Vance Gets New Irish Music Award

Singer-songwriter Foy Vance has been named the inaugural winner of the Northern Ireland Music Prize.

Photo: Chris McKay /
The Tabernacle, Atlanta, Ga.

Currently on tour in the U.S., the Bangor musician wasn’t able to make it to Belfast’s Mandela Hall Nov. 13, so his producer and band collected it on his behalf.

“We are all very proud to have been nominated, let alone to have received the award for best album,” Vance explained. “I’m gutted I couldn’t be there on the night but the award has been collected by the people who made it possible – so justice has been served.”

The presentation of the Northern Ireland Music Prize, as the new award is called, is now part of the three-year-old Belfast Music Week.

Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody’s new country outfit, Tired Pony, was among the 14 acts shortlisted for the 2013 album prize, as were the chart-topping Two Door Cinema Club, instrumental musicians And So I Watch You From Afar and electronic group Space Dimension Controller.

An academy of music industry professionals connected to Northern Ireland created the final shortlist of 14 albums.

The judges included Sunday Life’s John McGurk, Paul McCarthy from Aiken Promotions and broadcasters Ralph McClean and Pete Snodden.

Some of the shortlisted acts played at the event, including Girls NamesA Plastic Rose, and The Bonnevilles.