Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Regeneration hope for music scene

The Londonderry line-up for this weekend's Other Voices includes Marina and the Diamonds

It is home to the Undertones and Phil Coulter but the man behind Ireland's most critically acclaimed music festival has said he hopes to revive Londonderry's once vibrant music scene.

Philip King, who brought big name acts such as Amy Winehouse and Jarvis Cocker to a remote fishing village on the west coast of Ireland has relocated his renowned event from Dingle, Co Kerry, to the Glassworks in Londonderry as part of the 2013 UK City of Culture celebrations.

It is the first time Other Voices has left the intimate 80-seater St James' Church - its home for more than a decade - but Mr King has insisted that it can still retain the charm for which it is famed.

"It was wonderful to be asked to come and be part of the City of Culture and it was an easy decision for us to accept the invitation," he said. "It has been a fantastic journey and is emblematic of the fantastic north-south connections."

The Londonderry line-up for this weekend includes Two Door Cinema Club, Beth Orton, Marina And The Diamonds, Neil Hannon, Little Green Cars and Savages as well as the Londonderry-born rising star, Soak.

Mr King said: "What we want to do is take a message into the world that Derry is good for music. We want to tell the world where we are and who we are."

Mr King said he hoped the buzz created this weekend would leave a lasting legacy that would reach beyond discerning music fans.

He added: "This is about sowing the seed. This should take, grow and turn into something special. It should be the regeneration of music in Derry where there has been a wonderful tradition of music and singing. It could make something amazing. There are so many new, young and vibrant bands this could be the resurgence and regeneration of music in the north."

Acts to have played in the 200-year-old church of St James in Dingle include Cocker, the National, Richard Hawley and Winehouse, whose appearance is recorded in the film Amy Winehouse: The Day She Came To Dingle.

Mr King said he was confident Londonderry would generate many highlights of its own.

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