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Archive for January, 2017

Planet Parade Release Debut Album “Mercury”

Planet Parade will release their debut album Mercury on 24th February. Ahead of that they share the new single “Zodiac”, which will be digitally available from next week.

“Zodiac” features Oisin Murtagh, Paul Kiernan and James Doherty (Booka Brass), Graham Hopkins (The Frames, Glen Hansard), Joe Furlong (James Vincent McMorrow) and Steven McCann (Too Fools).

The band have just been announced a Whelans show for Thursday 30th March.

Planet Parade is the brainchild of Kildare duo Michael Hopkins & Andrew Lloyd. After releasing two EP’s followed by new tracks “You’ll Be Sorry“ and “Cardiac” they then turned to singles from the forthcoming album – “Blue Sky” (August 2015) and Face To Face (July 2016). They also revealed a new 6 piece live line-up. The time has now come for the twosome to come fully out of hiding and release their debut album. The new album contains 11 tracks and is entitled Mercury.

The album was recorded and produced by Michael and Andrew at home in Co Kildare.

Thurs 30th March – Whelans, Dublin

MERCURY – Track List
1. Face to Face 2. Top of the Heap 3. Blue Sky 4. Mute Swan 5. Jump Ship 6. Begin Again
7. Zodiac 8. Cold Blood 9. History Lesson 10. Sweet Claire 11. In The Dark

Dónal Clancy Launch’s New Album “On The Lonesome Plain”

Regarded as one of Ireland’s finest guitarists, Dónal Clancy is the son of the world renowned singer Liam Clancy of  The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem and has, since the death of his father, focused his attention on the family repertoire of songs that he grew up with, while keeping the Clancy tradition alive with his solo performances.

Dónal grew up in a household and community steeped in music. He spent his early childhood in Canada and the US before his family settled back in An Rinn, Co. Waterford in 1983. His father gave him his first guitar at the age of eight and he was playing professionally by his early teens.  A founder member of the group Danú, Dónal left to join a trio with his father Liam and cousin Robbie O’Connell. Their debut tour in 1996 took them across the US from the Santa Anita Race Track in Los Angeles to the Lincoln Center in New York. They continued to tour together for a couple more years and recorded two albums before they disbanded in the early noughties.

In 1998, Dónal moved to New York where he became the go-to guitarist for many of the top Irish music acts in the US. He toured and recorded with Riverdance fiddler Eileen Ivers and was a guest with The Chieftains on their Tears of Stone Tours in Japan and the US. He has also been a member of the Irish-American super group Solas and contributed to the soundtrack of Ric Burns’ award winning documentary film New York. In 2006 he released his first solo guitar album Close To Home which The Boston Globe dubbed “a sweet masterpiece of melodic grace and riveting groove.”

In 2009 Dónal returned to live in Ireland with his wife Mary and their three children and in 2014, to much critical acclaim, he released Songs of a Roving Blade. The Irish Post awarded the album 5* calling it “folk singing at its best” and “a smashing album that should help to ensure these songs will never be lost.”

Dónal’s latest album On the Lonesome Plain features a mix of seven vocal tracks and six guitar instrumentals, including two of his own compositions A Strike for Victory, commemorating the 1916 Easter Rising, and an instrumental piece entitled Máirseáil na Conrach, preceded by The Green Fields of Canada. This is a particular highlight and showcases Dónal’s fingerstyle playing to great effect. Other standout tracks are Open the Door Softly from the pen of Scottish folk legend Archie Fisher and the classic ballad Reynardine.

Most of this recording happened serendipitously in the Spring of 2015 while experimenting with various microphones and guitars. At the time I’d just acquired a turntable and some records by Anne Briggs, Martin Carthy, Shirley Collins and Davy Graham, which undoubtedly had an influence on the mood of the music. Along with the songs, I had a renewed interest in guitar playing which led to six instrumentals finding their way on here. It feels like this is a record of where I’m at musically at this time.” – Dónal Clancy

The first time I met Dónal Clancy he was a small boy. I was working with his father Liam Clancy and Tommy Makem. The minute I heard this record it reminded me of his father – his tone and turn of phrase. As well as being a great singer, Dónal is also a great guitar player. This new record is a gem: Dónal’s singing and guitar playing throughout the album is excellent. If Liam Clancy were alive today, he would be very proud of this recording. He IS very proud of it, I’m sure!” – Arty McGlynn

Dónal Clancy’s new CD is a classic recording of a man and a guitar, great material beautifully played and sung.” – Martin Simpson




For the third year running, AVA (Audio Visual Arts) Festival and Conference is set to return to its Belfast home at T13, this time across two days on the 2nd and 3rd of June 2017. For it’s first full weekend outing, AVA pulls out all the stops with a packed agenda of conferences, talks, music and arts from a wealth of global and local artists. You’ll find a rare Jeff Mills and Guillaume Marmin collaboration, Marcel Dettmann, Bicep, Fatima Yamaha Live, Rebekah Hybrid set, TinFoil Live and a host of local legends ready to descend across the vast Belfast warehouse space. On top of this, there’s the return of the almighty Boiler Room, plus AVA’s all-important conference on the Friday will educate on all areas of the music industry and technology.

A UK and Ireland debut, Jeff Mills will be collaborating with French lighting designer Guillaume Marmin to create ‘Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind’, a full sensory experience recreating the sensation of entering and existing in another reality, for what is set to be a truly one-of-a-kind experience. Bicep return to their home ground, after a solid run of live performances and studio time on their rumoured upcoming album, expect new material and some insight into their 2017 output, plus techno hero Marcel Dettmann heads to Belfast’s Titanic warehouse, the ideal dystopian setting for his intense sound. Respected selectors Ben UFO, Job Jobse and Midland all join, journeying from disco classics to bass-tinged techno, and dark, steely tones from Birmingham’s own Rebekah, who will perform a hybrid set as part of her ‘Fear Paralysis’ album tour. One of many live performances comes from man of the moment Fatima Yamaha, whose 2016 album was one of last year’s most celebrated releases, exploring the emotive side of house.

Championing the plethora of Irish talent is at the heart of AVA Festival’s ethos, and there’s loads to discover at AVA 2017. Ever more recognised as a focal point for the electronic underground, Belfast’s heart, soul and history make it a must-visit destination for the clubbing community. AVA 2017 hosts duo Tinfoil (Live set – formed of Sunil Sharpe and DeFeKT) bring a fresh take on analogue sound, plus techno-master Ejeca and Nocturne Records boss and local party-starter Jordan. Fresh off the back of a Hotflush release, Or:La joins Sub Club regular Hammer, a live show from JC Williams, as well as stalwarts of the Belfast scene Timmy Stewart and JMX. Find effortless blends from Saoirse, raw energy from The Cyclist and no holds barred techno from Myler, plus Ryan Vail’s instant melodic electronic vibe, Swoose and Cromby’s grooving classic house sound and Holly Lester’s king-pin sets. Dublin’s New Jackson will play live, plus Techno and Cans, Subject DJs and Cork’s own ELLLL. Completing the first set of names for this year’s festival there is a whole host of residents and regulars from Bobby Analog, Inside Moves, Nez, Ryan Dallas, Brien, to Alice Meat Free, Jika Jika and Twitch DJs, Clockwork, a live set from Paragon, Cave DJs B2B Kapoor, MisFit and GIRL.

Alongside a solid roster of incredible artists playing across the two days, there’s an emerging DJ and Producer competitions, discovering the next generation of talent, workshops with Ableton and Pioneer demos, as well as talks from industry insiders, professionals and artists. Leading Belfast creative collective Guerrilla Shout will be on hand, creating illustrious visuals and light displays, extending the event past just sounds and into a 360 degree sensory experience. With world class sound systems, a heavy roster of artists, workshops and expert visual displays – AVA Festival has it all covered.

Keep eyes peeled for more information on the conference, Boiler Room sign up, conference details and lineup additions – all coming very soon…

02-03 June 2017
T13 – Titanic Quarter – Belfast


WEEKEND TICKETS now from £50:


Marcel Dettmann – Bicep – Fatima Yamaha LIVE – Midland – Ben UFO – Job Jobse – Rebekah (Hybrid Set) – Ejeca – Denis Sulta – New Jackson LIVE – Timmy Stewart – TinFoil Live (Sunil Sharpe & DeFekT) – Techno & Cans Crew – Jordan – Hammer – Or:La – Myler – Schmutz – Twitch DJs – Inside Moves DJs – Saoirse – Guerrilla Shout – The Cyclist – Ryan Vail LIVE AV & Album Tour – Swoose & Cromby – MisFit DJ’s – Subject DJs – Alice Meat Free – ELLLL Live – JMX – JC Williams LIVE – Holly Lester – Bobby Analogue – Brién – Nez – Ryan Dallas – Clockwork – Paragon Live – Cave DJs: B2B Kapoor – Jika Jika – GIRL

CISAC President Jean-Michel Jarre addresses launch of ground-breaking study on creative industries in Italy

A new study showing the powerful economic and employment contributions of creative industries in Italy was published today at an event attended by Minister of Culture and Tourism Dario Franceschini, as well as creative and cultural industry leaders. The study was commissioned by authors’ society SIAE and prepared by EY. It follows from the global study on the creative industries, “Cultural Times”, published by CISAC at UNESCO in December 2015.

Italia Creativa has identified that the creative and cultural industries are the third largest employer in Italy; larger than food, automobile, real estate and luxury goods. The study reinforces the data presented in “Cultural Times – The First Global Map of Cultural and Creative Industries“, prepared by EY and commissioned by CISAC. It finds that the creative sector is an engine of economic activity throughout the world, worth US$2,250 billion to the global economy and employing 30 million jobs.

CISAC President Jean-Michel Jarre delivered a statement during the launch of Italia Creativa, and declared, “For many years, we have known that our economic growth in the future will not come from manufacturing or traditional industries, but from knowledge and creativity. But now, we also have comprehensive studies – domestic and global studies – spread across multiple sectors and territories, to prove it. These studies translate the forecasts into hard evidence and data. This data shows a truly impressive picture. Not only of what our creative sectors have achieved, but also what they can go on to achieve if the right environment is provided for them in the future.”

Jarre underscored the importance of creators around the globe, who “are the engine of this success. Their works are driving the growth of the digital world.” The Italia Creativa and Cultural Times studies are about “building more success” in order to unlock the potential of creative and cultural industries. Jarre called policy makers to address the problem of “transfer of value” in the digital market, where the enormous value generated from the use of creative works is captured by intermediaries and not shared with the creators. The European Union is currently discussing this issue under a new proposed Copyright Directive.

A letter signed by 23 cultural and creative organisations calling for support to defend the cultural and creative industries in Italian and European legislation was also addressed to the President, Ministers and Parliament of Italy during the Italia Creativa launch. The letter urged support defending the industry against piracy as well as protecting the rights of creators in light of the proposed Copyright Directive. Jean-Michel Jarre’s comments also appeared in a commentary published today in the Italian newspaper La Stampa. He reinforced the need to protect the rights and promote the interests of authors of all repertoires both in Italy as well as throughout the world.

To read the full statement of CISAC President Jean-Michel Jarre:

To read the complete Italia Creativa study:

RTÉ Choice Music Prize Live Event Line-up

The line-up for this year’s RTÉ Choice Music Prize Live Event, in association with IMRO & IRMA, was announced today on RTÉ 2fm. Acts performing to date at Vicar St on Thursday 9th March include:

All Tvvins | Bantum | Wallis Bird | Katie Kim | Overhead, The Albatross | Rusangano Family and We Cut Corners.

Tickets for the Choice Music Prize live event are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and at priced €26.50 including booking fee.

The Irish Album of the Year 2016 shortlist can be listened to in full on the RTÉ Choice Music Prize website and on The winning album will be announced at the live event on Thursday 9th March. As part of the new partnership with RTÉ, the event will be broadcast live on RTÉ 2fm in a special four-hour extended programme from 7-11pm and on RTÉ2 as part of a special RTÉ Choice Music Prize TV programme, approximately one week later.

The winning act will receive €10,000, a prize fund which has been provided by The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA). All of the shortlisted acts will receive a specially commissioned award.

RAAP, Culture Ireland, The BAI & Golden Discs are also official project partners.

Culture Ireland will fund the attendance of influential overseas Industry executives to attend the Choice Music Prize Live Event, while Golden Discs will feature special stands showcasing the RTÉ Choice Music Prize nominees across their stores nationwide from next month.
All Tvvins – IIVV (Warner Music)
Bantum – Move (Self Released)
Wallis Bird – Home (Mount Silver / Caroline International)
The Divine Comedy – Foreverland (Divine Comedy Records)
Lisa Hannigan – At Swim (Play It Again Sam)
Katie Kim – Salt (Art For Blind Records)
James Vincent McMorrow – We Move (Faction Records)
Overhead, The Albatross – Learning to Growl (Self Released)
Rusangano Family – Let The Dead Bury The Dead (Self Released)
We Cut Corners – The Cadences Of Others (Delphi)

RTÉ Choice Music Prize – Irish Song of The Year 2016
The shortlist for the RTÉ Choice Music Prize – Irish Song of The Year 2016 will be announced on Wednesday 1st February, 2017 on RTÉ 2fm’s Tracy Clifford Show. A Special event featuring exclusive performances from Song of the Year nominees will be held that evening in Dublin’s Workman’s Club.

Stay up-to-date with the latest RTÉ Choice Music Prize news on RTÉ 2fm and by following @choiceprize, @rte2fm, @rte and @rte2 on Twitter and Facebook and @explorerte and @rte2fm on Instagram using #rtechoiceprize. For Snapchat updates, follow @rte2fm.

Further information can be found at:


Ryan Vail and Jealous of The Birds stream one-off single, “Love is a Crow”

Minimalist electronic composer Ryan Vail has teamed up with Jealous of The Birds songstress Naomi Hamilton to create a one-off single, “Love is a Crow”. The track opens with Hamilton’s gentle spoken word, betraying an obsession with the psychedelic poetry of Allen Ginsberg, before her lustrous vocal harmonies astutely negotiate Vail’s considered beats.

On Friday 24th February Ryan Vail will be bringing his A/V show to Homebeat at D-Light Studios, Dublin with Wastefellow and Hvmmingbyrd.

Daring and emotionally affecting… deserves your full attention.” – The Independent
Combines modern classical music and electronic sonics for a sound all his own.” – Stereogum

Listen to Soundcloud Link Here.

“Love is a Crow” Tracklisting:
1 Love is a Crow – Jealous of The Birds and Ryan Vail
2 Love is a Crow (Instr) – Jealous of The Birds and Ryan Vail
3 Love is a Crow – The Cyclist Remix – Jealous of The Birds and Ryan Vail
4 Love is a Crow – DIE HEXEN Remix – Jealous of The Birds and Ryan Vail


Eleanor McEvoy & Usher’s Island Added To The Line Up For Kilkenny Tradfest

Eleanor McEvoy and Usher’s Island set for Double Headliner concert not to be missed on St Patrick’s Day at the Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny
24th January 2017: Kilkenny Tradfest has today announced that Eleanor McEvoy, one of Ireland’s most accomplished singer/song writers and musical sensation Usher’s Island will appear at a Double Headliner concert on St Patrick’s Day (March 17th) at 7pm, the Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny City.

Usher’s Island sees the coming together of five of the most influential and acclaimed names in traditional Irish music including, Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny, both members of Planxty, Paddy Glackin a founding member of The Bothy Band, Mike McGoldrick of Lunasa and Capercaillie and John Doyle who played with Solas. Each is a talented soloist in their own individual right, but in this new band they offer a blend of old and young and of vocal and instrumental talents that results in exceptional music. Combined with the enchanting sounds of Eleanor McEvoy this is set to be a very special Double Headliner concert not to be missed.

Eleanor McEvoy has enjoyed both national and international success throughout her career and received much critical acclaim. Naked Music is the title of Eleanor’s new album, recorded alone in the studio to create an intimate collection of her music at its most raw – one instrument, one voice, performed live. Best known for her songs Sophie, Harbour, The Secret of Living and of course Only A Woman’s Heart, Eleanor’s new album features exclusive artwork by the famed painter Chris Gollon.

Commenting, Malcolm Noonan, Kilkenny Tradfest Chairperson said, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Eleanor McEvoy and Usher’s Island to our 2017 Kilkenny Tradfest festival. It is a privilege for us at the festival to be able to host such a wonderful concert – seeing Eleanor live is always spectacular, and Usher’s Island includes some of the most significant and influential Irish musicians of our age, so I’ve no doubt it will be an evening to remember.”

Mr Noonan continued, “This year we’re celebrating five years of Kilkenny Tradfest, and once again we have a jam-packed schedule for all music lovers. The festival seeks to celebrate our musical heritage, as well as showcase some of the new emerging talent Ireland has to offer. With something for all the family, Kilkenny Tradfest is the place to be this St Patrick’s Day weekend (16th – 19th March).”

Tickets for Eleanor McEvoy and Usher’s Island Double Headliner will go on sale from Friday 27th January – in person from Rollercoaster Records, Kilkenny or online from or €25 plus Booking Fee.

‘Sweet Liberty of Life’ | New Release by Finbar Furey Out Now

Finbar Furey launched his new album, Paddy Dear nationwide last week coincided by a special celebration to mark his 70th year, and his extraordinary career, by The Late Late Show.

In this first radio single, Sweet Liberty of Life, Finbar sings about freedom and peace. ‘Freedom to speak, freedom to live, love and be at peace with yourself, and the world’.

Writer, composer, arranger, musician, and now an actor, Finbar is truly a Renaissance Man. Celebrated around the world as one of the great folk icons, Finbar’s playing was recognised by John Peel when in 1972, he and his brother Eddie were awarded Single of The Year for the original sound of the pipes and the whistles. At the forefront of musical change, Finbar’s successful career and extensive touring introduced a whole new audience to his music and instruments, and he advocated for changes to allow pipes to become more accessible to young musicians.

In 2013 his album Colours reached Number 1 with the beautiful Last Great Love Song, and in 2014 Finbar was honoured by the City of Dublin, Lord Mayor Christy Burke praised him for “Bringing life and laughter to many homes in Ireland”.

2017 looks like another good year for Finbar – the release of his new album Paddy Dear, a celebration Late Late Show, a countrywide tour and composing music for a film in LA.

Order the album from iTunes


27th Jan The Venue, Rathoath, Co. Meath
3rd Feb Dolans Warehouse, Limerick
9th Feb Vicar Street, Dublin
18th Feb Claremorris Town Hall, Co. Mayo
23rd Feb Burnavon Theatre, Co. Tyrone
24th Feb Brogans, Trim, Co. Meath
27 April Loughrea Hotel, Co. Galway
4th May Vicar St, Dublin
30 April Inisboffin Festival, Co. Galway
19 May Charleville Park Hotel, Co Cork
27 July Ardmore, Waterford

Tickets Available from or from the venues direct.

Count Vaseline Returns With A Long-Awaited ‘Cascade’

Count Vaseline is the latest project by Stef Murphy former linchpin of The Mighty Stef Band.

Cascade is the music equivalent of a blunt instrument to the face: 10 short tracks, 10 compressed titles, everything done and dusted in less than 30 minutes. Cascade flaunts its high-end DIY work ethic, as much brusque punk as calm soul, along with a few other left-of-centre points in-between.  Tony Clayton Lea – Irish Times

Out now on OCDC Records

Engineered & Co.Produced by Peter Furgiuele at OCDC Studios and Studio 234 [Atlanta GA]

Dedicated to Frank Murray & Henry Johnsen

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