If there were any doubts that the Blizzards return was a definitive one, they’ve shattered them all. Between an 11 date sold out Back to Basics tour (where they returned to all of the Irish cities in which they originally built their following), an all-time high of Spotify plays, and brand new single “Show Me The Science”, the Mullingar five-piece have made it clear – they’re here to stay.
The Blizzards have partnered up again with producer Philip Magee (The Script, Kodaline) to create a synth-heavy, 80’s anthem. “Show Me The Science” is the fourth single from the band’s forthcoming album, due later this year.
Lead singer Niall Breslin explains, “The initial lyric idea came from an interview I was listening to on the radio about how we can now use algorithms to find love and I thought to myself, ‘that’s a load of sh*t’. I think trying to equate love to science almost takes the magic out of it. The song also comes from the idea that everything seems to have been vilified by science. I’d like to think that there are still things in the world that we are not meant to fully understand.”
The song is heavily 80’s influenced and Bressie adds, “I’ve always had a deep love of power pop. I wanted to add that retro sound but still keep it sounding like the Blizzards. It was so much fun recording and producing this and we wanted to get that across in the tune.” And as for that unforgettable saxophone solo by award winning jazz musician, Ben Castle? “We personally feel there is not enough sax solos in modern pop music. We wanted to help try bring back the glory of the sax solo as it’s the worlds sexiest instrument… just behind bag pipes!”
The group have an array of tour dates, including many Irish festivals, this summer and have their first massive outdoor show of the summer on June 17 when they support The 1975 in Malahide Castle.
“Show Me The Science” is available everywhere on July 7!
Upcoming Tour Dates:
June 3rd – Leixlip Festival
June 4th – Bandon Festival
June 10th – Strabane Summer Jamm
June 17th – Malahide Castle, supporting the 1975
July 7th – Club Creation, Dungarvan
July 14th – Mallow Racecourse
July 15th – Castlecomer Festival, Kilkenny
August 4th – Le Cheile
August 12th – Revival Festival, Listowel
Cormac O Caoimh is has just release his 4th solo album “Shiny Silvery Things”, which charted in the official IRMA charts. The first single , track 1, “Second Hand Clothes” has already reached over 2 million listeners over 40 radio stations in Ireland, UK and Europe. And he has just finished his tour and CD launch gig with a sold out show in Triskel Christchurch.
Following on from “The Moon Loses Its Memory”(2014), which received high acclaim from National Press such as The Times, Mojo Magazine, The Star, Hotpress and countless more, O Caoimh’s intimate vocals and exquisite guitar playing has attracted the attention of musicians and music lovers alike and the new album will carry on this tradition.
Unlike his previous 3 albums this is not a concept album. Or maybe that is the concept. This is an old-school album. A collection of fine songs, some fast, some slow, some personal, some fictional but sewn together sonically and lyrically by his inimitable songwriting and guitar playing. Lyrically the album explores a variety of influences too. Many are personal songs while others influenced by books and others are based on fictional characters, stories and scenarios in Cormac’s head. But all the songs are uniquely Cormac O Caoimh songs that have the strange knack off hitting home and appearing personal and relevant to the listener.
This album has more musicians playing on it than other Cormac O Caoimh LP’s. Aoife Regan is back on vocal duties and Colum Pettit is playing violin. Martin Leahy and Dave Donovon are on drumming duties, Cormac O Connor on bass and keys, Eoghan Regan on electric guitar and John O Connor on saxophone for one track. The album was recorded and produced in Maple Room Studios by Cormac O Connor and partly in Cormac O Caoimh’s attic. It was mixed by Adam Whittaker (who has mixed Julian Cope, Doves, The Damned and many more) and mastered by Dolan Whelan at Hafod Mastering.
With career-long comparisons to Prefab Sprout, Lloyd Cole and Elvis Costello, O Caoimh has a style and panache on this new album that will etch a little nook in your life like a lifelong friend that you turn to when you want to unwind. On Tracks such as ‘Second Hand Clothes’: “Your soul’s second hand clothes, worn through at the knees and elbows, try teach… Teach me a sadness, that fits you, fits you like old shoes” and ‘Silence and Sound’: “Time is like a church, its signs remind me… Light and Darkness form shapes. Colours born and worn make shadows and shades remind me”, the lyrics draw you in the same way as turning the first pages of a bestselling book you won’t want to put down.
Session Motts launch their new single “Plundered Past” on 30 May 2017, the second of a number of releases in 2017. A hyper-bright, emotional dance record inspired by the darkest subject imaginable. The song is accompanied by a video shot in Larne, Co. Antrim by film-makers Adam Hart, Richard Deering and Sinead O’Quigley, and is based on the true story of the 1988 unsolved murder of 18-year-old German backpacker Inga-Maria Hauser, whose body was found in a forest elsewhere in Co. Antrim. Despite its tragic inspiration, Plundered Past is an uptempo dancefloor stormer intended as a defiant celebration of a life cut short.
Session Motts’ trademark 80s-Modern sound – a hybrid of Post-Punk, Northern Soul, Disco and Burt Bacharach – was first heard on their debut single Chip Shop Fights, released in January this year. Nialler9 quickly named Session Motts ‘New Artist of the Week’ in The Irish Times, and the group soon picked up similar accolades from DublinLive.ie and DublinConcerts.ie. The song also gained regular airplay on RTÉ1, Newstalk, 98FM, Radio Nova, 8Radio and Dublin City FM, via, among others, Fiachna Ó Braonáin, Tom Dunne and Gavin Glass.
The reaction to Chip Shop Fights, from both media and fans alike, was overwhelmingly positive. As a result, although originally intended as a studio-only project, Session Motts are now playing live.
Thursday 15 June – Harbour Bar, Bray, Co. Wicklow
Friday 14 July – Whelans, Wexford Street. Dublin 2
There has always been Celts in Vienna. From the earliest tribes to the Irish monks that founded the Schottenstift in the 12th Century and beyond. Through music, song, literature, language and art, and in recognition of the many peoples who have helped carve out Vienna’s unique identity, the Schottenfest is a contemporary Gaelic Celtic festival to celebrate Vienna’s past, its present and the rich history between Austria, Ireland and Scotland. Founded in 2016 and based on an idea by Shane Ó Fearghail to reintroduce Vienna to it’s Gaelic past, links that stretched over 1,000 years back to Ireland and Scotland, the Schottenfest was realized by Shane Ó Fearghail (Ire), Stuart Neville (Scotland) and Mark Peters (Ire/Eng). With the help of a great crew, solo sponsors and wonderful support, the festival has grown legs.
Following on from the success of the very first Schottenfest in 2016, organisers are very happy to announce that Schottenfest 2017 is going ahead and will take place this year from November 29th – December 3rd in various locations around the city. Where they will once more present live musical events as well as cultural presentations, all of which were a big hit at last years festival. They look forward to Schottenfest 2017 and will announce their lineup soon.
For more information: http://www.schottenfest.com/
In September 2017 the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance is introducing a new programme – Master of Arts in Songwriting.
This one-year full time post-graduate course was initially suggested by the acclaimed author, Joseph O’Connor.
As Chair of Creative Writing at the University of Limerick, he noticed a gap for students who had a passion for songwriting. The Irish World Academy stepped in to help and developed this programme, in consultation with UL faculty, songwriters such as Mick Hanly, Julie Feeney and Pól Brennan and IMRO’s Director of Marketing and Membership, Keith Johnson.
The MA Songwriting is not a ‘How-To’ course. Rather, it offers the resources, space and time to songwriters who wish to hone their artistic practice.
With the support of songwriting mentors, students have access to a wide range of modules including media and technology for songwriters, tuition in accompanying instruments, music theory, and style and impact of songwriting. Students will create individual and collaborative work throughout the MA Songwriting, in writing, recording and performance. They will also work with visiting songwriters such as Duke Special, Chris Wood and Sive.
The Irish World Academy is currently receiving applications for this programme. For further information, see http://www.ul.ie/graduateschool/course/songwriting-ma or contact Kathleen Turner: firstname.lastname@example.org
Following their wonderful performance on the final Late Late Show of the season, lifelong friends and Irish country music legends Big Tom & Margo release a special duet entitled “A Love That’s Lasted Through The Years”. It has been an ambition of Margo’s to record a duet with Big Tom for many years. Notable songwriter Shunie Cramsey created a poignant and touching song for the King and Queen of Country and Irish and it’s as beautiful as we would expect from two of Ireland’s million-selling artists.
Big Tom began singing in London pubs in the early 60s and went on to become a breaking star with the release of “Gentle Mother” with The Mainliners in 1966. He toured UK and Ireland throughout the 60s and 70s until forming The Travellers in 1978. Big Tom has been a household name synonymous with country music success and continues to delight fans as he approaches his 81st birthday this September.
Margo O’Donnell started her career in music while singing as a young teenager with the popular show band The Keynotes in 1964. She released “Bonny Irish Boy / Dear God” in 1968 and her star rose quickly. Margo went solo in 1969 with backed by her own band The Country Folk. Margo found massive success as a solo singer, selling over a million records in a short period. Margo achieved 50 years in show business in 2014 and released her “50 Songs For 50 Years” collection.
“The Death Of Robotnik” is the second up and coming album from Irish artist ROBOTNIK (Chris Morrin). Plain and simple, the album was inspired by a mental breakdown in Morrin’s life. Morrin has decided to use the forthcoming album as a promotional tool to shine light on depression, mental health awareness and the psychological pressures of global neoliberal ideology.
It’s a lost album that is the transition towards a new creative step in Morrin’s musical career.
Written & recorded over the course of winter 2011, in a basement flat in Dublin.
It was mixed in 2012 in the infamous Funkhaus Studios, Berlin.
Not being able to even face the idea of playing music publicly again, Morrin ended up going on a deep reflective journey for the last 4 years in Berlin. It’s taken all this time for Morrin to even consider releasing such a harrowing reminder of his past.
His debut album “Pleasant Square” was released in 2008, which was greatly received by the UK & Irish press and public.
Jack Lukeman has just been announced as special guest to Imelda May for her sold Belfast Waterfront 27th May, Dublin Bord Gais 29, 30 and 31st May.
Jack has been touring with Imelda on current 21 date UK tour gaining especially rare reviews on each night of the tour. “Lukeman’s an inspired choice with a tower of a voice he had the audience standing and singing with his brilliant set” – Evening Standard London Palladium. While a review from the Liverpool Philharmonic show reads “Lukeman a rabble-rousing Irishman with an incredible voice that had the audience roaring like random banshees into the night” (Getintothis.co.uk)
On the night that Imelda appeared on the Graham Norton Show, Jack was invited to join Jools Holland and his big band for a stomping show in Warwick University.
In between his own summer solo tour of the UK Jack will be playing at the 50,000 Firenze Festival in Florence Italy (Aerosmith/Placebo) and selected shows in Ireland.
After a very successful run of gigs at The Temple Bar TradFest 2016 and a headline show at the Fleadh in Ennis, Stockton’s Wing, one of Ireland’s most prolific and enduring bands, will celebrate their extraordinary 40-year career as they know best – onstage at a series of summer shows! Featuring regular members – Mike Hanrahan (vocals & guitar), Paul Roche (flute & tin whistle), Steve Cooney (guitar, bass & didgeridoo) and Tommy Hayes (percussion, bodhran, spoons) – the band will be completed by two young Clare musicians Tara Breen (fiddle) and Karol Lynch (banjo/mandolin). Fans will be treated to a back catalogue of hits including much loved classic ‘Beautiful Affair’ – voted one of the Top 75 songs in the history of RTE Radio and chosen by Today FM listeners as number 7 in their Top 20 poll of Irish songs.
Mike Hanrahan has been at the helm of the band at various stages over the last 40 years “I am so delighted to be back with Stockton’s Wing playing the music that shaped my earlier life and career. We were adventurers in every sense – with no boundaries and no pressures. We created a new innovative sound and our gigs were always happy and energetic occasions”. Of the current line up, he says “It’s so good to be back on stage with Steve, Tommy and Paul again. We are missing two of the originals but I’m thrilled to have new blood – Tara Breen on fiddle and Karol Lynch on banjo. Two young Clare musicians steeped in the music of Stockton’s Wing. A Wing gig is a special event and this time we are not trying to take over the world, just simply enjoying a moment, shining a light on the back catalogue of a music we believe is still worthy, compelling and spirited. It will be great to meet the fans again and hopefully collect a few new ones along the way.”
Fri 16th June Jim Dowling Festival, Eccles Hotel, Glengarriff, Co. Cork
Doors 8pm onstage 8.30pm Tickets €20 jimdowlingfestival.eu/bookings
Sat 8th July Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, Co Wicklow
Show 8pm Tickets €25/€23 Bookings: 01 2724030 mermaidartscentre.ie
Thur 20th July Monroe’s as part of Galway Arts Festival
Doors 8pm onstage 9pm Tickets €30 Bookings: giaf.ie/stocktonswing
Sun 6th Aug Ballyshannon Folk Festival, Co Donegal
Doors 7pm Tickets €35 incl booking fee ballyshannonfolkfestival.com/stocktonswing
Fri 18th Aug Ennis Fleadh at the West County Hotel
Doors 8.30pm onstage 9pm Tickets €25 Booking details TBA
Sat 26th Aug Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre, Co. Kilkenny
Gates 7pm onstage 8.15pm Tickets €20 ballykeeffeamphitheatre.com/stocktons-wing
Sat 2nd Sept Doolin Bikers Festival, Doolin, Co. Clare
Open all day from 12noon – onstage 8pm to 10pm Booking details TBA
Sat 16th Sep Clifden Arts Week, Galway
Booking details TBA clifdenartsfestival.ie
Ailbhe Reddy has just shared the great new video for her single ‘Fingertips’.
The track is taken from her sublime new EP ‘Attach to Memory’ which is now released worldwide via Kobalt/AWAL.
Having now accumulated over 2 million Spotify streams for her debut self released EP ‘Hollowed Out Sea’, Ailbhe is poised for an international breakthrough in 2017.
Ailbhe recently appeared on the TV show Other Voices and had her music synced in the RTE TV drama Striking Out before performing sold out shows in Dublin, London and Toronto. She now has a full touring schedule lined up to promote her new release across Ireland, UK, France and Germany including festival appearances at Glastonbury, Latitude, Cambridge Folk Festival, London Folk & Roots Festival, Body & Soul, Electric Picnic, Another Love Story etc.