CAQF Hits Its Teens

By Mark Ashby

Details of the 2012 Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival have been unveiled.
The 13th festival runs from 3 – 13 May across Belfast’s historic arts quarter and beyond, and some of the programme highlights include:
An extremely rare and long-anticipated Northern Irish appearance by art rock visionary and Velvet Underground legend John Cale; electro-rock pioneers Death in Vegas; Irish punk heroes The Undertones, supported by The Wonder Villains; YACHT; Martin Carthy; the carefully coiffured Kitty, Daisy and Lewis; vintage sounds with a modern twist courtesy of Saint Etienne - purveyors of perfect pop since the seminal ‘Fox Base Alpha’ album; The Rubberbandits kicking up a raucous comedy celtic hip hop mash-up whilst wearing plastic bags on their heads, inventing a new genre of music in the process; Field Music and folk super-group Andy Irvine, Donal Lavery, Liam O'Flynn and Paddy Glackin.
Fantastic Irish funny men, Dylan Moran and Ardal O'Hanlon; Henning When the amusing German; Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer, with his trusty Bonjolele; the furiously funny Mark Thomas will be reading from Extreme Rambling – about the activist-comedian’s 750km stroll along the illegal Israeli Separation Barrier; Robin Ince; Laurence Clark and Simon Amstell.
Spoken word
The finest parliamentary sketch-writer of his generation, Simon Hoggart; award-winning shows, John Peel’s Shed and At Large: Dave Allen, making their Northern Ireland debuts; a revival Neil Simon’s classic “buddy study”, The Odd Couple, starring Joe Lindsay; the inimitable legend that is Alexei Sayle reads from his acclaimed books, including the stirring memoir, Stalin ate my Homework; Abie Philman Bowman makes a welcome return with his in-no-way-provocative Pope Benedict: Bond Villain and local lad made good Michael Smiley (aka Tyres from Spaced and that guy in Kill List) makes a homecoming with his celebrated, hilarious ‘Immigrant!’
Under African Skies, the acclaimed documentary of the controversial making of Paul Simon’s Gracelands album; the mini-masterpiece Lawrence of Belgravia tracing the fall and fall of the much misunderstood and little-heard genius that is Lawrence Hayward (or Lawrence from Felt as he’ll be forever known to a generation of NME readers) – the man himself will also be visiting CQAF for this one-off screening; a riot double-bill features premières of Riot from Wrong and Uprising – Hip hop and the LA Riots - a double blast of incendiary filmmaking documenting two very different urban uprisings.
It is internationally-acclaimed street artist Conor Harrington’s turn to tackle the Black Box gable wall, a yearly challenge for some of the biggest international mural and graphic artists and the first ever solo shows for two up-and-coming artistic talents, Stephen Maurice Graham and CG Hannon.
Throw in the traditional Glitter and Sparkle, an Olde Belfast Velo Jaunt, a Big Global Market and even Gerry Anderson keeping us ‘In the Dark’ and you have the ingredients for a many-splendored 13th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.
Elsewhere, there will be workshops, exhibitions, family entertainment, performance, song, laughter and the odd heckle ringing throughout the four corners of the Cathedral Quarter and the Belfast streets beyond for the better half of May.

For more information, log on to or follow CQAF on Twitter, @Cqaf, and Facebook, @The-Cathedral-Quarter-Arts-Festival.

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