Forum for an alternative Belfast

Barber Shop Quintet

Barber Shop Quintet

The Barber Shop Quintet

On 25 September 2009 Belfast held its first Culture Night, and Forum had to perform. Motivated by a brotherly wagger that we would not dare sing in public, some Forum co–directors had to rise to the occasion and sing in a Barber Shop Quartet, and thus became a Quintet. 

The Barber Shop in question sits lonely and forlorn on Garfield Street just off Royal Avenue and it must be one of the very few third generation family businesses left in the city. The Tivoli Barber shop has been there since the 1911 and it has survived everything, except for gentrification perhaps. 

Now it lies under tarpaulins that shelter it from the leaky roof. Tivoli Gardens exist in Rome and Copenhagen, so Belfast is seeking equal status with Buddleia growing out of the roofs of its Victorian Heritage.  The building at Garfield Street has been bought and languishes, waiting for a government sponsored development that may take 15 years or more to arrive. Nearby lies the North Street Arcade; lost to arson, and Berry Street; closed off with its brick wall (see Forum’s Bank Street project for more information on Berry Street).

The building is listed and has to be retained, so why is it being allowed to languish awaiting some larger project? These three pedestrian links: Berry Street, Garfield Street and The North Street Arcade are vital for the health of the smaller grained and independent sectors of our city. Why are they being allowed to blight and stagnate? 

And so Forum co–directors dawned their straw hats and braces to sing in the Tivoli Barber Shop to draw attention to these and other city issues. 

Below is the printed flier given out on the night (and you can watch us on Youtube):

 

OUR CITY MOTION 

(to Boney M ‘Brown Girl in the Ring’) 

Our city Motion Tra la la la la 

Our city frameworks Tra la la la la la la 

Our city planners Tra la la la la 

They look like a sugar in a plum – plum plum

 

Find me a bus route Tra la la la la 

Find me a cycle lane Tra la la la la la la 

Find me a tramway Tra la la la la 

She looks like a sugar in a plum – plum plum 


Build me a boulevard Tra la la la la 

Build me an Undergound Tra la la la la la la 

Build me a Tivioli Tra la la la la 

She looks like a sugar in a plum – plum plum 

 

SHOW THE WAY TO GO HOME (Jaws version) 

Show me the way to go home bum bum bum bum* 

I’m tired and want to go to bed 

Engineers have take away my road 

Cul de Sacs are melt’in my head 

No matter where I roam On Shankill, Falls or Bone 

You can always hear sing’in this song 

Show me the way to go home bum bum bum bum 


Show me the way to go home bum bum bum bum 

I’m tired and I want to go to bed 

Enginners have take away my road 

Cul de Sacs are melt’in my head 

No matter where I roam, On Shankill, Falls or Bone 

You can always hear singin this song 

Show me the way to go home bum bum bum bum 

 

*BUM – the Belfast Urban Motorway, a project name coined in the 1960’s

 

barb

tiv1 tiv6 map5

 


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