IT has been claimed that heavy metal has the ability to laugh at itself - whether it be Manowar, Spinal Tap, pouting black metal wannabes or the ridiculousness of some of the stage props we know that outside the genre it's laughable; and we also know that to us it makes sense.

We can be swept away with Amon Amarth's stage show and Viking credentials as surely as we can join the drinking fest that is Alestorm's silly but wonderful Pirate Metal.

Which makes our beloved artform all the more ripe for stand-up comedy. Tomorrow (October 3rd) sees "one of our own" present his "History of Heavy Metal" in Belfast's Black Box (doors 9:30) as part of the Belfast Belly Laughs comedy festival.

Andrew O'Neill is the comedian who is presenting this history in a combination of stand-up and riffs from his beloved Flying V.

Mr O'Neill is described as a heterosexual transvestite, vegan, amateur occultist, and metalhead. Had that last description not been in place his credentials would not be up for matching metal and comedy: but he qualifies on the basis that he really is "one of our own".

Given Mr O'Neill also plays in a steampunk band "The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing" which is preparing audiences to:

"Expect a robot Sid Vicious covering Slayer in an 1877 East End Music Hall: a murky mix of Doctor Who, Doctor Watson and Doctored History. Not for the faint hearted or those of a delicate disposition."

But Mr O'Neill is here to tell the "History of Heavy Metal". For those not setting off to see Madball this is the perfect chance to evaluate this jester's history of our dark art - though I suspect that he may be challenged about Norn Iron's place in the pantheon of metallic madness...

Tickets are available at the outrageous price of £7 - and let's hope that Mr O'Neill can hang about to Saturday to see Darkest Era, Terminus and Stereo Nasty at RockD in Limelight2....

Authors: Jonny

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