Snow Patrol, Starsailor celebrate opening of new Belfast venue

The Oh Yeah Music Centre gets a star-studded opening

Snow Patrol, Starsailor, Duke Special and the actor James Nesbitt lead a night of celebration at the weekend to mark the opening of a brand new music venue in Belfast.

As previously revealed on NME.COM, the Oh Yeah Music Centre will be a hub for new music and new bands in the city’s Cathedral Quarter.

The official unveiling of the venue on Saturday (May 5) saw a host of city’s best known sons congregate for a surprise party at the end of an open day to let the public see the building.

Actor James Nesbitt acted as compere for part of the night, praising the Oh Yeah project and called Belfast “the most exciting city in the world right now”.

Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody performed with Lisa Hannigan, formerly a member of the Damien Rice band. This was Hannigan’s first appearance since leaving Rice in March. They sang ‘Set The Fire To The Third Bar’ and ‘Some Surprise’, a duet that first appeared on an Oxfam charity album, ‘Cake Sale’, last year.

Lightbody also sang The Undertones classic ‘Teenage Kicks’ with Guy Garvey from Elbow and played an acoustic version of ‘Run’, plus an unnamed song that was written especially for the day.

Starsailor mainman James Walsh, currently a Belfast resident, played a version of the Van Morrison‘s song ‘Wild Night’, plus his band’s own ‘Four To The Floor’ and a snatch of Gorillaz‘DARE’. He also previewed an as-yet untitled new Starsailor song.

Peter Wilson from Duke Special finished the night with a version of the Ash song, ‘Oh Yeah’. This track had originally given the project its name.

The Oh Yeah project is led by Stuart Bailie, a journalist and broadcaster and a former Assistant Editor of NME.

“It was an astonishing night,” he said. “So many unique musical moments and jaw-dropping performances. It was the first time that Gary has sung in public with Lisa. It was an honour to have Elbow over for the night, and Duke Special broke us up with ‘Oh Yeah’. We were aiming to get a feeling of community with the night and it happened almost immediately. We’ve been talking about this project for almost a year-and-a-half so to actually hear great music in the building was the supreme proof.”