Testimonials

It is staggering how simple music is when you boil it down: people, together.

Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol

"When I was growing up in Bangor I didn't even know there was such a thing as live music in Northern Ireland. No bands came here and I knew next to nothing about the local scene. When the bands I started at school were looking for some kind of rehearsal space, we relied on parents that were either deaf, out shopping or had just finished sound-proofing their garage. Either that or the church hall, and often that was being used for Seniors Karate.

"So, no space to rehearse, no bands to see live to aspire to and no information or encouragement at all for our progression as musicians. Times have changed of course and the internet brings music into all our lives whenever we want. The thing the net lacks is focus. It lacks a personal touch that is essential for the formative years of any band's career. What the Patrol would have given for the advice of professionals; the space to rehearse or cut demos; a place to hang out and listen to music and meet people that might one day change your life.

"What is needed is a nexus to focus musical energy into and to unite the Belfast music scene in a way that has been elusive until now. It is staggering how simple music is when you boil it down: people, together."

With the right conditions, Belfast could become known as a famous music city.

Tim Wheeler from Ash

"I think this is a fantastic, long-overdue idea for Belfast. The music scene in Belfast needs a hub like this. As a musician from Northern Ireland I remember how difficult it was starting out. Finding places to play and meet like-minded musicians was incredibly hard. We had no idea how to get the attention of record labels, our options seemed very limited in Northern Ireland at the time. Luckily for us we got a breakthrough, a contact in London and got a record deal over there.

"Cities like Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Glasgow have all had celebrated music scenes, proving that London is not the only place you can go to make music in our corner of Europe. With the right conditions, Belfast could become known as a famous music city. It has a wealth of musical talent, but talent needs the right conditions to grow and develop. The music centre would be a great place for this to start. I've known Stuart Bailie for over ten years, he has a massive inside knowledge of the music industry, all the right contacts and is the perfect person to carry this idea out."

Belfast would hugely benefit from a dedicated urban space.

Radio One DJ Colin Murray

"Bands these days tend to record albums in more than one place and for a lot of bands that includes home comforts. A place like this would help Northern Ireland's successful exports to return home. Belfast would hugely benefit from a dedicated urban space that acted as a Nerve Centre for the music scene, 24/7."

Matthew McAuley, Oh Yeah volunteer

"I wasn't sure if there was a future for me as a young person in Belfast, but Oh Yeah has been a proven lifeline for realising there is a future for me in this country; as a musician, a promoter, or simply a music lover. It's hard to start a conversation with a stranger. Walking into the Outlet building, I'm not surrounded by strangers. I'm surrounded by potential friends with a common interest, regardless of background."

 

Andy Cowan, new music promoter, Oh Yeah volunteer

"What do you get if have an old warehouse, dedication and a love for music? You get the Oh Yeah Music Centre. Having seen the place flourish from nothing more than a rumour to what we have today I am proud to play a small part as a volunteer for Belfast's only dedicated music hub. Every time you go into the place there is a real sense of something really special is being created and a buzz of anticipation and eagerness to make it happen. It's nice to be part of the family."

Colin McMurray, musician

"I was at the opening night and the 'OK Computer' night, both were top nights, great successes. The one thing that stuck with me after leaving was a nice sense of companionship. Like everyone there was totally supportive of each other and it was the first time I felt anything like that in the 'Belfast Music Scene'. For that reason alone I would urge people to get down there and soak it up!"

Amy McGarrigle, singer-songwriter

"I've played 'Oh Yeah Computer' night and the 'Nebraska' night. Both felt like real 'community' nights as such. More people know me and the band I play in through those nights than through the tons of gigs we've played. It connects you with people who don't usually see you at gigs. There's a danger of falling into a clique within the Belfast music scene - certain bands grace the same bills often, supporting each other. But this can be self-defeating in a way, as it doesn't bring you to a new audience.

"The Oh Yeah gig nights prove to bring bands beyond their usual audience, and it is definitely a showcase. Hopefully people see the potential, and in turn check out the original material from band X."

AU Magazine, April 2009

"Since opening its doors and its hearts just a short time ago, the Oh Yeah music centre has impacted the city of Belfast and beyond in a more positive way than anyone could have envisioned. It not only continues to nurture Northern Ireland’s ever blossoming music industry by offering opportunities sorely lacking elsewhere, but also repeatedly homes the kind of gigs and installations you will tell your grandchildren about."

 

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