The Lagan Sessions – 13th October

The White Mansions

Sinead Coll

Junior Johnson

Photographs by Paul Kavanagh.


That Difficult Second Album…

Last night we closed off the second season of The Lagan Sessions.

Helping us go out with a musical bang, we’d like to thank Amanda Agnew, Steve Amos, Stephen Dunwoody, Lazy Flies, David McCann, Matt McIvor, Joanne Ham And Edelle McMahon.

I’m sure one of the gang will pull together some interesting statistics about acts that played over the last year. For now we’ll just take a moment to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who played this year and to everyone who supported our adventure in providing Belfast with the best listening venue for new acoustic music.

The Lagan Sessions

So… That’s it for another season.

See you in the Autumn!


Blown Away – 2nd June 2013

The quality of the acts at The Lagan Sessions is usually impressive.

Last night, the quality of the acts were in a whole new league of their own.

From the gorgeous voice of Rhea Lyttle, through the rather wonderful Jim Rainey and Brigid O’Neill and on into the evening with Wilfie Gilbert. It’s not often four such great acts can be found in one location and it was great to hear some excellent original material.

And to top it all off, we found out what the meaning of the word Lagan is – Thanks Jim!


May 26th At The Lagan Sessions

With music by new friends and old, we had an excellent nights fun and entertainment.

Thanks to Bruce Joseph, Mandy and Graham Bingham, Stefanie Campbell and Adrian Young for an amazing evening!

The Lagan Sessions – 12th May 2013

Another great night in The Lagan Sessions!

Superb sets from Suitcase Suzy, Benny Fyfe, Jonny Nixon and Steve Amos.

Thanks for the brilliant evening!

The 21st April Sessions

Thanks to everyone for playing last night.

Due to a few things outside our control the line up for the night had to change slightly. That’s the great thing about The Lagan Sessions and the people who come to the gigs – they’re a talented bunch! Thanks to those who showed off their talents at such short notice.

Special thanks to Steve Amos and Michael Kerr for excellent sets. And good luck to Michael for his radio interview later this week!

The 7th April Sessions

With March and Easter now well and truly behind us, the Lagan Sessions got back into it’s usual form last night presenting the musical delights of Shaky Horse, Elis Phillips, Kris Telford and Liza Flume.

Thanks to each of them for playing and making a great night!

Here’s a small selection of the photographs from the night. A sample of the live recordings will follow soon!


Photographs – 24th February 2013

Much later than originally planned. A small selection of the photographs from The Lagan Sessions on the 24th February.

A fantastic nights entertainment from Mandy Bingham, Gerry Jackson and Jack O’Neill as well as our stalwart hosts David McCann and Steve Amos.



3rd February 2013 at the Lagan Sessions

3rd February 2013 at the Lagan Sessions

Sunday saw the Lagan Sessions enjoying one of its best evenings to date (and with the acts we’ve previously had, that’s really saying something).

First up was the irreverent Steve Amos.  Steve had the audience’s attention right from the start and held it (between guffaws) right the way through his set.  There wasn’t a dry ear in the house as Steve spun his sweet and sour stories of truck-stop love, tender prison relationships and winter horticulture.  The audience, largely new to Steve’s style, were pleasantly shocked at every turn and gave him a rousing ovation at the end of his set.  Watch out for Steve playing a not-to-be-missed comedy gig with Ursula Burns and Stephen Hall at the Belfast Nashville Festival on Wednesday 20th March in the Holiday Inn, Ormeau Avenue.

The second performer of the evening was Sara Crockett.  As a young Belfast Based singer songwriter Sara writes songs that have a maturity and depth which belie her years. The pre-event publicity stated that she takes influences from artists like Miranda Lambert, and Dixie Chicks, and Steve Amos swore he could also hear a bit of Taylor Swift (but that might just be a strange fantasy of his).  Whatever influences you may or may not hear she is a very impressive young singer songwriter who thoroughly justifies her appearance at the Belfast Nashville Festival supporting the legendary Nanci Griffith. Her first album is due to be released this spring and is not one to be missed. You can also find her single “Hide and Seek” on Youtube.

The third act saw the very welcome return of Matt McGinn, one of the finest writers and performers in the country.  Matt’s self-deprecating humour and his wry story-telling only enhanced the fragile beauty of his songs on Sunday night.  He treated us to a batch of new songs from his forthcoming album, many of them collaborations with other up-and-coming songwriters he has met on his travels, including the talented Canadian Madeleine Slate.  He played “World of Time” and “You Have Your Dreams”, the “A” and “B” side of his new single.  Check them out on bandcamp, and tide yourself over until the release of his new album in March.  “You have your Dreams” is a poignant air in 3/4 time with a haunting arrangement that really caught my attention.  Matt’s set went down an absolute storm with a rapt and fortunate audience.  Catch Matt on Saturday the 23rd February at the Belfast Nashville Festival.

Last up was Suzanne Savage.  Those of you who aren’t familiar with Suzanne’s music, all I can say is, do yourself an enormous favour and start now.  Her performance at the Lagan Sessions was completely electrifying and you could feel the excitement in the room grow from song to song, with elements of jazz, rock and Irish traditional all mixed together in her own songs and sung with one of the finest voices I’ve ever heard.  Highlight of the night for me was her rendition of her own composition “The Violin Song” where she jumped off the stage and sang and played to us without amplification.  Pin drop time.  Even the glass-washing machine at the bar paused to catch its breath.  Suzanne leaves these shore to tour America and Germany shortly, but, when she comes back in March look out for her at a venue near you.  We were a very lucky bunch on Sunday and it was a gig we won’t forget in a hurry.

Having these four performers all playing on one evening was a real and rare treat.  More of this kind of thing please!

Thanks to Joanne Ham for the great photographs.

27th January 2013 at the Lagan Sessions

Lagan Sessions 27th  JANUARY 2012

The second of the sessions in 2013 proved to be a very entertaining evening with an excellent line up and great audience support.

Clair McCusker, the first of three newcomers to the sessions, started off the evening with a beautifully balanced selection of songs conveying messages of strength and hope. She was supported by the excellent guitar playing of Brian Hassan who did his own set later in the evening.

Next up was the duo Chasing Perpetua, (formerly Less than3NI). This husband and wife team (Mark and Lindsay) played a set mostly comprising their own material with a couple of covers. This was their first time playing as a duo and Lindsay admitted to being a bit nervous but this was soon forgotten (or at any rate unnoticed ) as they produced a great set of music with thoughtfully written songs and gentle harmonies.

Amanda St John played the next set accompanied by Paul Tierney on guitar and more pedals than Lance Armstrong. Originally from Glenariffe  Amanda is no stranger to the Belfast music scene and has worked with a number of NI’s best known musicians. It is easy to see why as she performed a great selection of her own songs delivered with a powerful voice.


And finally Brian Hassan returned for the second time in the evening and the second time at the sessions. Brian is from Strabane, plays guitar in a manner of different styles ranging from Irish folk melodies through jazz and rock based influences and once even straying into country. Oh and he also has a wonderful way with lyrics and a great voice.


As usual I am unable to really do justice to the evening. The quality of the performers continues to be very high and the best way anyone can really savour this is to come along.

Posted on behalf of Steve Amos.

Next Page »