Tim Wheeler, singer and guitarist with Downpatrick band Ash, has presented his iconic Flying V guitar to the Belfast Music exhibition.
Visiting the display at the Oh Yeah Music Centre on Gordon Street, Wheeler donated the golden Gibson guitar, which has accompanied Ash through a career featuring two #1 albums in the UK and 18 top 40 singles. In festival appearances, Wheeler has set the guitar on fire at the start of the shows.
Stuart Bailie, CEO of the Oh Yeah Music Centre says: 'This is a wonderful addition to the Belfast Music Exhibition. And given that we named the music centre after an Ash song, it’s even more fitting. Tim has supported us from the start and he went to great lengths to retrieve the guitar from a warehouse in east London. We’ll be giving it pride of place in our display.'
The Belfast Music exhibition is open to the public on weekdays, noon until 3pm. Private visits are available on request. Admission is free. Wheeler's instrument joins a collection that features the 'Celt' guitar that Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody used to write 'Run' and 'Chasing Cars', as well as the guitar that Andy Cairns of Therapy? smashed on stage at the Mandela Hall in 1992.
Councillor William Humphrey, Chair of Development at Belfast City Council, says: 'Recent 'Visit Britain' research shows that 21% of potential visitors are inspired to choose a destination because of the music or bands of that country. Music and musicians, solo artists and bands are often someone’s first introduction to the unique appeals of a city and we are aiming to capitalize on this by making Belfast’s music scene more accessible to visitors.
'Belfast’s music receives high international praise and our latest generation of musicians are playing a crucial role in revitalising the city. Increasingly, this is an art form that is defining the new mood of Belfast and our Music Exhibition and Music Coach Tour, are one of a number of new initiatives to profile and promote Belfast’s reputation as the birthplace of great music.'
During the winter, the Belfast Music exhibition opens on the first Sunday of each month, 2-5pm. The Belfast Music Coach Tour runs on the first Sunday of each month, including December 6.
Starting at the Ulster Hall at 2.30pm, the tour takes a leisurely sweep around the city, inspired by the music and the careers of Snow Patrol, Ruby Murray, Stiff Little Fingers, James Galway, The McPeake Family, Van Morrison and more. Belfast Music tour tickets are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre on 028 90 246 609, or via the Belfast Music website.