Strummerville in Belfast

The Joe Strummer Foundation for New Music supports Oh Yeah centre in creating new songwriting and rehearsal space

Finding rehearsal space isn't always easy. Parents bang on walls, neighbourhoods complain about the sound of drums but Belfast's Oh Yeah centre in conjunction with Strummerville, the Joe Strummer Foundation For New Music, have been trying to help young bands overcome this problem.

Recently Strummerville became involved with Oh Yeah in offering advice and helping to establish two rooms for songwriting and rehearsing.

The two organisations will come together on May 2 in Belfast. Oh Yeah will open its doors at noon on May 2 to allow interested parties to view the new spaces. There will also be a series of workshops entitled 'Best Practice: Getting The Most From Your Rehearsals'.

This will be followed by an evening event, The Strummerville Sessions' featuring live music from The Wild Wolves and Dan Smith from London, plus Panama Kings, Axis Of and a Noel Watson DJ set.

Strummerville was set up to celebrate the legacy of the legendary Clash singer. The organisation has been involved in a series of grassroots musical projects in London, Somerset and beyond. The Oh Yeah music centre was conceived at the end of 2005 and is now developing a base in an old whiskey warehouse in the city's Cathedral Quarter.

Shortly before his passing in 2002, Joe Strummer wrote an article about Northern Ireland for a punk book, 'It Makes You Want To Spit'. In this, he stated his great admiration for the place and the strong bonds he had made there:

'When punk rock ruled over Ulster, nobody ever had more excitement and fun. Between the bombings and shootings, the religious hatred and the settling of old scores, punk gave everybody a chance to live for one glorious burning moment. Let it provide inspiration'.

Trish Whelan Charity Director for Strummerville adds: 'We're proud to support and be part of this exciting project in Belfast which truly is an inspiring and positive force in uniting people through music.'

Stuart Bailie from Oh Yeah states: 'My generation in Northern Ireland was massively informed by The Clash. They taught us to look beyond sectarianism and dead traditions and to imagine a more adventurous future. The Strummer legacy is still alive in Belfast and it's a thrill to have a real connection to Joe in our building.'

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