• The X Factor Live

    The good, the bad and Rylan perform at the Odyssey, but James Arthur shows why he was 2012's deserved winner

  • Get the Blessing

    Bristol's finest jazz rock fusion group leave fans of Portishead and deadpan banter 'flooded with endorphins' in the Limelight

  • Otis Gibbs

    The bearded Nashvillian brings sad songs, honeyed vocals and a dash of authenticity to the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival

  • Karima Francis

    Is it difficult to be the next big thing that never was? Blackpool's finest silences the doubters at the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival

  • Icebreaker

    Progressive metallers Kasper Rosa have embraced vocals in this double A-side release in their quest to ascend to the big leagues

  • Brodsky Quartet

    Newry provides the perfect warm up ahead of a run of performances in Derry~Londonderry

  • The New Life

    Girls Names leave their posturing days behind them to get serious on their 'textural, atmospheric' second album

  • Petunia and the Vipers

    Moving on Music ship the eclectic outfit over the pond to perform an invigorating set of standards at The MAC

  • Not Nearly Dark

    Fans of Tom Waits and Bon Ivor will find much to love in Ciaran Lavery's 'mature and affecting' debut album

  • Old Crow Medicine Show

    A Mandela Hall gig from the American folk stalwarts is 'as fiery as a belly full of moonshine'

  • Doris Day in Song and on Screen

    Northern Irish singer Brigid O'Neill pays tribute to the Hollywood actress, singer and animal rights activist

  • Sons & Daughters

    A bright, brand new day for Derry~Londonderry as the UK City of Culture 2013 celebrations begin with a plethora of stars performing at The Venue

  • Grosvenor Plays Britten

    At a time of uncertainty for the Ulster Orchestra, this 'outstanding classical programme' kickstarts 2013

  • Tundra

    Inspired by American new wave, Before Machines are outsiders looking in. Will their debut album win them more fans at home?

  • Geno Washington

    Gonzo hits, a manic roar and stories of Van Morrison in the 60s – the legendary blues singer sets the Black Box alight

  • Your Pet is Dead

    Eatenbybears leave their math-rock days behind them in favour of an indie aesthetic, but does their new sound add up?

  • Farriers

    Having recently released their debut album, everyone's favourite folk act round off the year in stompin' style on the Belfast Barge

  • Return of the Pin

    Ambiguity is everything for anonymous duo Pinner as they release their debut album

  • Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra

    The Class of 2012/13 show remarkable maturity, eclecticism and togetherness in this, their first full concert as a unit

  • RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet

    Terry Blain is impressed by a rarely performed Beethoven quintet and an appearance by viola maestro Nobuku Imai

  • Richard Hawley

    Sheffield's finest is not amused with Belfast's indifference – and produces a late contender for gig of the year in response

  • Jesus Rodriguez

    After being left out in the cold by an indifferent Western music industry, the anti-establishment hero returns thanks to his fans

  • Bourne Davis Kane

    Bourne Davis Kane

    The free jazz trio, featuring two of Northern Ireland's finest performers, 'play until they run out of ideas' at The MAC

  • The North Sea Scrolls

    Luke Haines and Cathal Coughlan devise a new occult history of Britain in this 'startling and truly unique' album

  • Michael McHale

    The Irish Piano

    'A triumph of outstandingly alert and sensitive artistry' from Belfast pianist Michael McHale features original takes on old classics

  • Boss Level

    Rap metallers Team Fresh are very angry about things. Steven Rainey ignores the outdated polemics and appreciates a 'confident, inspired' sound

  • Bystanders

    After a swift rise and fall in the 1980s, Belfast's original indie act St. Vitus Dance return with a third album worth listening to

  • Ben Howard

    The poster boy for the UK alt-folk movement is upgraded to the Waterfront Hall. Ria Maguire squints through the smartphones

  • The Deer's Cry

    Malojian justify the hype with an accomplished debut album that draws from their back catalogue and features classic alt-folk influences

  • Stephen Hough

    The 'seemingly inexhaustible' pianist has Philip Hammond on the edge of his pew at Rosemary Street First Presbyterian Church

  • Planetary Motions

    Pianist Michael McHale and the Ulster Orchestra play Holst's masterpiece to launch the Belfast Festival at Queen's

  • Clare Hammond

    Pianist and artist-in-residence at Queen's University handles the masters with an 'unusually judicious approach'

  • A Hocht

    A 'shambling behemoth of an album' from Belfast-based progressive metal masters Slomatics

  • Fermanagh Live

    Jenny Cathcart takes in a varied selection of classical performances, DJ sets, plays, exhibitions and author talks

  • Soul Ambition Sofa Sessions

    Singer-songwriter Tracy Dempsey leads an array of performers in the Ulster Hall foyer

  • Bronagh Gallagher

    The Derry chanteuse brings 'a screenwriter's panache' to a new set of soulful songs, writes Ralph McLean

  • Frank Fairfield

    Moving on Music invite the Californian folk stalwart to perform on the Belfast Barge, fiddle and all

  • Songs that Scare Children

    Duke Special curates a week of events at the MAC, including this beguiling show by Dublin's Cathy Davey and friends

  • Mary Peters – 40 Golden Years

    Patrick Kielty, Jackie Fullerton, Van Morrison and a host of Olympians share the stage at the Grand Opera House

  • Fossils

    Their sound may be derivative, but Seven Summits' 'irresistible' sophomore release is a confident album nonetheless

  • Happy Days

    Samuel Beckett would have approved of the programme of concerts at the Enniskillen festival in his honour

  • larla Ó Lionáird

    Master of the sean-nós singing style opens Féile An Droichead Irish language festival at the MAC

  • Tennant's Vital

    Comebacks, comedowns and complaints: there was something for everyone at Boucher Playing Fields

  • Clandeboye Festival

    Barry Douglas, virtuoso pianist and the 'force of nature' behind the festival, dazzles and beguiles the County Down crowd

  • Bad Manners

    Everyone's favourite ska party band, led by the inimitable Buster Bloodvessel, get the crowd bouncing in west Belfast

  • BBC Invitation Concert

    Ulster Orchestra principle conductor JoAnn Falletta's 'lithe, supple interpretations' of American composers impress

  • Gig in the Garden

    Fionola Meredith makes no apologies for enjoying a terribly middle-class day out at sunny Minnowburn

  • Nuala Kennedy

    The County Louth singer and flautist boasts a 'minimal, decorative and utterly beautiful' sound

  • Emma Johnson

    'The world's leading clarinettist' brings a touch of class to the Walled City Music Festival in Derry~Londonderry

  • Chic

    Funk legend Nile Rodgers – producer, writer, raconteur – regales the Belfast faithful with tales and tunes aplenty

  • Gama Bomb

    The Newry thrash metallers 'shriek and solo' their way through a set to celebrate ten years in the business

  • Glasgowbury 2012

    LaFaro bassist Oisin O'Doherty on headlining the G Session stage and developing an appreciation of Therapy?

  • Ministry

    The world has moved on, but iconic frontman Al Jourgensen is still angry. Give that man an electronic cigarette

  • Bruce Springsteen

    Thankfully they don't turn off his microphone in Dublin. Ralph McLean only wishes The Boss had brought his protest North

  • Arnocorps

    One thing Arnocorps, the Arnold Schwarzenegger-inspired 'Greatest Band in the World', doesn't lack is discipline 

  • MUSIC REVIEW – Singles Releases

    From Seven Summits sincere 'The Worrier' to The Answer's stealth power-ballard, listen to the best of July's singles here

  • Pieces

    Armagh foursome Gascan Ruckus shrug off their 'live act' label to record a polished piece of catchy pop rock

  • Hank Williams III

    The defiant grandson of a country legend mixes elements of country, punk and metal. Nashville is not amused

  • Boy Racer

    A Plastic Rose show a heavier side in the second single taken from forthcoming album Camera.Shutter.Life

  • Farewell to Reason

    Cedric Has a Name, aka Chris Steenson, shows flashes of brilliance in his homemade second outing