It’s 1997, and a handful of hangdog-tired and lovesick men are in the process of saving what is to be saved from the bonfire of what once was the band Rovers. Pistols, liquor, folk music, rock’n’roll and women were the ingredients of the bird Phoenix that rose from the ashes, and the basis of what is today BELFAST MUSLIMS.
The guys decided to plow a new furrow whilst keeping on doing what men must do, namely to play folk and rock music in a way that makes you cry, laugh, suffer and dream anew.
Hell-bent - and armed with a special brew of traditional Irish and English folk music in their breast pockets, plus a drop of punk in the back – the band threw themselves into a maelstrom of gigs, traveling, parties and sleepless nights.
Their hometown of Halden liked what it heard, as did the whole of Norway. People started insisting that this music had to be recorded, and sharpish, too.
The guys shook off the horrors of the road, helped each other get to the studio, tuned up their guitars, fiddles, mandolins, accordions and flutes, and let rip.
Shortly thereafter, they emerged with a CD entitled «Spanish Lady». The album arrived with a great big bang, provoking tears in the eyes of even the hardest of hard men. The release led to an immense amount of live work in every corner of their homeland, and also a number of festival appearances in Germany.
Two years later it was time for another trip to the studio. «Cigarettes & Bayonets», recorded, mostly, «live» in the studio, was the result. The lyrics encompass almost every aspect of human existence, and it is said that if you keep very still on a dark winters night, you’ll be able to hear faint cries of both joy and sadness from the very spot on the shelf where you keep this particular album.
I only recall the very first time I saw and experienced this band. The screaming hordes at the other tables in the place, simply didn’t register with me – I was transported to the very soul of Nordic, Irish, English and American rock’n’roll.
Some fine day your town, too, will be paid a visit by a bunch of shit-grinning men who drink and have a good time, chitchatting with the local populace. And then, with the arrival of night, BELFAST MUSLIMS will tear it up and take you for a ride you will never forget.

Sally O’Connor
Band girlfriend

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