The Handsome Family (Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival 2014)


On the evening of May 5th 2014, Belfast was treated to a night of live music from the American couple known as The Handsome Family.  Husband and Wife duo Brett and Rennie Sparks have been in the music business for twenty years but it was only recently that their music was introduced to a whole new audience. It was thanks to the HBO critically acclaimed series True Detective, where the opening song was ‘Far From Any Road’ from their 2003 album ‘Singing Bones‘, that I and many others found their music. The song fits perfectly within the world of the Southern States of True Detective, it’s no wonder it was chosen to perfectly accompany the series as the official opening song. When I heard the song performed live, it felt like I was on the set of True Detective, it was haunting and yet hypnotizing at the same time.

The Handsome Family are a great live act and they certainly know how to keep the audience both captivated and entertained. They amused the audience with stories of their marriage, family and life. There was one point during the show when they mentioned that eating outside your car was illegal in America and that one of their songs was about onion rings. It’s both very amusing and creative that they can write and come up with their songs by drawing inspiration from their life experiences.


There is very few bands out there who have the ability to make you feel so relaxed, I could listen to their music all day long. It transports you into the wilderness of the America South, with the home grown feel of the rhythm, beats, lyrics and down to earth voices.


The Handsome Family is one band I highly recommend you see perform live if you ever get the chance. It’s a great way to wind down your evening with a pint of beer or even a cup of tea. Until then you should listen to their album Wilderness.


Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival

1st – 11th May 2014 – Cathedral Quarter, Belfast


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.