• Pound Music Club

    Pound Music Club

    The spirit of the Belfast institution lives on in the lungs of Kenny McDowell, whose voice still enraptures a faithful following after 50 years

  • Foy Vance Wild Swan Main

    The Wild Swan

    Recorded in Nashville and rich in variety, the third album from Foy Vance isn't just his finest yet, it bears all the markings of a contemporary classic

  • Neil Young and Promise of the Real

    Neil Young

    He's taken half a century to get here, but backed by Promise of the Real the Canadian is still the hurricane force of old, and shows no signs of quitting

  • PORTS Main

    The Devil is a Songbird

    Ports' long-awaited debut album is one to fall into and appreciate in full, placing them amongst the modern masters of sophisticated and heart-breaking alt rock

  • The Zombies CQAF

    The Zombies

    It's the time of the season as the sixties pop survivors kick off the summer festival calendar under the twinkling lights at CQAF

  • Two Door Main

    Two Door Cinema Club

    There's no sign of new songs, but under the tongue-in-cheek guise of a tribute act the Bangor boys make a long-awaited reconnection with their roots

  • The Sessions Main

    The Sessions

    Beatlemania returns to Belfast as the Fab Four's kaleidoscopic catalogue comes to life in a joyous re-staging of their Abbey Road exploits

  • Transatlantic Sessions 1

    Transatlantic Sessions

    The revolving folk ensemble leave little to be desired in a showcase proving them to be the crown jewel of the first Derry International Irish Music Festival

  • Food Folksong 2

    Food and Folksong

    Award-winning chef Emmett McCourt brings out the forward-thinking flavours of Derry's new music festival in a night where the menu matches the performances

  • Mydidae 6


    Martin Byrne's instrumental score for the harrowing Prime Cut theatre production stands strong even when removed from its dramatic visual context

  • The X Factor Live

    The good, the bad and Rylan perform at the Odyssey, but James Arthur shows why he was 2012's deserved winner

  • Get the Blessing

    Bristol's finest jazz rock fusion group leave fans of Portishead and deadpan banter 'flooded with endorphins' in the Limelight

  • Otis Gibbs

    The bearded Nashvillian brings sad songs, honeyed vocals and a dash of authenticity to the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival

  • Karima Francis

    Is it difficult to be the next big thing that never was? Blackpool's finest silences the doubters at the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival

  • Icebreaker

    Progressive metallers Kasper Rosa have embraced vocals in this double A-side release in their quest to ascend to the big leagues

  • Brodsky Quartet

    Newry provides the perfect warm up ahead of a run of performances in Derry~Londonderry

  • The New Life

    Girls Names leave their posturing days behind them to get serious on their 'textural, atmospheric' second album

  • Petunia and the Vipers

    Moving on Music ship the eclectic outfit over the pond to perform an invigorating set of standards at The MAC

  • Not Nearly Dark

    Fans of Tom Waits and Bon Ivor will find much to love in Ciaran Lavery's 'mature and affecting' debut album

  • Old Crow Medicine Show

    A Mandela Hall gig from the American folk stalwarts is 'as fiery as a belly full of moonshine'

  • Doris Day in Song and on Screen

    Northern Irish singer Brigid O'Neill pays tribute to the Hollywood actress, singer and animal rights activist

  • Sons & Daughters

    A bright, brand new day for Derry~Londonderry as the UK City of Culture 2013 celebrations begin with a plethora of stars performing at The Venue

  • Grosvenor Plays Britten

    At a time of uncertainty for the Ulster Orchestra, this 'outstanding classical programme' kickstarts 2013

  • Tundra

    Inspired by American new wave, Before Machines are outsiders looking in. Will their debut album win them more fans at home?

  • Geno Washington

    Gonzo hits, a manic roar and stories of Van Morrison in the 60s – the legendary blues singer sets the Black Box alight

  • Your Pet is Dead

    Eatenbybears leave their math-rock days behind them in favour of an indie aesthetic, but does their new sound add up?

  • Farriers

    Having recently released their debut album, everyone's favourite folk act round off the year in stompin' style on the Belfast Barge

  • Return of the Pin

    Ambiguity is everything for anonymous duo Pinner as they release their debut album

  • Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra

    The Class of 2012/13 show remarkable maturity, eclecticism and togetherness in this, their first full concert as a unit

  • RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet

    Terry Blain is impressed by a rarely performed Beethoven quintet and an appearance by viola maestro Nobuku Imai

  • Richard Hawley

    Sheffield's finest is not amused with Belfast's indifference – and produces a late contender for gig of the year in response

  • Jesus Rodriguez

    After being left out in the cold by an indifferent Western music industry, the anti-establishment hero returns thanks to his fans

  • Bourne Davis Kane

    Bourne Davis Kane

    The free jazz trio, featuring two of Northern Ireland's finest performers, 'play until they run out of ideas' at The MAC

  • The North Sea Scrolls

    Luke Haines and Cathal Coughlan devise a new occult history of Britain in this 'startling and truly unique' album

  • Michael McHale

    The Irish Piano

    'A triumph of outstandingly alert and sensitive artistry' from Belfast pianist Michael McHale features original takes on old classics

  • Boss Level

    Rap metallers Team Fresh are very angry about things. Steven Rainey ignores the outdated polemics and appreciates a 'confident, inspired' sound

  • Bystanders

    After a swift rise and fall in the 1980s, Belfast's original indie act St. Vitus Dance return with a third album worth listening to

  • Ben Howard

    The poster boy for the UK alt-folk movement is upgraded to the Waterfront Hall. Ria Maguire squints through the smartphones

  • The Deer's Cry

    Malojian justify the hype with an accomplished debut album that draws from their back catalogue and features classic alt-folk influences

  • Stephen Hough

    The 'seemingly inexhaustible' pianist has Philip Hammond on the edge of his pew at Rosemary Street First Presbyterian Church

  • Planetary Motions

    Pianist Michael McHale and the Ulster Orchestra play Holst's masterpiece to launch the Belfast Festival at Queen's

  • Clare Hammond

    Pianist and artist-in-residence at Queen's University handles the masters with an 'unusually judicious approach'

  • A Hocht

    A 'shambling behemoth of an album' from Belfast-based progressive metal masters Slomatics

  • Fermanagh Live

    Jenny Cathcart takes in a varied selection of classical performances, DJ sets, plays, exhibitions and author talks

  • Soul Ambition Sofa Sessions

    Singer-songwriter Tracy Dempsey leads an array of performers in the Ulster Hall foyer

  • Bronagh Gallagher

    The Derry chanteuse brings 'a screenwriter's panache' to a new set of soulful songs, writes Ralph McLean

  • Frank Fairfield

    Moving on Music invite the Californian folk stalwart to perform on the Belfast Barge, fiddle and all

  • Songs that Scare Children

    Duke Special curates a week of events at the MAC, including this beguiling show by Dublin's Cathy Davey and friends

  • Mary Peters – 40 Golden Years

    Patrick Kielty, Jackie Fullerton, Van Morrison and a host of Olympians share the stage at the Grand Opera House

  • Fossils

    Their sound may be derivative, but Seven Summits' 'irresistible' sophomore release is a confident album nonetheless

  • Happy Days

    Samuel Beckett would have approved of the programme of concerts at the Enniskillen festival in his honour

  • larla Ó Lionáird

    Master of the sean-nós singing style opens Féile An Droichead Irish language festival at the MAC

  • Tennant's Vital

    Comebacks, comedowns and complaints: there was something for everyone at Boucher Playing Fields

  • Clandeboye Festival

    Barry Douglas, virtuoso pianist and the 'force of nature' behind the festival, dazzles and beguiles the County Down crowd

  • Bad Manners

    Everyone's favourite ska party band, led by the inimitable Buster Bloodvessel, get the crowd bouncing in west Belfast

  • BBC Invitation Concert

    Ulster Orchestra principle conductor JoAnn Falletta's 'lithe, supple interpretations' of American composers impress

  • Gig in the Garden

    Fionola Meredith makes no apologies for enjoying a terribly middle-class day out at sunny Minnowburn

  • Nuala Kennedy

    The County Louth singer and flautist boasts a 'minimal, decorative and utterly beautiful' sound

  • Emma Johnson

    'The world's leading clarinettist' brings a touch of class to the Walled City Music Festival in Derry~Londonderry

  • Chic

    Funk legend Nile Rodgers – producer, writer, raconteur – regales the Belfast faithful with tales and tunes aplenty

  • Gama Bomb

    The Newry thrash metallers 'shriek and solo' their way through a set to celebrate ten years in the business

  • Glasgowbury 2012

    LaFaro bassist Oisin O'Doherty on headlining the G Session stage and developing an appreciation of Therapy?

  • Ministry

    The world has moved on, but iconic frontman Al Jourgensen is still angry. Give that man an electronic cigarette

  • Bruce Springsteen

    Thankfully they don't turn off his microphone in Dublin. Ralph McLean only wishes The Boss had brought his protest North

  • Arnocorps

    One thing Arnocorps, the Arnold Schwarzenegger-inspired 'Greatest Band in the World', doesn't lack is discipline 

  • MUSIC REVIEW – Singles Releases

    From Seven Summits sincere 'The Worrier' to The Answer's stealth power-ballard, listen to the best of July's singles here

  • Pieces

    Armagh foursome Gascan Ruckus shrug off their 'live act' label to record a polished piece of catchy pop rock

  • Hank Williams III

    The defiant grandson of a country legend mixes elements of country, punk and metal. Nashville is not amused

  • Boy Racer

    A Plastic Rose show a heavier side in the second single taken from forthcoming album Camera.Shutter.Life

  • Farewell to Reason

    Cedric Has a Name, aka Chris Steenson, shows flashes of brilliance in his homemade second outing