through.

A flyer for Lilbotique

 

Some vintage gaming machines.

 

Old Star Wars Figures

 

The Room

 

Thunder Island

 

Some items on display

 

Some cakes we bought.

 

A closeup of the honeycomb bun.

 

A closeup of the chocolate bun

Mentioned in The World Of Kitsch

Claire from The World of Kitsch was kind enough to write a quick blog entry about the site!

At this early stage in the sites development all promotion is welcomed with open arms! And to top it off I was even contacted by someone regarding the site as a result, bonus!

Thank’s so much Claire!