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Essey Musical

Essey Musical Band shop and Uniforms Manufactures

Essey Musical was formed in 1933 in Belfast. We the present owners have been with the business since 2008. We specialise in Marching Band and Pipe Band Uniforms, Instruments and accessorises.

We are located at 87 Castlereagh Rd Belfast BT5 5FE.

Tel 02890 456177 or 452000

Many off our products are bespoke or made to order, while others are simply the available to buy items from stock. This includes most of the essential items and spares that bands need throughout the year.

We also have an Essey Musical Facebook page where many of our Uniforms and accessorises can be seen in pictures.

Reviews of Essey Musical Band Shop & Uniform Manufacturers. (Music Store) in Belfast (County Down).

Essey Musical Band Shop & Uniform Manufacturers


Information of Essey Musical Band Shop & Uniform Manufacturers, Music store in Belfast (County Down)

On this page you’ll find the address, open hours, more popular times, the contact, photos and real reviews of this business.

This business has received very good reviews from their customers, so probably it’s a place you should try if you are looking for this kind of services.

Open hours of Essey Musical Band Shop & Uniform Manufacturers

Reviews of essey musical band shop & uniform manufacturers.

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A portrait image of Terri Hooley. He is in a blazer and jeans, standing in front of a display of records at his record store.

A Stage Musical About Belfast’s Punk Oasis

“Good Vibrations” at the Irish Arts Center takes a snapshot of life in Northern Ireland during the Troubles through its music scene.

Terri Hooley in the Good Vibrations record store in Belfast, which he opened in 1977. His life serves the basis for a new musical opening in Manhattan. Credit... Fishman/Ullstein Bild, via Getty Images

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Elisabeth Vincentelli

By Elisabeth Vincentelli

  • Published June 16, 2023 Updated June 21, 2023

Of all the streets to open a record store, one nicknamed Bomb Alley might not have been optimal. Then again this was Belfast in 1977, when the nationalistic, sectarian violence known as the Troubles made retail perilous pretty much everywhere.

The situation did not deter Terri Hooley, who welcomed warring Protestants and Catholics to the shop he had optimistically called Good Vibrations.

“It was like a little oasis in a sea of madness,” Hooley, 74, said in a recent video conversation from Belfast.

The story of a lone man bridging warring communities is the kind of feel-good tale you can easily imagine as a movie, and lo and behold, it became one: “Good Vibrations” (2012), starring Richard Dormer as Hooley. Colin Carberry and Glenn Patterson then adapted their own screenplay into a stage musical for Belfast’s Lyric Theater, whose current production of the show is running at the Irish Arts Center in Manhattan until July 16.

The show, in which members of the cast take turns playing in the onstage band, follows the odyssey of Hooley (played by Glen Wallace) as he started the shop then a label that released early singles by the Undertones and the Outcasts. It also portrays the toll his obsession took on his marriage to the poet Ruth Carr (Jayne Wisener).

“It actually helps you understand what Northern Ireland is now, what Northern Ireland had been,” the musical’s director, Des Kennedy, said. “It’s a real snapshot of that conflict without being about the conflict.”

Hooley discovered the power of music at a young age. “My history starts in 1965 in the Maritime Hotel with Van Morrison and Them,” he said, mentioning one of the biggest stars to ever come out of Northern Ireland. “The ’60s were very colorful for me. Then the Troubles came, and the 1970s were black and white, and horrific.”

In a production image, a three-piece punk band is performing on a stage, with two onlookers dancer.

His solution was to create a place that would welcome all. “Terri is a true radical,” Patterson said via video from Belfast. “He really believes in the power of transformation, about betterment, about enjoyment, about living to your full potential.”

Hooley, a fan of Hank Williams and the Shangri-Las, was at first confounded by punk, but he quickly embraced the scene, which was blowing up in Belfast just as it was in London or New York.

The movement, however, had a different resonance in Northern Ireland.

“So much of the emphasis then was on what you couldn’t do,” Carberry said of Belfast in a joint chat with Patterson. “You can’t go to that school, you can’t live on that street, you can’t support that football team, you can’t have that friend, you can’t go out with that person — it was all about narrowing options.

“Punk music,” he continued, “was about opening up options: Expand your record collection, expand your group of friends and ultimately expand how you look at the world.”

Eventually, Hooley expanded beyond the store. Remembering great Northern Irish bands in the 1960s who had never made it to the studio, he didn’t want the new generation to be similarly erased.

He started the Good Vibrations label to help preserve the legacy of bands like the Outcasts, Rudi, Protex and most notably the Undertones, who were based 70 miles away in Derry. A couple of the best scenes in “Good Vibrations” revolve around the Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks,” which was so clearly an instant classic that the taste-making BBC DJ John Peel played it twice in a row during a 1978 broadcast.

Like many of the Northern Irish punk songs, “Teenage Kicks” celebrated the headiness of being young, rather than spewing out bile: Those kids didn’t have to sing about aggression — they were living it.

“Across the years, people were trying to avoid talking about politics in Northern Ireland,” said the show’s music director, Katie Richardson, who is 34. “Young people were like, ‘We’re sick of this, we want to talk about love, we want to talk about the positive things.’ For me and my generation of musicians, it was the same: Nobody wanted to talk about the Troubles.”

Not that love was doing all that great in Hooley’s own home: His passion for music came at a cost to his relationship with Ruth. “The night that Terri’s first daughter was born, he wasn’t at the hospital; he was at a Siouxsie Sioux gig in Belfast, hanging out backstage,” Kennedy said. The show does find a bit more room for Ruth as a poet, and for the couple’s friends Dave and Marilyn Hyndman (Darren Franklin and Cat Barter).

As Northern Ireland recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement that ended the Troubles, Carberry noted the commemorations largely focused on the leaders at the negotiation table, to the detriment of the groups and individuals who had tried to make a difference on a smaller scale.

“In a way, ‘Good Vibrations’ is a celebration of those people,” Carberry said. “This is a story about ordinary people who tried to live a different way, and tried to help others live a different way.”


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Belfast Confetti by Ciaran Carson

Belfast Confetti by Ciaran Carson study guide

Belfast Confetti by Ciaran Carson explores the turbulent and unsettling world of Belfast during the Troubles. This poem uses an extended metaphor of punctuation to reflect the violence and conflict of the explosion of bombs in the city.

This study guide is written for students and teachers of English Literature, particularly those studying CCEA’s GCSE English Literature Identity Anthology  and Pearson Edexcel’s GCSE Conflict Anthology . For more study guides from these anthologies, check out the list of poems in the series at the bottom of this guide.

Belfast Confetti

Belfast Confetti by Ciaran Carson shrapnel

What is 'Belfast Confetti' all about?

Summary of belfast confetti.

Belfast Confetti uses an extended metaphor of punctuation to describe the chaos and confusion of an explosion in Belfast during the Troubles.

The poem opens in medias res (in the middle of things), with the escalation of violence as the police riot squad arrives.

The speaker struggles to comprehend the situation amidst the turmoil and shrapnel flying everywhere, and the feeling of being trapped in a maze of streets barricaded by authorities.

The speaker grapples with their identity and purpose amidst the chaos, symbolised by the fragmented and incomplete thoughts expressed throughout the poem.

The poem explores the psychological and emotional impact of conflict on individuals and society, particularly those caught up in The Troubles.

Belfast Confetti by Ciaran Carson - images of Belfast embedded in punctuation marks

Context of 'Belfast Confetti'

Ciaran caron's life, education and career, context of 'belfast confetti': the troubles.

‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland was a complex conflict that lasted for roughly three decades, from the late 1960s to the late 1990s. It primarily revolved around nationalist and religious divisions in the country of Northern Ireland and spilled over into the Irish Republic and parts of Great Britain.

On one side, there were predominantly Catholic nationalists who sought closer ties with the Republic of Ireland and identified as Irish. Republicans felt that they lived in an occupied country and resented the power exerted over them by the police (the RUC) and the British Army. On the other side, there were mainly Protestant unionists who wanted Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom and considered themselves British. Unionists felt that Unionism was under threat and attack from those who were fighting for a United Ireland. 

Conflict was characterised by political, religious, and sectarian violence, with paramilitary groups such as the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) and various loyalist paramilitary organisations playing significant roles. The Troubles resulted in thousands of deaths, injuries, and extensive social and economic disruption, deeply affecting the lives of people in Northern Ireland.

Some of the significant moments of the Troubles were:

Bloody Sunday: Occurred on January 30, 1972, in Derry (Londonderry), when British soldiers fired on a civil rights march, resulting in the deaths of 14 unarmed civilians.

The Enniskillen bombing: On November 8, 1987, an IRA bomb exploded during a Remembrance Day ceremony in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. The attack killed 11 people and injured many more, including civilians and military personnel.

The Shankill bomb: On October 23, 1993, a bomb planted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded in a fish shop on the Shankill Road in Belfast, killing 10 people, including the bomber, and injuring many others.

The Omagh bombing: On August 15, 1998, a car bomb planted by the Real Irish Republican Army (Real IRA) detonated in the town of Omagh, County Tyrone, killing 29 people and injuring hundreds. It was one of the deadliest single incidents in the history of the Troubles.

Image of Belfast in Northern Ireland, known for its past in the textile industry, ship building industry and as a trade port, as well as being a post-conflict location.

Line-by-line analysis of Belfast Confetti

The title: belfast confetti.

  • Belfast confetti is a colloquialism/euphemism for the homemade bombs used by paramilitary groups during The Troubles, which caused shrapnel to rain down like confetti. It is an ironic understatement which is typical of local speech: Northern Irish conversation is known for downplaying and deliberately understating the most serious of things.

Suddenly as the riot squad moved in it was raining exclamation

  • The poem begins in medias res (in the middle of things) with the word “Suddenly,” setting an immediate and tense tone.
  • “Riot squad” suggests a situation of conflict and violence.
  • “Raining exclamation marks” is a metaphor , indicating the explosive and chaotic nature of the situation, as if punctuation marks are falling like shrapnel; their shape, like splinters, is apt.
  • Exclamation marks are used for emphasis and emotion, an appropriate punctuation choice here.
  • Carson uses an isolated word to communicate the fractured thoughts and chaos of the streets.

Nuts, bolts, nails, car-keys. A fount of broken type. And the

  • The line lists various items that are often found in the aftermath of an explosion, emphasising the destructive force. These everyday items remind the reader of the normal life that people lived when caught up in a devastating explosion; the juxtaposition of the traumatic and the every day creates bathos.
  • “A fount of broken type” uses a metaphor , comparing the debris to the scattered pieces of a broken typewriter, conveying the chaotic and fragmented aftermath.
  • Again, the isolation of a single word disrupts the flow intentionally, to reflect the chaos of the scene.

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Itself ― an asterisk on the map. This hyphenated line, a burst of

  • “Itself” refers to the explosion.
  • The comparison of the explosion to an “asterisk on the map” suggests that this event is marked and significant. However, this could also be interpreted as simply an asterisk, one of many parts of the country attacked and noted as a site of terror and death. 
  • “This hyphenated line” further emphasises the impact, possibly alluding to a line on a map indicating a boundary or a division.

rapid fire ...

  • “A burst of rapid fire” creates a sense of urgency and danger, like gunfire.
  • The ellipsis (…) echoes the strafes of gunfire, each dot like a bullet fired.

I was trying to complete a sentence in my head, but it kept

  • The use of the personal pronoun ‘I’ gives a sense of brutal honesty to this poem. The shocking first-hand description reminds the reader of war poetry, for example, the line “As under a green sea, I saw him drowning” in Wilfred Owen’s ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’.
  • The speaker’s mental state is explored, and the struggle to “complete a sentence” could symbolise the difficulty of finding words to express the experience. The speaker experiences shock and PTSD. 


  • “Kept stuttering” not only suggests speech difficulties but also reflects the fragmented and disjointed nature of the situation, echoed in the line structure.

All the alleyways and side streets blocked with stops and colons.

Belfast Confetti by Ciaran Carson All the alleyways and side-streets blocked with stops and colons.

  • The streets are metaphorically “blocked” with “stops and colons,” implying a sense of entrapment and confusion.
  • The use of punctuation marks like “colons” suggests that the speaker’s thoughts and movements are interrupted and punctuated by obstacles.

I know this labyrinth so well — Balaklava, Raglan, Inkerman,

  • The speaker is familiar with the city’s labyrinthine streets, and the street names mentioned evoke a sense of place.
  • These street names may also allude to historical battles or conflicts, drawing parallels to the current situation in Belfast.

Odessa Street -

  • Interestingly, Odessa Street is the only one of the streets mentioned which is still in Belfast today. The real life impact of the Troubles, and the impact of conflict has permanently altered the city.

Why can’t I escape? Every move is punctuated. Crimea Street.

  • The repetition of “Crimea Street” reinforces the idea of being trapped or going in circles.
  • The phrase “Every move is punctuated” continues the theme of punctuation, suggesting that every action is marked and limited.

Dead end again.

  • The punctuation on either side of these three words, in addition to its isolation on a line of its own, highlights the fractured state of the city and the confusion and sense of being trapped in these streets.

A Saracen, Kremlin-2 mesh. Makrolon face-shields. Walkie-talkies. What is

  • The mention of military or security equipment like “Saracen” and “face-shields” adds to the sense of a militarised and tense atmosphere.

talkies. What is

  • The full stop in the middle of this short line creates a caesura (pause), further fragmenting the poem, adding to the stuttering sound.

My name? Where am I coming from? Where am I going?

  • The questions about identity and direction highlight the disorientation and uncertainty faced by the speaker.

A fusillade of question-marks.

  • The line describes the barrage of questions that the speaker is grappling with as a “fusillade,” comparing them to a rapid and intense gunfire.
  • This underscores the confusion and chaos in the speaker’s mind.

Analysis of form and structure

Verse structure.

‘Belfast Confetti’ consists of two stanzas of uneven length, which is typical of many contemporary poems. Verse one is ten lines and verse two is eight lines.

Within these stanzas, the lines vary in length, contributing to the sense of fragmentation and disorder portrayed in the poem. Some lines are short and terse, while others are longer and more descriptive.

The lack of traditional line breaks enhances the feeling of continuous chaos and confusion, as if the events are unfolding in real time without respite.

The rhythm of the poem is irregular and jagged, mirroring the disruptive and erratic nature of the riot described.

Carson employs enjambment frequently, where sentences and thoughts spill over from one line to the next without punctuation, creating a sense of urgency and flux.

The poem’s rhythm is characterised by sudden shifts and pauses, reflecting the abruptness of the riot’s onset and the speaker’s struggle to process their surroundings.

“Belfast Confetti” does not have a strict rhyme scheme. Instead, Carson employs plosive consonance for emphasis and poetic effect.

These instances of consonance contribute to the musicality of the poem while underscoring the violence, brutality and chaos of the poem.

Analysis of themes in Belfast Confetti

Identity and place:.

Carson explores questions of identity and belonging within the context of the divided city of Belfast. The speaker grapples with questions like “What is my name? Where am I coming from? Where am I going?” amidst the chaos.

References to historical battles such as the Crimean War (through the street names Balaklava, Raglan, Inkerman and Odessa) and locations juxtapose the contemporary setting of Belfast, reflecting a broader exploration of the city’s identity and its troubled history.

Disorientation and Fragmentation:

The poem portrays the disorientation and mental fragmentation experienced by individuals caught up in the midst of violence. The speaker struggles to make sense of their surroundings, with thoughts stuttering and sentences incomplete.

The fragmented verse structure and irregular rhythm mirror this sense of confusion, emphasising the disjointed nature of the speaker’s experience.

Violence and Conflict:

The central theme of the poem revolves around the violence and chaos of a riot in Belfast. The imagery of “raining exclamation marks” and “nuts, bolts, nails” evokes the brutality and danger of the situation.

The poem highlights the pervasive nature of violence in the city during this period, where riots and clashes between opposing factions were tragically common occurrences.

Quiz on 'Belfast Confetti'

Test your knowledge of the poem 'Belfast Confetti' by Ciaran Carson

Your answer:

Correct answer:

Your Answers

Comprehension Questions on Belfast Confetti:

  • What is the significance of the title “Belfast Confetti” in relation to the poem’s themes and imagery?
  • How does the poet use metaphor and symbolism to depict the violence of the riot in Belfast?
  • Describe the speaker’s struggle to make sense of their surroundings amidst the chaos. How does the poet convey this sense of disorientation?
  • What is the effect of the fragmented verse structure and irregular rhythm on the reader’s experience of the poem?
  • Discuss the role of historical references, such as Balaklava and Inkerman, in the poem. How do they contribute to the overall meaning?
  • How does the poem explore questions of identity and belonging within the context of the divided city of Belfast?
  • Analyse the significance of the recurring imagery of punctuation marks throughout the poem.
  • How does the poem address themes of oppression and control, particularly in relation to the presence of authority figures and barricaded streets?
  • What is the overall message or commentary that the poet conveys through “Belfast Confetti” regarding the human experience in times of conflict and turmoil?
  • Which poem from your anthology would you choose to pair with ‘Belfast Confetti’? Plan a mind map or grid which compares and contrasts the poems through analysis of their contexts, content, form, structure and language choices.

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Connections to other poems in the CCEA Identity anthology:

Docker by seamus heaney.

Docker by Seamus Heaney study guide

Both ‘Belfast Confetti’ and ‘Docker’ are centred on Belfast. Places are an important theme in the exploration of identity, and with the violence and conflict of Belfast during the Troubles, these poems provide plenty of scope for comparing their contexts. There is also scope for contrast in the imagery and sentence and verse structure.

I Remember, I Remember by Philip Larkin

I Remember, I Remember by Philip Larkin analysis

Both poems have a specific setting with a named place. In Larkin’s poem, it is Coventry and in Carson’s poem, Belfast. The places are significant settings for revealing the speakers’ state of mind: confusion and trauma for one, and disappointment and cynicism for the other. There is plenty of contrast too: the versification, tone, sentence structure and imagery are all opportunity for analysis.

This specimen assessment material is helpful in seeing the quality of response of a top band answer. 

Check out other ThinkLit study guides for the CCEA Identity anthology:

Here by R.S. Thomas study guide

Check out these revision resources:

CCEA Identity Poetry anthology collage

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  3. Belfast Music, Belfast

    essay band shop belfast

  4. Great Old Belfast shops

    essay band shop belfast

  5. Trad and True: How Music Defined Belfast, Northern Ireland

    essay band shop belfast

  6. Five Places to Shop in Belfast

    essay band shop belfast


  1. Essey Musical Marching Band and Highland Supplies

    Musical and Uniform Supply shop. Specialists in Marching Band and Highland uniform, Supplies and Instruments. ... 87 Castlereagh Road Belfast BT5 5FE. Phone 02890456177. Email - [email protected]. Facebook - Essey Musical. Twitter - @esseymusical. Essey Musical. Search; About us;

  2. Essey Musical Band shop and Uniforms Manufactures

    Essey Musical was formed in 1933 in Belfast. We the present owners have been with the business since 2008. We specialise in Marching Band and Pipe Band Uniforms, Instruments and accessorises. We are located at 87 Castlereagh Rd Belfast BT5 5FE. Tel 02890 456177 or 452000 Many off our products are bespoke or made to ord.

  3. Essey Musical

    Essey Musical, Belfast. 2,965 likes · 19 talking about this · 53 were here. Complete Band supply shop for all Pipe Bands,and Marching Bands.Uniforms &...

  4. Essey Musical Band Shop & Uniform Manufacturers

    There are24 reviews of Essey Musical Band Shop & Uniform Manufacturers - Music store. Situated in Belfast (County Down). Enter if you want to see all the information about. Information on the opening times, contact, and reviews of Essey Musical Band Shop & Uniform Manufacturers situated in Belfast(County Down). 24 reviews.

  5. Essey Musical Band Shop & Uniform Manufacturers

    Contact Information. Essey Musical Band Shop & Uniform Manufacturers. 87 Castlereagh Rd, Belfast BT5 5FE, United Kingdom. Get Directions. Phone: 028 9045 6177. Hours: Closed · Opens Mon 10:00.

  6. Sandy Row Band Supplies

    Sandy Row Band Supplies is a Marching Band supply company based in Belfast. From flutes to drums,repairs to tuning, cymbals to bagpipes,uniforms to flags. We do it all so make us your first and only choice for bands supplies in Belfast or anywhere in the UK. The company was established in 2016. We provide products of great quality for excellent ...

  7. The band would like to extend a...

    The band would like to extend a massive thanks to the team at @essaymusical Band Supplies. Many people have commented on the appearance of the band after our first outing on the 1st July East...

  8. Sandy Row Marching Band Supplies

    Sandy Row Marching Band Supplies, Belfast. 5,554 likes · 5 talking about this · 40 were here. Sandy Row Marching Band Supplies. Bandsmen supplying bands. Andante, Pearl, Marching Drums UK

  9. Union Jack Shop Belfast

    UNION JACK SHOP The Union Jack shop has been trading for many years now. It first started trading from the band hall of the Protestant Boys East Belfast in Townsley Street. Telephone: + 44 (0)28 9059 2909; Email: [email protected]; 9:00 - 17:00, Monday - Saturday; Infomation.

  10. A Stage Musical About Belfast's Punk Oasis

    The show, in which members of the cast take turns playing in the onstage band, follows the odyssey of Hooley (played by Glen Wallace) as he started the shop then a label that released early ...

  11. Essay Band Shop Belfast

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  12. Essay Band Shop Belfast

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  17. Belfast Music

    Belfast Music, Belfast. 1,228 likes · 26 were here. Belfast Music is a retail outlet supplying all types of musical instruments and accessories, together...

  18. Essay Band Shop Belfast

    You will be notified once the essay is done. You will be sent a mail on your registered mail id about the details of the final draft and how to get it. 4.8/5. 100% Success rate. 100% Success rate. Alamat kami. Toll free 1 (888)499-5521 1 (888)814-4206. 3 Customer reviews.

  19. Essay Band Shop Belfast

    Essay Band Shop Belfast: 100% Success rate Take a chance to talk directly to your writer. We provide only reasonable academic solutions. Home . 100% Success rate Article review, Ethics, 1 page by Robert Sharpe. 1332 Orders prepared. Pages quantity: Essay, Coursework, Research paper, Discussion Board Post, Questions-Answers, Term paper, Case ...

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  21. The Shop

    The Shop, Belfast. 682 likes · 5 talking about this · 171 were here. We are now open! And you can find us at The Belfast School of Art

  22. Belfast Confetti by Ciaran Carson

    Belfast Confetti uses an extended metaphor of punctuation to describe the chaos and confusion of an explosion in Belfast during the Troubles. The poem opens in medias res (in the middle of things), with the escalation of violence as the police riot squad arrives.. The speaker struggles to comprehend the situation amidst the turmoil and shrapnel flying everywhere, and the feeling of being ...

  23. Essay Band Shop Belfast

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