Northern Ireland news

Horslips frontman Barry Devlin to receive Legend Award

Horslips frontman and bassist Barry Devlin. Picture by Steve Humphreys

HORSLIPS frontman and bassist Barry Devlin is to be honoured for his contribution to Irish music.

The Co Tyrone-born musician will be presented with the Oh Yeah Music Centre's 'Legend Award' at the The Northern Ireland Music Prize awards later this year.

Following the presentation at the Ulster Hall on November 16, Barry will be joined on stage by fellow musicians and Horslips friends Jim Lockhart, Ray Fean and Fiach Moriarty to play a short selection of the celtic rock group's tunes.

Previous recipients of the Legend Award include Ash, Snow Patrol and Gary Moore, posthumously.

The Horslips frontman, who is also an accomplished writer and director, having written for TV shows such as Ballykissangel, as well as directing several music videos for U2 in the 1980s, said he was "undeserving but thrilled" to receive the award.

He said the whole band would be "delighted" with the recognition.

"Horslips always had a strong emotional connection to Belfast – we did the Whitla Hall and the Ulster Hall by turns – and in the early days the McMordie – but our final gig first time round, back in 1980, was in the Ulster Hall, an emotional night when Charles O'Connor famously threw his fiddle into the audience," he said.

"So it's a nice piece of circularity to be able to scramble up on that hallowed stage one last time and run through a few old favourites."

Paul Evans of the Oh Yeah Music Centre said: “In the 60s and 70s, as young musicians tapped into Ireland's legacy of traditional tunes and song, none did it with more swagger and sheer joy than Horslips and the man from Ardboe, Barry Devlin.

"The velvet loons belied the creativity and respect they brought to that heritage, opening musical avenues to those not familiar with the tradition, myself included."

Horslips formed in 1970 and after a dozen albums, including the widely acclaimed album The Táin, called it a day in 1980.

After what was termed "the longest fag break in history", the band reformed for shows that included Belfast Odyssey arena and Dunluce Castle.

A 35 CD box set called ‘More Than You Can Chew' is due out in December, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of their first album Happy To Meet – Sorry To Part.

Northern Ireland news