Twelve albums have been shortlisted for the Northern Ireland Music Prize In Association With Blue Moon 2017. The winner was announced at this special awards night at the Mandela Hall. Among the artists who were nominated three of the final nominees performed on a fantastic night of music at one of Belfasts favourite venues, The Mandela Hall. The night was wrapped up with the announcement of the 2017 winner Joshua Burnside and then the presentation of the Oh Yeah Legend Music Award to hometown hero Vivian Campbell to mark another eventful night in the Northern Irish Music scene.
First up was Robocroba Quartet : http://www.robocobraquartet.com
Mining influence from jazz, hardcore and contemporary classical music, Robocobra Quartet sound like little else.
Originally formed at the Sonic Arts Research Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the group operate as an expanding, contracting and ever-changing collective. A no-holds-barred approach centred on a howling drummer-vocalist and menacing saxophones takes them to festivals such as SXSW (USA), Brilliant Corners Festival of Jazz (UK) and Crossing Border (Netherlands).
Bolstered by support from the PRS Foundation and Arts Council, Robocobra Quartet’s debut 12″ LP ‘Music For All Occasions’ received accolades from the likes of The Quietus and BBC Radio 6. The group improvise not only musically but also in their conduct – engineering their own recordings and performing in venues as varied as jazz festivals, the back room of a pizza parlour in Liverpool and in-store at Rough Trade Records.
Next we had Joshua Burnside : https://joshuaburnside.bandcamp.com
Finally Abortist : http://www.arboristmusic.com
ARBORIST released their debut album Home Burial in November 2016 to critical acclaim. UNCUT 8/10 “A staggering debut of depth and substance”, ★★★★ The Guardian “A Man of My Age feels like an instant classic” and ★★★★ Mojo “A deliciously self-assured collection.”
Mark McCambridge played his first show as ARBORIST in 2014 supporting James Yorkston. A solo tour of Ireland followed before impressive performances led to notable support slots alongside Low, Cat Power, Echo and The Bunnymen and Guy Garvey.
Since the release of their debut single “Twisted Arrow” in 2015, Arborist have become somewhat cult properties, thanks in no small part to KIM DEAL (Pixies, The Breeders) contributing delicate harmonies to the song. A nonchalant and thoughtful piece of Americana, conceived in Belfast, it premiered on Stereogum and The Line of Best Fit with extensive play on BBC 6 Music. It was also featured in The Guardian Guide’s tracks of the week.
They are set to record their sophomore LP in summer 2017.
Congratulations to all involved on a well put together event and of course to both Joshua Burnside and Vivian Campbell on their respective awards.
You can see the full list of finalists here : https://nimusicprize.com