Review by Eddie McIlwaine, Belfast Telegraph
If you aren’t heartily sick of everything Titanic then give a listen to a new CD called “Made in Belfast” which is devoted to the memory of the tragic liner by Noel McMaster and Conal McCartney.The two of them have written songs with a Harland & Wolff flavour with titles like Titanic Rag, SOS Titanic, Belfast Blood and The Air Tasting of Oil Boys. Noel should send a copy to Julian Fellowes the man who wrote the drama series called “Titanic” which we have been watching on national television and about which I have mixed feelings. I feel there was too much fiction and not enough respect for the dead in the way the story unfolded. Well done gents!
A Review by DJ John McConnell
“Made in Belfast” is a collection of 8 songs 7 of which are penned by local musicians Noel McMaster & Conal McCartney to celebrate Harland & Wolff and the fateful Titanic now in its Centenary year. These discerning and indeed perceptive singer/song writers/musicians have created something special here on many levels…you could be forgiven for thinking that some of these songs were written up to and including 100 years ago and being sung around many a fireside in the “Seanachai” tradition.
There are few songs that make the hair on my neck “stand on end” on first listen and we have 3 notable highlights here – Whiskey for the Boys, The Air Tasting of Oil Boys and Harland & Wolff. I have no doubt that some astute “Famous” singer will borrow a song or two from Messrs McMaster & McCartney and either have a “hit” or be included in a Hollywood remake/blockbuster sometime in the future…who knows. PS Wouldn’t it be novel if McMaster’s surname had have been Lennon.
Review by Stephen Cameron Co.Founder of Belfast Titanic Society
This new CD by Noel McMaster and Conal McCartney has 8 tracks including the hymn Nearer My God To Thee. All of the self-penned songs relate to life in and around the time of the construction of the ship Titanic in the east Belfast shipyard of Harland and Wolff. In their lyrics McMaster and McCartney portray the stark reality of life 100 years ago in both the home and working environment. Their music is both haunting and emotional and I would have no hesitation in recommending this CD to anyone who has even the slightest interest in the era surrounding the construction of Titanic.
Review by Anita Kirkpatrick (New Zealand)
We first listened to the album ‘Made in Belfast’ on our road trip north from Timaru to Nelson, New Zealand. It was easy listening and over the 8 hour trip we got to hear it a few times; our boys fell asleep to it on the first play! Now that we’ve listened to it a few times we are humming and toe tapping along the way and starting to pick up more of the lyrics. Some of the lyrics take us right back to places we remember. Dave’s dad worked in the docks and his father before him and the lyrics about ‘your Granddad worked ….’ are probably true. We have favourite songs but that changes the more we listen. A deeply satisfying album to listen to, thanks!
Review by Linda O’Brennan Vancouver Island, Canada
As we look back on the 100th anniversary of the making and sinking of the Titanic we have had many celebrations and commentaries to commemorate the occasion but none so moving as the Made in Belfast CD by Noel McMaster and Conal McCartney. Being a Canadian myself I never realized that the Titanic was built in Belfast.This CD has managed to convey the pride of the ship builders, the soul of the Irish people and the hope of the immigrants as they left the country they loved so dear.The final song Nearer my God to Thee brought me to tears as I visualized the cold waters taking the many to their deaths. This CD is a fitting tribute to the folk that were lost but not forgotten and to the hardworking people who built that magnificent ship.
Recommended the CD to the audience at their concert in the Waterfront Hall Belfast 7th June
Johnny Hero from U105RADIO Belfast
“You have really got it right. You’re from here and have been playing in Belfast for years. If anyone has an affinity with Belfast its you Guys. It’s terrific powerful powerful stuff. It really is”.