Gin Palace wins Metro Sessions contest

(L-R) Pictured are winners of Metro Sessions 2019, Gin Palace: Daniel Donaghy, Josh Lown, Joel McCracken and Darren Mercer.
(L-R) Pictured are winners of Metro Sessions 2019, Gin Palace: Daniel Donaghy, Josh Lown, Joel McCracken and Darren Mercer.

A band with strong roots in the Carrick area has been announced as the inaugural winner of Northern Ireland’s newest music competition, Metro Sessions.

Gin Palace were up against four other music acts during Saturday’s live outdoor final at Belfast City Hall before the winner was decided by a 48-hour public vote.

The line-up drew impressive crowds throughout the day with messages of support for the finalists flooding in, including advice from Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody.

Formed in 2017, Gin Palace features the talents of Josh Lown (drums), from Carrickfergus and Greenisland's Darren Mercer (bass guitar), along with Joel McCracken (vocals/ rhythm guitar/ trumpet) and Daniel Donaghy (lead guitar), both from Belfast.

The competition launched in September by Translink as part of the 2019 Sound of Belfast programme.

Gin Palace has won a £1000 cash prize, recording studio package, airtime and industry mentoring from Media Partner Q Radio.