Northern Ireland has a pretty special connotation with big music names and not many people realise it. From Van Morrison to Snow Patrol, Vivian Campbell to Two Door Cinema Club and even Ash to Foy Vance. All of the above are more than worthy of this list, as well as many many more…having said all that I feel the best lie hidden, unfortunately so hidden that most have disbanded. Not to worry, you can find snippets of all online. Go treat yourself.
SixStarHotel – Six Star’s two albums are easily two of my favourite of all time. From pumping rock songs to heart wrenching tracks such as Letters Bring Home, the Belfast boys had it all. Unfortunately they have been split up for a quite a while now. Have little fear, singer, David C. Clements is paving himself a successful solo career and has just released a critically acclaimed new album.
Kowalski – Kowalski have been circulating the County Down circuit for as long as I can remember and are one of the most well respected bands in the country. For whatever reason though they still haven’t got the push they have worked so hard to secure. Now based in London but currently on a hiatus as their bassist recovers from illness you can find two of their members writing and playing songs with Swimming Tapes.
The Good Fight – I loved The Good Fight! They used to play around Bangor quite a bit and their song Landslide is still one of the best to leave the Islands Shores. Unfortunately they long disbanded but one of the members, Ben, can still be heard playing lovely jubbly tunes as Sullivan & Gold.
Panama Kings – I first heard these guys play in Urban Outfitters when I was about 14 and it was such a good gig. They’re unique growly sound complemented with catchy choruses was always a crowd favourite. Niall now plays in A Bad Cavalier but their track Skeleton Key still gets regular plays from my phone.
More than Conquerors – I am so gutted these guys are no more. In October 2015 they played their last ever show to a sell out Mandela Hall. The four piece have released an abundance of brilliant songs and I genuinely broke their last record for playing it so much. Some of the catchiest rock around. Maybe the nostalgia helped as well. I dunno. Part of me thinks that these guys give it up just a little too soon, even after playing around the US. RIP MTC.
pictured: More than Conquerors