Oh Yeah, Ash Are Legends

Downpatrick trio to be honoured with top award to mark 20 years since the release of seminal debut album '1977'

Two decades on from the release of breakthrough album 1977, Ash are to be recognised for their contribution to music in Northern Ireland with a special Legend award.

The Downpatrick trio, who returned last year with their first traditional album in almost 10 years, will perform 1977 in full to celebrate its anniversary as part of the NI Music Prize ceremony at Mandela Hall, Belfast on November 11.

The band will be the latest recipients of the Oh Yeah Legend Award, with The Divine Comedy, Therapy? and Gary Moore all having been honoured in recent years. Stiff Little Fingers, The Undertones, Henry McCullough and Terri Hooley have also each received the accolade since its creation in 2008.

The Ash story is a remarkable one. Formed at Downpatrick High School in 1992, they have secured two Number One albums in the UK plus 18 Top 40 singles. Front man Tim Wheeler won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Pop Song in 2001 for 'Shining Light'. Their music has featured on numerous film soundtracks and video games and they have sold over eight million records worldwide.

Charlotte Dryden, CEO the Oh Yeah Music Centre said: 'Ash have played a major part in the story of Northern Irish music and in the story of Oh Yeah too. Our centre is named after the very song which features on their debut album, 1977. How brilliant to finally honor and celebrate the band with an Oh Yeah Legend Award. We can’t wait to hear this classic album performed live and in full on the twentieth anniversary of its release. It is going to be a momentous evening.'

Talking about the 1977 tour, Ash said: 'We’re as excited as we are in disbelief to announce the 20th anniversary tour of 1977. Some of these songs have grown with us throughout those years; others have the ability to transport us mentally and emotionally back to that crazy formative year of 1995 to 1996. These gigs are going to be a trip, trip, trip!'

The band are currently working in New York at their Atomic Heart Studios, writing new songs for a follow up to 2015's Kablammo!.

Part of the wider Sound of Belfast programme which runs from November 4 - 12, the NI Music Prize recognises the best albums released by Northern Ireland artists in the past year. The shortlist is decided by an academy of local media and industry professionals, and the night includes performances by several nominated acts. The most recent winner was SOAK in 2015.

Tickets for the night, priced £15, are now available to book online. For more information contact info@ohyeahbelfast.com.