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Archive for June, 2017

Sponsorship of over €8.5 million by drinks companies for arts and cultural events under threat – ABFI

New proposals to restrict advertising and sponsorship will decrease the volume and value of cultural sponsorship by drinks companies, putting these partnerships and local cultural events around the country in jeopardy, according to Alcohol Beverage Federation Ireland (ABFI).

Commenting on the impact of the proposals, Director of ABFI Patricia Callan said, “The drinks industry provides almost €8.5 million in sponsorship to over 50 arts and cultural events around the country which is essential to their viability and sustainability. Almost €6 in every €10 of the wider spend in this space is spent on activity in the greater Dublin area, the remainder is invested in regionally based activities. In addition to their immense contribution to Irish cultural life, festivals and cultural events have multiple economic dividends including job creation, tourism, regional development in addition to enhancing Ireland’s reputation abroad”.

“The reality is the punitive new advertising restrictions proposed in the Public Health Alcohol Bill (PHAB) would effectively mean a ban on sponsorship by decreasing the volume and value of sponsorship partnerships for drinks companies. The severity of the content restrictions means that that images of conviviality (such as a scene in an Irish pub), images of a person consuming alcohol or indeed images of people will be banned. It’s hard to fathom but it will mean the banning of the iconic Guinness Christmas advert”.

“Advertising is a crucial part of the sponsorship package and brands “activate” sponsorship through advertisements.  Typically, a multiple of 3-5 times the value of the original sponsorship is spent activating a sponsorship through advertising.  If advertising a sponsorship becomes problematic or restricted, then the value of the original sponsorship agreement (for both the sponsor and the event) becomes significantly devalued.  Due to a limited pool of sponsorship opportunities, private partnerships are hugely important to cultural activity in Ireland, and the contribution it makes to society. Iconic events made possible by sponsorship include the Galway Arts Festival, which had a record attendance of 200,000 people last year and has become a landmark cultural event in Europe. Similarly, the Cork Jazz Festival attracted 40,000 fans and 1,000 musicians from over 20 countries in 2016 and has been an annual feature in Cork’s cultural calendar since 1978”.

A recent study carried out by UK-based BOP consultants commissioned by MCD, Fáilte Ireland and the IMRO into the economic impact of live events in Ireland (this includes all major Ticketmaster events) showed just what an enormous contribution music events alone made to the economy.

Overview of key findings:

Total Of which tourists
Attendees 2,262,090 120,918
Revenue (€mn) €900 €60
Gross Value Added (contribution to GDP) (€mn) €376 €25
Employment 6,448 465
Bed nights generated 2,915,797
Additional spending: total (€mn) €447
Food and Drink (€mn) €81
Accommodation (€mn) €68
Shopping (€mn) €55
Other leisure attractions (€mn) €31
Travel within country (€mn) €49

“There is a real lack of joined up thinking when it comes to Government policy. On the hand the Programme for a Partnership Government states, “the arts belong to everybody and we need to increase access to and participation in, the arts… societies which invest in the arts and heritage are more prosperous, successful societies”. The Government has invested significantly in Creative Ireland, a five-year initiative which places creativity at the centre of public policy. Yet on the other hand the unintended consequences of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill will only serve to undermine this commitment by jeopardising the partnerships that make cultural events possible. A much more workable solution is to place the existing codes on a statutory footing, with significant penalties for breaches. This could be implemented within a much shorter short timeframe with a regulatory authority already in place to police the system”.

Stolen City Share Debut Music Video

Stolen City release their DEBUT music video to their song “Faces”.

The band of 5 came up with the concept of shooting a video to highlight the struggles that LGBT+ people go through on a daily basis in Ireland;

“We want our music to be more than just notes on a page and actually have meaning while potentially make a difference to someone’s life. We couldn’t believe when we recently read, according to the Irish Times, that almost 80% of Trans people in Ireland have considered suicide. This is something that should not be happening in modern day Ireland”

The video, which is already generating a buzz within the music industry and has recently hit 30k views after being up for just 3 days was shot and edited by Ciaran O’Donnell and produced by Shireen Langan. The band was delighted to get the support of Jamie O’Herily, who came out as Trans last year and has garnered a plethora of media attention both nationally and internationally. Jamie brilliantly plays the lead role, followed by her ‘father’ John Duggan (Fair City) and ‘ring leader bully’ Robbie Walsh (Love/Hate, Assassins).

As a member of the Trans community, Jamie was fortunate enough to have had a supportive family growing up but see’s first hand the abuse and shame brought upon many people within the Trans community after deciding to come out.

“ As a trans woman, I’m delighted that five young lads who don’t identify as LGBT+ could come up with this concept and really show their support and solidarity. I’m really proud of the video it’s very beautiful and powerful”.

Having started out as two duos and a marching band drummer from various parts of Dublin, These five young energetic acoustic rock lovers decided to merge together to form Stolen City.  Taking the lead with his vocals is singer-songwriter Sean McGrath followed by his right-hand man on stage David McCabe who gets the crowd going with his quirky sense of humor and epic mandolin skills. Lead guitarist Jordan Higgins is often the main focus on stage swinging his guitar behind his back while continuing to play, Taking the Bass is sound engineer/songwriter Adam Treacy, On the drums, is Ian Baily who is known for his solo which leads to all the lads hitting the floor to ensure all eyes are on him.

“We see a big disconnect between bands and their fans nowadays, It’s as if once people get famous they can forget where they came from, We want to make sure that never happens to us and hope if we lead by example people will follow”.

Pauly Fagan Releases Single “Saving Grace”

Pauly Fagan releases new single “Saving Grace” from his upcoming album.

“Saving Grace”was written by Irish singer songwriter Pauly Fagan about the internal struggles between pessimism and optimism, love and loss. The emptiness following a broken heart leads to self-evaluation and eventually a healing. For Pauly, it is the music that heals – his ‘saving grace ‘.

“When I wrote the song, I was working so hard and felt like everything was a struggle. I had to take a step back and came to realise I already had what I really needed – the music”, said Pauly.

The song has a light island feel like you have been on holiday and can finally breathe.

Pauly Fagan is a prolific singer and songwriter. His music and the stories he writes are about the challenges we face and how we deal with them. Often about love and day-to-day life; his music takes the audience on the journey with him through the ups and downs of everyday struggles. His powerful voice and wonderful harmonies amaze audiences. He loves to be in front of a crowd, engaging them with his musical ability playing a variety of instruments.

2016 was a busy year with the release of his first studio album ‘Deeper’. He traveled all over Ireland performing live to welcoming audiences all the while writing new songs and jamming with other musicians. Based in Navan, Co. Meath, Pauly has supported many charities performing at Oxjam, Big Viking Picnic, Earthfest, Women’s Aid Ireland and most recently a fundraiser for Syrian refugees. 2017 has been busy so far and there is no stopping Pauly’s momentum.

Pauly wrote “Saving Grace” as an honest reflection of personal loss and the darkness that holds your heart still. The lyrics reflect the helpless feelings that come with the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship and the efforts to pick yourself up and move on. “Saving Grace” for Pauly is the music itself not a person.

He is currently writing and recording for his upcoming album due for release later this year.

Pauly is also the host of the “O” Sessions which promotes Irish musicians and their original music.

Debut Release by Chirpy Out June 27

Introducing for the first time Dublin born female solo artist, C H I R P Y. An Irish folk, alt-pop, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

Her debut 6 track taster EP ‘Real Life’ will hit iTunes on 27 June 2017. This release has most of her contemporaries curious. Born Rebecca Shannon, she has been around Dublin on the Irish music scene for the past 10 years performing most notably with Anuna (where the likes of Julie Feeney and Hozier started). She has toured Ireland, the UK, Europe, the US and Asia as a singer and is featured on various recordings and television specials in the US and Australia. A former diamond grader, Chirpy recorded, produced and mixed all six tracks here in Dublin before sending the final finishes off to UK based Pete Maher (U2, The Rolling Stones, The Killers) for mastering.

The title track ‘Real Life’ is a classic lively summer tune with the potential to re-introduce much loved and familiar classical music elements into a fresh, raw, new sound, with the atmosphere of a live performance and a clear message. ‘The Sister’ paints a sharp image drawing on country and folk elements with text from the Irish poet Francis Ledwidge, whose centenary will take place on 31 July 2017. ‘Heavy Hearted’, ‘Nowhere Land’, ‘I Wish It Was My Home’ and ‘Tomorrow’ are perfect examples of maintaining the raw elements to any musical genre that make it human again. Chirpy cites many influences across popular, classical, heavy metal, blues and folk, yet manages to package each song into her own unique experience. Her style has more recently been compared to a broad range of artists including: Fleet Foxes, Sinead O’Connor, Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young.

Chirpy’s debut self-titled album is being finalised over the coming weeks for a mid-November release with live dates to be announced soon.

Wyvern Lingo Announce Brand New Single

County Wicklow trio Wyvern Lingo up the ante with the first taste of their upcoming debut album. Described by the band as a song “about loving the feminine qualities of a man, and encouraging him not to worry about fitting into the male stereotype and just to be himself”; ‘I Love You, Sadie’ showcases Wyvern Lingo’s bold new Indie R’N’B sound just in time for the best days of summer.

The single was recorded in Dublin alongside producer James Kelly, with additional production and mix in London from Neil Comber (M.I.A. / Crystal Fighters), the band are currently putting the finishing touches to the rest of the album.

“I Love You, Sadie” is released on Rubyworks to all good digital download and streaming platforms on Friday 23rd June.

Wyvern Lingo are:
Caoimhe Barry – vocals, drums
Karen Cowley – vocals, keyboards, bass synth
Saoirse Duane – vocals, guitar

Robb Murphy Releases ‘Italian Dreams’

Robb Murphy, one of Belfast’s finest singer-songwriters, is set to release ‘Italian Dreams’, a taste of the new music following on the heels of his critically acclaimed second album, ‘Sleep Tonight’. Italian Dreams was written during a long summer in Italy and is a lighthearted song with a 60’s vibe, a hint of The Beach Boys, certain to spark memories of those heady summer days and your first love. The lyric, ‘Dolce far niente’, is an important activity in Italy and translates to, ‘the sweetness of doing nothing’. The song was recorded and produced by Robb himself. Creative support provided by Kevin Carlisle on drums; Dave Bennington on trumpet and bass; Rick McKee electric guitar; with Robb providing acoustic guitar, piano and vocals. Italian Dreams is mastered by Neal Calderwood of Manor Park Studios with Art Cover provided by Ronan Reid. The single is supported by an animated lyric video created by Italian artist Marco Burani. You’re invited to enjoy ‘Italian Dreams’ as a glimpse into the future and allowing Robb Murphy to transport you to those lazy, hazy summer days gone by.

‘Italian Dreams’ is available for pre-release on the 30th June on iTunes and releases a week later in all other stores on the 7th July.

Ralph McLean – BBC Radio Ulster:
Robb Murphy is a real talent. His songs are melodic and magical. He writes from the heart and the results are spellbinding.”

Morrisey & Marshall Announce New Single

‘Hangin’ Around’ is the latest single from rock n roll duo, Morrissey & Marshall. Having just released their second studio album, ‘We Rise’ and with the crowds growing on their current European and festival tour, the duo feel this is the perfect time to let this 3 minute summer pop song fly.

Darren Morrissey had this to say about the single:
‘”Hangin’ Around”, in short and in a nutshell, is a song about a love affair with boozing and partying. It’s about not having the ability to just go home and leave the session, club or party at a reasonable hour for the fear of missing out. It’s about the envy for the sensible ones who know when it’s time to call it a day.

“Who are those people taking the last bus home? They never fail. I feel it’s time to go then you order mine, oh you’re far too kind. Then I rush for the door and you people plead ‘one more’ and here I stay”

Musically it pays homage to the artists who have influenced us. It starts with a 90’s style riffy guitar intro and goes on a journey into a harmony driven 60’s pop chorus.
We teamed up with one of our heroes in comedy, Hugh Cooney for the video because he, just like us, heavily relates to what the song is about. For a long time we’ve wanted to work with Hugh and this project suited perfectly. We had a solid team for this one. It was directed by James Skerrit, Hugh and ourselves. Hugh also did the incredible animation and edited.
I am so proud of this one and feel that it really captures what we are all about in under 3 minutes. It’s my Favourite track on the record.’

In the past, the duo have supported Sinead O’Connor, The Magic Numbers, The Beautiful South and Damien Dempsey to name a few and include Shane McGowan and Cillian Murphy amongst their fans. Their last single ‘She’s Got Love’, was crowned record of the day, record of the week and was A-Listed on Radio 1 Ireland. Their latest album has been incredibly received, and the reviews have been much the same:

“It’s impossible to resist. Roll on summer.”

“proper solid indie guitar anthems, stuffed with uplifting harmonies, harking back to the glory days of Britpop, when shiny bright tunes of this ilk jangled away on every station across the land”

“The two friends appear to possess an innate ability for incredibly catchy indie-pop, and long may it continue.”

“A clear result of the duos evolution, with their smooth guitar riffs and matching melodies in the form of their “simply beautiful unison vocals” still very much present, now however, met with regimented drum bars.”

“Timeless, immaculately tailored”

“infectious indie-pop.”

“Morrissey & Marshall are the real deal”

New Video and Single from Anton Glackin

Anton Glackin may be a new name to many people on the Country scene but others will recognise him as a quality Irish singer songwriter based in Belfast who has worked and shared the stage with some of the world’s biggest talents including Midge Ure, Nanci Griffith, Smokie and Bagatelle.

Anton’s new single Dust Clouds is a reflective ballad echoing the return to the traditional in what could be best described as Country/Americana and the accompanying video has already been well received by the critics and fans of traditional Country alike.

Great track, super mix‘ George Jones BBC Radio
..’fabulous songwriter‘ Gerry Kelly – UTV, BBC Radio Ulster
Dust Clouds is as good as it gets in country music‘ Peter Anthony- radio Caroline-
A fine piece of work’ Charlie McGettigan – Eurovision song-contest winner, Songwriter, Broadcaster
I can see a lot of people recording his songs‘ Gloria Hunniford
One of the most talented , exciting, singer- songwriters on the Irish music scene‘ Lisa Johnson Belfast 89 FM.
Beautiful song‘ Helen schisas- Irish music country radio
A tribute to the working class‘ – Eagle Country Radio


Midsummer Sessions Brings Music Trail to Portstewart

Following the sell-out success of Atlantic Sessions in 2016 and its 2017 NI Tourism Award, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council will be bringing Midsummer Sessions to Portstewart during the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

Over 30 of Northern Ireland’s finest musicians will perform live in coffee shops, hotels, restaurants and bars across the four days, 6 to 9 July – all admission free! Visitors will have an opportunity to see high profile artists in an intimate setting, with the stunning Atlantic as a backdrop. Each artist will play their own music for one hour on the hour, and this will form a music trail across Portstewart.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Joan Baird OBE, said: “Following the recent success of Atlantic Sessions at the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards I am delighted to welcome Midsummer Sessions to Portstewart. With huge numbers of visitors expected in the area for the Irish Open it provides an exciting showcase for our home grown musical talent. World class golf coupled with this fantastic line-up of entertainment means Portstewart is tee-ing up for a memorable start to the summer season.”

With a rise in the number, and quality, of musicians and bands making headlines and enjoying success in the international marketplace, and new and innovative music businesses based here, Midsummer Sessions has a significant role to play in developing music tourism, appreciating the ongoing success stories and showcasing this on the global stage.

As with Atlantic Sessions, programming of Midsummer Sessions is by Snow Water, this time in association with Third Bar, and its Director Carolyn Mathers commented:
Northern Ireland is extraordinary in the richness of its artistic talent and Midsummer Sessions is a perfect opportunity to showcase our creative energy to international audiences, who will have an opportunity to witness our finest singer-songwriters and bands play live in intimate environments. We’re very grateful for the support of the hospitality sector and delighted that interest in Northern Ireland’s music scene is stronger than ever.”

With over 10 venues in Portstewart taking part, artists involved include Beauty Sleep, Brand New Friend, Callum Stewart, Chris Keyes, Cup o Joe with Eilidh Patterson, Emer Maguire, Gerry Norman, Larks, Mandy and Graham Bingham, Matt McGinn, Peter J McCauley, Rory Nellis, Joshua Burnisde, No Oil Paintings, Sam Wickens, Son of the Hound, Tony Villiers & the Villains and Verse Chorus Verse.

For more, check out

Midsummer Sessions is admission free and no tickets are required.

Thursday 6th July

4pm Sam Wickens The Paper Fig
7pm Chris Keyes Manina Restaurant
9pm Callum Stewart & band Harry’s Shack
11pm Tony Villiers & the Villains The Anchor Complex

Friday 7th July

4pm Son of the Hound Warke’s Deli
7pm Beauty Sleep Shenanigans
9pm Larks Harry’s Shack
11pm Cup O Joe with Eilidh Patterson The Anchor Complex

Saturday 8th July

4pm Peter J McCauley The Three Kings
5pm Matt McGinn Roughan’s Ice-Cream & Coffee Shop
6pm Gerry Norman New York Inn
7pm Verse Chorus Verse Manina Restaurant
8pm Brand New Friend Shenanigans
9.30pm Mandy & Graham Bingham Cromore Halt 

Sunday 9th July

4pm Emer Maguire Warke’s Deli
5pm Rory Nellis Manina Restaurant
6.30pm Joshua Burnside Harry’s Shack
7.30pm No Oil Paintings The Anchor Complex



Ensemble Ériu Share Third Album ‘Stargazer’

Diatribe Records proudly presents ‘Stargazer’, the third album fromaward-winning Irish contemporary trad septet, Ensemble Ériu.

In 2014, supported by the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, the Model Arts Centre in Sligo hosted band leaders Jack Talty and Neil Ó Loclainn for a two-week residency to spend time with a number of the Jack B. Yeats paintings in the Model’s Niland collection, and compose new music in response to the images.

The Stargazer suite emerged as a complete statement, and the music was first performed by Ensemble Ériu at the All-Ireland Fleadh in Sligo. In recognition of their work in advancing musical collaboration in traditional music, the group were awarded the prestigious TG4 Gradam Comharcheol Award in 2015.

Jack Talty points to the correlation between Yeats’ artistic mode and Ensemble Ériu’s: “He was part of the international aesthetic of Expressionism but he definitely ‘indigenised’ that to represent the local world around him. Works like The Mountain Path and Men of Destiny, in my view, have an Irish identity but are communicated through a cosmopolitan sensibility.” Neil Ó Loclainn recalls the extra sense of freedom they had from the commission: “It gave me the chance to develop new ideas within the arrangements. The work ended up being more through-composed with a stronger focus on texture and instrumentation than the earlier music.

As well as the familiar lineup of Ó Loclainn on flute and double bass, Talty on concertina, Maeve O’Hara on marimba and vibraphone, Jeremy Spencer on fiddle, Matthew Berrill on clarinets, Paddy Groenland on guitar, and Matthew Jacobson on drums, the closing track Fear an Bhogha features the fiddle playing of Aoife Ní Bhriain.

‘Stargazer’ is released internationally on Saturday July 1st 2017.

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