Top class programme of gigs at Atlantic Sessions

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Snow Patrol’s lead singer Gary Lightbody has described next month’s Atlantic Sessions as “a festival with an incredible reputation for its passionate support of local talent.”

Now in its tenth year, Atlantic Sessions takes place at various locations around Portrush and Portstewart and promises music from the best of home-grown talent and NI Music Prize nominees.

Headlining the event, which runs from November 14-17, is Ryan McMullan, fresh from a global tour with Snow Patrol. Ryan will play the Kelly’s Complex on November 16.

A special opening event on November 14 will celebrate Coleraine man Sam Henry and his remarkable collection of over 800 songs gathered from across the Causeway Coast and beyond. A screening of the new documentary ‘Sam Henry - Songs of the People’ will be followed by a question & answer session and live performances of some of the songs which he has helped to preserve.

Also on Thursday, The Muscle Shoals Sessions Album Launch Party with Amanda St John and Tony Villiers will celebrate the acclaimed Alabama venue made famous by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Rolling Stones, Elton John, Boz Scaggs, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon and Bob Dylan.

On November 15, three of NI’s greatest pop rock bands and NI Music Prize nominees Cherym, Beauty Sleep and Gemma Bradley, come together for a very colourful party while ‘When The Mountains Meet The Sea’ is a super group exclusive featuring Matt McGinn, Wilfie Gilbert, John McCullough, Nicky Scott, Matt Weir and Matt Curran, curated especially for Atlantic Sessions. For punk music fans, there’s a showcase performance with Problem Patterns and New Pagans, and a DJ set from the Godfather of Punk himself, Terri Hooley.

November 16 sees the stunning Darkling Air joined by their long time collaborators Arco String Quartet. BBC presenter Ralph McLean will host a lunchtime ‘In the Round’ with the extraordinary Gareth Dunlop on November 17. The Portrush shoreline will provide the backdrop for a performance by M Cambridge. Featuring songs from the acclaimed ‘Sea Song’ album, audiences can look forward to hearing sea songs based on old shanties, Ulster weaver-poet poems and original compositions. Full details at atlanticsessions.com