Cupboard 55 is primarily a music based project (a band perhaps) from Belfast. Their tastes and influences are eclectic. The plan is to experiment with different styles as we progress and see where that takes us. We invite you to open the door.....

We would like to introduce you to our logo based on a former resident of Cupboard 55, , the Bodhisattva Tara.

In the Victorian era the British museum contained a very special room for objects deemed too obscene or perverse to sit alongside the rest of their collection. Cupboard 55 was created in response to the Obscene Objects Act (1857), and designated the 'Cabinet of Obscene Objects'. 

To enter the Secretum, one needed a special permit. This was given only to gentlemen who could prove they were of 'mature years and sound morals.

THOSE FIRST IMPRESSIONS - RESPONSES TO THE EXHIBIT EP

"as always production value is top notch!! very solid songs , LOU is awesome Tyburn as well sticks out for me and Guru sounds great " Jamie Smoot (USA)

"I bought this a few weeks back and it has blown me away. A prime cut of what we can draw from the most loved sounds of our youth, improve upon them and put a personal slant which makes the outcome irresistible.  This hasn't left the player. Some of our finest on this and I can't wait for the album". Joe Carey (Belfast)

"You need this fantastic music in your life." Tony Spence - Belfast Punk and New Wave Club) 

" Really impressed. Four great tracks I'd heard Lou previously and thought it was good with that great chorus and guitar sound .Secretum likewise, but for me the standout track is the Bolan/Glam Homage "Guru" full of little references "When you know, you know you know" OR "Tyburn" storming track, great lyrics, great hooks. In Tyburn no leaves fall.. In the autumn.Looking forward to the album. Great Job " Gary McDonagh (Belfast)

"Debut cd ep from Cupboard 55 EXHIBIT. "Hitting the high notes like a Queen Bitch" Billy McConnell - Life's a Riot

"Death forces us to re-examine ourselves and our life choices. 

Sometimes it means a complete overhaul. Sometimes it means carrying on. 

On the go since 2010, Belfast’s Stop Stop Start Again were one of the stalwarts of the scene. With links to the first wave of Ulster punk (Stage B and Lunatic Fringe), they retained this edge while mining their love of glam rock and androgyny to create something darkly humourous. And they were pissing off crowds right until the end as well (I once witnessed them clear the Black Box with a mashup of ‘Believe’ by Cher and ‘No Feelings’ by the Sex Pistols. 

The death of talismanic singer/guitarist Paul Rowan in 2019 ended the band. Now, arising from the remnants of SSSA, are Cupboard 55. Named after a section of the British Museum that stores historical items that have been classed as obscene, this band sees bassist Colin Fletcher and guitarist William Maxwell join forces with Ian Livingstone. And ‘Exhibit’ is the end result of this.

‘Guru’ has a heavy Magazine vibe to it due to the driving bass and guitar riff that has that inverted Stones feel that John McGeough did so well, while the soaring chorus puts me in mind of Fiction Factory. Lyrically, references aplenty to David Bowie and the Velvet Underground seem to make this less of a tribute to Paul and more a celebration of the milieu that all the band emerged from. 

Dealing with the notorious cupboard 55, ‘Secretum’ is a sneering punk rock/power pop work out that is very much in the same vein as SSSA’s ‘Banging on Your Back Door’, although Ian Livingstone’s vocals are more along the line of ‘frontman with attitude’ than Paul’s knowing subversion. Nonetheless, a great track with a bouncy chorus. 
Predictably, ‘When Lou Was King’ starts out as a Lou Reed pastiche before giving the listener a simple but upbeat chorus that acts as a (dare I say) almost gospel number in places. It’s surreal, ambitious and (coming in at just over 3 minutes) succinct. More of this sort of thing please. 

Referencing the notorious Tyburn Tree (a site notorious for public hangings) ‘Tyburn’ is another moody, Magazine number with a chorus straight from the Marc Bolan school (complete with tambourine). This is a song I’d like to see expanded, with the moody verses really drawn out in order to ensure the chorus injects some much-needed levity. As it stands, it works but a subject like the Tyburn Tree is one that deserves a bit more study, so it feels unfinished. 

With some gigging to be done, they’ll find their feet soon enough. This, however, is a confident and assured release that is more than a match for any band gigging in Belfast today."

CHRISTOPHER OWENS - CHORDBLOSSOM