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Archive: October 2014

The Lady Boys of Bangkok - The Sensational New Show - Red Hot Kisses


27 October 2014

MWAHHHH!  - The Lady Boys of Bangkok are back in their latest sizzling and seductive production. Feel the temperature soar as the stars burn up the stage in ‘Red Hot Kisses’ their brand new show for 2014.

Arriving to entertain Belfast like no one else can from Saturday 1st to Saturday 15th November in the Sabai Pavilion, Custom House Square, Belfast BT1 3FG.

In an inferno of fun and frolics, this blazing hot production includes 16 of Thailand’s most beautiful and intriguing lady boys, performing a show like no other!

If it all gets a little too hot for audiences to handle, don’t worry – there are fully licensed bars to help cool down with an ice cold beverage, and if they get a little peckish the Sabai Pavilion’s resident chef will be delighted to ignite the taste buds with a mouth-watering range of authentic Thai cuisine.

Returning to the UK for a record-breaking 16th season, the Lady Boys of Bangkok have become the country’s favourite touring cabaret show bringing their truly unique style of entertainment to eager audiences the length and breadth of Britain  - from Inverness in the north to Truro in the south and from Newcastle to Belfast.

 

 

With more than 200 specially designed lavish costumes – everything from fabulous feathers to designer-inspired couture – the eclectic mix of musical genres includes movie hits, superstar pop favourites and a dash of country and western added to keep the party glowing. With more songs and production numbers than you could shake your hips to, from Moulin Rouge to Flash Dance and Hairspray then at the blink of a mascara’d eye the pace changes as they glide through their unique Lady Boys of Bangkok tributes  to Kylie...Katie Tina …. Amy …..J-lo and even Robbie!  Oh Yes! The Lady Boys of Bangkok’s 2014 party starts right here!

As the cabaret room lights dim, the excitement raises – the Lady Boys are back in town!

The curtains part, and there the full glamour, glitz and glory those fabulous Lady Boys of Bangkok – 16 of the world’s most fabulous showgirls - who just happen to be men! – launch into their colourful, sexy performance with their brilliantly stylised humour that is cheeky but never crude.

So what are you waiting for – book now for the best party night in town! MWAHHHH! 

Book now to make sure you don’t miss out on the inspiring and captivating sight of the Lady Boys of Bangkok live on stage! Also check out our special treats and packages to make your night a unique experience you will never forget.   

The party like no other party!....The show like no other show!....The girls like no other girls!, The Lady Boys Of Bangkok are ready to party …. Are you?

Europe’s Number One Cabaret Sensation

"Escapism ,lots of fun....one of the best value for money nights out money can buy "

Derby Evening Telegraph.

 

BOOK NOW

Telephone Bookings: 0871 705 0705 (10p BT per min)

Online Bookings: www.ladyboysofbangkok.co.uk

 

Website;             www.ladyboysofbangkok.co.uk

Facebook ;          www.facebook.com/ladyboys

Twitter;                 @theladyboys

A Night of Celebration at the PANI Awards 2014


21 October 2014

The red carpet rolled out last night (Friday 17 October) at Belfast City Hall as The Publicity Association of Northern Ireland (PANI) hosted its thirteenth awards.

The eagerly anticipated awards celebrated the advertising and media industries’ amazing campaigns that local agencies have designed, produced and executed over the last two years. Hosting the event was BBC Presenter Colin Murray, who flew into Belfast for the occasion.

The awards recognise creativity and excellence in the Northern Ireland publicity sector and the contribution that the industry makes to the local economy. And, with fifteen categories, each with Gold, Silver and Bronze accolades, the event was a successful night rewarding agencies, individuals and media owners across the Northern Ireland publicity sector.

Lyle Bailie walked off with most awards across all categories, as well as the Grand Prix award for their DOE ‘Classroom’ campaign. Their other winning campaigns included a gold for Best Public Sector Campaign sponsored by W&G Baird, Best Digital Display Advertising Campaign sponsored by the Belfast Telegraph Digital; Best Outdoor Innovation sponsored by Exterion Media; and Best Advert OVER £75k sponsored by UTV.

Other stars who won on the night included: ASG, for the Creative use of the Print Medium sponsored by the Belfast Telegraph, as well as Best Multi Format Campaign sponsored by JCDECAUX. Ardmore won Best Full Colour Display Advert sponsored by The Irish News, while RLA won joint gold for the Best Radio Advert within a Multi Media Campaign sponsored by Citybeat; and finally Adhaus won Best use of Radio sponsored by Downtown/Cool FM and Best use of Outdoor sponsored by Clear Channel.

The awards continued with Genesis winning the award for Most Outstanding use of Radio as a Sound Medium sponsored by U105, as well as joint gold for the Best Radio Advert within a Multi Media Campaign sponsored by Citybeat; Ardmore Advertising won Best use of Digital Advertising and Social Media sponsored by Mirror Media; and Soundhouse, for Best Advert UNDER £25k sponsored by UTV.

Navigator Blue added to the awards celebration winning the Best Advert Between £25 - £75k sponsored by UTV, and the Media Owner Award sponsored by IPA went to the Belfast Telegraph, for their Giro D’Italia campaign.

PANI Chair Cathy Martin said:  “This year PANI celebrated both the past and the future with our awards theme of ‘Past, Present and Possibilities’. Over the last 50 years the industry has changed vastly - almost beyond what might have even been considered possible in the 1950s - and the next 50 years are something that PANI can’t even begin to predict, so tonight’s awards were definitely testament to that.”

PANI Awards Committee Chair Lynne Doherty said: “Tonight was absolutely fabulous and I am delighted with the standard from everyone who entered this year. We have such talent in Northern Ireland and it is great having awards like these to rewards this.”

“I would like to thankthe judging panel, which included highly experienced and often commended advertising executives from across Ireland and the UK.  These included Billy Mawhinney, Mike Bersin, Graham Elliott, Mike Baker, Nick Tomlin, Jonny Maginn, Maeve O'Meara and Farhad Koodoruth. Without them tonight would not have been possible.”

For more information on the awards or information about PANI, please visit www.panionline.com

FASHION FANS FALL FOR FASHIONWEEK


20 October 2014

Style Sunday, in association with LIDL and in support of Mencap NI, was a fitting end to five days of fashion for West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK, and closed the event’s ten year celebrations in truly fashionable style.

The charity luncheon gave guests an up-close-and-personal look at stunning fashions from local designers over a delicious four course meal, which featured the very best of local produce and seasonal ingredients. Chef Brian McCann revealed at the end of the meal that all ingredients, including delicious Hereford fillet beef and a fantastic cheese board, had been provided by LIDL and its suppliers – many of whom are based locally here in Northern Ireland.

Jasmine O’Brien, LIDL Northern Ireland, said: “Style Sunday was a wonderful fit for LIDL Northern Ireland, unbeknown to guests until the big reveal at the end they feasted on all LIDL food, which was created in such wonderful style by SHU chef Brian McCann and his team. It tasted absolutely delicious and worked perfectly with the fashion and beauty on display, ending a wonderful five days of fashion for the city.”

FASHIONWEEK Director Cathy Martin and Cool FM presenter and stylist Rebecca McKinney took guests through the key fashion looks for autumn/winter while make-up artist Paddy McGurgan andSenior Educator John Harvey from FASHIONWEEK hair partner Peter Mark also imparted tips and tricks on the key looks for the season ahead.

Cathy said: “Style Sunday is my favourite day at FASHIONWEEK, not just because it is the last day of a very busy event, but because the atmosphere is relaxed and informal and the show itself is very intimate and fun. The presenters were popular with our audience, who also raved about the food and drinks and then collectively decided they were ‘ladies who LIDL’ after enjoying such gourmet food from LIDL.”

 

This season, FASHIONWEEK included three main catwalk shows; the exclusive Excel Clothing showcase kicked the catwalk shows off with a wide selection of designer names for men, women and children, then Local Designers and Independent Designer Boutiques added to the catwalk display on the Friday evening with collections from avariety of local boutiques including Blush and Jourdan from the Lisburn Road, Goddess & Swift and Diamond Dolls in Banbridge; designers such as Gráinne Maher, Julia Sokele, Lizzie Agnew, Katie Wilson and Gordon Donaldson among others, and High Street Haven ended the catwalk proceedings for A/W 2014 with fashions from Next, M&S, Jigsaw, CastleCourt and The OUTLET, Banbridge. 

As if this wasn’t enough, there was Sushi Saturday and Style Sunday as well as a charity showing of “MEAN GIRLS” THE MOVIE. These FASHIONWEEK events went down a treat with guests.

“MEAN GIRLS” THE MOVIE saw a sea of pink ladies and a few gents turn up for the charity screening at BFW HQ, all wearing pink in support of breast cancer awareness month and local charity Pretty n Pink, whose founder Noleen Adair sadly passed away earlier this year.

Adding further style to the schedule, Sushi Saturday at Shiro was a sell-out sensation, with the fashion pack booking up the venue just one week after it was announced to the public. As expected, sushi and West Coast Cooler cocktails went down a treat and the fashionable  looks from ‘The Director’s Cut’ ‘wowed’ over the audience.

Cathy Martin, FASHIONWEEK Director, said: “This autumn/winter season’s shows will go down in FASHIONWEEK history as being some of the most exciting we’ve ever held.

“Our audience members were treated to literally thousands of outfit combinations, which included shoes, accessories, hats and dresses, from the best fashion brands and designers available throughout Northern Ireland.

“Our new move to the Bruce Street BFW HQ has allowed us to offer so much this season and I am delighted that the pop up sushi and cocktail bar from the fashionista’s favourite eaterie Zen was so well received. I absolutely loved our new ‘shop the show’ boutique alley where show-goers browsed and bought on-trend fashion and accessories every night, plus some fabulous little extras.

Cathy concluded: “I’m so grateful for the level of support we have received over the past ten years from everyone who has attended the catwalk shows and other fringe events.  Myself and the rest of the FASHIONWEEK team, including my staff, hair and beauty team and our army of volunteers, have worked very hard to make it another success and I just hope that all our participant retailers and designers have huge ongoing success from it.”

For further information on West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK log onto www.belfastfashionweek.com or www.facebook.com/belfastfw.

SUPER SATURDAY OF STYLE


19 October 2014

The style proceedings continued yesterday (Saturday 18 October) as West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK’s newest event got underway – Sushi Saturday‘The Director’s Cut’ at Shiro. The sold out fashion afternoon was high on fun, fashion and Asian fusion, with sushi, style and West Coast Cooler cocktails the order of the day.

FASHIONWEEK Director Cathy Martin chose the top looks from across all shows and, along with stylist (and Cool FM presenter) Rebecca McKinney, talked the enthusiastic audience through the looks as models worked the white room at Shiro.

Jane Hodges from Shiro said: “As one of Belfast’s newest venues, we are delighted to host a FASHIONWEEK event, and even more delighted that it sold out so quickly.  We’ve just announced today that we will be doing a ‘Festive Edition’ on 29 November and have already taken bookings for that day too.”

 

Later on that evening the fashion flock returned to BFW HQ for the final of the autumn/winter catwalk shows – High Street Heaven night. As always, the high street stores didn’t disappoint, with the show featuring the hottest looks from the nation’s biggest and busiest stores including Next, M&S, Superdry, DV8, Phase Eight, Oasis, Jigsaw, and, from CastleCourt, there were collections from Designers at Debenhams, GAP, Dorothy Perkins, New Look, Simply Be, NV, Wallis, Miss Glam, Evans, Taking Shape, Exhibit, Quiz and Miss Selfridge plus a range of discounted high street lines from The OUTLET in Banbridge including Next clearance, L.K. Bennett, Olsen and Staccato among others, with fashion that’s fun, affordable and available right now. George at ASDA will also showcase a collection of new season looks including blue hues and plenty of plaid.

Cathy Martin, Director of FASHIONWEEK said: “Our high street stores really shone brightly on the catwalk last night, and audience members enjoyed wave after beautiful wave of gorgeous autumn/winter collections featuring the very best of this season’s colours – red, green and royal blue, as well as trends metallics, tartan, capes and cloaks and so much more.

“We also welcomed some more ‘real’ shapes with the addition of size 12 and 14 models, which were popular with the ladies in the audience. Menswear and kids also showed for The Outlet, M&S, Next, George and Debenhams at CastleCourt, and, as usual, the kids caused coo’s and the male models generated lots of cheers from the pumped up Saturday night crowd!”

“I have been especially pleased to welcome the fabulous addition of our ‘Shop the Show’ boutique alley to FASHIONWEEK this season. With so much space on offer in our new venue, exploring all our options has been lots of fun. Over the past few evenings I have heard so much great feedback from the pop up boutiques, and fashionista’s purchasing their must-have catwalk item in this area after the show.”

Nadia Pallas-Pettitt from M&S said: “At Marks and Spencer we feel that Belfast FASHIONWEEK is a great opportunity for us to showcase a wide selection of our collections across womenswear, menswear and children’s. This season the M&S range looks better than ever, and ‘wowed’ on the catwalk.”

The glorious week of fashion events come to a close today (Sunday 19 October) at SHU, when A/W FASHIONWEEK will end in sumptuous style with the flagship Style Sunday luncheon at SHU. This season, the event is being run in association with LIDL and is once again in support of Mencap NI. The afternoon gives guests an up-close-and-personal look at stunning fashions from local designers over a delicious three course lunch which features the very best of local produce and seasonal ingredients. Make-up artist Paddy McGurgan and senior educator John Harvey from FASHIONWEEK hair partner Peter Mark will also impart tips and tricks as well as host a mini masterclass on how to look fantastic throughout the winter.

For further information on West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK log onto www.belfastfashionweek.com or www.facebook.com/belfastfw.

DESIGNER LUXURY 'WOWED' FASHIONWEEK FASHIONISTA'S


18 October 2014

West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK certainly enjoyed a very fashionable Friday with another packed house as hundreds of stylish ladies and gents gathered to watch this season’s top trends from Local Designers and Independent Designer Boutiques at the third night of the event’s ten year extravaganza.

The crowd audibly delighted in home grown talent proudly taking to the stage and showcasing local designers and designer boutique collections.

Diamond Dolls from Banbridge, Blush Boutique and Jourdan on Belfast’s stylish Lisburn Road sparkled alongside other chic boutiques Goddess & Swift and Spoilt Belle Boutique. These locally owned emporiums were complemented by a whole host of talent in the form of designers Lizzie Agnew, Julia Sokele, Alexandra Heath, Chloe Dougan, Gordon Donaldson, Gráinne Maher, Katie Wilson, Marie Claire Ferguson Milliner, Nor Lisa, Tara Dickson, Indigo IvyandMelanie Bond Jewellery.

Following the stunning display of local talent, Director of FASHIONWEEK Cathy Martin said: “The designers and designer boutique show is always very popular and a favourite of many as it brings so much variety, creativity and flair to the FASHIONWEEK runway - and this season has been no different.  Last night a remarkable display was put on for our dedicated fans who were treated to an array of stunning, glamorous and one-of-a-kind designs sashaying down the catwalk. The looks were perfect for the audience full of fashionistas with their own sense of style who like to stand out from the crowd.”

As usual, the evening went by in a blur of stunning outfits worn by over 20 of Northern Ireland’s  top  models  all  groomed  to  perfection  and with  hair  styled  by the ‘Masters of Hair’ team at Peter Mark, official hair partner of Belfast FASHIONWEEK.

Key trends on the catwalk included a sea of colour, style and must-have fashion. The blue hues, coral reds, plaid and glorious glitter trends, as well as sharp suiting and oversized coats and exaggerated silhoutettes, all impressed on the BFW runway.

Last night the audience really took advantage of the ‘shop the show’ boutique alley, quickly snapping up the one off pieces directly after the show, and celebrated their purchase with sushi and cocktails from the fabulous Zen pop up restaurant.

Designer Lizzie Agnew said: “As an established designer here in Northern Ireland showcasing at FASHIONWEEK is always a ‘high’ in the fashion calendar. Local ladies are  more and more fashion conscious and wanting the unique ‘wow’ factor outfit, and as a designer of vintage and antique gowns and dresses, I work closely with the client to create a piece for any occasion. My catwalk collection was just a snippet of my range, but hopefully will have whet the taste buds of the enthusiastic crowd.”

New designers Tara Dickson, Chloe Dougan and Tess Cooke (who is behind the Indigo Ivy tweed collection) also wowed the crowd with their work and showed they are definitely ones to watch for the future. Chloe said: “I have just graduated from the University of Ulster this summer, and am now working towards launching my fashion career here in Northern Ireland, so an event like FASHIONWEEK provides such a great springboard for someone like me to do that. Seeing my collection on professional models in such a cool setting is wonderful, and I am really happy to be here among such established designers.”

Rachel Shivers of Spoilt Belle Boutique in Magherfelt, said: “This was my first ever season at FASHIONWEEK, and I was so impressed tonight with the design talent we have here in NI. Not so long ago I launched my boutique online and felt that FASHIONWEEK was the perfect place to showcase what we offer at Spoilt Belle. Tonight has also got the business name out there to a much wider audience. And from the feedback I have been getting, the audience loved what we showcased.”

West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK continues tonight (Saturday 18 October) with the massively popular High Street Heaven catwalk show which sold out weeks in advance.  Those who were lucky enough to snap up a ticket will enjoy high street autumn/winter fashion from CastleCourt, The OUTLET, Banbridge, Next, Jigsaw, M&S, DV8, Oasis and many more.

For further information on West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK log onto www.belfastfashionweek.com or www.facebook.com/belfastfw.

WEST COAST COOLER FASHIONWEEK EXCEL'S


17 October 2014

West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK ‘excelled’ quite literally last night (Thursday 16 October) when the very first catwalk show of the autumn/winter season got under way with a totally exclusive show by Excel Clothing, Ireland’s largest online retailer www.excelclothing.com. The store, which started in Newtownards over 25 years ago, showcased its top designer collections to a packed out audience.

Guests were ‘wowed’ with looks from international designers such as Armani, Calvin Klein and Boss Orange, as well as some great British fashion brands including Hunter, Belstaff, French Connection and Ted Baker for both men and women as well as  children.

Following the stunning display, FASHIONWEEK Director Cathy Martin said: “Excel Clothing really pulled out all the stops tonight with that show, and helped us continue our ten year celebrations in remarkable style. It’s great to see such established designer brands like Michael Kors, Paul Smith and Ralph Lauren (to name but a few) on the BFW catwalk. It was also absolutely fabulous to have the very first catwalk showing of the new Millie Mackintosh clothing collection here in Ireland.”

Over twenty of Northern Ireland’s top models put on a show of their own with their perfectly groomed hair styled by the ‘Master of Hair’ team at Peter Mark, official hair partner of Belfast FASHIONWEEK.

Key trends on the catwalk included the welcome return of red for winter, with bold shades throughout the show. Tartan, a typical Highlands pattern, seduced the audience with everything from Punk and Vivienne Westwood styles, but plaid wasn’t restricted to red palettes, as it transgressed into other colour palettes too.

Blue is also a massive trend this season with every hue imaginable being shown on the Excel runway. Some designers used bolder and more vibrant tones such as cobalt to add splashes of colour whilst other showed duller, greyish shades of blue for a more polished and understated look.

William Gilliland owner of Excel Clothing said: “This is the first  season we have taken part in FASHIONWEEK, and I’m thrilled to be here tonight. I had always known about FASHIONWEEK, but when my wife Gill and I looked at the option of our own exclusive show, we knew straight away it was for us. Having a platform like fashion week to showcase everything we have on offer at Excel Clothing has been tremendous, and has really boosted our fashion audience here in Belfast and further afield.”

New for this season, guests also had the opportunity to feast on sushi and cocktails from the fabulous Zen pop up restaurant, as well as ‘shop the show’ in the newly added boutique alley where show-goers browsed and bought on-trend fashion and accessories from the show.

West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK continues tonight (Friday 17 October) with Local Designers and Independent Designer Boutiques. Those coming along this evening will enjoy designer fashion from Blush, Jordan, Julia Sokele, Lizzie Agnew, Tara Dickson, Nor Lisa, Indigo Ivy and many more.

For further information on West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK log onto www.belfastfashionweek.com or www.facebook.com/belfastfw.

THE PERFECT 'PINK' START TO BELFAST FASHIONWEEK


16 October 2014

West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK kicked off in ‘pink’ style last night (Wednesday 15 October) with a charity showing of “MEAN GIRLS” THE MOVIE in association with Odyssey Cinemas and in support of breast cancer awareness month and local charity Pretty n Pink, whose founder Noleen Adair sadly passed away earlier this year. Like FASHIONWEEK, Mean Girls celebrates ten years this year, and last night’s showing saw Belfast fashionistas embrace the Mean Girls mantra ‘on Wednesdays we wear pink’ and turned out in ‘pink’ force, with pink popcorn and West Coast Cooler Rose for the special viewing.

Speaking at the movie night, Noeleen McErleane, from Pretty n Pink said: “It is absolutely wonderful to see so many ‘pink’ ladies and a few men here supporting our cause - Noleen Adair would have loved tonight.”

FASHIONWEEK Director Cathy Martin said: “We really kicked off FASHIONWEEK in wonderful ‘pink’ style last night, and showed our support in some small way for this great charity to help beat the awful disease – breast cancer, which affects so many women and families here in Northern Ireland. Throughout the rest of the FASHIONWEEK activities we’ll be collecting for Pretty n Pink, so for those who haven’t already done so I would ask them to dig deep.”

Following on from this worthy start, tonight (Thursday 16 October) the FASHIONWEEK ten year celebrations continue when Ireland’s largest online retailer www.excelclothing.com and fashion store Excel Clothing kicking off the catwalk proceedings, bringing top designer names such as Armani, Calvin Klein and Boss Orange to the runway, as well as some great British fashion brands including Hunter, Belstaff, French Connection, Ted Baker to name but a few for both men, women and children.

The rest of the week’s proceedings follow on, on Friday 17 October. Autumn/winter looks from independent boutiques and local designers will grace the catwalk at the main show later that evening, and will see the return of popular stores including Blush, Goddess & Swift, Diamond Dolls and Jourdan as they showcase their collections alongside local designers Lizzie Agnew, Katie Wilson, Julia Sokele, Grannie Maher, Nor Lisa, Marie Claire Millinery, Melanie Bond Jewellery and Gordon Donaldson to name but a few.

The style proceedings continue at Sushi Saturday ‘The Director’s Cut’ at Shiro. Director Cathy Martin will choose the top looks from across all shows and bring them together over cocktails, sushi and style talks from everyone’s favourite stylist (and Cool FM presenter) Rebecca McKinney.

Then the High Street show on Saturday 18 October brings the hottest looks from the nation’s biggest and busiest stores including Next, M&S, Superdry, DV8, Phase Eight, Oasis, Jigsaw, and, from CastleCourt, there’ll also be Designers at Debenhams, GAP, Dorothy Perkins, New Look and Miss Selfridge plusa range of discounted high street lines from The Outlet in Banbridge including Next clearance, L.K. Bennett, Olsen and Staccato among others, with fashion that’s fun, affordable and available right now. George at ASDA will also showcase a collection of new season looks including blue hues and plenty of plaid.

Last, but definitely not least, the city’s most stylish event will close in sumptuous style with the flagship Style Sunday luncheon at SHU. This season, the event is being run in association with LIDL and is once again in support of Mencap NI. The afternoon gives guests an up-close-and-personal look at stunning fashions from local designers over a delicious three course lunch which features the very best of local produce and seasonal ingredients. Make-up artist Paddy McGurgan and senior educator John Harvey from FASHIONWEEK hair partner Peter Mark will also impart tips and tricks as well as host a mini masterclass on how to look fantastic throughout the winter.

For further information on West Coast Cooler FASHIONWEEK log onto www.belfastfashionweek.com or www.facebook.com/belfastfw.

'TO BE GOOD ENOUGH' - THE LATEST FROM SINGER/SONG WRITER JASON CLARKE


06 October 2014

Belfast based singer and online success, Jason Clarke, has opened a heart that was broken since his last single ‘Smoke and Mirrors’, with his new single and EP, both entitled ‘TO BE GOOD ENOUGH, which will be released on 31 October.

The new work tells the story of tempestuous relationships which have a constant power struggle, and which continue to be cyclical until someone finally takes the courage to walk away. Jason said: “It’s semi-autobiographical, in fact, I’ll be honest, it’s TOTALLY auto-biographical, but I am sure lots of people can identify with a relationship like this – either past or present. There always seems to be an ‘adorer’ and an ‘adored’ in a twosome, and sometimes you’re one, other times the other. However, I found that although the experience was a negative one for my own love life at the time, the emotions drew out some great lyrics as well as helping me to bring my voice to new places on this track.”

Jason, who has been described as a cross between The Script and Paolo Nutini, started to make a name for himself in 2012 year when his debut single ‘GOTTA GO’ received over 30,000 views online.  Following that, his own unique spin on Shakin’ Steven’s ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ - which he filmed at night on Belfast’s Royal Avenue - ranked up over 10,000 views in December 2012 in a matter of days. Last year Jason teamed up with Northern Irish celebrities including Eamonn Holmes, Dame Mary Peters and Olympic boxer Paddy Barnes, among others, to make another Christmas cover, this time it was Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’, which received rave reviews as well as raising money for children’s cancer charity Clic Sargent.   This was on top of success with his 2013 single ‘LOVIN YOU’ as well as a sold out concert schedule across Ireland.

With play list placement and studio appearances across all key stations in the UK, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, combined with his drive and soulful distinctive voice, Jason has high hopes of cracking the music scene in the UK and beyond, following in the footsteps of other Northern Irish musicians like Snow Patrol and Two Door Cinema Club.

In the 29 year old’s short career, he has sung with some of the most distinguished names in the music industry, including Paolo Nutini, Joan Armatrading, Shane Ward, Ronan Keating and Brian Kennedy.  But it seems the young Belfast lad won’t need any help to pack out venues on his own, as last year he performed at the Belfast Empire Music Hall live to an online audience of 10,000, as well as his own sold-out headline shows. He has also co-written with world-renowned songwriters, Iain Archer, JD Souther and Beth Nielsen Chapman.

With a headline gig set to take place in Belfast on 13 November and more singles to be released this year, Jason Clarke is one artist worth watching.

Argento Comes Full Circle and Opens Flagship Store Where it All Began


01 October 2014

Few people walking past national retailer Argento's new flagship store on Belfast's Royal Avenue will know that the successful brand, which today has forty three stores across the UK and Ireland, started just footsteps away across the street, as a market stall.  Company founder Pete Boyle opened his first store in 1997, but had sold imported silver jewellery outside CastleCourt shopping centre for a few years.  The successful entrepeneur now employs 386 staff and works with international brands such as Pandora, Nomination, Thomas Sabo and Michael Kors, as well as retailing product designed in-house or sourced from suppliers right across the globe.

Speaking about the re-launch, Pete Boyle said: A large part of our company ethos is in the appreciation of design, and so I put a lot of focus on the interior design of the new look store.  We've stripped walls back to bare brick and used reclaimed wood and steel beams which were painted in a unique Harland and Wolff yellow to give a subtle nod back to the city where the business started - as well as looking good against our grey.  This is a truly unique shop-fit and there is not another one like it in Belfast."

"We have plans in place to continue renovations of all existing Argento stores along with new stores in Scotland and England, so the company is looking forward to another exciting year in 2015."

In terms of trends and predicitons for the season ahead, Argento's jewellery designer Sarah Dowey said: "Trends for jewellery this season include statement necklaces and earrings for Christmas, as well as lots of rose gold, although there is still a great range of silver jewellery for the silver lover.  The growth in personalisation and customisation of jewellery pieces continues and we are seeing a rise in popularity of our 'inner power' long coin necklaces, which can be personalised woth names or words.  Our delicate trinket 'Keep Sakes' necklaces, which can be customised to suit unique, individual styles, are also growing in demand."

Colin Murray to host the PANI Awards


10 October 2014

The countdown is most definitely on to the Publicity Association of Northern Ireland (PANI)’s thirteenth awards in the stunning surrounds of Belfast City Hall on 17 October. The glittering awards event, which will be hosted by BBC Presenter Colin Murray, just this week announced the short list of campaigns from across the advertising, marketing and publicity industries in Northern Ireland; and local agency representatives will be out in force on the night to see who brings home the prizes for most creative and innovative campaigns over the last two years.

PANI Awards host BBC Presenter Colin Murray said: “I am delighted to be returning home to host the thirteenth PANI Awards. Having worked in the Northern Irish media industry for several years, I know there is so much talent and creativity here and I’m looking forward to seeing the entries on the night. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all involved the very best of luck.”

Lynne Doherty, PANI Awards Committee Chair and Managing Director of People Power NI, said: “We are delighted to have Colin Murray as our host at the thirteenth PANI Awards.  These awards represent creativity in the media here and Colin embodies that spirit as he is a home-grown talent who started out in journalism with the News Letter, before joining the BBC in Belfast and then becoming a leading national radio broadcaster, television presenter and writer. Colin is not unfamiliar to awards ceremonies having received three Sony Gold Radio Academy awards himself. He has always championed Northern Ireland throughout his career with the BBC, Channel 5 and now with Talk Sport, embracing his love of sport and music as well as bringing the unique Northern Irish wit and wisdom to the world.” 

PANI Chair Cathy Martin said: “Our awards represent an important opportunity to showcase a high calibre of work to both peers and clients across the wider publicity and marketing industries. We have received some fabulous entries this year, and the shortlisted entries have given the judges some really tough decisions to make. As PANI Chair, I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to enter this year’s awards, and congratulate our industry collectively for its creativity in the face of, oftentimes, ever-decreasing budgets as well as its dynamism and adaptability in the face of increasing competition from new forms of media. The awards theme celebrates ‘Past, Present and Possibilities’ and in keeping with this theme, we’ve also taken some learnings from the awards for our own future possibilities.”

The awards are sponsored by Belfast Telegraph, Citybeat, Clear Channel, Downtown/Cool FM, Exterion Media, Irish News, JCDecaux, Mirror Media, UTV, U105 and WG Baird.

For more information on the awards or information about PANI, please visit www.panionline.com

Time To Find The Fresh Face Of Blush


03 October 2014

After a hugely successful campaign to find the Face of Blush for the past seven years, Blush bridal boutique has once again launched the competition to find a new face for its 2015 advertising campaign.

The luxury bridal boutique, situated on the stylish Lisburn Road in Belfast, will commence its search for the 2015 ‘Face of Blush’ this month and will offer a host of prizes for the most blushing bride. Organisers are seeking a bride who represents the true character of the deluxe boutique and who will become the face of their 2015 advertising campaign.

Boutique owner Aileen Wilson explains why Blush is looking for a normal bride; “A Blush bride can be any woman, of any age, so we are delighted to receive entries from both older and younger entrants this year. You don’t have to be model material to get through to the final stages, we look for glowing brides who just beam with happiness and have the right spirit for our campaign, which is what the Blush ethos is all about.”

Zoe Hanna from Kilkeel, in County Down, fought off fierce competition from across Ireland and beyond to be crowned the Face of Blush 2014, and has enjoyed her year so far as the Face of Blush, starring in a fabulous photo shoot just weeks before her wedding. She will now be appearing in numerous magazines and newspapers as Blush’s advertising campaign is published in the coming months.

Lucky Zoe also got to choose the wedding dress of her dreams, along with all her accessories to complete her bridal look. Her mum also got to choose her perfect Mother of the Bride outfit from the stunning Blush collections. On her wedding day Zoe had her hair professionally styled by Lynette Murray from Blue Hairdressing and make-up by award-winning make-up artist Caoimhe Curran.

Primary School Teacher Zoe said about her experience: “Winning Face of Blush 2014 was amazing and I am so grateful and appreciative to Blush Boutique for the opportunity. The prize package was incredible and truly made the run up to our wedding even more special. The professionalism, not only at Blush Boutique, but also with the photographer, the make-up artist and hairdresser was outstanding. The photoshoot with Khara Pringle was a fantastic day with lots of giggles, fun and some hilarious posing positions. I was nervous to begin with, but soon got into the way of it, and loved every minute. I just wish I could rewind the clock and do it all again. And again and again!"

Aileen Wilson has been overwhelmed by the success of Face of Blush over the past number of years, and said; “We’ve always had a huge number of entries from across Ireland for Face of Blush, and sometimes even brides come from across the Irish Sea and even across the Channel, which is wonderful to see that bride will search near and far to find the dress of their dreams. This year we found our real bride in Zoe, who just encompassed everything that Blush was about. The Face of Blush is a wonderful competition and a joy to plan and I am really looking forward to the 2015 search.”

To be in with the chance of becoming the Face of Blush, simply call in to Blush Boutique on the Lisburn Road or visit the website at www.blushboutique.co.uk. Entrants must be real brides, getting married within the next year. Closing date December 2014.

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