First Culture concert tonight

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Three of Derry’s most successful musicians will take to the Millennium Forum stage with their full bands tonight for the first live music event of the City of Culture year, ‘Homegrown 2013’.

With Paul Casey, Bronagh Gallagher and Paddy Nash and the Happy Enchiladas performing together under one roof, tonight’s Forum gig will certainly be one to remember.

Tickets are still available for the gig too, from the Millennium Forum Box Office or online.

Bronagh Gallagher is known to most for being one of the city’s finest acting exports, having starred in Tarantino’s cult classic Pulp Fiction, The Commitments and even appearing in the opening scene of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

Her debut album Precious Soul, released in 2004 on her own Salty Dog Records label, earned her a Meteor-nomination.

In May 2012, Bronagh released her self-titled second album to great acclaim.

Local singer-songwriter Paul Casey. (2907JC12)

Local singer-songwriter Paul Casey. (2907JC12)

“I can’t wait,” Bronagh said of tonight’s concert. “This is the first big gig of the year for local artists in the city, and obviously myself, Paul and Paddy are all pals and we all wanted to do something to celebrate the City of Culture and all the local musicians who are out there doing it and working hard.”

Bronagh is hopeful that Derry’s year as the first ever UK City of Culture will reap many benefits. “Derry is really ripe for all levels of creativity and we need to realise that... I hope the Culture year gives people a greater sense of confidence and a boost to know what can be achieved.

“I also hope it helps people within the community in Derry to see the potential there is for the arts, and not just for the arts, but for all means of expression really.”

Originally from Carnhill, Paul Casey has a string of critically acclaimed albums under his belt and has worked alongside guitar maestro Chris Rea for years.

He has also shared the bill with world-class artists such as Van Morrison and Damien Rice.

Paul spent 2012 promoting his ‘Big World’ album and now he’s just looking forward to seeing what the Culture year brings. “I think there’s so many great local acts now in the city.

“It’d be great for people to come to Derry to see what we have to offer here.”

Speaking of tonight’s gig, he says: “For me I always try to mix up the gig and keep it fresh. I don’t like to rehearse too much, I really just like to get up and play and see what happens.

“The band is made up of some serious musicians from Ireland so it’s great just to be in there with them and seeing what come out.”

Paddy Nash and his Happy Enchiladas have been delighting local audiences for the past few years with their unique blend of folk-pop-punk-country-blues that has left music fans revelling in the rich lyrics and big melodies.

Paddy has also collaborated with one of his musical heroes, Billy Bragg, in recent times.

The local songwriter says next week’s Homegrown 2013 concert will see the band perform material from their first two albums as well as some new material.

Like his fellow musicians, he is eager to see what 2013 brings.

“I have such high hopes for 2013 and personally I’d like to see local artists being more involved and given the same respect that the so called big names will be,” he says. “I’d also like to see local sound engineers and stage crew being used to their capacity.”

These three fine musicians and their full bands will perform at the Millennium Forum tonight, January 11, and some tickets are still available from the Millennium Forum Box Office on: 71 264455 or online at: www.millenniumforum.co.uk.

The show starts at 8pm.