Horslips set to play Ulster Hall

Jim Lockhart (Horslips), Richard Wakely (Festival Director, Ulster Bank Festival at Queen's) and Barry Devlin (Horslips).  INLT 37-679-CON
Jim Lockhart (Horslips), Richard Wakely (Festival Director, Ulster Bank Festival at Queen's) and Barry Devlin (Horslips). INLT 37-679-CON

Celtic rock band Horslips are set to play Belfast’s Ulster Hall on Sunday October 26, as part of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s.

Horslips final show was on October 12, 1980 and the band chose the prestigious Ulster Hall as their farewell with no public announcement, just an encore of the Rolling Stones song The Last Time and Charlie throwing his mangled fiddle into the audience.

Also, 40 years ago in October 1974 The Horslips played, what would become one of their most memorable concerts in Belfast, at the Ulster Hall touring with their album Dancehall Sweethearts.

Now four decades on from Dancehall Sweethearts and 34 years, almost to the day, of their final show the band will return to Belfast to recreate the magic of their Ulster Hall days.

John Rogers, promoter of the show said: “During the early days of the Troubles it wasn’t a great time for music fans in Belfast.

“Major acts detoured away from the country and as a result the live music scene all but died.

“Among the few who took the risk and played was Northern Ireland’s finest guitarist Rory Gallagher and legendary Celtic rockers Horslips.

“The Ulster Hall was an important venue for the band in their heyday so there was no question for me about where we should stage this show.

Jim Lockhart of Horslips said: “Everyone one knows the Ulster Hall is special for us. “Our last ever gig was there, well we thought at the time it was our last ever gig.

“Charles O’Connor is still looking for the fiddle he threw out into the crowd.”

Tickets for the event, priced £35 (standing) and £39.50 (seated), are available from www.ulsterhall.co.uk, 028 9033 4455 or direct from Queen’s Festival www.belfastfestival.com.