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Work on Belfast’s first state of the art music hub, Oh Yeah Music Centre is gathering steam.
Colin Carberry, 25 May 2007
The builders have yet to move in and a few contractual dots and crosses have still to be seen to but the folk behind the Oh Yeah Music Centre have wasted no time throwing a house warming do to be remembered.
All afternoon and evening – as part of their first ever Open Day – they’ve been showing the public around their new gaff – unfurling their grand plans and intentions for the place, theorising, and offering blueprints for the future, but now, with the sun going down, they start unpacking some of the practical benefits and surprising treats that a centre like this can offer.
So, they’ve constructed a temporary stage, installed a bar, invited along a gaggle of well-wishers and fellow-travellers, all with the intention of providing both supporters and doubters with a united front.
It turns out that they’re blessed with mighty reinforcements.
Opening shots are fired by The Fools (nee Pat and Nipsy) who are just the kind of act that you’d imagine benefiting most from the enterprise. Currently residing in Liverpool, the new practice spaces and studios that, hopefully, will provide Oh Yeah with its pulse, could almost see this most feet-itchy of acts finally return home.
Their up and at ‘em brew of hook laden skiffle-flavoured guitar pop would be guaranteed a warm welcome.
Next up Jetplane Landing and Burning Codes. These guys have fought the good fight over a number of campaigns (and under quite a few alter egos), and have probably played every venue in the city before now. They both seem delighted to be looking out onto a different kind of brickwork. So, acoustic Public Enemy covers (from the former), and lovely low-key melodies (from the latter) make for a fitting tribute to their continued durability.
Gary Lightbody’s involvement with Oh Yeah runs deep. And he seems relieved tonight not to be pressing flesh with politicians. Concentrating, instead, on doing what he does best for the cause; there will be no accusations from fans of being short changed. He opens up with a new song, written backstage nary half an hour previously, and to help with ‘Some Surprise’ (from The Cake Sale album) and a magnificent ‘Set The Fire To The Third Bar’, he’s joined onstage by Lisa Hannigan. Then ‘Run’ is giving a dusting-down.