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Get to Know: Ursula Burns

Music in Northen Ireland is nothing if not diverse, and you’d be hard pushed to find an act that illustrates that more evidently than self-professed “Dangerous Harpist”, the enigmatic Ursula Burns.

Influenced by musical comedians in the vein of Tim Minchin, Ursula is a comedic, harp-playing singer and a true individual. Get to Know, Ursula Burns.

Name: Ursula Burns

Where you’re from: Belfast

Describe your style in 5 words or fewer: Dangerous harping; comedy; performance; unclassifiable.

Best thing about the Northern Ireland music scene: The creativity, energy, diversity, the people.

Digital music, CDs or vinyl: I usually press CDs because I fund my own albums, but I am a massive fan of old-fashioned vinyl and I want to press my next release on vinyl! The longevity is better but CDs are handy merch.

Biggest musical influence: Prince, The Cocteau Twins, Kate Bush.

What you’re listening to right now: Cafe Tacvba – Futuro.

Favourite venue: Connolly’s of Leap, West Cork.

Best local band/artist of the moment: Blue Whale.

Last gig you attended: Hazel O’Connor and Cormac Dubara at The Black Box.

Best gig you have ever attended: Leonard Cohen at Dublin Castle and The Cure at Electric Picnic.

Gig you wish you could have attended: Prince.

Favourite album of all time: Cocteau Twins – Heaven or Las Vegas.

Musician you’d love to collaborate with: Tim Minchin.

Last thing you do before going onstage: Power pose.

Most prized possession: Gypsy, my harp.

Dream festival line-up: The line-up that they have at the festival in Belfast at the end of May!

Ursula Burns’ album The Dangerous Harpist is available to download online. Her latest recording The Assistant’s Revenge is a soundtrack of original music, written for a Cahoots NI theatre production of the same name. It’s due for release on 9th March and will be available for sale at the performance in The Mac Theatre on 11th March as part of the Belfast Children’s Festival.



My tastes vary - live in concert I've seen (amongst others) Bob Dylan, The Cure, Morrissey, Johnny Marr (sadly never The Smiths), Van Morrison, David Byrne, Counting Crows, John Prine, Chris Smither, Erasure, They Might be Giants, The Verve, Ben Folds, Georgie Fame, Teddy Thompson, Martha Wainwright, Rufus Wainwright and Loudon Wainwright III. This decade, a lot more home grown talent, with the likes of Duke Special, Brian Kennedy, VerseChorusVerse, The Bonnevilles, Tony Villiers and the Villains, The Hardchargers, and The 4 of Us. Favourite gigs include Prince in Cork in 1990, Trip to Tipp ’91 & ’92, David Bowie’s Reality tour in 2003.