Go north if you want to catch tomorrow’s talent now
The north is having a moment again. Ahead of the third Belfast Music Week, which runs from November 4 to 11, it’s worth stepping back and checking the ongoing health of Northern Ireland music. Be it the strong current showing …
The north is having a moment again. Ahead of the third Belfast Music Week, which runs from November 4 to 11, it’s worth stepping back and checking the ongoing health of Northern Ireland music.
Be it the strong current showing of Snow Patrol and Two Door Cinema Club worldwide or the numbers of new acts jostling for profile and position behind them, music from up there really does resonate far and wide. We may harp on again and again about Ireland being a small country, but consider the size and population of the north and that’s really punching above your geographical weight.
What an event like Belfast Music Week does is underline and emphasise what has been going on in the city over the last 20 years. Scenes do not simple appear of their volotion. It takes time, effort, sweat and heavy lifting behind the scenes to put the foundations in place. Sure, the bands have to write the hit tunes, hire the right management and sign the best possible deals, but you need a network with venues like the Oh Yeah centre to be actually present in the first place.
If last year’s Music Week piggybacked on the MTV European Music Awards to make a splash, this year’s event is relying a strong programme to attract attention. There are headline events like Orbital, playing the city for the first time since they were favourites at David Holmes’ Sugarsweet club 20 years ago, and the premiere of Gregg Houston’s Two Door Cinema Club flick What We See.
But the real attraction of a festival like this is to catch the talent of tomorrow. Two new acts who come with an OTR recommendation are Soak (16 year old Derry girl Bridie Monds-Watson playing beautifully cast, folky pop) and Katharine Philippa (Portadown musician and composer spinning minimal, soulful, graceful sounds).
Soak plays Belfast’s Limelight next Wednesday