The Northern Ireland Music Prize takes place on the 11 November at Belfast’s iconic, Mandela Hall. 12 albums were shortlisted by over 70 judges. A final vote will take place on the night to decide the 2017 winner. Here’s this week’s preview.
Reckless Heart – Bap Kennedy
“All I ever wanted was for people to feel what I feel – the magic of music,” Bap Kennedy.
I think it’s fair to say that anyone who has listened to Bap Kennedy has felt the magic of music. His final album, Reckless Heart was finished in May 2016, shortly before Bap was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It’s a beautiful album that was released not long after his death on 1 November 2017. One of Belfast’s greatest ever singer–songwriters.
Ephrata – Joshua Burnside
Joshua Burnside is an experimental folk singer song–writer from Lisbane in Co Down.
Following a string of EPs and double A–sides, Ephrata Burnside’s debut album title takes its name from a small town in Pennsylvania that Burnside visited while touring the US a few years back. Burnside’s visits to the US have had a clear influence on his music – a mixture of latin guitar, Irish folk and Americana. Ephrata has been getting plenty of air time on BBC 6 music and Radio 1. Joshua Burnside is one of the acts performing live on the night at the NI Music Prize awards.
“It makes you glad to have a pair of working ears,” Phil Taggat, Radio 1.
Robocobra Quartet – Music for all occasions
Formed at the Sonic Arts Research Centre in Belfast back in 2014, Robocobra Quartet’s ‘Music for all occasions’ is a carefully crafted concoction of jazz, hardcore and contemporary music. Despite having ‘quartet’ in their name, the collective have fourteen interchangeable members. Robocobra Quartet have recently returned from China where they performed at the Nanjing International Jazz and World Music Festival and will be performing live at the Northern Ireland Music Prize.
Oh Yeah Legend Award
Rock royalty, Vivian Campbell is the 2017 recipient of the Oh Yeah Legend award and will perform on the night with one of his current bands, Last In Line.
Campbell has written, performed and toured with some of rock’s biggest names including Thin Lizzy, DIO, Whitesnake, Riverdogs and Lou Gramm (ex–foreigner). This year the Belfast guitarist celebrates 25 years with Def Leppard.
We’ll be previewing three shortlisted acts every week in the lead up to the NI Music Prize which takes place on the 11 November at Mandela Hall in Belfast. Tickets here.