David Holmes (musician)

David Holmes
Born (1969-02-14) 14 February 1969
Origin Belfast, Northern Ireland
Genres Electronica, trip hop, big beat, krautrock, house, downtempo
Instruments Turntables Computer Programming and Keyboards

David Holmes (born 14 February 1969) is a Northern Irish electronic musician and composer.


Holmes began DJ-ing in Belfast from the age of 15. His first DJ appearance was at the legendary Abercorn Mod Club. His first hit was the 1992 track "De Niro" as the Disco Evangelists with Ashley Beedle and Lindsay Edwards (who later joined Tin Tin Out). In the early to mid-1990s he ran two club nights in the Belfast Art College known as Sugar Sweet and Shake Yer Brain.[1][2] Orbital wrote the track "Belfast", released on their debut album Orbital, after playing at Sugar Sweet.[1]

Holmes released This Film's Crap Let's Slash the Seats, in July 1995.[3] At the time he described the album as being inspired by movies and movie soundtracks, a recurring theme throughout Holmes' work (see Discography). The opening track, "No Man's Land", featured on the soundtrack to the film, Pi. In the same year, he also provided the ambient links between the songs on the album Infernal Love by Therapy?. In 1997, Holmes released Let's Get Killed.[3] Many of the tracks featured Brazilians dancing in the streets of New York City, recorded by Holmes using a minidisc recorder. The album's first single, "My Mate Paul," was Holmes' first commercial success.

His 1997 Essential Mix, a mixture of northern soul, psychedelic funk and hip hop was voted mix of the year by Muzik magazine

In 1998, Danny DeVito commissioned him to do the score for Steven Soderbergh's film Out of Sight. He scored a second film for Soderbergh in 2001, including some songs from Let's Get Killed and Bow Down to the Exit Sign on the Ocean's Eleven remake.

After releasing a remix album, Come Get It I Got It, in 2002, Holmes released David Holmes Presents The Free Association. This was a departure for the artist as all his previous work had been solo. The Free Association featured four other bandmates who toured with Holmes after the album was launched.

As a remixer he has reworked tracks by artists such as U2, Doves, Manic Street Preachers, Primal Scream, Page and Plant, Saint Etienne and Ice Cube.

Before beginning his musical career, Holmes worked as a hairdresser and chef. He also briefly owned and ran a café called Mogwai near the Queen's University of Belfast and, since 2009, has run an intimate club in South Belfast called The Menagerie.

In 2006, with Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leyburn, David founded a film production company called Canderblicks Films. Its first short film The 18th Electricity Plan played at various international film festivals including LA Shorts, Clermont Ferrand and Cork International Film Festival, where it won a Special Mention in the Best New Director category.

In 2008, Holmes composed the music for the "New iPhone" ad campaign. An album, The Holy Pictures, was released on 8 September 2008,[4] from which the track "Holy Pictures" was selected for the soundtrack of Pro Evolution Soccer 2010. The first track from this album, "I Heard Wonders", also featured in the movie Cherrybomb and the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics to accompany the footage of David Beckham and Jade Bailey bringing the olympic flame up the River Thames by speedboat.

David worked with Leo Abrahams to create the score for the award winning film Hunger,[5] directed by Steve McQueen, about the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike. The score won an IFTA at the Irish Film Awards.

In April 2009, he topped the Irish Times' "50 Best Irish Acts Right Now".[6]

Holmes's last release is The Dogs Are Parading, a best of compilation was released on 26 April 2010.

Holmes's film project Good Vibrations,was the first feature film from David's film company Canderblicks Film. Set in the heart of the punk rock scene of 1970s Belfast, it tells the story of Terri Hooley. Directed by Glenn Leyburn and Lisa Barros D'Sa, written by Glen Patterson and Colin Carbury and co-produced by Andrew Eaton (Revolution Films) & BBC Films, it was nominated for a BAFTA and the soundtrack was Rough Trade's Compilation of the year 2013.

David scored all three BBC series The Fall starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan. His score for the first series was nominated for an RTS Craft and Design Award in 2013 and winner of the best score at the Irish Film and TV Awards in 2014.

Holmes scored the highly acclaimed film'71, for which he won an Ivor Novello Award. Directed by Yann Demange, the film tells the story of a British Soldier who became separated from his unit during a riot in Belfast at the height of The Troubles in 1971. In May 2015, Holmes' first film which he directed and wrote I Am Here was shown on Channel 4's The Shooting Gallery.

In 2016 Holmes won a further Ivor Novello for his score on the BBC series ‘London Spy’, directed by Jacob Verbruggen and staring Ben Wishaw, Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling.

He composed music for the feature film ‘Mindhorn’ staring Julain Barratt about a has-been British TV actor who used to be famous in the 1980’s for playing the titular and charismatic lead role in the Isle of man detective show Mindhorn, a character with a robotic eye that can literally “see the truth’.

Holmes released a Late Night Tales Compilation in October 2016 housing an evocative collection of songs and music.

Discography (incomplete)


Film soundtracks


  1. 1 2 Lyndon Stephens, Sandra Gourley. "A History of NI Club Culture (I)". culturenorthernireland.org. Northern Ireland Tourist Board. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  2. Burden, Alex (13 October 2006). "David Holmes, Headspin, Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Oct 7". theskinny.co.uk. Radge Media Limited. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  3. 1 2 Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 455. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  4. "David Holmes returns with 'Holy' new album", NME.com, 20 June 2008.
  5. Hunger
  6. "The 50 best Irish music acts right now". www.irishtimes.com. 4 April 2009. Retrieved 10 April 2009.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Zobbel (16 June 2007). "Chart Log UK". Zobbel. Archived from the original on 4 July 2007. Retrieved 10 September 2008.
  8. "Official Album Chart for the week ending 20 September 2008". ChartsPlus. Milton Keynes: IQ Ware Ltd (369): 5–8.

External links

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