Since launching back in 2014, Mature Cheddar has steadily held its reputation as one of Belfast’s most beloved club nights. With a very admirable emphasis on not taking itself too seriously (and, let’s face it, where’s the downside in that?) it proudly spins the very best in the ’80s and 90’s cheese every Saturday, upstairs in Voodoo on Fountain Street. But what sets it apart from other nights of its ilk? Why should you check it out? And what does the future for the night hold? We donned our favourite spandex and caught up with main man Niall Kennedy – also of And So I Watch You From Afar fame – to learn more.
Hi Niall. First question’s first: how did Mature Cheddar first come about?
It came about around five and a half years ago, I had run the idea of doing a nostalgia night past Micky Brown, who runs Voodoo but we definitely wanted it to fit in with the vibe of club and not take itself too seriously, I said I wanted to play cheesy but tasteful music from the 80’s and 90’s and he came up with the name Mature Cheddar and the rest wrote itself.
Did you feel there was a gap in the market for a night like MC? If so, how come?
Yeah, I mean we’re not reinventing the wheel or anything. There’s been plenty of nostalgia night’s that have come and gone, the main difference is that we inject a bit of our own personality into it and the fact that it’s held in Voodoo, I think people know it’s not your run of the mill 80’s night, we’ve got our own edge.
You’re based in Voodoo on Fountain Street. This is a logical home for the night, but for anyone who hasn’t been there, why do you think it works?
Well, for anyone that doesn’t already know, Voodoo is hands down the coolest independent rock venue in Belfast and it has a strong personality and vibe to it. You kinda have to go to understand what I mean, but there was never another venue for me, it was the first place I went when I decided to do the night.
In Belfast, Dublin and further afield, there’s been a few one-off nights like it. But what set it apart as a regular fixture?
Yeah, we’ve done a small handful of one-off night’s here and there, even a few wedding parties but Voodoo is really our home and we don’t like to venture too far!
It’s clear that you’re not interested in taking yourselves too seriously, which is a huge pro. Is that at the heart of your party manifesto?
Yes, absolutely, it’s in the name and it’s a big part of our personality and we try to put that across in our posters too (I’ve included a few favourites below) we want people to know they are gonna have a good time and there’s gonna be zero pretention, just pure fun. We’re not even that strict on the 80’s & 90’s theme, sometimes the odd 70’s or 00’s song will slip in if it’s a real belter!
To newcomers, who normally DJS and what are their fortes? And do you tend to have guest DJs now and again?
It was me and Emma-Rose Hollywood for the first few years and she still drops in now and again, along with Andrew Dunbar and Sully, and although they’re great DJs technically, for us it’s all about the music choice. That’s what we pride ourselves in.
Finally, which ten tracks sums up what one can expect at Mature Cheddar?
Mature Cheddar takes place every Saturday night at Voodoo Belfast