Northern Ireland

Villagers frontman Conor O'Brien wins Novello award

Conor O'Brien
Image caption Conor O'Brien is from Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin

Conor O'Brien, frontman with the Irish indie-folk act, Villagers, has won a prestigious Ivor Novello award.

The song writing prize was presented to him at a ceremony in London on Thursday.

He won the "Best Song Musically and Lyrically" for the song, "Becoming a Jackal".

The award is even more special because other songwriters vote for the winner.

O'Brien, who is from Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, faced competition from the song, Spanish Sahara by Welsh indie outfit, Foals, and MY KZ, UR BF from Manchester's Everything Everything.

"What a surreal experience; to accept an award in front of Elton John, Jimmy Page and Rolf Harris," O'Brien said at the event in Grosvenor House, Park Lane.

Becoming a Jackal is also the name of the Villagers' debut album, released last year. It has previously been nominated for a Mercury Music prize and a Choice Music Award.

Formed following the dissolution of O'Brien's previous band, The Immediate, Villagers became known through a number of festival performances in 2009.

The debut single, On a Sunlit Stage, was released in October and O'Brien has since toured in support of Tindersticks and appeared on Later... with Jools Holland.

The Villagers' next big Irish show is at Marlay Park, Dublin, on 23 July.

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