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Pioneering Djs David Holmes and Iain McCready to unite tonight in tribute to Ibiza legend DJ Alfredo, who recently suffered stroke

Speaking to the Sunday World, McCready reveals former Culture Club lead singer Boy George was key to getting the pair and their girlfriends into megaclub Amnesia to watch Alfredo for the first time.

David Holmes

Stephen LooneySunday World

Belfast's pioneering Djs David Holmes and Iain McCready blagged tickets off Boy George to watch superstar DJ Alfredo Fiorito in Ibiza more than thirty years ago, the Sunday World can reveal.

The Belfast duo are celebrated for bringing the Balaeric beat back to Belfast in 1990 after a trip to Ibiza to see Alfredo and other famous DJs of the time, spawning legendary nights in Belfast's Art College.

Holmes and McCready will reunite tomorrow night in Belfast's Banana Block for a tribute night for Argentine Alfredo, who has fallen on hard times in recent years after suffering a stroke.

Speaking to the Sunday World, McCready reveals former Culture Club lead singer Boy George was key to getting the pair and their girlfriends into megaclub Amnesia to watch Alfredo for the first time.

61-year-old George, born George O'Dowd in Greenwich to working class Irish parents, was a fans favourite in I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here until his departure on Thursday night.

DJ Alfredo

He subsequently got involved in a spat with ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly but McCready says the singer and former DJ himself couldn't have been nicer when approached out of the blue in Ibiza all those years ago.

“We'd heard about Cafe Del Mar, we'd heard about Amnesia, about Ku, about Pacha, these are the nights you want to go to and we met loads of DJs from the UK there”, recalls McCready.

“The nights themselves, each one was set in a beautiful club with a cracking sound system and we had a great time over our 24 days in Ibiza.

“We had to try and get tickets for the opening night of Amnesia, it wasn't part of the ticket you bought, entry was by invite only.

“Everyone was talking it up, it was going to be a great night and we were dreaming of going to Amnesia to watch Alfredo.

“We didn't have tickets but we went into Ibiza Town to a little Italian place we had been going to, and down the main street walks Boy George with his friend Steven.

“We were saying to each other 'go see if he's got a ticket, go see if he can get us in'. We didn't know him but we hit him up.

“We said 'hi George, we're over from Belfast for a few weeks, and we reaaaallly looking for tickets for the opening night at Amnesia, could you help us out?' And he sorted us out!

“He was really gracious, he got tickets and gave them to us. He was really sweet. He's a big lad, he's six foot tall, and Steven was a tall lad too, we got to know him in the club later on.”

Boy George in 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here'

Boy George wasn't the only celebrity of the era to help the Belfast revellers, as they also had to blag a ticket from a star of Coronation Street at the time.

“Another night we were hanging around the bars in Ibiza Town, the dancers would arrive around midnight and give you tickets if they recognised you, or if you bought enough booze in their bars.

“We needed another ticket for the four of us, and we got it off Chris Quinten - Brian Tilsley from Coronation Street!

“We were hitting up anyone who looked famous, same as Boy George, because he would be the sort of person going to Amnesia.

“There were stars like George Michael going to Amnesia, not two rascals from Belfast.”

The two Belfast lads continued Djing together for a few years before Holmes moved into movie soundtracks and other projects while McCready moved to Brighton for twenty years before returning to Belfast, where he owns a vintage clothes store.

They recently did a tribute night together for the late Andy Weatherall and were immediately empathetic when they heard of Fiorito's plight.

“David and I decided to do this Alfredo tribute to try and raise some money, because Alfredo suffered a stroke, and then he wasn't working through the coronavirus pandemic – like all of us Djs.

“People in live arts all over the world suffered through losing work, losing gigs. You have to become creative because nobody really thinks of the future or plans for this sort of situation.

“So I can see why Alfredo is having difficulties, between Covid and having a stroke and not being able to work.

“His son has set up a fund to help him recover and we are happy to help with this tribute night.”

Holmes and McCready play at the Banana Block on Belfast's Newtownards Road, Saturday, November 26. Tickets available at https://www.simpletix.com/e/gods-waiting-room-a-tribute-to-alfredo-tic-tickets-119356


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