Jonathan Traynor

Northern Ireland journalist. Rock & metal enthusiast and owner of belfastmetalheadsreunited.blogspot.com.

Review: Local thrashers Scimitar produce a curate’s egg on début release Where Darkness Dwells

AS a young thrash band it can be a hard path to carve in a crowded marketplace, but so far Scimitar have earned their stripes and come out strong. However, on their début release ‘Where Darkness Dwells’ they have may missed an opportunity. Don’t get us wrong – there are (leaving aside the brief intro ‘Sands […]

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Jake Burns on stage in Belfast

LIVE REVIEW: Inflammatory, nostalgic and still relevant – Stiff Little Fingers blast the past with superb supporting cast

WHEN the term ‘heyday’ is thrown around willy nilly, usually by those who choose not to stay up-to-date with a groups current status. But fans know that strong bands are always in their heyday; and when it comes to Stiff Little Fingers today they are more relevant than ever. When SLF and a mighty clatter

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challenge

Are You Ready For A New Life Challenge Or To Tap Into Your Creative Mind?

Consultant and coach Eve Earley is launching a unique course ‘It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again’ to help people take the next step in life whether they’re in their mid-30s or over 50. Over 12 weeks participants who are looking for a career or lifestyle change will learn how to unlock their creative potential

Are You Ready For A New Life Challenge Or To Tap Into Your Creative Mind? Read More »

pat mcmanus

Pat McManus To Join Blues Fest Fundraiser Gig LineUp

WITH the success of the Belfast City Blues Festival 2017 still ringing in fans’ ears next year’s thrust begins next month with a star-studded fundraiser headlined by six-string slinging Pat McManus. The fundraising show is at Belfast’s Empire on September 16, with proceeds going to support next year’s city wide festival. The full line-up sees

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ALBUM REVIEW: Rabid Bitch Of The North Leave Sweet Sensations On The Palette With ‘Nothing But A Bitter Taste’

AHH the heady days of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal – our formative years when the Friday Rock Show was gospel and a myriad of bands infused musicality with punk attitude. Even for the younger generation – weaned on the bands, or simply introduced by friends – it was an era that cemented

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Bringing LIGHT to the Black Box at the Belfast City Blues Festival

Throughout the 1970s’ the band LIGHT dominated Belfast’s rock scene playing rock blues numbers across the city – and now they are set for a Black Box performance as part of the ninth Belfast City Blues Festival. With virtuoso guitar player and local hero Jim Armstrong with singer and bassist Albert Mills they kept the light

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American Holidays Back As Belfast Blues Festival Sponsor For 9th Year In A Row

TOUR operator, American Holidays is once again backing the hugely popular Belfast Blues Festival as the main sponsor of this massive event in the city’s music calendar. With 50 gigs across 22 venues from June 23 – 25 the festival is one of the biggest in Northern Ireland and is a perfect fit for American

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Musician Pat McManus To Perform At Annual Tribute to Rory Gallagher at Belfast City Blues Festival

Northern Ireland musician Pat McManus is to perform at the Belfast City Blues Festival as part of the festival’s annual tribute to blues legend Rory Gallagher. Gallagher, who made Belfast his second musical home, will be remembered by some of the country’s top musicians at the Black Box on the afternoon of June 24 at

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ALBUM REVIEW: Selene push on to the next level on The Ravages of Time

WHEN you hear the term ‘symphonic metal’ sometimes there is a tendency to go back to the progenitors of the genre and compare it with newer acts, which is both unfair and unjust. The depth and the breadth of the genre belies the fact that with an ear there is more to be heard, but more

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Former Vogue Model Patience Bradley Launches Memoir Book In Belfast

Whisked away from her Northern Ireland home at 14 to appear on the front-page of international fashion magazine Patience Bradley has experienced the glamorous lifestyle – but knows its costs too. Now she’s revealing all in her Excalibur Press released book ‘Where Do You Go To My Lovely’ the County Down resident talks about the

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Elvis

Fans of The King are singing Hallelujah as NI’s favourite ‘Elvis’ brings gospel to the Cathedral

EUROPE’S leading Elvis tribute singer, Jim ‘The King’ Brown is bringing the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s gospel music and more to St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast to celebrate the faith of Presley, his songs and his life. Jim will be staging a performance in which the audience can share in Elvis’ gospel recordings as well

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stormzone

REVIEW: Stormzone & Triggerman Roar With Power In Ahoghill’s DRC

THERE are some nights when it is all about the rock, all about the metal, and all about the fun. Such was Saturday (January 28) night when Stormzone and Triggermanbrought the groove, the metal and an absolute sense of fun. Truth be told, if you haven’t seen these two bands before then either make sure

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ALBUM REVIEW: From Pain And darkness Emerges Beauty And Light From The Answer’s ‘Solas’

WILLIAM Butler Yeats spoke of “My Dark Declivities” in his poem “Parting”. Less than a year ago The Answer faced pain, crisis on a band level and on a very personal level for singer Cormac Neeson. Their own dark declivity and a parting loomed. Exhausted and in a real emotional turmoil it could have broken

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LIVE REVIEW: Conjuring Fate, Donum Dei And Attica Rage Bring Class To Saturday Evening

WITH the ever-lengthening list of shows over the closing weeks of 2016 it is becoming increasingly difficult for promoters to attract crowds for all but the biggest headliners. Coming just a day after Alien Ant Farm and a week ahead of four consecutive nights of gigs, Attica Rage’s show was up against all the odds.

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Review: Northern Ireland Metal Crew Cursed Sun Unveil New EP

WHEN you name your EP after two parts of the brain that are at the core of memory, decision-making and emotions you are taking a ‘cerebral’ risk with your music and lyrics, but Cursed Sun have always been ones not to rest on the proverbial laurels both on recorded material and on stage. The EP

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BelfastMetalheads: Allegaeon, Van Zant, Salem’s Pot, Ian Hunter, Ginger Wildheart & More

NEWS: Allegaeon release new track from forthcoming album Allegaeon have released their new track, Gray Matter Mechanics, via Bandcamp – the first recording to feature new vocalist Riley McShane.  Find out more HERE. ALBUM REVIEW: Van Zant rediscover their Red White and Blue period VAN Zant are amongst the closest to the border between rock

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£50m Being Nabbed By Benefits Cheats Estimates Minister

MINISTER for Communities, Paul Givan, has revealed the Government has recovered £1.8m from benefit fraud, but estimates are that £50m is being grabbed through benefits cheats. Speaking in the Assembly the Minister also said that 186 staff are employed tackling benefit fraud and eliminating errors in claims. “It is estimated that one per cent of

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Northern Ireland mental health

NI’s Staggering Mental Health Costs Of £3.5bn Every Year Revealed

MENTAL health costs Northern Ireland’s economy £3.5bn each year, according to Health Minister, Michelle O’Neill. The Minister was speaking as the Assembly backed a motion to create a Mental Health Champion to protect and promote the needs of those with poor mental health and wellbeing. Ms O’Neill said that 45% of those suffering mental health

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OFMDFM Fail To Respond Within Deadline To Less Than Half FOI Requests

LESS than half of all Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister were answered within the 20 working days deadline set by the Information Commissioner. The details were released in the Northern Ireland Assembly by DUP chief, Arlene Foster, showing that between 2011 and June this year

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£5.5m Spent On Consultants By OFMDFM & Its Quangos In 5 Years

THE Northern Ireland Executive and its quangos have spent more than £5,539,282 on consultants since 2011, it has been revealed today. The Executive Office spent £1.1m on consultants, while its Arms’ Length Bodies spent more than £4.3m. The biggest spender was the Strategic Investment Board, which paid consultants a total of £3,736,09. The figures came

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2,000 Revelead On North Belfast House Waiting Lists

A TOTAL of 2,332 people are on housing waiting lists in North Belfast, Minister of Communities Paul Givan has revealed. In an Assembly Written Answer to Sinn Féin’s Carál Ní Chulín, Mr Givan also revealed there were 132 people living in temporary accommodation, of which 92 have been accepted by the Housing Executive as homeless.

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1,000+ Children Waiting For Special Needs Statement

EDUCATION Minister, Peter Weir has revealed that there were 1,162 children waiting for a statement of special educational needs by the end of May. Responding to an Assembly Written Question from North Belfast MLA Carál Ní Chulín, the minister said: “The Education Authority has advised that 1,162 children are waiting for assessments as part of the statutory statementing process as

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Hospital Patients Waiting Almost 14 Weeks For Discharge

PATIENTS across Northern Ireland can languish in hospital beds for almost 14 weeks, despite being fit enough to be discharged. While the average waits for discharge across Northern are on average just a couple of days, Minister for Health, Michelle O’Neill revealed in an Assembly Written Answer. Lord Morrow had asked for the average wait

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North & West Belfast Have Lowest Life Expectancy In NI

TWO constituencies in Belfast have the lowest life expectancy rates in Northern Ireland, it has been revealed in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Minister of Finance, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, detailed life expectancy across all parts of the country in an answer to a written question from Foyle MLA, Mark Durkan. Foyle also has low life expectancy.

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Northern Ireland Europe

Northern Ireland Rejects Leaving Europe…But Still Will Be Leaving

THE majority of people in Northern Ireland have voted to remain in the European Union (EU), in contrast with the rest of the United Kingdom in the June 23 referendum. The margin was more than 100,000 voting to remain of the 62% turn-out was enough for Northern Ireland’s electorate in deciding to remain – now

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Co Down Rockers The Answer To Play New Album At Belfast Show

County Down rockers The Answer have toured with some of the biggest names in music, having played to millions of people worldwide. Having achieved massive successes with their debut album Rise which sold over 100,000 copies worldwide they’re back. Four-piece Cormac Neeson, Paul Mahon, Micky Waters and James Heatley are back in the studio and

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Northern Ireland Assembly Negotiations Underway After Election

WITH all 108 Members of the Legislate Assembly (MLAs) elected by late Saturday afternoon (May 7, 2016) negotiations are underway to form Northern Ireland’s new government. And, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have emerged with the strongest hand with 38 MLAs making them the largest party in the Assembly. It means that party leader, Arlene

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Armagh Woman Challenges Eating Disorder Attitudes Through Powerful Photoshoot

A YOUNG Armagh woman is challenging perceptions and attitudes to eating disorders through a series of bold photographs, despite battling bureaucracy and serious complications as a result of the illness. Felicity McKee, working with photographer Debbie Deboo for the Chronically Fabulous campaign, appears in photographs in which she is held by silk ropes and gold chains showing

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Incredible Hulk Mark Ruffalo Takes On NI Minister Over Controversial “Toxic” Oil Drilling Plans

STAR of The Incredible Hulk movie, Mark Ruffalo is taking on The Northern Ireland Minister for the Environment, Mark H Durkan, over plans to drill for oil near the water supply for thousands of homes. The Hollywood actor claims a toxic mix of potentially cancer causing chemicals will be involved in the drilling. Ruffalo is

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