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Max Hartshorne, travel website editor, sharing some of the stuff I read, hear and see with you. Updated every day. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Fibber McGees Brings ‘em out in Belfast

by Max Hartshorne on December 8, 2005

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Tonight after dinner we got a chance to sample Irish music in Belfast. We went to a crowded little pub on a side street where a folk band called Brier was ready to play. The people in the pub were all locals, drinking a lot of Guiness and joking and laughing, and the place was packed. The band, three stout men with two guitars and a bass, played the kinds of tunes you’d expect–sing-along rowdy songs and rocking fast tunes with the main singer/guitarist wailing on the axe and the crowd singing along and dancing, swinging their partners around sloppily.

The rain drizzled down outside and the Guiness tasted sweet and creamy. A women leaned dangerously close to a very tall man in the crowd. His friend explained that women do that to him, they like how big and tall he is. This man, from England, said that he was here on business, his firm pays out tens of millions in claims in Northern Ireland. I’m not sure why he told me that–he didn’t look like an insurance man. He said he wasn’t sure what the women wanted–whether she was a hooker or just liked the tall guy. We walked home in the light rain, and talked about how much fun it was to hear live music and drink Guiness in this great little pub called Fibber McGees.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kent E St. John December 8, 2005 at 9:18 am

Tis a night to remember, how come Guiness tastes better with live Irish music!

Paddy Hamilton February 4, 2007 at 8:52 am

hello there, I came across a webpage where you described your stay in Belfast with such candour and a sense of underlying joy that it delighted me. I was born and bred in Northern Ireland but left in 1979 to live in Italy. I came back home to live in August 2005, following that salmon-swimming-back-upstream instinct so many of us from the island seem to get at a certain stage in our lives. Like you, the word Renaissance came to mind when I visited Belfast. The mix of traditional red brick and sleek glass and steel impressed and delighted me. I love living here in Portstewart on the coast I want to show off my land to all and sundry, I want to tell our stories and sing our songs. I’d like people to comprehend that pathos should have been invented by Ulster people not the Greeks!I do seriously wish to be part of the growing tourist industry here and am trying to find a niche, wish me well. you are interested I wrote a blog about Belfast not so long ago. That is it I suppose, just a warm thank you for spreading the word.

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