Oh yeah - Ash pick up Northern Ireland music award


Northern Ireland rockers Ash have said they were honoured to receive this year's Oh Yeah Legend Award.

The Co Down band picked up the accolade, which recognises the "exceptional contribution" of a musician or a music industry figure from Northern Ireland, at a special event in Belfast.

After being presented with the prize, Ash performed their debut album 1977, which was released 20 years ago, at the Mandela Hall in Belfast.

Frontman Tim Wheeler said: "Northern Ireland always has punched above its weight."

He recalled memories of progressing from gigging in Downpatrick, to Belfast bars, to supporting U2 and lauding the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement on stage with Nobel Laureates John Hume and David Trimble.

He joked: "Despite being legends we won't be resting on our laurels ... we will be back in 20 years time as demagogues."

Ash formed at Downpatrick High School in 1992 and secured two Number One albums in the UK during their career, as well as 18 Top 40 singles, including Oh Yeah in 1996.

Wheeler won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Pop Song in 2001 for Shining Light. They have sold over eight million records worldwide.

Previous winners of the Oh Yeah Legend Award include The Divine Comedy, Stiff Little Fingers, The Undertones and Terri Hooley.

The Legend Award announcement comes as Ash embark on a tour to mark the 20th anniversary release of 1977.