John Lennon and Yoko Ono ''Happy Xmas (War Is Over)'' Vinyl

Oh Yeah Christmas Crowdfunder for Limited Collectible ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’ Vinyl

You can be in with a chance of winning a legendary piece of John Lennon & Yoko Ono music memorabilia by entering our #HappyXmasVinyl online raffle at just £5 per entry. You can enter as many times as you wish via our Crowdfunder page.

Last Christmas, the Oh Yeah Music Centre was honoured to be gifted only one of fifty limited 50th anniversary edition ”Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” acetates. This extremely rare vinyl of John Lennon and Yoko Ono‘s iconic Christmas song was hand-cut at Abbey Road Studios by none other than mastering engineer Alex Wharton.

The gift came with the instruction from Sean Ono Lennon  ‘to sell, auction, raise money to help your charity or to fund your Christmas party’. Staying true to Oh Yeah’s core mission statement, ”open doors to music”, it was decided that the most fitting way to honour this incredible gift was to reinvest it in a programme of support for emerging talents.

100% of the proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards ‘The Carol Clerk Bursary‘ supported by Oh Yeah Music Centre in partnership with Dig With It Magazine. By entering the draw to win this extremely rare collectible item you are also contributing to the future of representative music journalism in Northern Ireland for female and non-binary writers.

“We are incredibly grateful and excited to make available to the public a piece of iconic music history. The best part about it is that every single person who enters the raffle to win the collectible vinyl will be doing their part to support future creative generations – which cuts to the core of what Oh Yeah is all about”  – Charlene Hegarty, Talent Development Manager

The ‘Carol Clerk Bursary’ is named in honour of a trailblazing music writer from Belfast. Carol wrote her first story, ‘Bombs, Boredom and No Bands’ for weekly music newspaper Melody Maker in 1974 when she was still at school. Eventually, she became News Editor of Melody Maker and also wrote respected books on The Pogues, The Damned and Ozzy Osbourne. The bursary was launched with the blessing of her daughter Eve earlier this year. 

Sadly, Carol died of cancer in 2010, aged 55. With a great stroke of serendipity, Carol Clerk was an acquaintance of Yoko Ono. An intriguing conversation between Carol Clerk and Yoko Ono makes for an incredibly interesting read.

The 12” ”Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” vinyl record is stickered and numbered ”44” out of only 50 in existence. There is also a letter of authenticity and Christmas postcard signed by Yoko Ono and Sean Ono Lennon included in the prize.

Visit our Happy Xmas Vinyl Crowdfunder to enter for just £5!

Scratch My Progress 2022 Artists Announced

The Oh Yeah Music Centre is delighted to reveal that the four fresh new acts that have been selected for Scratch My Progress 2022 are; Niall McDowell, Balcony Sunrise, Rachel Craig and FYA FOX.

Scratch My Progress is a mentoring, showcase and practical support programme for new music. The dedicated talent development programme, now in its 11th year is powered by the on-going support of PRS Foundation. Oh Yeah is also delighted to be working with YouTube Music, a partnership that will provide participating artists with a new level of support through a series of dedicated master classes and more. 

Over the next 9-months the 4-acts will work with our dedicated Talent Development Manager, Charlene Hegarty, to uncover opportunities for their music and take part in workshops, studio time, professional photo shoots, showcases, industry mentoring and more.

Over the years our talent development artists have had one to one sessions with PRS, PPL, PRSF, Musicians Union, First Music Contact, Atlantic Records (Ed Sheeran, Charli XCX), Parlophone Records (Gorillaz), Domino Records (Anna Calvi, Arctic Monkeys), Jeff Robinson PR (The 1975, Belsonic), Deezer, Ditto, Body & Soul Festival and many more. The Scratch My Progress scheme has mentored a diverse range of talent over the years including NI Music Prize Winners Kitt Philippa, Sasha Samara and Sister Ghost, music and media personalities Gemma Bradley & Emer Maguire and artists representing the rock, alternative, acoustic, rap, pop, punk and electronic genres.

NI Music Prize 2022 Video of the Year submissions now open

YouTube Music Video Category announced for the NI Music Prize

The NI Music Prize has announced the details of a new award category Video of The Year for 2022.

Supported by YouTube Music, the Video of The Year Award has been introduced to recognise the growing number of music videos being released by Northern Irish artists.

The NI Music Prize is an annual award celebration of music from Northern Ireland. Coordinated by the Oh Yeah Music, it takes place at the Ulster Hall on 16th November and includes performances from shortlisted acts and special guests. Winners of the other categories are announced on the night, including Album, Single, Live Act and BBC ATL Artist. The event also features two special awards, the Oh Yeah Legend and Outstanding Contribution to Music.

This latest award for music video will be open for submissions on 23rd August with the winning video being announced at the awards on November 16th at the Ulster Hall.

Charlotte Dryden from Oh Yeah said: “The Oh Yeah Centre’s strong partnership with YouTube Music combined with the ever increasing number of artists at all levels producing and utilising the power of a really good music video made for a perfect match when deciding to introduce this new award. YouTube is a platform for music videos, but it has also been incredibly supportive of our commitment to championing Northern Irish music through our work in talent development, Sound of Belfast and the NI Music Prize. We are excited about this new strand and delighted to have the support of YouTube Music”.

Corbyn Asbury, Label Relations, YouTube UK said: “We love the Northern Irish Music prize and we’re so proud to have been involved for the last few years.  Our ethos at YouTube Music is to champion UK artists and enable them to reach fans globally, so we’re excited to be once again celebrating some of the best and brightest talent in Northern Ireland.  It’s always an incredibly special evening”

Please read the criteria for entry below before submitting your video.

  • Video Submissions are open Tuesday 23rd August 2022 – Tuesday 6th September
  • Submissions must be music videos created specifically to promote and support the release of a single released between 15th July 2021 – 14th July 2022
  • Submissions should be made by the band/act/management or fans of the band.
  • Video must be hosted on YouTube and is available to the public for viewing as part of the single release campaign. No private links. 
  • We will not accept live footage from gigs or shows unless it was captured with the intention of producing a video to promote a single release.
  • We will not accept TV appearances, vlogs, studio, podcast clips or sessions.
  • We will not accept documentary or art project submissions.

Criteria:

Our panel will be asked to consider the following criteria:

  • originality of concept
  • technical expertise and execution
  • effectiveness of the video in showcasing or promoting the music
  • creativity and inventiveness of the video, in terms of delivery, interpretation of the role or, where relevant, the casting 
  • emotional impact of the video
  • creative contribution of the specific craft or technical skill to the video

Prize for winning video is £1,000 and the winner will be announced on Wednesday 16th November.

SUBMIT HERE

NI Music Prize Tickets on Sale Now

The prestigious NI Music Prize awards night celebrates in Belfast City at the iconic Ulster Hall on 16 November 2022!

The NI Music Prize is an annual music awards event acknowledging the best of music from Northern Ireland over the last twelve months.

It features performances from shortlisted artists and this year features a very special Oh Yeah Legend Award presentation to musician and singer from Horslips, Barry Devlin.

Barry will be joined on stage by Horslips friends Jim Lockhart, Ray Fean and Fiach Moriarty for four of the bands best known songs.

Tickets are limited for this very special event.
Get your tickets here via the Ulster Hall website: https://www.ulsterhall.co.uk/what-s-on/ni-music-awards-3/

Barry Devlin

Barry Devlin Legend Award 2022

Musician, Screenwriter and Director Barry Devlin photographed at Smock Alley. Photo by Steve Humphreys 16th March 2022.

The Oh Yeah Music Centre is delighted to announce that this year’s Legend Award recipient is Barry Devlin. The presentation will be made at the Northern Ireland Music Prize on Wednesday 16th November at the Ulster Hall, Belfast.

Following the presentation to Barry Devlin, fellow musicians and Horslips friends Jim Lockhart, Ray Fean and Fiach Moriarty will join Barry on stage for a few of the bands best known songs. The NI Music Prize is an annual awards night for music from the North and will include sets from shortlisted acts including Album, Single, Live and Newcomer as well as this very special Legend performance.

Barry Devlin originally from Ardboe in Co Tyrone is a musician, bass player, singer and front man with Horslips. They have been described as the founding fathers of Celtic Rock that defined a sound and style making them one of Ireland’s greatest bands. Barry is also an accomplished writer and director, having written for TV shows such as Ballykissangel, as well as directing several music videos for U2 in the 1980s. 

Barry Devlin humbly said of the award: ‘Undeserving but thrilled” and went on the say. “I know the whole band will be delighted. Horslips always had a strong emotional connection to Belfast: we did the Whitla Hall and the Ulster Hall by turns (and in the early days the McMordie). But our final gig first time round – back in 1980 – was in the Ulster Hall, an emotional night when Charles O’Connor famously threw his fiddle into the audience. So it’s a nice piece of circularity to be able to scramble up on that hallowed stage one last time and run through a few old favourites.”

HORSLIPS BAND FILE PIC APRIL 1975

Paul Evans, Chair of Oh Yeah Music Centre said: “In the 60’s and 70’s, as young musicians tapped into Ireland’s legacy of traditional tunes and song, none did it with more swagger and sheer joy than Horslips and the man from Ardboe, Barry Devlin. The velvet loons belied the creativity and respect they brought to that heritage, opening musical avenues to those not familiar with the tradition, myself included. Barry has had a long and distinguished career since but, as well as his music, this award marks how he and Horslips kept the faith as they helped keep music live on northern stages during some of our worst days. And for that, we music fans of a certain age remain forever grateful.”

The Horslips story is well known. They formed in 1970 and after a dozen albums (and an anthemic single “Dearg Doom”) as well as countless gigs in Ireland, England, Europe and the USA, called it a day in 1980. 

After ‘the longest fag break in history’, they opened part two of the saga with a raucous sold out gig in The Odyssey in 2009 and in the years in between have played gigs in the Waterfront Hall (with the NI Symphony), Dunluce Castle, The Mac and Black Box Belfast among others.

A 35 CD box set called ‘More Than You Can Chew’ is due out in December, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of their first album ‘Happy To Meet – Sorry To Part.’ “Another nice piece of happenstance’, says Devlin.

The Oh Yeah Legend award is presented annually to an individual or band that has made a significant contribution to the world of music. Previous recipients include ASH, Snow Patrol and Gary Moore (Posthumous). 

A very limited amount of tickets will go on sale on Monday 22nd August at 10am from the Ulster Hall and Waterfront website. https://www.ulsterhall.co.uk/what-s-on/


Belfast music journalist Carol Clerk and friends

Eleanor Gilmore Awarded The First Carol Clerk Bursary For Music Journalism

Eleanor Gilmore has been awarded the first Carol Clerk Bursary for music journalism. This project aims to support the skills and potential of a female or non-binary music journalist in Northern Ireland.

The bursary honours the trailblazing life of Carol Clerk (1954-2010), an award-winning music writer from Belfast who was News Editor of Melody Maker and also authored books on the likes of Madonna, The Pogues and The Damned.

This support initiative is a partnership between Dig With It magazine, the Women’s Work Festival and the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast. The bursary will support mentoring, skills development and resources for upcoming writing talent.

Eleanor Gilmore is a student, based in Belfast. She was chosen from an impressive set of applicants.

“I’m so pleased to have been awarded the inaugural Carol Clerk Bursary for music journalism,” she says. “As an unpublished, slightly apprehensive writer, someone who’s somewhat secretly been documenting my thoughts on music for many years alone in my room, I didn’t think such resources and mentorship as those offered within the bursary would be accessible to me.

“Being the recipient of this bursary will give me direction with my writing, resources to develop and improve my ideas, and the guidance to put forth my own contributions in chronicling and championing the alternative music scene as Carol Clerk did during her career.

Eleanor Gilmore, recipient of the Carol Clerk bursary 2022

“Since applying, I’ve had the chance to read some of Carol’s work covering some of my favourite artists such as Joni Mitchell, The Fall and Oasis. Her wit and wonderful turn of phrase jumps out at me, and further inspires me to commit to writing about music, particularly within Belfast, with the same rigour, passion and honesty.

“I’m very excited to get started and to have a wider audience in mind to write for than… well… just me! I would like to thank the awardees of the bursary for seeing value and merit in my ideas and writing, and also Carol’s family for giving the blessing for this bursary, of which I am the grateful recipient, to be awarded in her name.” – Eleanor Gilmore

Tour guide Dolores outside Oh Yeah Music Centre, Belfast

Dolores Keeping the Punk Spirit Alive with New Belfast Music Walking Tour

Creative Tours Belfast in association with Oh Yeah Music Centre present the Belfast Music Walking Tour.

If you were looking for the right person to host a musical walking tour of Belfast, then someone who jumped up on stage in the Ulster Hall in 1978 and played drums to ‘Peaches’ with punk legends The Stranglers would probably fit the bill!

Live music has always played a central role in Dolores Vischer’s life – and still does.  Following her recent retirement from Queen’s University after almost 20 years, Dolores decided to explore her long-held dream of becoming a tour guide.  

Over a period of 18 months during the pandemic, Dolores studied to become a qualified Belfast Green Badge Tourist Guide.  One of the modules on her course was to develop a new walking tour and with her lifelong passion for music, Dolores knew what the theme of her tour had to be. 

Since qualifying as a tour guide, Dolores has set up a new business – Creative Tours Belfast – to showcase her home city’s arts to the world.  She offers a range of walking tours to locals and visitors alike, covering music, street art, historic entries and pubs, all of which are delivered with her trademark combination of facts and fun. 

Speaking about her new venture and the forthcoming summer season of the Belfast Music Walking Tour, Dolores says:

“Music is part of what keeps me feeling young.  I’m lucky enough to have boundless energy and during festivals can be out at arts events seven nights a week!  During the punk era, if something didn’t exist, you made it happen – and that’s what I’m doing with Creative Tours Belfast. Belfast has such a rich music heritage and so much talent, past and present, across all genres. From electronic to classical and punk; opera to folk and pop – and everything in between. The recent designation of the City of Music title by UNESCO makes it the perfect time for locals and visitors alike to discover more about Belfast’s musical stories.”

Dolores jamming on the drums!

Starting out at the Ulster Hall, the Belfast Music Walking Tour explores some of the venues that are important in Belfast’s musical history. Guests can find out about some of the characters down the years who’ve shaped the city’s music culture, and acknowledge some of the talented people, festivals and events taking it forward today. 

The tour concludes with a visit to Belfast’s own dedicated music hub, the Oh Yeah Centre, with a chance to browse the centre’s NI Music Exhibition, which features memorabilia from Northern Ireland musicians including Snow Patrol and Stiff Little Fingers.  Guests can then settle down to enjoy a special, private performance by a local musician, often a rising star who has completed an Oh Yeah Talent Development programme. 

Charlotte Dryden, Chief Executive of Oh Yeah explained the centre’s support for the new walking tour: 

“With the NI Music Exhibition and Belfast Music Bus Tour already provided by Oh Yeah, there was just one thing missing from the city’s offering – a walking tour! Walking around a city with someone who is both knowledgeable and entertaining is the best way to get to know a new place – or to fall in love with your home all over again.  We love Dolores’ personality, energy and passion for music and are thrilled to be supporting her new venture.”  

The summer schedule for the Belfast Music Walking Tour begins on Friday 8 July and will run two or three times a month on a Friday or Saturday.  Each tour starts at 1pm outside the Ulster Hall and ends at 4pm at the Oh Yeah Music Centre.

The new walking tour also complements the two-hour Belfast Music Bus Tour offered by Oh Yeah, that Dolores occasionally takes out. The music bus tour is starting up again for summer, usually running on the last Saturday in the month: The next bus tour dates are Saturday 23 July and Saturday 27 August.

To purchase tickets for the respective tours, search ‘Belfast Music Walking Tour’ or ‘Belfast Music Bus Tour’ on visitbelfast.com

DIY Music Academy

Oh Yeah Youth Department are excited to be working with our friends at Giga Training again. They are providing this amazing FREE four day summer programme for any young person aged 12-16 years old who lives in Belfast and is interested in a career in the music industry.

Over the course of the four days participants will learn about branding, beat making, production skills, recording on a budget and lots of other digital skills that will give you a headstart in the industry.

For more information, email youth@ohyeahbelfast.com or apply online: https://www.digital-arts-academy.com/43-diy-music-academy-2022/

Elevate launch!

The Youth Team at Oh Yeah are excited to announce the start of a new youth programme. It starts on Wednesday 15th June and will run throughout the Summer.

The programme is funded by the ABRSM and the aim is to provide free mentoring for young people who want to learn how to play guitar or write songs.

We are working with a few really great mentors who have years of industry experience and lots of passion for working with young people.

If you are interested or want to find out more – email youth@ohyeahbelfast.com