Memorial concert to celebrate life of Irish Blues legend Rab McCullough

A special concert celebrating the life of legendary Belfast blues musician Rab McCullough will take place at The Empire Music Hall later this month (April).

An iconic figure in the local music scene, Rab was known and loved by people from all parts of Belfast but his influence stretched far beyond these shores.

During his career, which spanned over 50 years, he shared stages with AC/DC and Rory Gallagher and Van Morrison, and famously opened for Jimi Hendrix. He also played with musicians from Cream, The Rolling Stones and Amy Winehouse’s band. He toured Europe and played top venues in the states, flying the flag for the Blues. He also made front page news when Hollywood A-lister Tim Robbins joined him on stage at Belfast’s Big River Blues Festival in 2008.

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But his heart was always in Belfast.

A special concert celebrating the life of legendary Belfast blues musician Rab McCullough will take place at The Empire Music Hall in April

He held the longest residency in Northern Ireland, with a 21-year stint at The Empire Music Hall in Belfast. A gift to the city, his weekly performances in The Empire kept the city’s Blues scene alive.

Passionate about helping the next generation of Blues musicians, he gave new players at all levels a chance to perform with him, and encouraging them to keep playing.

Rab’s shock passing following a cardiac arrest in May 2021 devasted his friends and family and sent shockwaves through the local music community.

In the wake of his death, tributes flooded in from around the world, with many people sharing their stories of how Rab touched – and changed – their lives.

Now, family, friends and musicians are coming together for a special night of music that will pay tribute to the Belfast legend.

The memorial gig at The Empire on Thursday 14 April will feature guest appearances from a veritable who’s who of local, national and international musical talent.

Commenting on the event, Rab’s son James said: “My dad was a very humble man; he never wanted any fuss or spotlight shone on him.

“He gave so much, so willingly of himself and never asked for anything in return.

“He lived and breathed music and was a family man through and through. He touched so many lives and brought people together with his music and his actions, always putting others first.

“As a family, we have been so heartened to hear from so many people from right across the world about the impact that Rab had on their lives.

“This special event will be a real celebration of his life and music and – we hope – a springboard to continue to honour his lasting legacy. “

The Rab McCullough memorial concert takes place on Thursday, 14th April 2022 upstairs at The Empire, Belfast.

Tickets, priced £15 plus booking fees are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.ie or directly at The Empire Belfast.

For further information, visit www.thebelfastempire.com

In the run up to the event, Rab’s family – wife Marion, sons James and Robert and daughter Louise – are calling on people to share their memories of Rab via his dedicated Facebook page – @Rab McCullough Blues – with plans to share these stories on the night.