By Richard Chamberlain……
The friend of Northern Cyprus shares its Daily News of Life and Times around the world
For our local readers and visitors to Cyprus at this time, we would like to tell you of an interesting event which involves the completion of conservation works of our Island’s rich heritage and an invitation to be witness to this event is shown under.
A ceremony was held on Saturday, May 26 in Mağusa to mark the completion of conservation works on two historic churches, with the financial contribution of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage and technical support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
Introduction by Margaret Sheard …
Many readers will be aware of my liking for helping to write the memories of British veterans who served in Cyprus. This one is a bit different as John Davies would love to meet up again with Androulla, who was a child during the time of his military service in Cyprus 1973/74 and would now be in her mid-40’s.
By Chris Krzentz……..
In this video I visited the ancient city of Famagusta so do join me on my walk as we hear the music which brings forth the past as we start our walk and pass both new and ancient buildings in Kişla Yolu Sokak.
This journey through this ancient part of the city was made on the 29th October 2015 and we starting walking past Ottoman buildings on the right with modern days shops and apartments above them on the left.
As we approach the town square we see on the right the remains of the portico of the Venetian Royal Palace and as we look to the right across the square can see the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque (St Nicholas Cathedral).
Turning to our right now, we walk through the remains of the Venetian Royal Palace which was constructed in 1550 on the ruins of a former 13th century Lusignan palace which had been used by the Kings of Cyprus until it was destroyed in an earthquake in the reign of Peter II in 1369.
The remains of the Venetian palace are all that remains following its destruction by the Ottomans after they forced the Venetians to surrender the city on 1st August 1571.
In the grounds of the palace is a two-story building built by the Ottomans in which the poet Namik Kemal was imprisoned for 8 months by the Ottomans in 1873 for staging a play which promoted nationalism and liberalism which led to his exile to Cyprus and the current building contains a museum about Namik Kemal.
As we walk across the town square and see the many bars and restaurants and people going about their every day life, we see the grand Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque (St Nicholas Cathedral). The building of the cathedral was started around 1298 and lasted to 1312 on what was believed to be the ground of a previous church.
After the fall of Famagusta to the Ottomans, they added a minaret to the northern tower and it was converted into a mosque.
Sit back and enjoy the video and if you like my videos, feel free to subscribe to my global YouTube channel click here and you can also find me by clicking on the following links Facebook, Chris Krzentz Presents, Cyprus Culture Group, Twitter, LinkedIn,
To read my article and see the video of “The Ayia Sophia Mosque in North Nicosia, Cyprus” please click here
By Steven Roberts…….
Legendary Irish rockers the Boomtown Rats played to a large crowd at the Eastern Mediterranean University sports field on Friday 21st April.. The event was the 7th annual ‘Rock n’EMU’ concert, admission was free, and it was open to students and local residents.
The evening started with a performance by local group the Mağusa Müzik Band. They were a large band of good musicians who played a number of well known cover versions from well known artists (including Bob Marley and Osibisa) very well. They got the interest going, and warmed the crowd up well for the main event.
After a suitable interval, The Boomtown Rats took to the stage and powered straight into their first number, followed immediately by the catchy “Like Clockwork”. It is only when I heard the first few numbers live that I realised how the power of the tight rhythm section of drummer Simon Crowe and bass player Pete Briquette provide the foundation for the whole performance.
Singer Bob Geldof, now aged 65, showed amazing energy and ran from side to side of the stage while singing “(She’s Gonna) Do You In” then spoke to the crowd for the first time. He denounced the culture of the surveillance society as an introduction to the band’s powerful “Always Someone Looking at You”, one of the highlights of their set.
Bob Geldof then reminded the crowd that the band were from Dublin, another divided island. “We’re from Ireland” he said. “We don’t like nationalism – it kills people!” This was a lead into “Banana Republic” which denounced the role of Priests in their ‘sceptic isle’
(He also denounced Erdogan and Putin which seemed to go down well with the audience!).
At one point Bob asked the audience the question. “How long does it take to get from Larnaca to Famagusta?” My immediate thought was “just over an hour, Bob,” but of course his question was rhetorical, and he replied “40 years!” He then urged people to ignore politicians, imams and priests and unite.
Following this the band stormed into a fast paced version of “She’s so Modern” before the thoughtful and poignant “I Don’t like Mondays.” and after two more numbers closed the set with two hits form 1977/8, “Looking after no 1” and “Rat Trap”. They returned for an encore with “Diamond Smiles.”
There was a good crowd present, difficult to estimate numbers but several thousand. The majority were probably EMU students, yet they seemed to know the songs and were a very enthusiastic audience. Many were waving mobile ‘phones and cameras, so I’m sure there are loads of ‘photos in circulation. I must admit it feels a bit strange when you are one of the oldest people at a gig like this, but comforting to know that at least I’m younger than all the band members!
The Boomtown Rats formed in the mid-1970s and broke up in 1986. In 2013, four of the original members reformed the band, Pete Briquette (bass), Simon Crowe (drums), Gary Roberts (lead guitar) and Bob Geldof (vocals). Two others, Johnnie Fingers (keyboards) and Gerry Cott (guitarist) did not rejoin, but the band have added new musicians to stay as a six piece.
I’ve seen other ‘historic’ bands like The Animals, Barclay James Harvest, and both versions of Wishbone Ash, but all of these have one original member, and whilst they sound good, it is not quite the real thing. However the Boomtown Rats really are the band you expect, and I have a feeling they are playing better today than they ever did.
The success of this event, and the Deep Purple concert a few years ago shows there is an audience for top acts on this island. Let’s hope it is not too long before others come and perform in Cyprus.
For those folk who could not be there to see The Boomtown Rats in Famagusta, we show below a great video recording placed on Youtube by Iain Jordan.
By Steven Roberts…….
Irish rock band, the Boomtown Rats will be in Cyprus this week, performing at the 7th annual ‘Rock n’EMU’ event at Eastern Mediterranean University this Friday 21st Apri!. The event will be at the stadium on the University Campus, the general public is invited, and entrance will be free. The event starts at 7:30 PM, and the support act is the local Mağusa Müzik Band.
The Boomtown Rats were originally comprised of six members mostly from the Dun Laoghaire area. They formed in 1975, and had their first chart success with “Looking After no. 1” in 1977, followed by the single “Mary of the 4th Form” which was also from their debut album. The follow up LP “Tonic for the Troops” spawned three single successes, “Like Clockwork”, “She’s so Modern” and “Rat Trap” (which reached number one). In 1979 the band recorded their third album with the single “I Don’t Like Mondays” which probably is remembered as much for its striking video as for the music. The song told a powerful story about a school shooting in America that shocked the world at the time, but sadly has been followed by so many more similar tragedies since.
The band had some success with their next two albums, and associated singles, but did not reach the levels of their earlier triumphs, and they called it a day in 1986.
In the meantime lead singer Bob Geldof achieved worldwide fame (and an honorary Knighthood) for his work on famine relief. Prompted by Miucahel Buerk’s harrowing reports from Ethiopia he got a load of famous musicians together to record the charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas” at the end of 2004. He then followed this with the idea for the Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia in the summer of 2005.
After a couple of one-off gigs and guest performances, the Boomtown Rats reformed in 2013. Bob Geldof said, “Playing again with the Rats and doing those great songs again will be exciting and fresh. We were an amazing band and I just feel it’s the right time to re-Rat, to go back to Boomtown for a visit.”
The current version of the Boomtown Rats comprises four of the original six members, and they have been touring steadily since they re-formed. After Famagusta they will go on to play in England, Austria, Norway, and back home in Ireland.
This is a rare opportunity to see a famous band in North Cyprus, and it would be good to see them play to a packed stadium in Famagusta and to tempt you to join them, we have included below a video showing The Boomtown Rats singing that famous song, I Don’t Like Mondays.
For lovers of classical music, we are delighted to bring news of the Turkish Cypriot Presidential Symphony Orchestra concerts during February 2017.
Conductor, Ali Hoca
Solists: Çellistanbul (Çağ Erçağ, Melih Kara, Murat Berk, Knut Weber)
Admission free of charge.
Friday February 24, starting at 20.00pm
Yakın Doğu University Atatürk Culture and Congress Centre, Nicosia
Saturday, February 25, starting at 20.00pm
Rauf Raif Denktaş Culture and Congress Centre, Famagusta
A regular supporter of Tulips, Jane Nubley, who participated in our “Step Out For Tulips” challenge, organised a coach trip for a group of friends to visit the new shopping mall in Famagusta and wondered how she could raise money for Tulips at the same time.