NI Chart

New website brings the best in local music talent

Most people spend the festive period eating and drinking too much, sleeping off hangovers in front of TV re-runs. But not Tristan Crowe and Chrissie McGlinchey, the driving forces behind a new website dedicated to local music,

'It all started over Christmas. We were looking for something to do and we thought we should create a website with all the best local music available for free download,' Crowe explains.

'We thought most of the bands would not be into giving their music away but thankfully everyone's really behind it.'

NIChart provides free downloads which are counted and placed into a weekly chart. Currently there are over 80 free downloads available from the likes of Cat Malojian, Driving By Night, Robyn G Shiels and The Bonnevilles.

Crowe and McGlinchey first got the idea for the site during NIMIC's 'NI Music - The Way Forward' conference back in October.

'We were talking about how difficult it is for local bands to get into the charts - particularly compared with down south. There bands like Fight Like Apes regularly make in into the top ten. But here even Duke Special can't get into the charts,' McGlinchey says.

NIChart aims to change all that. Each week new downloads are added and a top ten chart of the most popular downloads compiled - and hopefully broadcast on local radio.

As well as providing free downloads the site is a treasure trove for local music lovers, bringing the latest news, music videos, reviews, and merchandise from bands.

Panama Kings are currently number one in the NIChart but with so many new tracks added each week are unlikely to stay there too long.

Long term Crowe and McGlinchey hope that the site will encourage record stores in Northern Ireland to stock more local music, allowing them to compile a comprehensive country-wide chart of local artists’ record sales.

‘Hopefully we’ll get to the stage where they’ll be more local music in the shops so we can get a chart for that,’ says Crowe.

An exhaustive NI chart won’t mean the end of the free downloads chart, however. ‘We’ll always want to keep that. I can envisage running the two charts side by side,’ he continues.

In an age when music charts seem increasingly moribund NIChart is giving local music a new lease of life.

Check out for music news, reviews, merchandise and those free downloads.