“It’s nice to see you Belfast” said Alex Trimble at the end of the first song, but didn’t add “To see you, nice!!!”. That would have been too cheesy, even for a man dressed as a 60s Crooner.
Sipping wine, on a Wednesday night, while wearing a turtleneck jumper and a purple suit, Trimble was very Bangor. Ballyholme behaviour.
This was a rare Belfast concert for the band, which they acknowledged during chatter between songs. In fact, you’ve had to go elsewhere in Northern Ireland to see them.
In 2017, you would have had to go to Portstewart to see them perform at the Irish Open. Their only concert in Northern Ireland that year, and it was for a bunch of Golf Dicks.
Earlier this year, they were part of the line-up for Ward Park 3 in their native Bangor.
In terms of Belfast, their previous appearance was in 2016 at The Limelight, in a concert billed as Tudor Cinema Club, a tribute to Two Door Cinema Club. They fooled nobody.
I wasn’t at it, not because I was fooled, but because I was already booked for Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott at Ulster Hall.
Before that, you have to go back to Belsonic in 2012, back when it was held at Custom House Square. That completed a quick rise for the band. A few years earlier, they were playing at Belsonic in late afternoon/teatime and being in small case on the concert poster, now they were headlining it.
For some reason, this concert appeared in the listings in the programme for the Belfast International Arts Festival. Nothing in the promo beforehand suggested it was part of the event, but rather, part of the band’s tour for their current album, False Alarm.
This concert took place in The Telegraph Building, a new venue for me, and a relatively new venue for Belfast.
As the name suggests, it is the building where the Belfast Telegraph was based before they moved to Clarendon.
The room where this concert was where the printing press was, the room where reports of Linfield trophy wins were printed.
This was my first time here. I’d hoped to park near to it but couldn’t find a space. After working my way around one way streets and a tour of Belfast City Centre, I settled on parking at Castle Court and walking the rest. I think I might just walk it for any concerts there in future.
On the day of the concert, I received an e-mail from Ticketmaster advising me to wrap up warm as it was a venue with no temperature. How wrong it was, it was roasting.
Described in that e-mail as “A pop up warehouse venue”, it had a screen where you could watch the gig from the bar if you were that way inclined.
As said earlier, this was my first concert at The Telegraph Building, but it might be my only one as plans are in place to turn it into an office building, but no actual date for that is known.
The reason why this gig was taking place in Royal Avenue was that The Limelight was unavailable due to Hot Chip already being booked to appear there.
The band walked on to the stage to the sound of Talk, the lead single from their current album, the drum based intro setting the scene perfectly for Trimble to strut onto the stage.
They ran through their hits, songs such as Talk, Undercover Martyn, Are We Ready?, Bad Decisions, Changing Of The Seasons and What You Know.
While performing Bad Decisions, Trimble channelled his Inner Prince. Well, he was wearing a purple suit.
The band expressed their excitement at playing at another new venue in Belfast, having played, in their words “Every pub, club and house party” in the city in their early days.
The band left the stage, and that was at. There was no encore. Or as we should say given the location, no late edition.
There was some mixed news in terms of concert announcements.
Kaiser Chiefs announced that their tour, with Razorlight as support act, will now hit Dublin but not have a Belfast date, while Blossoms announced they will be coming to Belfast in March.
I’ve already got a ticket for Blossoms, making it my first confirmed concert of 2020. How very exciting.
But back to 2019, and the second of three concerts in a busy October have been ticked off. Up next, OMD.