NIMIC CD launch

Maëlle Guéroult witnesses the launch of the leading lights of NI pop

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Oppenheimer, Clone Quartet, Lafaro, Robyn G Shiels, Cat Malojian, Claire Sproule, Skibunny DJs.

You may not have heard any of these names, but you soon will. They're already recognised in NI, and the rest of Europe will follow.

At the launch of the Northern Ireland Music Industry Commission CD, the acts share the Custom House Square Marquee’s stage, presenting their wares to the audience.

Convinced by the talent of these musicians, NIMIC decided to promote them by creating a promotional compilation entitled ‘New Music from Northern Ireland’. 

The double-disc features 28 new recordings and a history of contemporary music in NI.

Snow Patrol, Ash, Divine Comedy and Duke Special have also contributed to the compilation.

After a short introduction, the launch begins gently, with Claire Sproule.

Accompanied only by her acoustic guitar, the young Derry-born singer offers a short set of songs from her second album.

Her jazzy voice and romantic ballads are the perfect for the start to the evening. No doubt Sproule has excellent musical ability but her songs seem to lack originality.

She sounds like Norah Jones, though she may well take that as a compliment.

Stevie Scullion and Jonathan Toman, from Lurgan, are Cat Malojian.

They continue the night with folksy, country Americana songs. Acoustic guitars, sometimes replaced by a banjo, were enough for a show with enormous instrumental value.

Robyn G Shiels and his band offer another style, another atmosphere. Quickly, you are seduced by his harsh voice, dark and rough.

His singing and songs evoke many personal memories. You don’t know which ones but it doesn’t matter. The feeling is enjoyable.

Clone Quartet up the ante considerably. In spite of their youth, the four boys have already identified their own kind of music, a mixture between electro-indie and pop rock.

Their uptempo tunes and boundless energy is infectious. They have great potential.

LaFaro. Some people will say they are energetic, lively, powerful; others might label them as noisy. This punk rock band provoke reactions and they know they are doing it. They don’t cheat the listener.

The inimitable duo Oppenheimer arrive like an atomic bomb. Comprising Shaun Robinson (Vocals, drums, keyboard, guitars) and Rocky O'Reilly (Guitar, keyboard, percussion), they offer original compositions thanks to an inventive mixture of an unreal and fantastic voice and electro-indie music.

The audience is completely enthralled.

Skibunny DJs conclude the proceedings. In the past, the remix duo have woked with Oppenheimer, Lafaro and Clone Quartet, to inspiring effect.