Exclusive Interview with Tritonal Before their Belfast debut Sat 24th September at Questhouse  


I had a chance to ask Tritonal a few questions before their Belfast debut this Saturday night. It's at the Questhouse at Brownes and looks like it's set to be a really good night. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Quest-at-Warehouse-Boucher-RD-Belfast/161387507211127?sk=wall

Q: How was Tritonal Formed?
We met on an online Sound Design Forum discussing methods of using the Virus TI!   We developed a friendship over IM and quickly realized we had many things in common musically!   Pretty soon Dave took a trip from Washington DC to Austin, and the magic happened!

Q: What's been your best night on the tour so far and why?
Well, thats a tough question!   Korea Live with Cristina Soto was really special, amazing to see that many people sing our tracks whom don't speak English!   Also, playing Mainstage at Electric Daisy Carnival was one for the books!

Q: Have you ever been to Ireland before and are you looking forward to a proper pint of Guinness when you're here?
We've never been, but are SOOOOO Excited to come play guys!!   We are really looking forward to the entire culture.  :)

Q: What other DJ's do you find most inspiring?
Well, we really love what guys like Above & Beyond, Gareth Emery, Mat Zo & Arty have been doing as of late - to stuff!!

Q: For readers who haven't listened to much progressive trance before, do you have a soundcloud/youtube link to a track or artist that is a great representation of the Genre?
We have loads of listenable clips on our site, where you can listen to our Air Up There Radio Show as well!   www.tritonalmusic.com   Cheers!

Rising DJ Duo Tritonal's Debut Performance at Questhouse on Sat 24th September

BELFAST, September 12, 2011--US-based trance and progressive DJ duo Tritonal will make their debut appearance at Questhouse Nightclub on Sat 24th September.

In just a few short years, Tritonal has become one of the most recognizable names in the international electronic dance music scene, with track after track flying up the Beatport charts and landing in the sets of some of the most renowned and respected DJs in the world, including Above & Beyond, Ferry Corsten, and Gareth Emery. Their first smash hit, Piercing Quiet, was voted Track of the Week by thousands of listeners of Armin van Buuren's 'A State of Trance' radio show and led to the success of Tritonal's own monthly radio show, 'Air Up There.'

Currently on a whirlwind, worldwide tour to promote their album, "Piercing the Quiet," Tritonal shows no signs of slowing down for the rest of 2011. Throughout the summer, they have provided a guest mix for Trance Around the World with Above & Beyond, became the resident DJs for the summer on Sirius XM's Electric Area, and released their latest single, Tritonal's Club Mix of Cramp's RU116 on Anjunabeats. They recently wrapped a music video for their track "Still With Me," which features the haunting vocals of Cristina Soto and a highlight reel that features some of their latest achievements.

Tritonal's prosperous and collaborative career has taken the duo to some of the world's best dance music events in Russia, Asia, the U.S, the U.K, and Australia. This year, they have performed at Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas and Ultra Music Festival in Miami and have upcoming shows scheduled in Guatamela, Belfast, and Vancouver. 


A Few Press Releases from my mate DJ Gregg McCann  


I wouldn't normally just post a press release up like this but DJ Gregg McCann used to keep me entertained with his great DJing skills back when I worked at Lavery's so I've no doubt these nights are gonna be ace. Might even try and get back to Belfast for a Saturday night at Auntie Annies sometime soon!

Anything Goes
Kaleidoscopic Club
with Dj Gregz McCann
Monday 19th & 26th Sept. 
9pm - 3am
Love & Death Inc
10a Ann Street
Adm: £3 before midnight, £5 after
The summer hibernation of Belfast is nearly at an end as students return to put the buzz back into Belfast. Students love to party and Love and Death Inc is the perfect venue to kickstart the academic year. 
Freshers Festival consists of an exemplary array of club nights with awesome tunes played by top notch djs and magnificent drinks promotions that runs Monday to Thursday for the first two weeks of term in what happens to be Belfast’s coolest venue.
Anything Goes is the perfect event to launch this carnival of clubs, the brainchild of Dj Gregz McCann this kaleidoscopic club hits all the bases for the perfect student party night. Modern dancefloor sensations merge with all time anthems, from the cool to the kitsch, from the underground to the popular, all angles are covered providing a dancefloor friendly frenzy.
Drinks Promotions All Night
Selected Spirit & Mixer £2
Selected Bottled Beer £2
Free Shot for First 50 People.
Free Admission Password sent via www.facebook.com/djgregz on day of the event.


The Soundation presents
with Dj Gregz McCann
Every Saturday @ 9pm
Free Admission
Auntie Annies (Downstairs)
Dublin Rd, Belfast
Eclectic Electric is legendary when talking about clubs in the north of Ireland. Now in its 15th year its the brainchild of local man of music Greg McCann. Having started in the Cellar Bar Lurgan in the mid 90s, it has moved to various venues throughout Belfast, and now it is on the move again taking up residence downstairs in Auntie Annies every Saturday night.
Noted for its no-nonsense approach to music with little regard for chart trends, styles or fads, it has built its reputation on playing what would be considered real music. The ethos has always been “if its good, it will get played”. A audio orgy for music fans as styles and genres merge featuring sounds from the birth of rock and roll right through to the innovators of the modern age. Tunes of both a classic and contemporary vintage fuse to offer a kaleidoscope of melodies, beats and grooves. Indie, Soul, New Wave, Rock, Hip Hop, Electronica and Underground anthems abound, blurring the lines between pub and club and offering a selection of sounds that satisfy varied tastes.


Get down to McHughs Tonight!  


Tonight at 7:30pm at McHughs a fundraiser is being held in the basement to send my good friend Patricia to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Looks like a great lineup, and only £5 on the door. I've always loved McHughs as any reader of this blog will know, so get down there!

More info here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=125487560873439


An English Students Guide to Uni in Belfast  


If you didn't know originally, I'm from a town in the North-West of England called Burnley. I went to Belfast for Uni becuase I had a family background from there and had always thought of it as as much my home as Burnley itself.

However not all young English people who chose to go to Belfast for Uni have that background. Some are understandably worried or unsure of what to expect when they get there.

The legacy of the troubles still lives on in people minds, however for an English student in Belfast this is a complete non-issue. In my three years at QUB never once did I hear of English people getting in any sort of bother becuase of their nationality. Although the catholic/protestant divide is still there, it's not antagonistic.

Interestingly however, just within the first couple weeks of living in halls social groups were formed largely on Catholic/Protestant backgrounds without anyone seeming to be consciously choosing who they hung around with on those lines. For me this wasn't a negative, just an interesting feature of living in Belfast. Similar to the rivalry between City and United fans in Manchester, although without the violence.

Also at this point, if the reader does still not believe me, it's worth mentioning that Belfast was recently voted the safest city in the UK.

In terms of the drinking culture, Belfast has always reminded me of the North English town I grew up in. People have their own way of speaking that is very different from standard English. Where as in Burnley you would have a 'Meat Pie' for your tea, in Belfast you'd get a 'Cowboy Supper' or a 'Curry Chip'.

The bars in Belfast have some fantastic history and there are some fantastic spots for people of any taste. The major two differences between Belfast and towns in England is the prices and the opening hours.

Belfast can be quite expensive, outside the Student Union the average price of a pint is about £3.20. Almost all the bars close at 1-1:30AM, even on a Saturday Night. Belfast has a few regular clubs that open till 3am, however it has nothing like a Walkabout which you'd get in England, a Bar during the day that turns into a late night club at night.

One of my favorite things about Belfast is how friendly everyone is, I was only there a few days and I was already friends with born and bread Belfast people with who I continue to be friends with today.

Culturally, the city has some fantastic art gallery's, murals and historic spots if that's your thing. My favourite day in Belfast was probably walking around little alleyways in the city centre with my Dad looking at statues and paintings you'd never knew existed if you didn't know where to look.

Belfast is a brilliant city and I couldn't recommend it more to anyone, no-matter where you're from.

As always, if you have any questions email me, the adress is on the right of the page. And if you'd 'like' the Facebook box I'd appreciate it.


Ask Danny, Your Letters Published  


A couple of times a week I usually get people emailing me asking me about going out in Belfast on a certain night or where a certain DJ is playing etc. and so I thought I'd start publishing the e-mails and my responses here for all to see.

Just yesterday I was sent this:

Hey Danny,

Me and my mate are heading to belfast from dublin on tuesday until saturday. We are basically up for the laugh and going on piss but have no idea where to go as we have never been to belfast. We're talking tuesady, wednesday, thursday and friday night. Any suggestions would be great.

Ta very much :)

Now anyone looking to go out in Belfast for 5 nights in a row has my respect and so I was very happy to help them out with some recommendations:

Hey Adriana!

Great thing about Belfast is there's somewhere everybody goes every night.

Tuesday night everybody goes to this bar/club thing called Limelight which is like 3 bars in one, all playing different music. It's 3/4quid in and they usually have alright drink offers on. Kicks off at 10 and usually finishes 1:30-3am

Wednesday, I'd go to Belfasts best nightclub called Rain. It opens 10pm and stays open serving drinks till 3am. It can get pretty busy so don't expect to get in past midnight but it does great drink deals, cocktails and is probably Belfasts best nightclub.

Thursday I'd normally go to the student union, but it might be really busy or not open depending if Queens has finished yet so I'd probably go Laverys.

If you're planning on doing a lot of drinking, Laverys is somewhere you want to get aquainted with. It's central, opens at midday and closes at 2am. Has 3 levels, one a nightclub, one a pool room and the other has 2 bars in. One which is a normal old bar, the other, the back bar quite funky with reggea nights and stuff. Really good crowd there and very mixed too.

Friday, theres a great bar/restaurant called McHughs that I used to work at. Friday nights they have a club night downstairs which although a bit small is great fun and gets a lot of the young proffesional crowd.

Saturday, the pool room in laveries turns into a nightclub and is utterly awesome. Can't beat it.

'The Bot' is probably belfasts most famous bar, but imo it's crap. Southerners seem to like it though.

Have a good time!


If you'd like some advice on Belfast's nightlife please feel free to send me an email at dannygillen@gmail.com


Big Beat Re-union Belfast, Friday 13th of May @ Love and Death Inc.  


I've just gotten word from the well known DJ Gregz McCann that the big beat re-union is coming to Belfast at the new club 'Love and Death Inc'. I've never been to the new club but I've heard it's good and they do food as well during the day so I hope to give it a review soon. I used to be a big fan of Greg when he DJ'ed over at Laverys so I'm sure this will be a good night.

Here's the press release I was sent:

A phenomena has been happening in clubs across the UK over the last year as Big Beat is well and truly back. The brainchild of legendary DJ Cut La Roc, Big Beat Reunion shows have been taking place in London, Brighton, Birmingham, Bristol and a host of other towns and cities nationwide. Acts that have featured include such luminaries as The Dub Pistols, Propellerheads, Jon Carter, Aphrodite, Freestylers, Elite Force and the undisputed king of Big Beat, Fat Boy Slim.

Big Beat fused a number of styles including Hip Hop, Breakbeat, Drum and Bass, Techno, Soul, Funk and House combined with classic rock and disco samples, this movement brought Indie kids to the dancefloor and let them party all night.

It’s this fusion party ethos that have made Big Beat Reunion club nights such a massive success, and which are now being brought to Belfast as local DJ/Promoter Gregz McCann has lined up a series of events in what has to be Belfast’s coolest club; Love & Death Inc.

First up is a DJ set from the scene’s ultimate party band Bentley Rhythm Ace as one half of the dynamic production duo and one time Pop Will Eat Itself member Richard March makes a return to Belfast for a party set of eclectic sounds and dancefloor focused beats. 

Bentley Rhythm Ace were formed when Richard and Mike Stokes met while scouring boxes of second hand vinyl at car boot sales. A mutual love of rare grooves and off beat sounds was discovered and led to the pair developing a sound all of their own which manifested itself on their self titled debut album which was released on Skint records. The closing track from the album "Return of the Hardcore Jumble Carbootechnodisco Roadshow" seemed to encapsulate the band’s sound in terms of both live and DJ sets.

Richard will be bringing a bag of tunes from a very broad spectrum mixing tracks where the samples were sourced with underground floor fillers. All of which will be delivered in that classic fun filled Bentley’s style which has endeared them to lovers of music across the globe.

Support on the night comes from Belfast’s own beat behemoth Gregz McCann.

Friday 13th May
10pm - 3am
Adm £5
Love and Death Inc
10a Ann Street


Campaign LK playing in Auntie Annie's this Sunday  


I know a lot of people who read this blog are like me massive fans of the Rubber Bandits.

Well I've just got an email advertising a gig their old backing band 'Campaign LK' are playing in Auntie Annies this Sunday. After digging around on Youtube I've managed to listen to a few of their songs and they're really good. This rendition of Rocky Road to Dublin has got to be one of the most original folk performances I've ever heard.

If you're familiar with the Dropkick Murphy's you'll naturally feel at home with the heavy guitar and drums providing a backdrop to the rap infused lyrics that any good Irishman is familiar with.

Doors open at 9pm this Sunday night at Auntie Annies, admission £5. 


Interview with Rosie Romero - Live at Club Mono April16th  


Now I haven't been to Club Mono in quite a while, but the times I have been I've always been impressed by the great atmosphere, fantastic staff, long opening hours and of course - cheap prices.

I've been told that later this month, Saturday April 16th, Rosie Romero who made her name in the infamous Sankeys of Manchester will be playing in our very own Club Mono and it's sure to be a great night.

Below is a short press release and interview with the femme fatale herself, be sure to check out her website to listen to some of her mixes.

Rosie has established herself as a leading member of a Nu-Breed of artists, creating waves from her Manchester base in both her DJ and production guises. Honing her trade as a DJ at the legendary ‘Sankeys’ Rosie now plys her DJ trade throughout the UK and with increasing regularity taking her sound to the international marketplace; and playing in over 25 countries, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Dubai, Ibiza, Italy, Russia, Egypt, Slovakia, Siberia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Poland and Bahrain to name a few of the many.. We caught up with Rosie to find out about her jet set lifestyle and what she is up to musically…

Introduce yourself…
If you insist, my name is Rosie Romero; I am a Manchester based DJ/Producer who plays music to masses around the world. I have produced and lent my vocals to numerous tracks, a few of which will be hitting the dancefloors far and wide in 2011.
How long have you been doing this and what have been the highs and the lows in that time?
I have been playing out professionally for the past four years. I started playing on a month on month basis at Sankeys, Manchester that continued for three years, so I must have been doing something right.  Playing at such a prestigious club certainly helped me get established on club scene. The difficult part is staying there and there is no element of luck in that …it is sheer hard work and I work my but off.
My highs have been travelling the world…getting to see all these amazing countries and cultures. Getting to perform to massive crowds, you can’t beat that rush. I am working with my peers in the studio and making what I consider quality music.  How good is that!
The travelling is also included in my lows but they are small lows and a small price to pay.  The loneliness of travelling and being in hotels on your own is no so good. Luckily for me I befriend people easily whether they want to or not.

What sort of kit do you produce with?
I produce using Logic and I like to play in stuff on a compact keyboard, I am Grade 6 pianist, so I feel very comfortable on the keys. I love using out there samples; I used a recording of the drone of a mosquito flying in one track I made as a breakdown.
Do you approach remixes differently to originals? 
Great question! I always like to put the Rosie Romero stamp on anything I am remixing, though I feel it very important to keep the ‘soul’ of the track. Otherwise it will sound disjointed, at odds with the parts that you are trying encapsulate in your sound.
What makes you agree to a remix… does it have to be a certain type of track?
The only stipulation is that I like it.  I will always tailor the remix to fit the original and not vice versa.
What sort of music do you listen to, what are your current influences?
Gosh, a real wide spectrum of music, from Mersey beat to Missy Elliot. I love Timbaland, the richness and inventiveness of his production always blows me away. I always love the Alex Kenji sound but I am sure not that he influences me in what I produce.

What do you aim to achieve with one of your sets? Do you play to crowds?
The primary aim in my eyes is to make people dance, it is as simple as that and yes there are certain situations that you have to tweak your set to fit your surroundings.  You have to read the situation; I think that is what makes a good DJ and also the ability to create excitement via your music.

How are crowds different all over the world?
I find different crowds react to different elements in tunes, they identify with different sounds but when I have them totally rocking, I can play anything within reason and get a response. As I mentioned previously, it is about testing the water and creating the atmosphere, that excitement and you have cracked it.

What can people expect? Do you spend much time prepping each individual set?
People can expect a powerful, energy packed pile driver of set with me jumping about like a maniac. I am a natural performer; I don’t have a reserved bone in my body. They can expect a damn fine night and that is a promise.

What else you working on?
I’m working on a track with Sandy Rivera, Mark Trophy, DJ Danila, Jorgensen, Jay Kay, Juan Kidd, and remixes for Paul Thomas. I have three tracks coming out on Black Hole Records with my studio partner Kyfu in the next three months and ‘Shut Up’ is out on Big in Ibiza Records shortly.  I have a right few monster tracks up my sleeve too….all will be revealed very soon ;)

What do you do on the daily outside of music?
I own a horse called Rosie, no I didn’t name the horse after myself before you ask, she was already called that.  It keeps me fit; I love the fresh air, which clears my head of the hustle and bustle of life.


Hostel Review: The Linen House Hostel  


Over St. Patrick's day week I returned to Belfast and stayed at the Linen House Hostel located just on the outskirts of the city center. I was a little put off by the bad reviews I had seen on the internet but upon arriving I was pleasantly surprised.

I had ordered a single room and ended up with a room with 2 bunk beds all to myself. I suspect they don't actually have any single rooms but when you only want one bed it doesn't matter how many spare there are in the room with you. The stay cost me £12 a night which wasn't bad at all. In the room, I had a window, sink, rubbish bin and a couple of plug sockets as well as the beds. It was clean and smelt well. The beds were obviously made of cheap materials but they were clean and felt fresh.

There was a shared bathroom on the floor which was always kept clean and the shower was great but strangely not always warm. I hired a towel for the easy price of a pound and it seemed that late checkout was only a pound per hour as well.

The hostel was very well equipped with a kitchen, laundry room and everything else a traveler might need.

There was no curfew at the hostel and in my stay of 4 nights I had no real complaints. The staff were also excellent, especially the American women who did nights. More often than not I was coming in after more than a few drinks and she was more than happy to help me with whatever I needed.

I'm very glad that this place exists and whenever I manage to drag a few of my English friends over the water, that is where we'll all be staying.

You can visit the hostel here: http://www.belfasthostel.com/


The Perfect Guinness, What to Expect and how to Make it.  


In honor of the greatest of all holidays, St. Patrick's day, today I'm going to be talking about a subject very close to my heart - Guinness.

Guinness is probably my favorite drink there is. It's too thick for me to enjoy more than a couple of pints at a time, but I do know people who would drink it all day and be none the worse for it. It's a tough drink to get into, very often people will have their first Guinness in the wrong place and this will ruin their experience of it for ever. I know friends who on the spur of the moment have ordered one in a nightclub and got a plastic pint glass filled with the mysterious brown liquid. So sour and repulsive they never finished it swearing to never drink Guinness again.

However, order a Guinness in the right place where the barman has all the intricateness of a well choreographed and exactly time dance and it will be a hugely rewarding experience.

Now, it goes without saying that the best Guinness is going to be found on the island of Ireland. The fresher it is the nicer it's going to taste. However it's still very possible to get an excellent pint across Europe as long as they serve a lot of the stuff.

Any bar that only serves a few pints of Guinness a day is going to be serving a revolting drink. The best bars will go through a keg of Guinness from the time you enter to the time you leave and this means it's always fresh.

Nextly, the glassware is very important. I'm actually not a fan of Guinness's new glass as you can see below:

That glassware is just to snazzy for my liking however any glass will do the job as long as it's made of glass. I'll take the chance of being hit over the head with one any day compared to the alternative of drinking out of plastics like a child.

Next is my favorite part of the event, the pour. Each barman has his own little style however if they know what they are doing they will take their time. A proper Guinness should take just over second to pour and settle so except no substitutes.

The first thing the barman should do is hold the glass at a 45 degree angle as close as possible to the tap and push forward on the bar handle. He should do this for about 1-seconds until the flow from the tap goes from creamy to dark black. Immediately after it turns black he should hold the glass at the same angle and pull back on the handle letting the Guinness flow through whilst constantly minimizing the distance between the tap and the glass. 

As the Guinness level rise's he should balance out the glass slowly decreasing the angle it's held at until stopping pouring it so the Guinness level is online with the top of the harp you see on the glass.

After this the Guinness should be gently put down and left for about 70 seconds until the Guinness has fully settled. An ametuer barman will use this time to stare at the glass whilst the customer nervously prays the barman doesn't get impatient and top up the drink to early. An expert will use this time to go and serve someone else or take money off the customer.

When the Guinness is ready to be topped up (about seconds) slowly lift it towards the tap and again push forwards but not all the way forward. Minimize the fall distance and let the rest of the Guinness fall into the glass without causing much disturbance so it need not settle again.

Do not draw a shamrock (piss in the pint as the Belfast locals call it) but gently hand over the pint to the customer. The top of the pint should be free of any bubbles and with as smooth a head as possible.

For the customer, many people make the mistake of sipping the head off the Guinness and then drinking the rest. Do not do this. Instead hold the glass at a high enough angle so the black stuff flows underneath the head into your mouth and the head never gets drunk. This also leaves you with a beautiful 'Guinness Mustache' on your top lip which can be licked away, or else everyone can pose for a photo with their Guinness Mustaches if they are tourists.

So it doesn't matter if you're drinking your Guinness this St.Patricks day in the streets of Dublin or the gutters of New York, make sure your drink is treated with the respect it deserves.


A Small Update  


First of all I'd like to apologise for the almost year long gap in posting, I knew back in the day I had a few regular readers and subscribers to this, no doubt you guys gave up checking this a long time ago.

I also miss the emails I used to get from would be freshers asking about Belfast and how it was. For somebody who's grown up in England it was nice to be an authority on Belfast's fantastic night-life whilst it lasted. However, as it turned out you can't go out as much with the dedication I did and pass your exams as well.

After resitting first year and failing again I had to move back home to England. I'm now living in a boring small town called Burnley and dying to get back to Belfast. To do so I've got a few idea's in the pipeline, one of which is a novel I've been writing about my time in Belfast. I've already sent a partially completed draft to a few people and they seemed to like it so maybe I can get somewhere with that, even if I end up just putting it on the web for free and trying to make some cash from advertisements and donations.

I spent the most recent summer working on my own in a small holiday resort for Brits - Kos, Greece. It was great, I got to drink as much as I wanted on the job and lay around on the beach during the day. Even met a few groups from Belfast which was cool.

My friends in Belfast tell me it's as good as ever although the big wheel has gone if you'd believe it! Apparently the new Sunday night venue is the Kremlin with free entry and £1 drinks, I must check that out when I manage to return.

I'm sorry the comment system has been fucked up for a while, only noticed that the other day which was a shame, if you want to contact me I'm at dannygillen@gmail.com

If you're interested, keep watching this space and I'll shortly have a link up for my novel as well as an article on Belfast's night-life in general which I hope to have published in the Gown or something.

Keep Partying and study harder than I did.