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Celebrating 20 Years of Independent Crime Fiction in Northern Ireland
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Michael Hughes
Saturday 28th July 2018 at 4:00PM
Tickets: FREE





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Join Us for this very special Book Launch with Michael Hughes, a vivid and brutal reimagining of Homer's Iliad, set in the Troubles of the late twentieth-century.

That was the start of it. A terrible business altogether. Oh, it was all kept off the news, for the sake of the talks and the ceasefire. But them that were around that part of the country remember every bit. Wait now till you hear the rest.

Northern Ireland, 1996.

After twenty-five years of conflict, the IRA and the British have agreed an uneasy ceasefire, as a first step towards lasting peace. But if decades of savage violence are leading only to smiles and handshakes, those on the ground in the border country will start to question what exactly they have been fighting for.

When an IRA man's wife turns informer, he and his brother gather their old comrades for an assault on the local army base. But the squad's feared sniper suddenly refuses to fight, and the SAS are sent in to crush this rogue terror cell before it can wreck the fragile truce, and drag the whole region back to the darkest days of the Troubles.

Inspired by the oldest war story of them all, this powerful new Irish novel explores the brutal glory of armed conflict, and the bitter tragedy of those on both sides who offer their lives to defend the honour of their country.

Michael Hughes grew up in Keady, Co. Armagh, and now lives in London. He attended St Patrick's Grammar School in Armagh and read English at Corpus Christi College, Oxford before training in theatre at the Jacques Lecoq School in Paris. He has worked for many years as an actor under the professional name Michael Colgan, and he also teaches creative writing. His first novel, The Countenance Divine, was published by John Murray in 2016.

 
Birds of Chicago
Sunday 29th July 2018 at 7:00PM
Venue: The Black Box
Tickets: £12.50





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Birds of Chicago, the collective centered around Allison Russell and JT Nero, reassert the simple notion that beautiful words and music can still tap deep veins of emotion. Stark, elemental imagery that feels like scripture, or a lost folk song recovered; the Birds draw heavily on the gospel tradition and the music feels like a new, secular gospel of sorts. For Birds of Chicago, every word counts. Every note counts. No gold-dusting, no filler. Birds of Chicago was born in 2012 when Nero began writing for his vocal star-muse, Russell. Both were accomplished singer/songwriters with projects of their own, Nero with JT and the Clouds and Russell with the acclaimed Canadian roots outfit Po'Girl, but together there was an unmistakable chemistry. Nero had found the perfect voice for his rock and roll psalms. Russell moved from being a primary songwriter to an interpreter, and her simmering restraint is deeply refreshing to a landscape scorched by post "The Voice"/"American Idol" vocal gymnastics and over-emoting. Their sprawling rock and roll circus of an album, Love in Wartime, co-produced by Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi All Stars), will be released in April 2018. The raw, spontaneous, and warm EP American Flowers, released in November 2017, is Love in Wartime's cousin from the country, and it rounds out Birds of Chicago's offering of healing, communion and celebration of life in a dark and troubled time.

 
         
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