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Bitz: Where will they be in year 2000?

1999 was a great year for Irish music with Boyzone, B*Witched and Westlife topping the charts. And for our special millennium Bitz, we'll be taking a look at who made 1999 special for us and what they'll be up to in the year 2000.

SNOW Patrol finally got some of the recognition they deserve in 1999 and it looks like the year 2000 will be even bigger and better for the Belfast band.

Their debut album Songs For Polar Bears spawned some great singles, the most notable being Starfighter Pilot which was remixed by Cut La Roc and Richard Colburn - of Belle and Sebastian - who also does the odd turn on percussion with the band.

This was followed by a series of great gigs in Ireland including a support slot with Belle and Sebastian at Dublin's Olympia. The guys scooped the Hot Press Award for Best New Band and also bagged a prestigious gig with The Charlatans as part of the MTV Awards parties.

They finished off the year by supporting the mighty Supergrass on their European tour.

Now interest is starting to grow in America with MTV USA coming to Ireland especially to interview the band and their album receiving high praise in Rolling Stone magazine after its American release a couple of months ago. February will see them embarking on an Irish tour with Wilt and they are heading into the studio to record their second album. This year is sure to be a big one for Gary, Jonny, Tom and Mark.

CO,UK

Co.uk have just released a mini album called Brainwash which is acting as a taster for their debut long-player which will see the light of day in the near future.

The trio have spent 1999 working hard, touring the UK and Ireland with their usual gusto. The new mini album is a reminder of what the band has been up to and how good they actually are.

As well as more recent tracks like Sick Of You, the album also contains the band's stunning debut single Influenced which these days is pretty hard to find.

What with rave reviews from the music press and a very gritty determination, co.uk are bound to be on many more stereos in the year 2000.

THE MARBLES

The Marbles have recorded their debut album and the power pop band say it's due for release in the very near future.

Managed by former Pogues member Terry Woods, they have become even more popular than before thanks to the arrival of additional vocalist Marco Rea.

Their last single, the double A sided Slip Into Sound and Konstanz has been a big hit with punters and critics alike so it will be interesting to see what songwriting gems the album throws up.

Bitz awaits the result with baited breath.

TURN

Kells band Turn have been out of the limelight this year, following the news they had done a deal with Infectious Records, the label that Ash are on.

News of the deal broke in March but then there was no sound from the Turn camp for a long time - hatching plans of world domination no doubt!

News has reached Bitz that Turn's debut single is finally going to see the light of day release their debut single at the beginning of February.

WILT

Kilkenny band Wilt are taking their new-found fame in their stride, following the success of their debut single It's All Over Now.

This probably has something to do with the fact two members of the band tasted fame before as members of Kerbdog, but in spite of their reluctance to enter into the limelight, 1999 was the year when Wilt exploded.

The debut single and Working For The Man grabbed everyone's attention across Ireland and the UK when it came out in October on Mushroom Records.

So Wilt have a pretty big decision to make this month as frontman Cormac Battle told Bitz now was when they'd be deciding whether or not to give up their day jobs and join the music fray full-time.

Bitz suspects this will be the case as the band's debut album Bastinado is not due out until March and already it's being tipped as a `fine stomping guitar thing' by those in the know.

And the band are finally playing some live dates around Ireland, with the added bonus of Snow Patrol as their support. The dates begin on January 26 in Galway's Roisin Dubh, Nancy Spain's in Cork on January 27, Temple Bar Music Centre in Dublin on January 28 and the Empire in Belfast on January 29.

DOVE

Feisty pop trio Dove merely gave us a hint of their talents when they released their summer smash Don't Dream.

Last year was a big success for Don, Graeme and particularly the lovely Hazel Kaneswaran who had some of her own dreams come true.

Not only did she co-present The Lick with Trevor Nelson when the MTV Awards came to Dublin but she also got her long-time longing for breast implants fulfilled after a trip to London's Harley Street.

But folks should not be blinded by Hazel's new assets - Dove have a very bright future ahead of them.

THE FRAMES

The Frames finally shook off the `Commitments' tag that had been following frontman Glen Hansard around since his film role as Outspan.

The band's third album Dance The Devil was the one that finally made the doubters sit up and take notice.

At last The Frames are being taken seriously by both music lovers and critics alike.

Hedrock Valley Beats

Due to legal wranglings with record companies, it took the band a little longer than they expected to get their third album out. That said, when they finally came to record, they had an abundance of songs left over so we may even see another album from them in the year 2000.

Their sharp, sassy blend of hard-edged big beat quickly dragged them from their bedroom recording studios to the live stage where they proved they were worth their weight in gold.

In the past year the band's talents have been in constant demand - they've remixed tracks by Ash, James, Clint Boon and Databass to name but a few.

Their own tunes like Radio Beatbox, Rhode Island Swing and Copshow have received loads of attention and rightly so as HBV are the best thing since sliced bread, as far as Bitz is concerned.

You won't be able to miss these boys this year - they are going to be massive.

WESTLIFE

Sligo band Westlife were the first act to feature in Bitz.

They appeared in March 1999 when they were just about to release their first single Swear It Again. Kian Egan described the hype about the band as "a bit scary, but brilliant."

Now look at them - they've snatched the boy band crown from Boyzone, a band their own manager Ronan Keating is a member of, and they managed to have the last number one of the millennium.

Bitz predicts that Westlife will be even bigger and better than ever.

If you have any information on groups, gigs,

or going out, phone Maeve Quigley

on 01232-680098 from N. Ireland,

or 0801232-680098 from the Republic
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Quigley, Maeve
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 2, 2000
Words:1204
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