Belfast Telegraph

Snow Patrol's Gary banks on the future of Northern rock

By Maureen Coleman

The quality of music featured on a new album of Northern Ireland's most inspiring new bands is "just the tip of the iceberg", according to Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody.

The singer has thrown his weight behind Carling Supports: The Oh Yeah Sessions 08, which was launched at a music industry party in Belfast last night.

Lightbody provided the sleeve notes for the compilation album, which features exclusive recordings from eight top young bands - Kowalski, The Panama Kings, Cashier No 9, LaFaro, And So I Watch You From Afar, Mojo Fury, General Fiasco and The Jane Bradfords.

Hotly tipped Portadown trio In Case of Fire and legendary DJ/producer David Holmes also provided a bonus track each for the album.

Lightbody, a board member of the Oh Yeah Music Centre, said he hoped this would be the first of many similar albums.

He said: "The vast array of approaches by every band on here is astonishing. A lot of it quite defies categorisation but is always thrilling and extremely exciting and undeniably encouraging for the future of music from Northern Ireland.

"And this is just the tip of the iceberg as waiting in the wings are hundreds of amazing bands, some of which we'll hopefully get the chance to highlight on the (fingers-crossed) many albums we'll put out in the future."

The idea for Carling Supports: The Oh Yeah Sessions 08 album emerged from conversations between Aisling Duffy at Carling, Michael Bell at Fate Magazine and the Oh Yeah team.

After working together on the Fate 08 Awards, the three parties agreed that an album would add value to the local music scene.

Aisling Duffy said: "Carling is absolutely dedicated to supporting music in Northern Ireland and this album is very close to our hearts having been involved from the original concept, right through to the recording, production and now the launch."

A panel of judges chose the acts to feature on the album and the bands then recorded their track in the Start Together studios within the Oh Yeah Centre, headed by Rocky O'Reilly from local band Oppenheimer.

All the bands worked to tight deadlines of just one or two days to get the album completed.

Lightbody said: "It's quite astonishing not just that it was done in such a short time but that it bristles with such quality from minute one."

To mark the album launch, on sale on Monday, April 21, General Fiasco, The Panama Kings, Cashier No 9 and Mojo Fury will play live at HMV, Donegall Arcade from 2-5pm. The album can be bought from HMV and Phoenix Records and online at www.ohyeahbelfast.com and www.carling.com

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