We flew in from Newcastle on the 3 o’clock flight and landed at Belfast
International at 3.40pm. After a 40 minute wait for my bag to appear on the
carousal we set off to find a taxi. The taxi into Belfast took about 30 minutes
and we came in through the docks area and I was immediately taken with
what a beautiful city Belfast is and how much regeneration is going on,
certainly a city on the way up. Booked into our hotel room in the Travelodge
around about 5oclock, literally just flopped on the bed and my iphone rang.
It was Peter who had just literally finished work and was ringing to meet up
and gives us a tour of Belfast's highspots. Peter had been in touch a few
times via the website and he was the one who let me know about the gig 2
weeks before. It was strange being in a new city and immediately being
offered a chance to meet a fellow fan and a tour, only in Ireland!!
The gig was at the superbly designed Kings Head in Belfast, the place itself for anyone who hasn’t been there is a strange mix of a bar, a lounge, a 120 seater restaurant and a small but ideally sized concert hall. Talk about everything under one roof. Great place full of great people.
We entered the concert room at 9.00pm and were told the Adventures would be on about 10.00pm, but due to technical issues, the support acts were changed, but we were treated to a superb blend of musical styles. All of the bands on the night were brilliant and show the energy and creativity alive and well in Northern Ireland. Pick of the support acts was John D’Arcy and his band, who can look forward to substantial success hopefully.
Peter did mention that I might have an obsession with the Adventures but I think that seeing a band that has given me so much pleasure over the years is enough justification for planning the trip and probably a once in a lifetime chance that I couldnt pass up. Having said that I was sat at the very front of the stage and felt a bit self conscious with my Adventures T Shirt on so I moved to the back wall before the Adventures came on, which actually gave me a much better view and sound wise it was much better.
So after an evening of great musicians, the Adventures finally took to the
stage around 12.40am and totally blew us away with their professionalism.
Terry is still a great frontman who can charm an audience with his witty comments between songs, and his voice has not lost any of its power over the years.
Pat hasn’t changed too much and still looks the same as during the Adventures early years. Will have to ask him his secret.
Eileens voice still forms a perfect compliment to Terrys, and she is still as beautiful, must be the water in Belfast!
I was dragged up to dance by Peter's wife, for which I will be eternally grateful as normally everytime I get up to dance everyone keeps trying to put me in the recover position, it is that bad. But it was really kind of her to lead me on the dance floor and a pleasure.
The band still sound great together and to hear all of these wonderful songs was an immense pleasure and to be honest the depth of quality songs the band has produced over the years they could have done 8 or 9 different playlists and still produced a great performance.
The song which was a total surprise was War Stories as Terry introduced it as one from his Punk days and I love the Starjets stuff as well. Must be Terry's voice I am addicted to!!
When I originally thought of my ideal setlist, I wanted songs from all four
Adventures albums, and possibly something from the Starjets CD as well as "Human". So this was a dream come true as the band started a ball bouncing version of “War Stories” with the crowd joining in with the “Backs against the wall”, “Young men heed the
call”, chorus bits.
For the encore, which the band got the audience to pretend they had left the
stage, and returned to a standing ovation, we were treated to an excellent
cover version of Fleetwood Macs “Go your own way” which was, I assume, a
nod to the time when the Adventures toured with them and a tribute to Stevie
An excellent way to finish a fantastic gig.
If the night had finished then and there I would have been more than happy,
but thanks to Peter I was introduced to Terry and only had time to say “Hello
Terry” before he had hold of my hand and escorted me into the dressing room
to meet the rest of the band. Topics discussed included the reason behind
the gig and also why Sunderland's Andy Reid is so fat!
Top lads and after a couple of photos I went off to meet Eileen.
Just totally overwhelmed and I probably came across as a gibbering idiot.
I did get a photo took with Terry but because of the camera flash and the fact it wasn't very flattering of either of us, I shall protect our embarrassment and keep it hidden.
We Left the Kings Head at 2.00 a.m to go back to the hotel for a couple of hours sleep. Woke at 6.00am and we were in Belfast International at 7.30am ready for our flight back to England. And I was back in my own house in Sunderland at 10.00 a.m wondering whether I had actually achieved my dream and I had. Thank you Terry, Pat and Eileen and God bless.
Highlights from the trip
Seeing the Adventures live.
Meeting Terry, Pat and Eileen, and finding out what great people they are.
Meeting Peter McCabe, and for his kindness and time to give us a brief tour of Belfast’s attractions.
The Crown pub – for its atmosphere and surroundings.
Flying on a aeroplane for the first time.
Experiencing the beautiful Centre of Belfast, definitely a city on the up.
All the wonderful Irish people over there who made us feel so welcome and comfortable with their company.
Total cost for the experience.
Return flights to Belfast from Newcastle for 2 people with Easyjet - £199
1 nights accommodation at the Belfast Travelodge for 2 people - £78
Return taxi fare from Belfast International to Belfast City Centre, including tip -
Return taxi to Kings Head from Travelodge, including tip - £20
Ticket for the Adventures gig and meals for two at the Kings Head, including
tip - £60
Drinks on the night - £20
Overnight parking at Newcastle Airport - £30
Price; Worth every penny. So a choice between buying a HDTV and seeing my favourite band and The Adventures will win everytime.