August 11, 2008

Spudfest Attracts Big Names ; Let’s Go Out

By Kerry McKittrick

Spudfest will open its doors for the first time tomorrow night. A name so readily associated with Northern Ireland, it's almost a shock that it hasn't been used before. This is a five day event that will celebrate the cultural and traditional heritage of the rural townlands of Comber.

The festival will start gently, with the Potato Heads Pub Quiz at Lisbarnett House in Lisbane, but the pace will pick up throughout the week. On Wednesday night you can choose between set dancing, or a singer/songwriter night featuring local talent Brendan Monaghan and Catriona Moles.

The big event on Thursday night will be Grimes and McKee, they of Bah, Humbug! at the Lyric Theatre and the adverts of a certain brand of frozen fish. Earlier this year they teamed up for The Tractor Show, a tour of Northern Ireland complete with tents and vintage tractors. The pair turned the programme into a live show at the Grand Opera House in June, which they're reprising for one night only during the festival in the Killinchy Presbyterian Church Halls.

The festival really does cater for all ages, on Friday afternoon from 2pm-5pm there will be a Children's Music Workshop in the Community House, Lisbarnett Road, Lisbane. This will be followed by a screening at the Spence brothers' famous Tudor Cinema of How We Used To Live. Made by the brothers themselves, this is a compelling snapshot of the area in the 1970s.

Also on Friday is one of the big events of the festival, Cork- born songwriter John Spillane will be performing at Lisbarnett House. The whole thing will wind down on Saturday with walking tours of Comber and live music in the square, and Rab McCullough will perform with the Lee Hadley Band in Lisbarnett House from 9pm.

All events are either free admission or Pounds 3 entrance, with the exceptions of The Tractor Show, John Spillane and The Lee Hadley Bands, for which tickets start at Pounds 8. All proceeds of the festival will go to charity, primarily the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund For Children. For ticket outlets and more information go to or tel: 028 9048 6067.

(c) 2008 Belfast Telegraph. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.