Music Scene

Louise McQuade

Previewing the sounds of 2017


The Japanese House (left) and Declan McKenna.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some of the artists that have made the prestigious BBC’s Sound of 2017.

This week features The Japanese House and Declan McKenna.


The list is compiled using tips from a panel of 170 DJs, critics and writers.

It aims to highlight 15 of the most promising rising musical acts for the coming year with previous winners who include Adele, 50 Cent, Ellie Goulding and Sam Smith.


The Japanese House is the stage name of 21-year-old Amber Bain. Her dreamy brand of electronica was first played on BBC Introducing, and has gathered support from the likes of Radio 1’s Phil Taggart and Huw Stephens.

To date, she has released two critically acclaimed EPs, ‘Pools To Bathe In’ and ‘Clean’, while latest single ‘Face Like Thunder’ premiered on Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show back in September.

It’s the first track from her third EP Swim Against the Tide, which was released earlier this month on Dirty Hit.

Having spent most of the year touring with The 1975, Amber is currently on a headline tour of her own, and will head to the US at the end of November. There have been no local dates announced yet but keep an eye on the New Music NI facebook for updates.


Tracks are available to stream on streaming sites Spotify and Soundcloud, go check her out for yourself.


At 17 years old, the British singer song-writer has already gathered quite a buzz.

After winning Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition in 2015, Declan shot into the music industry’s spotlight, shortly afterwards self-releasing his debut single, Brazil.

This citical debut, condems FIFA’s local community involvement at the 2014 World Cup, but it also secured him national airplay on Radio 1 and support from new music guru Huw Stephens.

2016 saw him perform at Radio 1’s Big Weekend and Later… with Jools Holland.

All the attention is certainly justified: Declan’s brand of socially-conscious indie pop is fresh and intelligent, and it has established him as a youthful voice with something to say.

He plays The Academy in Dublin on January 16, but as yet there are no NI dates scheduled. Declan is also available on Spotify and Souncloud, check out latest track ‘Isombard’


 Green Day will play an outdoor concert at Ormeau Park in Belfast next year. Photo: s_bukley/

Green Day will play an outdoor concert at Ormeau Park in Belfast next year. Photo: s_bukley/

American punk band Green Day will play a huge open air concert at Ormeau Park on the June 28, 2017 .

The band promoters said, “Green Day are without doubt one of the world’s biggest bands, and we are thrilled to be welcoming them back to Belfast – their first visit here since a blistering sell-out show at the Odyssey Arena back in 2009.

“This open air concert, in the picturesque surroundings of Ormeau Park, will boast fantastic staging and production, along with top class food and drink offerings, a full carnival, and much more.”

• Tickets priced £49 plus fees go on sale this Friday at 9am, unfortunately this is a 16+ show.

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