Bands put in Limelight live on UTV

NORTHERN Ireland's infinite ability to produce innovative music is flaunted this evening as our best young bands are exhibited in UTV's Live at the Limelight.

The four-part series of programmes will feature music and interviews from 16 of the best unsigned bands from the island, both north and south.

The first programme is to be aired at 10.35pm and showcases four bands.

One-man Castledawson band Joe Echo, aka Ciaran Gribbins, has been described by Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody as “One of the most extraordinary voices I’ve heard in a long time”. Praise indeed.

Jackson Cage, a folk rock group from Belfast, complete the showcase. Lead singer Declan Doherty sounds like a young Van Morrison.

The west Belfast band The Vals was signed by a German record label just after filming.

Hard-rock band Soundstone from Banbridge is perhaps the most radical act in this opening line-up

The emphasis is very much on homegrown talent right down to the presenters. All shows are hosted by Dublin DJ Mark Noble, Belfast model Katie Armour and actress Alana Kerr from Co Antrim.

Katie said: “This is a real opportunity to promote the local music scene. These are great bands and the UTV series will allow so many people to get to know and enjoy their music.”

The groups who feature can boast the accolade of defeating 200 others who submitted demos in a competition to be part of the series. They also received the invaluable opinion of an executive from London record company, Upper 11 Records.

The Limelight was chosen to host the show due to its long-standing history of supporting fledgling local bands. Many of whom have returned the favour when they have reached international fame. These include Snow Patrol, Ash and The Answer.

UTV managing director Michael Wilson said: : “Live music has been missing from UTV’s output – and we wanted to change that.

“Live at the Limelight brings the best unsigned bands from across Ireland together – and it’s a great series of programmes for anyone who loves live music.”