Tuesday nights are the new Saturday night.
Well, maybe that’s a bit too far, but it was the third of four successive Tuesday night adventures, going Music-Football-Music-Football.
I had previously been there, to see Norman Whiteside at The Belfast Festival in 2012, while I was also at the Fine and Dandy Market a few weeks previously.
Elmwood Hall is the venue now being used to effectively replace Mandela Hall, less than a minute away, coincidentally, the venue KT Tunstall played for her last headline show in Belfast.
I should have been back there more recently than this show. I had a ticket for Simon Day in October last year, but unfortunately that was cancelled.
When I was at the Fine and Dandy Market a few weeks previously, the first thing that came to me as I walked around the hall was, where on earth are they going to put the stage?
That was answered as I arrived, with an erected stage taking up quite a lot of the floor, meaning we were all squished in and very close to the stage.
As she entered the stage to Mickey by Toni Basil, jumping straight into a new song In This Body, joking about how it is good to get the unknown songs out of the way first.
Up next, was something a bit more well known, Other Side Of The World, encouraging the crowd to get their phones out as she attempts to turn Elmwood Hall into an “Enormodome”, reassuring that she won’t verbally abuse anyone in the crowd like Chrissie Hynde, fangirling over Hynde having toured with her and Simple Minds the previous year.
I remember being very annoyed at that Simple Minds/Pretenders/KT Tunstall visited everywhere except Belfast.
The version of Other Side Of The World she performed was far superior to the one on record, heavier drums and more guitar led.
The second night of her tour, she promised the audience a good show. Well, maybe not a good show, but that it would be less shit than the previous night, while also telling the crowd to pretend that it’s Saturday night.
In her previous Belfast show, she spoke a lot between songs, telling stories behind the songs or just general chit-chat.
She asked if anyone had travelled far to be at this concert, someone in the crowd shouted “Dunmurry” which seemed to impress her until someone shouted that it was in West Belfast. She was then actually impressed when somebody shouted that they had travelled from Tipperary.
It was lucky for one audience member that she wasn’t adopting the Chriss Hynde attitude to phones, as someone’s phone went off during a solo performance of Feel It All, she mockingly put on a Norn Iron accent, saying “You’ll never guess what, she’s performing Feel It All”.
When recalling a tale of doing karaoke of her own songs, she did a brief cover of Faith by George Michael, disappointing the crowd by not playing it in full, as it is her karaoke song, before giving us a brief cover of Black Betty by Ram Jam during Black Horse And The Cherry Tree.
We did get treated to a cover in full, asking the crowd “Who likes the 1980s?” before performing I Think We’re Alone Now by Tiffany, even though that song itself is a cover of a song from the 1960s.
At the end of the show thanking the crowd for coming to see her, reading out a list of alternative things that were on in Belfast, one of which was a coding class at Ashfield Boys School.
She had forgotten to do that at her concert in Dublin the previous night, so we got treated to what Dublin folk missed out on by choosing to see her, which included a balloon artistry workshop, but not EA Sports Cup games at Bray Wanderers and Shelbourne.
Overall, a very enjoyable evening.
Up next for me, is Echo and the Bunnymen, as part of Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, which was announced a few days after this concert.
Coincidentally, it was the day after Rik Mayall’s birthday. He once sent an angry letter to Ian McCullough.