The Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast is set to mark its 14th birthday with a specially recorded series of music performances. Oh Yeah opened its doors to the public on 5th May 2007. The centre normally programmes a live music celebration, but due to the pandemic this will be the second year that the doors have been closed on its anniversary.
The Virtual Tour of NI will instead celebrate some of our venues and artists via YouTube as we hope for a safe return to live in the coming months. The tour will set off on May 10th at The Oh Yeah Centre and will complete at The Rostrevor Inn on May 14th.
Like all venues across NI, Oh Yeah has been closed since March 2020. To date there has been no indication of when live music venues might be able to reopen in the North. It has been a hugely challenging time and live music has disappeared from our lives completely. Nevertheless there is a determination and resolution that it can’t always be like this. And so, as we start to slowly emerge from the most recent lockdown, Oh Yeah is renewing plans, refreshing memories and creating new opportunities.
NI Virtual Tour
Thanks to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, this virtual tour has been specially recorded in five venues around NI. Some share the ethos of Oh Yeah as cultural and music development spaces, while others which are a little off the beaten track contribute greatly to our musical landscape, providing live sounds that are loved by local residents and visitors alike. Places that breath life into cities, towns and villages across NI. Places that have been silent for over a year.
The series will be broadcast on the Oh Yeah YouTube channel and will kick off on May 10th at the Oh Yeah Music Centre. The tour will then virtually weave its way to the Nerve Centre, Derry (11th), the Cornstore, Draperstown (home to Glasgowbury, (12th), Blakes of The Hollow in Enniskillen (13th) and finish up at The Rostervor Inn (14th).
Fourteen artists from a variety of genres and musicals backgrounds will provide stunning performances. They include Dana Masters, Gemma Bradley, Susie Blue, The Wood Burning Savages, Catherine McGrath, Invaderband, Our Krypton Son, Casual Riots, Enola Gay, Justine Gormley, The Organauts, Bernadette Morris, Laytha and Matt McGinn.
Weathered The Storm So Far
Charlotte Dryden of Oh Yeah said: “We are fortunate to have weathered the storm so far and make it to our 14th year. We are grateful the Arts Council of NI for this opportunity, and to every single person and supporter that has cheered us on, supported our work, and donated or funded our projects over the years. But it’s not been easy for venues and artists this past year and there is still so much support needed to ensure the survival of our wonderful live music venues and artistic community. All of which are crucial, yes to the economy, but also to the energy of our towns and cities, to our wellbeing, to artistic development, to community engagement, to the preservation of our music heritage and for live exchange. We just can’t underestimate how important our venues and musicians are. So for that reason we are using our birthday to say we can’t wait to welcome you back and when we can all reopen again, please get out there and support your local venues and artists.“
The Virtual Tour NI, which was recorded and produced by Mike Edgar production, kicks off on May 10th on Oh Yeah YouTube Channel. Subscribe for updates and reminders.
Oh Yeah gratefully acknowledges support from The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Helmet Set To Play Headline Show at Limelight 2
US alternative rock band Helmet are pleased to announce a headline Belfast show ‘Move On: The Covers and Hits Tour’ at Limelight 2 on 18th May 2022.
Helmet is an American alternative rock band from New York City formed in 1989 by vocalist and lead guitarist Page Hamilton. Since 2010, the band has consisted of Hamilton, drummer Kyle Stevenson, guitarist Dan Beeman and bassist Dave Case.
Helmet has released eight studio albums and two compilation albums. After releasing their debut album, Strap It On (1990), on Amphetamine Reptile, Helmet signed to Interscope Records and released three albums for the label, including the highly successful Meantime (1992), Betty (1994) and Aftertaste (1997). Helmet broke up in 1998, but reformed in 2004, and has since released four more albums ― Size Matters (2004), Monochrome (2006), Seeing Eye Dog (2010) and Dead to the World (2016).
In June 2021 the band released via their website only a limited-edition box set entitled “Move On” featuring 4 x 7” singles including the following covers and live tracks:
Move on (David Bowie) w/ More Bad News live
Mercy (Wire) w/ Rollo live
ETI (Blue Oyster Cult) w/ Blacktop live
I’m only sleeping (The Beatles) w/ Crisis King live
Cormac Neeson Release New Track “Precious Cargo”
Cormac Neeson, the fearless lead singer of Irish rock act The Answer and performer, singer-songwriter in his own right, releases a brand new atmospheric mood single that showcases his prodigious talent as a versatile composer and vocalist.
Breaking free from any form of music genre pigeon holing, Neeson together with up and coming Northern Irish producer Jonny Fitch (The Sidemen / Emma Horan), have created a sonic masterpiece that channels the sublime dimensions of early Bon Iver with spacious production soundscapes and Neeson’s recognisable yet still unique vocal tones.
The song, co-written by Neeson, Fitch and Alex Francis, channels the strong parental instincts to love and protect the ones we hold close, at all cost and was developed by all three writers during the first Northern Irish COVID lockdown.
Says Neeson, “I actually developed a lot of the vocal ideas for this song during the first lockdown when I didn’t have access to a studio, so I would play and sing through the song every night but very quietly as my two children slept upstairs! Almost by accident, I developed this unusual close, whispering type vocal sound which sparked the idea to evolve the track into a full production. It is definitely a departure from anything I’ve ever released before but I’m very proud of it so we’re going to put it out there!!”
Precious Cargo comes with a sketch animated video directed by Northern Irish artist / director, Louis Nelson. Neeson came across some sketches that Nelson had left lying around in a recording studio where he was working and thought that his style of sketch animation would lend itself perfectly to portray a form of other worldly escapism that would suit Precious Cargo. Says Neeson “Over a month or so Louis put together a sketch storyboard that conveyed the protection and love of a young family that simply wanted to escape what they saw as a hostile world. Precious Cargo is really all about protecting those you love when the maddening world around you seems so out of kilter with itself!”
Neeson’s co-writer Alex Francis has toured alongside the likes of Stereophonics, James Bay, Sting & Alanis Morissette and his music has been championed by Clash, Time Out & BBC Radio. He has showcased at the Isle of Wight festival twice, opened for Phil Collins in Hyde Park and performed at the London Palladium amongst other impressive touring highlights.