Electric atmosphere at ‘A year in a night’

Soak performs at the concert.
Soak performs at the concert.

It’s an impossible task to highlight every BBC covered City of Culture event but BBC Radio Ulster did a great job last Thursday night.

‘A Year in a Night’ was a glitzy concert celebrating emerging talent that has resulted from the City of Culture.

The jam packed ‘A Year in a Night’ took place in the historic backdrop of St. Columb’s Hall.

Broadcasting live from BBC Radio Ulster and Radio Foyle, presenters Marie Louise Muir and Mark Patterson led the audience through the best music memories of the extraordinary year that has been 2013.

There were live performances from Little Bear, Soak, The Clameens, Ruth McGinley, as well as The Music Promise Youth Choir and Codetta.

The resident house band under Frank Gallagher and City of Culture’s Musician in Residence Neil Cowley were staples of the night.

Neil Cowley began by playing a piano piece perhaps aptly named ‘Hug the Greyhound.’ He said of Derry: “This place has gotten completely under my skin, it’s raised my awareness of so many things. There are generations upon generations of new music coming through, it seems really prevalent in this city, it’s something that just keeps getting handed down, a love, a passion for music and a willingness to display that to the world and it’s been absolutely inspiring for me.’

There was a real sense pride in the air as many of Derry’s rising stars took to the stage. Little Bear are band who have been described as being on an ‘uphill spiral’ since forming barely a year ago.

Fresh from ‘Other Voices’ in Dingle, Little Bear raised the roof with ‘Few and Far Between.’ Soak did a special first-time collaboration with Neil Cowley with her song ‘Snow.’ And ‘The Clameens’ played ‘Follow’ and were described as ’four young, Derry heroes’ by Stephen Mc Cauley of Radio Foyle and continue to grow.

The atmosphere was electric for the merging of the Walled City Tattoo and the Fleadh, a piece of music incorporating drums and bagpipes but also a bodran, flute and guitar.

Literature and the spoken word has been a prominent in this culture year. In August of 2013, Derry lost a ‘cultural giant.’ Seamus Heaney’s brother Dan was in attendance.

In a touching moment, Dan said the family were overwhelmed by the support and outpouring of love for Seamus at his passing. “We’ve lost the man but we’ll have the poet forever.”

Local artist Conor O’ Kane aka ‘Technopeasant’ performed his own take on City of Culture in the form of poem ‘LegaCity One’

Leader of Codetta and the Music Promise Youth Choir, Donal Doherty said: “Tonight beautifully bookends the year.”

There was a real goosebumps moment when Codetta featuring Best Boy Grip and led by Donal Doherty, sung Gary Lightbody’s song ‘Just Say Yes’ which accompanied the Derry bid for City of Culture. It has become a real anthem this year.