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Rockers Ash to be honoured as legends at special show

By Michael McHugh

Northern Irish rockers Ash are to be recognised for their contribution to music at a special awards ceremony in Belfast in the autumn.

The three-piece from Downpatrick, who have performed with the likes of U2, will be presented with a legend award at Mandela Hall on November 11.

Charlotte Dryden, the chief executive of the city's Oh Yeah Music Centre, said: "Ash have played a major part in the story of Northern Irish music, and in the story of Oh Yeah too. Our centre is named after the very song that features on their debut album, 1977.

"How brilliant to honour and celebrate the band with an Oh Yeah Legend Award. It's going to be a momentous evening."

After being given the award, Ash will perform their 1977 album in full at the centre.

The band, which was formed at Downpatrick High School in 1992, has had two number one albums and 18 Top 40 singles.

Frontman Tim Wheeler also won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Pop Song in 2001 for Shining Light.

The group's music has featured on numerous film soundtracks and video games, and they have sold more than eight million records worldwide.

The band is working on a follow-up to the album Kablammo, which was released last year, at Atomic Heart Studios in New York, and is also in the middle of a 1977 anniversary tour.

Speaking about the gigs, they said: "Some of these songs have grown with us throughout those years, others have the ability to transport us mentally and emotionally to our formative years."

Previous recipients of the Oh Yeah Legend Award include Neil Hannon's Divine Comedy, Therapy?, Stiff Little Fingers and The Undertones

The presentation of the legend award will follow the ceremony for another award, the Northern Ireland Music Prize, for the best Northern Irish album.

This will be decided by a selection of local media and industry professionals following live performances by several shortlisted acts at the Mandela Hall.

The event is part of a wider programme, the Sound of Belfast, which runs from November 4 until November 12.

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