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Archive for September, 2016

‘The Girl With The Beret’ A New 1916 Concept Album From Kate O’Callaghan

‘The Girl With The Beret’, a new 1916 Concept Mini-Album from Donegal based Singer/songwriter Kate O’Callaghan.

Comprised of a series of songs and spoken word tracks, which flow seamlessly from one into the other, Kate O’Callaghan weaves the story of a young woman caught up in the 1916 Rising in Dublin.

A fusion of alternative folk, popular ballad and classical strings. It gives a unique insight into the perspective of an ordinary girl living at that time and what it meant, as a female, to be involved in the Rebellion.

The Girl With The Beret features musicians: Kate O’Callaghan, Seamus Devenny, Tim Jarvis, Declan McClafferty and Martin Smyth (from alt. rock band In Their Thousands), Stephen McDaid, Billy Robinson, Paul Devenny and Kevin Murphy.

Recorded and Mixed by Orri McBrearty at Attica Audio, Donegal.
Mastered by Richard Dowling at WavMastering, Limerick.

Can pre-order on Bandcamp now at Bandcamp
Will be available on Bandcamp, iTunes & all major streaming sites from Release Date.

’The Girl with The Beret’ is inspired by my great-grandaunt Katie, otherwise known as Catherine Rooney (née Byrne). According to her witness statement, recorded with the Bureau of Military History (Ireland), she was the first woman to enter the GPO in Dublin on the day of the Rising on Easter Monday 1916. Having followed her brothers down O’Connell St., she kicked in a side window of the GPO and climbed in. She tended to the wounded, earning herself the title of ‘The Petticoat Heroine’ in the press in later years.

Katie also delivered several dispatches during the week, including one important note written by Joseph Plunkett and given to her by Pádraig Pearse. She concealed the note in her hair and brought it to the Four Courts. Katie describes running under fire and narrowly escaping death, when a bullet passed by her head leaving two holes in her beret. She also describes her family’s involvement in the War of Independence, in the years following the Rising. Their house, at 17 Nth Richmond St., was used as a secret HQ for a special squad called the ‘Guards of the Active Service Unit’. Firearms and ammunition were temporarily hidden in various secret places in the house, including the first Thompson gun smuggled into Ireland. Her Mother, Mrs Catherine Byrne (née Dowling), provided a safe house during this time, feeding and tending to the many men who were involved and needing a place to hide.

Kate O’Callaghan is a Donegal based singer/ songwriter who combines evocative melodies with intelligent considered lyrics. To date she has recorded & released an EP, debut Album, received National & International Radio Play and toured in Ireland, UK and the US.
On Easter Monday 2016 Kate was invited to take part in RTÉ’s ‘Reflecting the Rising’. She performed a sell-out concert in the Four Courts, Dublin and featured in a live broadcast show – ‘A Centenary Special’, presented by Keelin Shanley at the Royal Irish College of Surgeons, which focused on women in 1916 and the women of the Rising.

Previous Reviews:

“Subliminal, understated and simply glorious” – Fatea Magazine (UK)

“Powerful..deeply atmospheric..genuinely lovely” – R2 (Rock n Reel) (UK)

“A salvo of stirring strings and graceful guitars” – PureM (IRL)

‘The Girl With The Beret – Songs from a Witness Statement’
In collaboration with Donegal Camerata String Ensemble and supported by Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme and Donegal County Council

1st Oct – Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, Donegal
(for more information and tickets –

2nd Oct – Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon, Donegal
(for more information and tickets –

9th – 23rd Oct – German Tour

‘Spancil Hill’ – the new single from The High Kings

September sees the band release “Spancil Hill” a firm favourite at their shows and an Irish classic song. The band will be promoting the single and album by announcing a winter tour shortly.

**”Grace & Glory album now available as a limited edition 180 gram VINYL – out now**
This is the first time The High Kings have released an album on vinyl

“…the High Kings make traditional Irish music new, fresh, and alive. Everyone should listen to this album”Colleen Taylor – THE IRISH ECHO –May2016

What a year 2016 has been for The High Kings. Their new album tops the Irish Independent album chart, they sell out an Irish tour and then go on to sell out two American tours! This is certainly a year to remember.

Grace & Glory:

* No 1 in the IRMA Irish Independent Album Chart
* No 3 on the IRMA Irish Album Chart
* Top selling Irish album on first week of release
* Highest new entry in the overall Irish chart
* Number 1 on the Irish iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart
* Number 6 on the Irish iTunes overall chart
* Entered the USA iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart at Number 6
* Entered the German iTunes Folk chart at No 9
* Entered the UK iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart at number 8

New single and video from Pauline Scanlon

Celebrating the UK launch of her new CD ‘Gossamer’ on the 29th September, Pauline Scanlon has released a new single ‘The Old Churchyard‘.

Her voice is a superb mix of china cup fragility and steely strength” The Irish Times

“Gossamer has an organic feel to it, coming as it does from the interaction between Pauline and musical friends around the world, the swapping of stories, the exchange of songs” The Irish News

Deeply immersed in the tradition yet in touch with edgier developments within the contemporary folk and world music realm, West Kerry native Pauline Scanlon is capable of making the oldest ballads sound immediate and fresh, whilst granting newer material a timeless resonance. – “It’s the act of singing that I like the most”

Having played venues such as Glastonbury, The National Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Edmonton Folk Festival & Cambridge Folk festival, Scanlon has entranced audiences the world over with her distinctly delicate intensity. Performing and recording with a wide range of artists including Damien DempseySinéad O’ConnorJohn Spillane and Seamus Begley, Founder member of vocal duo LUMIERE, Pauline has also been involved with a wide range of collaborative singing projects such as ‘The Irish Sea Sessions’, ‘A Stór mo Chroí’ and ‘EXILE – Tales of Irish Australia, all involving the leading exponents of Irish song.

“what I like about folk songs is that you are almost like a ghost singer singing somebody else’s story. People are always having their heart broken. There are always wars. There are always people migrating from place to place… I find that with history books you can read about the facts but songs are the emotions. That is extremely interesting to me.”

Gossamer serves as a new departure for Pauline, a fresher, more contemporary take on some traditional and some newly penned songs. Spanning continents and genres, this emotionally charged album of songs steeped in love and loss delivers a seamless blend of old and new. Guest vocalist Damien Dempsey features on stand out track – Pretty Bird Tree, written by aboriginal singer L J Hill. The opening track Poorest Company is a song from the pen of Kris Drever, Roddy Woomble & John McCusker. Traditional Irish, English & Scottish songs such as False False, 18th of June, The Old Churchyard & The Lover’s Ghost are given unique treatments alongside songs by contemporary master songwriters such as Lucy Kaplansky, Leonard Cohen James Keelaghan.

Delicately overseen by producer John Reynolds the album features a cast of peerless musicians – Graeme Kearns, Dónal O’Connor, Donogh Hennessy, Clare Kenny, Caroline Dale, Tim Edey & Nicola Joyce, and is sure to open the gateway to a whole new listenership, whilst pleasing an already burgeoning fan base.

Pauline is touring the album with a full electric 6-piece band, receiving rave reviews for the energy and emotionally charged delivery of their performances at festivals such as the Killarney Folk Festival and venues the length and breadth of these Islands.

“Scanlon’s voice is heavenly, beautifully pure and always deeply connected to the song she’s singing. Songs are her life. She is also seriously good craic!” John Reynolds – Producer (Damien Dempsey, Seun Kuti, Sinead O’Connor, Herbie Hancock)

Raglans Sign with London-based Label Fierce Panda

“The strongest, most self-assured band in years…They have ‘world beaters’ written all over them.”Hot Press

Raglans have signed with London’s fierce panda, the label responsible for signing acts such as Coldplay, Supergrass, Keane, Placebo, Embrace and more. The band are set to release their boisterous brand new ‘Again & Again’ EP on 14 October to coincide with a generous two month-long Autumnal run of live shows across Europe including Dublin’s Button Factory on 14 October.

“London-based loafer label fierce panda is delighted to announce the signing of Raglans to the roster. The boys have put in a terrific amount of work to get themselves this far in terms of releases and touring and we’re looking forward to helping them build on those great endeavours with the release of the passionately hyperactive ‘Again & Again’ EP next month.”

Raglans are four feisty alt rock dreamers from Dublin. They consist of Stephen Kelly (lead vocals, guitar), Rhos Horan (bass, backing vocals), Conn O’Ruanaidh (drums, backing vocals) and Brendan McGlynn (lead guitar, backing vocals) and they take their name from a poem by Patrick Kavanagh.

If the circumstances surrounding your birth can define what happens for the rest of your life then the story that Raglans actually formed in a music festival tent was surely an indication of what their future held, for theirs is a rowdy, crowd-teasing musical tumult, all muscular new wave guitars, gritty pop (aka Gritpop) melodies and suitably ragged epic glories.

Recorded in Los Angeles with Jason Wade and Chris Murguia (Lifehouse) and mixed by Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro), ‘Who Knows’ and the other four tracks on ‘Again & Again’ present an ever-more expansive Raglans roar, retaining the ferocious fist-in-the-air glory of their self-titled top 5 debut album while adding pathos-laden power balladry with ‘War Torn’ and ‘Claire’. It’s an emotional, energetic sound which reflects the life of a band who have been travelling the world, getting up and getting down – like their distant touring brethren Catfish & The Bottlemen and The Sherlocks Raglans are rugged road troopers, touring like there’s no tomorrow. Or at least no tomorrow without another service station pasty, another empty, echoing soundcheck and another sweetly sweat-soaked show to pile on through…

“All the songs on ‘Again & Again’ were written in the last two years so they are all informed by what’s been going on in my life and in the life of the band,” explains singer Stephen. “‘Who Knows’ is the perfect example of this: the lyric is about juggling two important relationships, one with a person and one with a group of fellas you travel around the world with in a van, and the uncertainly that comes with each and the pressure they put on each other. Then, being in Paris on tour and visiting the grave of Oscar Wilde gave me the perspective I needed to finish the song. The verses were the question, the chorus became the answer.”

The past? Well now let us tell you about the past. Two years ago they released their debut album, the succinctly-titled ‘Raglans’, which spawned the tracks ‘Natives’, ‘Before Tonight’ and ‘White Lightning’. Those tracks garnered radio support from Huw Stephens, Dermot O’Leary, Phil Taggart and Alice Levine, earned live supports with Haim, The Fray, The Strypes and Twin Atlantic as well as The Libertines in Hyde Park and generally saw the quartet having more fun than a meerkat on a mountain bike.

Now come join the Raglans joyride at these dates here, here and here:


Brian Kennedy announces the radio release of “Life, Love and Happiness 2016”

Belfast singer-songwriter Brian Kennedy has announced the release of his double album “The Essential Collection” on Friday, September 30th, 2016. “Life, Love and Happiness 2016”, the lead single, will be at radio to support the release and get the celebrations started.

The album is filled with all of Brian’s most beloved songs, re-recorded for a new era of Brian’s career by Irish producer Billy Farrell. 2016 is a challenging year full of positivity for Brian. Not only will he celebrate his 50th birthday but also the 20thanniversary of the original release of “A Better Man” album and regaining full health following his recent battle with Cancer. The album will be available on CD. iTunes plus available on Spotify and streaming services. “A Better Man 2016” is a radio only single to promote the album.

Having regained ownership of his back catalogue, Brian set about re-recording many of his most popular songs. Quite a number of songs on “The Essential Collection” are taken from his album “A Better Man”. It’s hard to believe, listening to the songs, that they originally were released in 1996, they sound so fresh with their new 2016 sound. “A Better Man” was certified 3 X Platinum in Ireland, held the #1 slot in the Irish charts for weeks and led to numerous sell out tours of Ireland including a run of 6 nights at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, then 2 sold out shows at the then Point Theatre now called the 3Arena.

Brian also celebrates his 50th birthday in October and he will celebrate in style with a show at Dublin’s Vicar Street (October 13th) where he will perform the entire “A Better Man” album from start to finish, marking the 20th anniversary of its release.

This will be some party, Brian has lots to celebrate!

Róisín O Announces New Single ‘Better This Way’

Released Friday 21 October
Special ‘Studio Sessions Tour’ in intimate venues around Ireland announced

Live Dates
20th October – Cyprus Avenue, Cork
21st October – Monroe’s, Galway
22nd October – Dolan’s, Limerick
23rd October – De Barra’s, Clonakilty
28th October – Cunningham’s, Kildare
29th October – Ratoath, Meath
Plus Special Dublin Show to be announced

Róisín O is set to release her latest single “Better This Way” on Friday 21 October. Recorded in Eastcote Studios, London, the track was composed by Róisín O, John Broe (Miracle Bell) and CC Brez (Republic of Loose) and produced by John Broe and Eliot James (Two Door Cinema Club, Kaiser Chiefs, Noah and the Whale) with mixing by Ciaran Bradshaw (Cathy Davey, Fionn Regan, Miracle Bell).

The Single is part of the studio sessions for Róisín’s much anticipated second record, which will be released in early 2017. With its foreboding lyrics, ominous melodies and haunting blues guitar riffs ‘Better This Way’ seems to be a culmination of the talents of this writing trio.

Speaking about the track O explains; “‘’Better This Way’ is a bit of a departure for me, it’s a step away from the pop vibes of my last single ‘Give It Up’. In a way it’s a throwback to my folk roots but with a lot more darkness and grit than anything I’ve released before.”

The video for ‘Better this Way’ was recorded in Iceland and is set for release on September 29th. Directed by Broe and filmed by Dara Munnis, the video sees Róisín journeying through the awe-inspiring, yet harsh, Icelandic landscapes, mirroring the tone of the song.

This October Róisín O is stepping away from the studio to embark on her limited run ‘Studio Sessions Tour’ which will see her present songs in more intimate environments across Ireland; “We have been working hard over the past few months developing the new record and I think it’s important to road test the new songs in venues where we can really feel the audiences reaction”. Róisín is taking the studio on the road and the shows will be recorded live in front of a small audience. The tour will showcase never before heard songs from her eagerly anticipated second album as well as reimagined versions of favourites from ‘The Secret Life of Blue.’

‘The Studio Sessions Tour’ will be Róisín’s final performances of 2016 and will cap off a year that has seen her tour Australia, Europe and America, including stand out performances on RTE’s Centenary Programme and JJ Abrams Oscars Party in LA where she shared the stage with Snow Patrol to perform for Steven Spielberg, James Cordon and more, as well as releasing chart hits ‘Give It Up’ and ‘If You Got Love’.

Sound of Belfast 2016

Return of a fresh music city programme (November 3-12)

Sound Of Belfast, a sustained showcase for local artists, music industry activity and community programming, has been announced.  The highlight of this year’s programme is the Northern Ireland Music Prize and the presentation of an Oh Yeah Legend Award to the band Ash (Nov 11). The schedule also involves performances from the likes of Ports, Ryan Vail, The Bonnevilles, Robyn G Shiels, Girls Names, Hot Cops and Jealous Of The Birds.

There will be a premiere for the Malojian film,  ‘This Is Nowhere’, which follows the band to Electrical Audio Studios, Chicago, to record with Steve Albini (Nirvana, The Pixies, Plant and Page, PJ Harvey). This takes place at the MAC on November 5.

The Breaking Into Music Youth Conference, returns for a second year on November 8, showing pathways into music and featuring input from UK and local professionals.

There are 31 events across the 10 days in 8 venues. Events are taking place at the Mandela Hall, Lavery’s, Voodoo, The Elmwood Hall, The Empire, the MAC and The Eglantine Bar. The programme is coordinated by the Oh Yeah Music Centre – Belfast’s dedicated music hub, where much of the activity will take place.

Charlotte Dryden, the new CEO of Oh Yeah says, “Sound of Belfast is our way of celebrating all that is great about local music. From showcasing new talent to celebrating legends in venues across the city. What is really special is the opportunity for people to participate in some of our youth and older people events. It’s also great that we are able to keep talking and discussing opportunities and solutions for our industry, musicians and audiences through events like The Music Cities Afternoon and the Breaking Into Music Conference.”

This year, Help Musicians UK will also use the occasion to announce their ambitious plans for Northern Ireland. This leading charity for musicians of all genres are set to open a dedicated office and will start to deliver health and welfare support (including Music and Depression and #hearformusicians) plus new creative funding schemes.

A Music Cities afternoon will examine how Belfast can strengthen its cultural tourism status with relation to cities such as Berlin. On November 12, the Belfast Music Bus Tour will plot the stories and the soundscapes of a wonderful musical city.

Sound of Belfast includes a community event, Urban Affinity on November 9. Delivered with the support of Belfast Harbour and the Halifax Foundation, this reaches out to young people from disadvantaged areas with musical taster sessions.

Five acts from Oh Yeah’s talent development programme will launch a CD of their work with a special gig on November 10. The acts are: Bosco Ramos, Emer Maguire, Petty Youth, Search Party and Vokxen

Eoin Dillon Announces The Release Of His New Track ‘Marina’s Kitchen’

EOIN DILLON marks release of 5 star album ‘Pondelorum’ by unveiling NEW tune ‘MARINA’S KITCHEN’


“admirable colour and verve…warm and inviting…boasts a shimmering, soulful blend of instruments” *****
“laden with nostalgia, warmth” Sunday Times

Today marks the official release of ‘Pondelorum’ the third solo album from Dublin uilleann piper & Kíla founding member EOIN DILLON. To celebrate, Eoin has shared another tune from the album – ‘Marina’s Kitchen’ is the second track on Pondelorum and features Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin on harpsichord. This Sunday October 2nd, Eoin and his band will play Whelans Upstairs – tickets e10 on sale now.

The album has so far received glowing acclaim with a 5 star review from “an appealing album of ten original compositions, arranged with admirable colour and verve…warm and inviting…boasts a shimmering, soulful blend of instruments” while the Sunday Times described it as “instrumentals laden with nostalgia, warmth and mournfulness”.

‘Pondelorum’ is Eoin Dillon’s third solo album having released his debut solo recording ‘The Third Twin’ in 2005 (named one of the best traditional albums of the year by RTE Radio One) followed by 2010’s ‘The Golden Mean’. Eoin has been playing the pipes and whistles since the age of 15. As a founding member of KÍLA he released 11 albums and toured the world with performances at top festivals including Glastonbury, Womad (Aus/NZ) and Montreux Jazz Festival. As a solo artist, Eoin has guested with U2, Baaba Maal, Sinead O Connor, Donal Lunny & Jane Sibery. He composed the music with Kíla for 2 Oscar winning animation films in 2012/2015 – while his solo compositional work on ‘Ireland’s Wild River’ was nominated in the Best Music category at the 2015 Emmy Awards.

Over ten new compositions, ‘Pondelorum’ captures Eoin’s characterful, blistering and playful performance in full flight and showcases his innate skill as “a composer of first class tunes” (Irish Music Magazine). As for the theme of the album Eoin says “I’m not sure if there is a theme that I can put my finger on. I tried to record a few times but couldn’t or it wasn’t working, but when I began writing wee stories it seemed to give me the start I needed. It was a very enjoyable experience – we took our time and people just seemed to fit in. For me, if I can put it into words, the album is a moment in time, a celebration of people and our history and the road we have travelled.”

‘Pondelorum’ features input from a host of musical collaborators including Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin on harpsichord, Brian Hogan on bass and Graham Watson on guitars & mandolin. The album was recorded in stages – initial recordings took place in Ó Súilleabháin’s home in Tipperary, the piano was recorded in the Unitarian Church on Stephens Green with the rest taking shape in Watson’s Floodplain Studio, Clontarf. The album is available from Claddagh Records & Spindizzy and online stores.

Ben Pyne releases his second E.P ‘For Just A While’

Dublin-based pianist Ben Pyne releases his second E.P “For Just a While” this month. The singer-songwriter from Balbriggan in Dublin showcases his ability to perform in a variety of genres, from ‘Open Door’, a jazz piano ballad with shades of James Vincent McMorrow, to ‘Oceans’, an R n B track featuring rap artist Esko de Ville.

The music video for the lead track, ‘When We Were Young’. features a beautiful story of dog and boy (Kyle Faulkner, Co. Meath). It was shot by Irish videographer Andrew Jordan of AJ Films in the beautiful surroundings of Balbriggan, Co Dublin and Gormanston, Co Meath.

The E.P is is available now on iTunes.

Oski Bravo EP Launch At Odessa Club, October 1st

Oski Bravo are a Dublin outfit specialising in an addictive line of melodic indiefolk, acoustic rock. The band came together in late 2015 and in early 2016 finished recording their self-titled EP.

Their debut single ‘Automatic’ was released in July and we were very grateful to receive a wealth of radio play. In August we followed up with Age of Statues and again were delighted to receive great support.

To coincide with the EP release, their final single ‘Mouth to the Wheel’ is released and they are looking forward to a fantastic night on 1st October in the wonderful Odessa Club.

Automatic Review –  ”With hooks and vocals that will have you recalling the warmth of early REM, Idlewild, Juniper, The Frames, King Creosote, Damien Rice, Bellx1 and Revelino, this track is brought to life by the raw tenderness of Egan’s voice and the beauty of Robinson’s soaring and at times menacing cello.”

Oski Bravo go hard on harmonic acoustic rock here, and you could label it as indie¬folk if the acoustic guitar playing and cello work weren’t so hypnotic. The tune builds to a crescendo with the title track refrain before really bursting into life and transforming into a bit of a stomper.”

You can follow Oski Bravo on Facebook and Twitter and SoundCloud

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