Summer Festival Lovin’

I love live gigs everything about them, the atmosphere, the light shows, the dancers, the music,the crazy dancing and smiles on everyone’s faces. This summer I have had a ball and have been able to attend lots!!

Heres a snapshot of my favourites from over the last 5 months;

1.Coachella (full blog post Travel Blog: Venice the Venetian and everything in between…) An amazing oasis in the Californian desert were this year I witnessed GunsNRoses,Sia, James Blake,Wolf Alice to name but a few. I inhaled burritos and sipped on ice-coffees and cocktails.

2. Belsonic. A funky festival based in Belfast City Cente this year it moved out to the Titanic Quarter and I was lucky enough to attend on my birthday (full blog post An Absolut Amazing Birthday! Including my Slieve Donard Spa Review) . Elle Goulding was my choice of attendance this year but some of my favourite bands Biffy Clyro, Sterophonics and Bastille have also attended.

3. T-vital. Tennents Vital is another Belfast based festival which I attended over the last two nights. I love to see the line-up for T-vital as they get the biggest bands and every year they attract at least 40,000 gig goers to the Boucher playing fields. This year was no exception with the fabulous RHCP and Avicci ( full blog post to come soon.)

4.Feile An Phobhail Another longstanding music and arts festival based in the Falls park Belfast.(check out my blog Music Review:All Saints, Feile An Phobail, Belfast. Drinking anything you liked from there fully stocked bar, festival goers watch some amazing bands in a circus big top. My choice this year the fab 90s girl group All Saints.

And my favourite thing about attending all these gigs despite discovering lots of new sounds,from support bands and new albums is spending time with some of my favourite people.

Emer D xx

 

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Winter is Coming and West Coast Cooler Fashion Week is Back to light the way!

As a well known TV show which shoots in Belfast has been telling us for years now Winter is coming. Hard to believe the summer is almost out and the autumn/winter nights are closing in but the kids go back to school shortly (Alleluia!) and the bikinis, shorts, kaftans and summer clothing are being replaced in the shops.

So if you, like me have been rearranging your closets and figuring out the new season trends its luck that Belfast Fashion week  launched their AW16 season on Thursday. Belfast’s style Queen Bee; Cathy Martin and the talented radio journalist and stylist; Rebecca McKinney introduced a crowd of media, bloggers, designers and VIPS to a sneak peek of this seasons style. A flurry of metallics,knits and this somewhat quirky fashionistas favourite; velvet (can I call myself a fashionista? ).

Anyway, Velvet always reminds me of my grandmother who made myself and my sister gorgeous velvet dresses in primary school, but I also love the feel  of the material. This year’s trend sees the material pop with colour predominantly light pinks. So I am very happy with my latest buy a fabulously funky pair of crushed velvet pink ankle boots.

 

The whirlwind of materials and designs continued at the launch…it was so hard to pick my favourites but I was glad to hear the pleated skirt has not gone away, the biker jacket is still very much in the  forefront and your staple coat should be a fabulous MAC or an enviable cape.My favourite out of the stylist choices had to be the amazing Harris Tweed cape from Sands and Hall. I think that will be on my list.

The fabulous Brenda Shankey had styled the models hair into some fabulous double-buns which I haven’t rocked since last Christmas’ Star Wars premier but I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of these on our catwalks and throughout the Christmas months.And the makeup trends; subdued but glam, matte and not much highlighter in sight according to Oonagh Boman.

Belfast Fashionweek has a few new events thrown into the mix this year (dont worry the original catwalk shows and Style Sunday event still exist) but this blogger is excited for quite a few new one’s including; the West Coast Cooler flat lay event, the Ju-Tox blogging event,  a positive body image seminar for young girls in association with Little Women  and a brand new ‘People’s Catwalk’.

People’s Catwalk I hear you cry? Yes that’s right Fashion Week are letting you, yes you,take to the catwalk. On the 22nd October they invite you all to experience a full ‘day in the life of a model’.

Director Cathy Martin explains: “We get requests all the time from people wanting to be catwalk models or those wanting to do a photoshoot just like a model, so we’ve created a one-day workshop with a difference and we’re looking for people at all ages and stages of life – from those in their teens to their twilight years – who would like to come and play at being a model for the day. We’ve already had plenty of diversity on our catwalks in terms of size and shape, age and gender, and we want to encourage more of this as we focus on positive body image and style at any size.

“And speaking of body image, we’ve also teamed up with Little Women to deliver a positive body image seminar for 7-10 year olds as part of their on-going life development programme for young girls. This will take place at the main BFW show venue at Life Church and we’re expecting around 20 girls to attend.”

Want to know more read on for the full rundown below:

Schedule of Shows & Events:

THURSDAY 20 October, 8.00PM – DESIGNER BOUTIQUES AND LOCAL DESIGNERS. Tickets priced at £20 or £30 for FROW available from 028 9024 6609 or via http://www.belfastfashionweek.com

FRIDAY 21 October, 8.00PM – HIGH STREET. Tickets priced at £20 or £30 for FROW available from 028 9024 6609 or via links on http://www.belfastfashionweek.com

SATURDAY 22 October, 10am-midday Little Women: The Body Image Seminar.  Contact Little Women for information and booking on their facebook @ littlewomenni.

SATURDAY 22 October, 2.00-4.00pm – SUSHI SATURDAY “The Director’s Cut” at ZEN. To book, call 02890421509 price £30pp.

SATURDAY 22 October 12-10pm The People’s Catwalk. Come & learn how to walk like a model, and have hair & make up applied as well as take part in a fashion photoshoot with a top photographer and walk the FASHIONWEEK catwalk. Price = £80 per person to include photography and images afterwards. To book call BFW HQ on 02890421509 or email cathy@cmprireland.com

SATURDAY 22 October 8pm The JuTox Business of Blogging event and fashion show at Life Church. To book call BFW HQ on 02890421509 or email cathy@cmprireland.com

SUNDAY 23 October, 2.00-5.00pm – STYLE SUNDAY in support of Action Cancer at Deane’s at Queen’s. To book call 028 9038 2111 Price per person = £45

PS my pick of my favourite attendees are below. I Loved Eve Brannon’s embroidered jeans, Donna McCabes almost modern Snow White Styling with her metallic skirt and denim jacket and of course Kerry Burns blue crush velvet two piece also designed by Nor Lisa.

(CREDIT for the fabulous pictures included goes to the amazing Brendan Gallagher photographer if that man, can make me look good he’s a pro!)

 

Emer D xx

 

 

 

 

 

Something for the Weekend:David Hockney; I draw, I do

Loyal readers of this blog will know I am not an art student, graduate or an artist however I find enjoyment, fun and I even get a buzz from stepping into a gallery. I don’t make a lot of money and am a hard-working  run of the mill Northern Irish citizen. But I do love to envision what the artist is trying to imply, what the artist was thinking when he painted/created his masterpiece and what the subject (if there is one is thinking at the time.) What I would love to express to all readers of this blog and what I think the MAC does so well is that ART in any form is open to everybody and is exhibited, performed and made to be enjoyed by the masses!!

So when I was invited to the opening of the new David Hockney exhibition in the MAC Belfast I jumped at the chance. Hockney is a well known artist some call one of the greatest living artists and I have to agree. Hockney is an artist who interests me a lot and I am a lover of contemporary art (you may remember me gushing about my June visit to the Tate Fitness, Fashion and Flights (including Shape up for Summer update)) .

This is the first time that his work has been displayed in Northern Ireland and on Thursday night it came with fanfare, speeches and laughter. I was itching to get into the space to see what works had been displayed. I’ve attached a few of my favorites but I would love my readers to go explore and let me know what you enjoy.

Also don’t forget to pick up a copy of the exhibitions brochure which has been made into a coloring-in book (what a fantastic idea).

If you are totally clueless and have no idea about art (just like to bluff like me 😉 ) pop in and pick up an audio guide to lead you around the space and tell you more about the artists life and influences.

I will be back to take in this exhibition when the crowd and fanfare of the opening night had dispersed but I will still be fizzing with excitement.

 

Emer D xx

ModernHockney

Information on the exhibition:

I draw, I do is the first significant presentation of Hockney’s work in Ireland. The exhibition focuses on the artist’s formative years at Bradford Regional College of Art in the 1950s and how the training and experimentation pursued there stayed with him and was further drawn on throughout his career.

Works on display include rarely seen anatomical and observational drawings, early graphite portraits as well as the print series Rakes Progress (1961-63): a semi-autobiographical story about Hockney, the ‘rake’, and the down and outs he met in New York in the early 1960s. The format, story and numbering system in this series is based on William Hogarth’s 1735 suite of prints of the same title.

In addition to these early pieces, also on display are significant later works which demonstrate Hockney’s continued interest in pushing the boundaries of drawing practice using new technologies.

The title of the exhibition is taken from an interview with the artist and designer Paul Smith. Smith asked, “Do you still draw in the more traditional way; in the way you first did when you left the Royal College?” And Hockney replied:

“Yeah, I draw, I do…. From the age of 16 to the age of 20, all I did was really draw, because I was at the art school in Bradford and in Bradford you could be in the school from nine in the morning to nine at night, because as a full-time student, you could go in the evenings and you’d have a life class then. So I drew for four years.

I don’t know what art schools are like now, but I’m told they don’t do drawing. That seems a bit mad to me that.

Drawing is going to be needed in the future.”

Curated in partnership with Jill Iredale, Curator of Fine Art at Bradford Museums and Galleries..

Visit themaclive.com/shows/david-hockney-i-draw-i-do to book tickets.

 

 

Music Review:All Saints, Feile An Phobail, Belfast

Sunday night is an unusual night to attend a gig and in a circus big top, placed in a park on the Falls road, Belfast of all places. But this is the Feile ( a community festival organised in West Belfast; one of the largest of its kind and its been running since 1988!)  Also how could I say no to one of the coolest girl bands from the 90’s.

When I read the lineup this year I got excited to see All Saints on the list, so myself, my sister and a lot of my girl friends went about getting our hands on tickets and booking the night off . We were not disappointed. All Saints are still the cool, bad ass and best girl group to come out of the 90’s. Their album; All-Saints attained five platinum discs in 1997, they where second only to the Spice Girls and in my teenage years they where the grungy cool alternative. Brownie points in my eyes where attained as they sang the theme tune to a Leonardo Di caprio film (The Beach) and covered one of my favourite Red Hot Chilli Peppers songs; “Under the Bridge”.

They broke up in 2000, and reformed a few times later in 2013 for various gigs and I even spotted two members in the Celebrity big brother house at one point 2008, I think? However in 2016 they are back with their new album Red Flag which debuted at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart and they seem motivated, happy and reunited.

On Sunday night they burst back on to the Belfast stage with as much energy as there younger self’s and they brought back all there 90’s synchronized dance moves. Starting the night with  “Chick Fit” and straight into “I know where it’s at” the crowd loved it and everyone danced and whooped along and they definitely knew how to have to have a good time.

The gig was a mixture of 90’s hits and newer material. 90’s hits namely “Never Ever”, “Under the Bridge”, “Bootie Call” “Black Coffee” and my own personal favourite “Pure Shores” which closed the show, had the crowd bouncing and singing. At one point the nostalgia completely  kicked in for the (older) crowd and the gig turned into one big singalong of “Under the Bridge”which broke a smile across each of the band members faces.

All Saints newer material also got a good reception from the crowd, I had listened to the Red Flag album and had enjoyed it but the live delivery was something else, it had a deeper tone and a heavier beat and I loved it.

Overall the girls brought the modern Beyonce vibes to a great 90’s band. They had attitude, dance moves and great vocals, they even had a nod to Queen B herself with an interlude of Formation at one point.

I wish them every success with the rest of the Tour and hope to see them coming back to Belfast some point in the near future.

 

Emer D xx

Are you a fan of the Black Stuff? Think you can only get a good pint in Dublin? Think again…

On  Wednesday I had the pleasure of exploring the taste of Guinness as The Open Gate Brewery came to Belfast. You may remember from earlier nigossipguy blog posts, Ive actually been down to the Open Gate Brewery in Dublin and I had a very enjoyable day tasting the different experimental blends. So when I was invited along to the Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast I was intrigued as how Guinness would bring the Dublin experience to Belfast.

Luckily they brought lock,stock and barrel to the gallery and I felt transported to James Gate right in the middle of Belfast. The Gallery had its very own bar and visitors where treated to a lot of Guinness flavored treats and tipples from Goat wraps (with some interesting condiments see below), to Guinness doughnuts, honeycomb ice-cream I was in my element.

Myself,fellow bloggers, media and invited guests had been invited along to be told some exciting news! And as usual as I was running late I made just in time for the announcement:

Continuing in a long-standing tradition of brewing innovation and excellence, the Guinness brewers at St. James’s Gate are proud to announce that some of their latest beers will now be made available in 25 select pubs in Belfast.

 For over a hundred years, there has been an experimental brewery at St. James’s Gate where the brewers are given license to explore new recipes, reinterpret old ones and experiment freely to bring exciting new beers to life. For the first time in its history, the brewers in St. James’s Gate opened the doors of its home of brewing experimentation and innovation with the launch of The Open Gate Brewery last November.

 Over the last seven months, the brewers have welcomed thousands of people into The Open Gate Brewery to enjoy the unique brewing experience at St James’s Gate; chat to them about great beer and of course, savour the regular pipeline of amazing, small batch brews that are created each month, which has included 1516 Pilsner, Chocolate and Vanilla stout, Antwerpen Export stout and Strawberry Porter. 

  From today, people will be able to enjoy some of The Open Gate Brewery beers in select pubs in a limited edition capacity, which will be updated every two months with the latest new brew. 

  Speaking earlier today, Peter Simpson, Brewer in the Open Gate Brewery said; “Since we launched The Open Gate Brewery, we have had many requests from publicans and consumers to make our small batch brews available beyond the Open Gate Brewery so that people can experience our beers. While some of the brews will remain exclusive to The Open Gate Brewery, we are delighted to announce that some of the small batch brews will now be available in 25 pubs in Belfast. 

August 2016 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.

August 2016 – Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.

  The first beer that will be rolled out will be a Rye Pale Ale. It’s an evolution of the Rye Pale Ale brew that we created for our association with Offset back in April. It’s a blond colour beer with full bodies and is slightly sweet with grapefruit coming though. You can also detect a slightly spicy/peppery flavour and it has a malty end, which comes from the rye. It has beautifully balanced bitterness. We are looking forward to hearing what people think of it”, continued Peter Simpson.

  The Open Gate Brewery tap will be a permanent fixture in select pubs and the new brews will come on stream every second month. To find out which bars are serving The Open Gate Brewery beers log on to www.guinnessopengate.com.

I honestly have to say as a non-beer drinker (well a sip a pint to be mannerly 😉 ), I’m  more a spirits girl I actually really enjoyed the Rye Pale Ale. It was light and perfectly balanced. So my advice check out your local bar and see if it’s one of the lucky 25.

Emer D xx

Something for the weekend: A movie review for Big and Little kids…

Hi Guys, so as you probably have gathered I love to be entertained and I love to entertain hence why I work with cinemas, theatres and blog about it. I love to watch films, musicals, go to gigs and immerse myself in the experience. So as the big summer blockbusters hit our screens I thought Id gave you a few reviews over the next few weeks. As you are reading this I’m probably up to my eyes working on the big film of the year Suicide Squad, so that review will have to wait for a week or two. But today’s review I wanted to aim at the big kids and little kids so I’m going to give you my thoughts on Finding Dory and the BFG.

Finding Dory

I was sooo excited to watch Finding Dory. Since I set my eyes on its release date I have been on a countdown. I am a big child at heart and the Pixar, Disney combination just makes me so happy.  I watched Finding Dory with another big kid and we both exclaimed at parts, we where brought to the edge of tears at others and rejoiced at the end. I mean look at this little Dory with her big eyes…

Baby-Dory-in-Finding-Dory

I don’t want to give away spoilers in my reviews but this new film brings the finding Nemo story back to life and gives it a whole new meaning as well. We find out the origin of Dory and we set out on the adventure to find Dory’s real home. I thought the film was very cute and endearing; baby Dory had me swallowing back the tears but the cameos from older  Nemo characters and the introduction of a few new characters (the grumpy Hank being one of my favorites) gave it just the right balance. I think its the perfect family film for the summer with a lot of hidden depth, teaching kids some great lessons in life; to strive to overcome adversity and any problems they may have. And honestly I kinda want to watch it again.

BFG

Next but definitely not in second place this week I watched the BFG. Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of a Roald Dahl classic. I dont know if it’s still taught in schools but I think I first encountered this tale in primary school and I loved the idea of a friendly giant. Sneaking into orphan Sophie’s bedroom and whisking her of for the adventure of a lifetime. Naturally scared at first, the young girl soon realizes that the 24-foot giant is actually quite gentle and charming. The giant presented by Spielberg  was gorgeous, a character reminiscent of an old grandpa who would carry humbugs in his pocket. Grumbling,incoherent at times but full of love and care for the little Sophie.As their friendship grows, Sophie’s presence attracts the unwanted attention of Bloodbottler, Fleshlumpeater and other hideous giants. After traveling to London, Sophie and the BFG must convince Queen Victoria to help them get rid of all the bad giants once and for all. Another classic feel good story one for a little older audience more so primary school kids who can deal with giants and goblins but all together another classic. Check it out soon!!!

OK gotta go get ready for my date with Jared Leto but let me know if you watch these films and let me know what you thought?

Emer D xx