Friday night at the Oh Yeah Centre, in the heart of the electric Cathedral Quarter, gave a glimpse into the future of some of the talent being nurtured not only in Belfast but in similar venues up and down the country.
Unsure of what I was going to attend and of whom many of the artists where, I had to realise the significance of what I was attending and what role this review would have. I didn’t feel that an appropiate response was to give a critique of the performances, what was more important was gaining an insight into how many of the successful bands and artists we have from this country developed and how their talent was nurtured.
It was evenings like Friday at the Oh Yeah Centre in front of family and friends where they forged the very beginnings of their success. The gig on Friday night had the essence of a showcase of the bright and talented artists coming through and a chance for them to cut their teeth on the big stage and to show that they are capable of running a successful night, from performing right through to lighting and sound. Without nights like this there is no way for them to learn and develop.
One quote I read while sitting pondering this was from Q Magazine which said that “Ireland creates singers and award winning artists like thoroughbred horses,” I couldn’t help but wonder if it wasnt for the likes of The Oh Yeah Centre, The Nerve Centre etc would we have ever nurtured as many successful artists?
The night itself was a quick showcase of seven very different artists, Rebecca Mulhern and Jason Flynn delivered two solo performances and also two very young fledgling bands in the form of Foreign Affairs and Shoot The Messenger. Riot Upstairs and abandcalledboy all eager to impress and show off their talents equally.
All of these performers would be thankful to the public funding that flows in to allow centres like this to survive and with the latest news that the Arts Council of Northern Ireland are to implement cuts of around £1.38 million over the next year this is bound to have a negative effect on nights like this.
Its easy for someone to look at a balance sheet and find ways to cut costs, but I’m sure if they witnessed the drive and ambition all of these young people had and the positive way in which they are able to challenge their energy surely then they could see that its money well spent. Pól O’Hagan, GiggingNI.com