Stripped Down: Cormac Neeson // Charlie Hanlon

Date Saturday 16 December 2023
Time 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Price£14 | £12



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Stripped Down: Cormac Neeson // Charlie Hanlon



Stripped Down at The Crescent is a series of gigs that brings together some of the most talented original acts currently working in Northern Ireland, performing stripped down versions of their songs.

Usually, a song starts life in a bedroom, a living room, or a rehearsal room, and it grows over time. Eventually by the time it gets performed by a full band or recorded in the studio it has matured and developed. Stripped Down hopes to bring some of these songs back to that early, genuine stage of life.

Stripped Down has been programmed by The Crescent’s Music Associate 23/24, Donal Scullion, who has been collaborating with our Technical Manager, Gareth Doran, to curate this series. Over a number of shows you will discover a mix of established acts, rising stars and emerging talent, representing Northern Irish Hip Hop, R&B, Soul, Funk, Pop, Rock, Indie and more.

For December's edition of Stripped Down, the focus is on Indie Rock as we welcome to The Crescent Cormac Neeson and Charlie Hanlon.

These events are BYO; bring along a bottle, sit back and let the music take over, and enjoy these two incredible acts perform in an intimate setting.


Cormac Neeson, the lead singer of Northern Irish Rock band The Answer, blazed the road to rock ‘n’ roll glory for the better part of a decade, touring the world, sharing stage supports with the likes of AC/DC and The Rolling Stones, achieving both fan and peer respect as not only an outstanding vocalist but a consummate performer. Yet, recessed deep within his creative subconscious lay his Dylan destiny, a Celtic ‘knowing’ that constantly gnawed for release from the straight jacket of rock ‘n’ roll.

It is well documented that The Answer’s last record Solas in 2016 arrived unexpectedly, borne from moments of solitude, darkness and desperation. This was in part inspired by Neeson’s journey from the edge of personal trauma as he overcame his first-born son Dabhog’s premature, life-threatening and complicated birth. Following Solas, Neeson decided it was finally time to reach for something different.

Following three intensive song writing trips to the US over a period of 15 months, his debut album was recorded in Nashville at the legendary Studio 19, now the Sound Kitchen. Cormac immersed himself in the rich musical history of both the studio and the city, channelling a re-energised creativity working with some of the finest Nashville musicians including Steve Grossman on drums (Gibson Miller band, India Arie), Doug Kahan on bass (Cody Johnson) and John Heinrich on Pedal Steel (Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, and Tammy Wynette). Following the album tracking, he returned to complete dubbing and mixing in Belfast where he brought in some of Northern Ireland’s finest musicians to help with final arrangements. The result is a powerful blend of two diverse and rich musical cultures, a Celtic Nashville concoction connected by Neeson’s unique vocal tones and song writing prowess, performing songs co-written with leading US and Nashville Country songwriters, including 2016 Tennessee songwriter of the year Corey Lee Barker; Steve O Brien, Blue Miller, Chase Akers, Blake Densmore and Allen McKendree Palmer who between them have sold in excess of 30 million songs!

White Feather, Neeson’s debut solo album released in April 2019, charted at #4 in the UK National Country Rock album charts. It is an album written by an artist recording and performing with shackles truly cast aside. Neeson has propelled himself into the life affirming world of the singer-songwriter with a series of beautifully crafted, introspective songs that draw on a recent past that has served up its fair share of challenges and heartache. Cormac Neeson has shed a skin, revealing something about himself that defies all previous perception. In the acclaimed words of Dylan, he has decided that everyone should see what he knows about himself.

In February 2019, Neeson proudly became a brand ambassador for the learning disability charity, Mencap NI, a partnership that stemmed from Mencap’s instant connection with the lyrics of the song Broken Wing. 

“Songs such as Broken Wing reaffirms his status as one of Ireland’s finest singers; this musical detour delivers in spades.” – Hot Press

Click here to listen to Cormac's music.


Charlie Hanlon began making big waves in the Irish music scene with his first release back in 2020. Aged only 15 at the time, Hanlon made his mark and set out to make a name for himself. His follow-up singles Kids Today and I Lost Myself, both produced by Michael Mormecha, were praised by the local scene and gained support from the likes of BBC Radio 1 and BBC Music Introducing. Charlie later went on to support his hometown heroes Ash in Belfast’s iconic Ulster Hall, as well as supporting Pete Doherty, Coach Party, Bronagh Gallagher, The Florentinas, and many more all whilst playing his own headline shows and appearing as a special guest at Output Festival 2023.

After a long year of anticipation, the now 18-year-old Charlie Hanlon returns with his single ‘Who Am I? (To Say Anything)’, an energetic indie-pop song that focuses on all that comes with falling out of love. This is only the start for Charlie, with many more singles to be released in the coming months as well as more live dates to be announced.

Click here to listen to Charlie's music.

Age Range18+ years
IntervalApprox. 8.45pm - 15 minutes

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