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Jazz From the Heart of the City as Guildhall Hosts Festival Gigs

Jazz Guitarist - Joseph Leighton

The Guildhall will be a hub of wonderful jazz next weekend as 27 acts take to the stage in the ‘heart of the city’ as part of the City of Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival.

‘Gigs at the Guildhall’ will involve nine different acts performing on each day of the festival, which is taking place from Friday 30th April to Sunday 2nd May. There will be three stages and sets will be performed from 12 noon – 1.30pm; 5pm – 6.30pm and 9pm – 10.30pm, with one act on each of the three stages during each slot.

Eve Blair, Mark Patterson and Micky Doherty will host different slots and the performances will be available to enjoy live on the Jazz Festival website and Facebook page.

Wide-range of Local Artists

A wide-range of local artists will be performing as part of the historic 20th edition of the ever-popular festival and Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Brian Tierney, said there will be something to interest everyone.

“The schedule of performances for our ‘Gigs at the Guildhall’ will certainly get you excited about our 20th City of Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival and will showcase some of our magnificent local musical talent coming right from the heart of our city.

“In line with COVID-19 restrictions these performances will be streamed online for the public to enjoy from their own homes, and I have no doubt that it will be sure to get plenty of people on their feet dancing and singing along.

“We are going to be spoiled with the amount of talent on display and I’m delighted that we will get to enjoy the music of so many local acts who are part of an industry that has faced an incredibly challenging year.

“This is a very special occasion for the City of Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival, and I think these gigs will be a very significant part of that celebration that will encompass the music that we all know and love, the favourites that we have enjoyed over the years, and even some that people have perhaps never had the pleasure of seeing before.

“I’m really looking forward to all of the gigs, and I’d encourage everyone to check out the schedule for themselves and make sure you’re tuned in throughout the weekend for some great music and entertainment!”

Music

Sarah O’Moore Drops New Single ‘I Need U’

Irish singer songwriter, Sarah O’Moore latest single ‘I Need U’ is available now on all streaming platforms. The song is an energetic anthem that examines the wrong doings in society. The boisterous sound coupled with matter-of-fact lyrics allows the song to flow through an honest ravine.

Making heads turn with her timeless, sultry, powerhouse voice is Irish singer-songwriter Sarah O’Moore. Raised on a diet of rock Gods & folk legends, is it any wonder that her style pogos from contemporary RNB to soul? Drawing comparison from Amy Winehouse to Billie Holiday. Sarah is a voice in her own right penning deeply introspective and profoundly outlandish work. Borrowing from her Corkonian roots, Sarah’s songs carry the dark underbelly of societal demise and her hybrid fusion of rich lyricism and melodic roots make her a touchstone for current times.

From an early age, Sarah has always been attracted to the soul talent of Nina Simone, Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. It was through cosmic wordsmiths such as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Van Morrison, Sarah was able to hone her craft. Pursuing her dreams, Sarah set shore to Bristol; where she is currently studying Songwriting at BIMM.

O’Moore has said that the song is about ‘the political undertones of the past year. Its after showcasing the Omnipresence of racism in society and the ongoing battles of minority groups. It’s reignited our need to combat these issues. Lets not have the victors steal the narrative and have its victims forgotten.

The song is rallied with immediacy with the use of synth textures and raw vocals. The song questions the latent attitudes of government power. It’s time to support, speak up, press play and listen away.

Sarah plans to launch her debut E.P, “social paralysis” later this year. Which will act as a testimony to James Joyce’s “Dubliner’s”. She will embark on bringing these 20th century archetypes to life.

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Music

Iconic NI band The Outcasts to take Punk to the Park

The ever-popular Belfast punk band, The Outcasts are set to make an explosive return to the stage at Ward Park in Bangor at Punk in the Park this summer as restrictions are eased and live gigs are permitted.  

The event, taking place on Sunday 22 August 2021 at 3pm – 5pm, is part of the Open House Festival as it resumes after a year’s hiatus with live music, comedy and spoken word events throughout August and September. The Belfast born punk group, made up of brothers Greg and Martin Cowan along with JP and Petsey Burns, will take to the stage in their first performance since 2020, supported by local Bangor band Wasted Talent.

Formed in 1977, the Outcasts are legends on the Belfast music scene having signed with Terry Hooley’s infamous Good Vibrations record label. Branded by local media as “the band you love to hate”, The Outcasts embraced their bad boy image and were central to the development of the youth punk scene in Belfast. Forty-four years on, the band are now signed with Philadelphia-based record label, Violated Records and released an EP under the label in 2019, their first since 1983.

Lead singer and bassist, Greg Cowan, said:

“We are thrilled to be taking part in our first live gig in 18 months. 2020 was due to be one of our busiest periods including our first ever tour of America, which unfortunately was cancelled due to the pandemic.

“We can’t wait to get back on stage and play together to unite everyone with a love of punk and celebrate the vibrant music scene Northern Ireland has to offer. With the tough times the music business has been through lately, it’s important for the public to get out and support local bands and musicians. So, I would encourage as many people as possible to come out to the event to celebrate the world opening up again.”

The outdoor gig marks the beginning of a flurry of activity for the punk icons as they prepare for a busy 2022, with tours through France and Switzerland before they return home for an Irish tour with fellow local rock band, Therapy.

Held in the open-air of Ward Park, all the Music in the Park events at the Open House Festival are free to attend for all ages and do not require booking. Guests are encouraged to pack a picnic and head down to Bangor for a Sunday afternoon of live music and an electric atmosphere.

The Outcasts can be found on Facebook @officialoutcasts.

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