Causeway Chronicle

Return of ‘GIFTED’ Showcases

Renowned for showcasing the best musical talent Northern Ireland has to offer, the GIFTED showcases have been sorely missed from the Belfast gig scene. 

We are thrilled to announce that Chordblossom will be re-launching and curating GIFTED shows in the Belfast Empire. 

Over the last twelve years Chordblossom has given artists and bands from Northern Ireland a platform for their music online but also on the live circuit. 

Some of our biggest recent success stories over the last twelve years including Joshua Burnside, JC Stewart, Jealous of the Birds, Ryan McMullan, Conchúr White & Brand New Friend cut their teeth at a Chordblossom show.

The revamped GIFTED will continue this trend & offer audiences the opportunity to see a mix of established and up and coming musicians for an affordable price that ensures the artists receive fair payment for their performances.

The first gig will take place on Saturday 8th June 2024 and is headlined by Derry alt-folk rock band PORTS. They will be joined on the night by Dark TropicsPolar Bolero and Eilís

Advance tickets are priced at £12 and can be purchased online ( Tickets purchased on the door will be £15.

Further shows for the rest of 2024 will be announced in due course.


PORTS released their debut ‘The Devil is a Songbird’ to critical acclaim in 2016. Brimming with beautiful harmonies, the richly texted soundscapes ached with emotion and sensitivity. The record was shortlisted for Album of the Year at the NI Music Prize and the band were selected to soundtrack a Tourism NI TV ad campaign.  After a quiet spell the band are due to release their second album ‘The Eyes of the Moon’ later in 2024. The new record sees them adopt a more guitar led approach while maintaining all their original charm. The Gifted gig will see the band launch ‘Wait Forever’, the first single from the new record and give fans their first opportunity to hear the new material.

Dark Tropics

Irish duo Dark Tropics have crafted a reputation for alluring pop noir. Their debut record ‘INK’ was shortlisted for Album of the Year at the NI Music Prize and were widely acclaimed & supported by BBC 6Music, BBC Radio 1 & 2, KEXP and KCRW and can count fans in Steve Lamacq & Jo Whiley. Their latest release ‘Carnival’ is a sweeping cinematic slideshow of energising percussion and upbeat bass hooks in the classic pop tradition. Reminiscent of the sound and scope of Florence and The Machine and Haim.

Polar Bolero

Polar Bolero is an Alt Folk collective from Northern Ireland led by the multi-instrumentalists Cahir McLaughlin and Pearse Donaghy.  The band’s style is deeply rooted in emotionally charged lyrics, melodic hooks, and atmospheric compositions. Despite being relatively new on the scene, their sound and message has clearly resonated with audiences across NI with the band shortlisted for Live Act of the Year at 2023 NI Music Prize.


Eilís (pronounced ael-ish) is a rising singer-songwriter hailing from County Derry. Heavily influenced by artists such as Gabrielle Aplin, Maggie Rodgers, Lizzy McAlpine, and Sleeping at Last, whose sounds are reflected in her unique style of folk-tinged, alternative pop.


Michael Anderson