No Oil Paintings
Belfast, County Antrim
Born in Belfast in late 2013, No Oil Paintings is the musical synergy of Chris Kelly (lead vocals, guitar), twin brothers Sean (vocals, guitar, 5-string banjo) & James Doone (vocals, bass guitar), and George Sloan (vocals, drums). With a variety of influences from rock to outlaw country, a bottomless passion for making great music and the talent to do so, the boys have grown together and developed the No Oil Paintings sound – a raucous brand of alternative guitar & banjo-driven folk with an edge of darkness. The band strive to use typical folk instrumentation to create something a little more wild than the music often associated with the genre today.
Although possessing a consummate frontman and powerful vocalist in Chris Kelly, the band switch and share vocal leads – each member playing to their own strength and bringing their own style to the songs they shepherd, whilst still remaining quintessential No Oil Paintings, and rising together in the unique blend of four-part harmonies for which the band have become known.
The band’s powerful original set have seen them securing NI festival slots including that of Open House Festival’s house band (2014-15), and Stendhal Festival of Art (2014-16), Sunflower Festival (Moot Stage headline 2015, Campfire Stage headline 2016), Portstewart Songwriter’s Festival (2016 headliner), Ards Guitar Festival (2016) and joining a multi-genre list of local acts playing the Gascan Ruckus BBQ (2016).
In 2015, the band sold out the Belfast Barge for their self-promoted EP launch gaining favourable reviews from Folk & Tumble, and gig reviews by Gigging NI for the eponymously named debut record and in 2016 began building a reputation west of the Bann, headlining a capacity gig in Bennigans resulting in a standing ovation for their first outing to Derry.
The band have been recognised by Chordblossom, winning the 2014 Last Slot Competition and shortlisting for the Kickstarter Competition (2015). Their debut EP gained favourable reviews from Folk & Tumble, and gig reviews by Gigging NI. No Oil Paintings have been acknowledged in the Irish News as Sunflower Festival’s most recommended band and gained airplay on Radio Ulster, Radio Foyle, Blast 106 & U105. They have undertaken live sessions on Radio Ulster with Lynette Faye (2016), Radio Ulster with Gerry Kelly (2016), U105 with Jonny Hero promoting Sunflower Festival (2016) and on Radio Foyle with Mark Patterson from Stendhal Festival of Art (2016).
No Oil Paintings released their watershed 2nd EP 'Too Close To The Sun' recorded with producer, Phil D’Alton, in August 2017 during a busy festival season that saw the band play Stendhal Festival’s most successful year to date, Our Back Yard Festival, the inaugural Sound Of The Shore, Gascan Ruckus Summer BBQ, Culture Night Belfast, Hilden Beer & Music Festival, the Midsummer Sessions. In addition to a plethora of showcase gigs and recording a music video for lead single ‘Icarus’ and playing their first Dublin gig at The Liquor Rooms, the band were pleased to collaborate with multi-platinum award-winning singer-songwriter, Joss Stone, on ‘God Only Knows’, the lead track from the EP. No Oil Paintings finished out 2017 appearing alongside Dublin-based gypsy folksters, The Eskies, and placed on Thin Air’s top 100 Irish tracks and Chordblossom’s Top 25 Northern Irish tracks of 2017.
2018 promises to be a busy year as the band work to expand their set, collaborate with & support their favourite artists, take their live show further beyond the borders of home, and record & release more extensively.
“Think less Earl Scruggs and more Jack White.” - Our Back Yard Festival.
“For serious fans of country and folk music, No Oil Paintings are a must-see.” - Folk & Tumble.