Oxegen 09: Northern Lights
Five great acts from Norn Iron at Oxegen 09
If you thought Holmes (pictured right) was all about deejaying and Hollywood soundtracks, then check out last year's cracking album The Holy Pictures as a matter of urgency. It's both an evocative portrait of the city of Belfast and a moving tribute to his late parents.
That Petrol Emotion
From the ashes of the Undertones came That Petrol Emotion, a much more overtly political band than the 'Tones. In the 80s, the BBC banned their music after a sleeve denounced the use of plastic bullets by the RUC. Politics aside, they're one of the greatest guitar pop bands Ireland has ever seen and a blistering live act.
This year, Therapy? released their 12th album Crooked Timber, which puts their studio output exactly equal with U2! They titled the album after a quote from Immaneul Kant, "From the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made." Singer Andy Cairns explains: "The recording is about celebrating people's quirks, the things which make us unique. These days everyone tries to fit in, instead of just being themselves."
Like Gary Lightbody, Peter Wilson aka Duke Special isn't shy about singing in his own accent. Wilson was born in Lisburn and grew up in Coleraine, Downpatrick and Holywood, Co Down. Since 2002, he has recorded under the Duke Special moniker. In 2008, he won the Meteor Award for Best Irish male.
Fresh from supporting AC/DC on their world tour, these Northern noiseniks are just the ticket if you like your rock loud and dangerous. Even though they're not exactly huge in their native land, all that hard work has paid off handsomely and the quartet have notched up an impressive 100,000 sales worldwide, including 10,000 in a single day in Japan.