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/