The Ulster Hall re-opened tonight (classics gig...and although I would have liked to hear the Rachmaninov piano piece and my school friend Nigel Ireland playing with the Orchestra, I declined as I have some good sense left!) with the promise of many great gigs for rock, punk and metal fans to come!.
Monday sees all sorts of bands clamber on to the historic steps. although only Therapy? or Ash may interest readers.
On March 16th Stiff Little Fingers return to the Bedford Street venue (and if you ain't seen SLF at the Ulster Hall you need to be there to find out what you've been missing!)
Rock and metal acts may also be playing around the Download dates.
But, it led me to thinking how many great acts played the Ulster Hall. And how many I personally attended - sober or drunk, solo or with mates.
Yeah, every punter knows about Led Zeppelin playing Stairway to Heaven live for the first time ever, but for me it was so much more than another venue with a legacy.
Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, MSG, Whitesnake, Jethro Tull, SLF, Faith No More (back when Big Ugly Jim Martin was still in the band and they played War Pigs), Rory Gallagher, Budgie, Bernie Tormé and a host of others still form vivid memories. And then running back to get the last bus at City Hall, or trying to get through the security barriers before they closed for a 'black taxi' back home.
Great to see the Grand Dame back in operation...and a "certain Mr Gillan" to quote Bernie Tormé may grace the stage in November with his oh so deeply coloured trobaudours laying 'smoke' across the Lagan waters, and entrancing us with tales of strange women, women from Japan, some perfect people you haven't met yet, and some stars of the highway.