David Holmes

Internationally renowned Belfast dance act

David Holmes is a legend of the Belfast club scene, credited with kick starting the dance explosion in Sugarsweet, the club he co-owned with Ian McCready. Previously, Holmer, as he is known in his native city, had been part of the thriving mod scene in Northern Ireland, playing sets at the Abercorn Lounge and Delta Clubs.

With the advent of the dance revolution, Holmes and McCready opened a seminal and socially revolutionary club night based at the Art College, on York Street, and Northern Ireland's young audience became, for the first time, attuned to the sights and sounds of what was known as rave music.

After Sugarsweet folded, Holmes began to record as one half of the Disco Evangelists, signed to Andy Weatherall’s Sabres of Paradise label. Weatherall was one of the regular guests at Sugarsweet, an example of Holmes and McCready's tenacious desire to bring talent to Belfast. The troubled city had for so long been a pariah of the music circuit.

Holmes then moved on to Go Discs, where he released his first three albums, This Films Crap, Lets Slash the Seats, Lets Get Killed, and Bow Down to the Exit Sign. The albums gave Holmes the opportunity to showcase the various different sounds represented in his indefatigable record collection.

Utilising various local talents, and with the roots of his music palpably in Belfast, Holmes became a respected musical figure internationally. Unfortunately, Holmes's success coincided with the death of Go Discs as a record company. With backing from the Ministry of Sound label, he began his own company 13 Amp, who can now claim their own impressive roster of artists.

Holmes also carved a name for himself as a soundtrack producer for various films from the Stephen Soderburgh and George Clooney Hollywood stable. Out of Sight, Analyse That and Oceans Eleven were received rapturously as Holmes's natural cinematic inclinations created classy, spiky, and surprising accompaniments to the 'indie film' juggernaut.

Still resident in Belfast, Holmes continues to involve himself in the local club scene. He recently appeared with Ski Bunny at the Empire Music Hall, and is currently concentrating on work with his new band, The Free Association. Holmes is Belfast's legitimately successful musical ambassador, still exploring and stretching the possibilities of making music.

Topics