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Archive for May, 2018

IMRO Congratulates Songwriter Johnny McDaid on success at IVORS 2018

IMRO (the Irish Music Rights Organisation) has congratulated songwriter and IMRO member Johnny McDaid on his success at the 2018 Ivor Novello Awards. McDaid’s composition The Shape of You, co-written with Steve Mac and Ed Sheeran, won the title of Most Performed Work, a category which credits works that received the most broadcast, online and general performance in the UK during 2017. Johnny McDaid and Ed Sheeran accepted the award at The Ivors event in London earlier today.

Commenting on the award, Victor Finn, CEO of IMRO said: “On behalf of IMRO, I would like to congratulate Johnny on this fantastic achievement, yet another nod to the calibre of music being produced on this island. Occasions such as The Ivors are an important opportunity to acknowledge music creators like Johnny whose commitment and passion plays a vital role in bolstering our reputation on the world stage and provides such enjoyment for music lovers near and far. With dedicated supports, there’s an exciting opportunity to further build on our reputation and secure the future of this important sector.”

(Pictured l-r:  Eleanor McEvoy, IMRO Chair, Johnny McDaid, Victor Finn, IMRO CEO)

Earlier this year, Johnny McDaid was presented with an IMRO Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of the enormous contribution he has made on the global stage.

A full list of the 2018 Ivor Novello Award winners is available here:

Johnny McDaid is a prolific songwriter and producer behind a wide array of recent chart hits including Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’, ‘Human’ by Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, James Blunt’s ‘The Afterlove’ and Zara Larsson’s ‘So Good’. Born in Dublin and raised in Derry, Northern Ireland, McDaid moved to London in his late teens and spent a decade leading his band Vega4, whose song ‘Life is Beautiful’ featured prominently in a number of US TV dramas and films. When that band split, Snow Patrol members Jonny Quinn, Gary Lightbody and Nathan Connolly set up a publishing company, Polar Patrol Publishing, and made McDaid their first signing. Johnny has since written soundtracks and numerous songs for movies alongside Snow Patrol frontman, Gary Lightbody. McDaid went on to tour with Snow Patrol during the Fallen Empires Tour and subsequently joined the band. In addition, the Grammy nominated songwriter has worked with diverse artists such as Example, Robbie Williams, Biffy Clyro, Rudimental, Birdy, Kodaline, Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, Anderson East, Beoga and P!nk.


Sea Sessions Unsigned Sessions Showcase

Sea Sessions Unsigned Sessions Showcase takes place on Thursday 7th June in The Chasin’ Bull, Bundoran. Finalists Myth, Sonja Sleator, Walking Android, Avelina and Kate Grimes were selected from hundreds of entries to perform on the night to be in with a chance of winning one of two performance slots at this year’s Sea Sessions. Sponsored by IMRO, entry on the night is free with ticket giveaways and more in the night.

With only 3 weeks to go, Sea Sessions have also announced their day to day line up along with 2 brand new stages.

Headliner Dizzee Rascal performs Friday 22 June followed by Walking On Cars on Saturday 23 June and Rudimental on Sunday 24 June 2018.  Hannah Wants and Dusky will headline the new Astoria Dance Stage and Irish album chart toppers Delorentos and The Blizzards will headline the new Monroe’s stage.

Sea Sessions, who return to the unique festival setting of Donegal’s Bundoran, has sold out weeks in advance over the last three years and this year promises to be bigger and better than any year yet as festival organisers celebrate 10 years partying by the beach in 2018.

Friday 22 June 2018

Dizzee Rascal, Dusky, Hudson Taylor, Le Galaxie, Versatile, Fekky, DJ Yoda (AV show), The Hot Sprockets, DJ Deece, Molly Sterling, Amber & The Bear, New Valley Wolves, Thumper, Alan Finan, Order of the Mess, Ciara Brady

Saturday 23 June 2018

Walking On Cars, Hannah Wants, Chasing Abbey, The Blizzards, Jerry Fish, Wild Youth, Kormac (AV show), David Keenan, Brave Giant, Interskalactic, Willie & The Bandits, Get Down Edits, 1000 Beasts, Vernon Jane, Colin Perkins, Sixpenny Plug

Sunday 24 June 2018 

Rudimental, Everything Everything, Delorentos, Greg Wilson, Stomptown Brass, Fabio, DJ Mek, Marc O’Reilly, Waldorf & Cannon, Elaine Mai, Slow Place Like Home, Ryan McMullan, Delta Fuse, A Different Animal, Motion DJs.

With their unique blend of quality acts, beach sports,  surfing and a stunning location right on Bundoran beach on the Wild Atlantic Way, Sea Sessions has evolved organically over the years and is much more than just a music festival.

Sea Sessions surfing and sports events have become an important kick off to the tourist season in Bundoran and have made Sea Sessions an integral part of the Irish festival circuit.  Winner of IMRO Festival of the year at the 2017 IMRO awards alongside picking up the gong for Festival of the year at the “Excellence in local Government Awards”, Sea Sessions has gone from strength to strength.

Sea Sessions 2018 festival lineup includes Dizzee Rascal, Walking On Cars, Rudimental, Everything Everything, Hannah Wants, Dusky, Delorentos, Chasing Abbey, Hudson Taylor, Le Galaxie, Jerry Fish, Kormac (Av Show), Fekky, The Blizzards, Versatile, DJ Yoda (AV Show), Wild Youth, Greg Wilson, Stomptown Brass, Fabio, Ryan Mc Mullan, The Hot Sprockets, DJ Deece, David Keenan, Wille & The Bandits, Slow Place Like Home, Waldorf & Cannon, Amber & The Bear, Marc O Reilly, Get Down Edits, DJ Mek, Brave Giant, New Valley Wolves, Elaine Mai, The Clandestinos, 1000 Beasts, Vernon Jane, Thumper, Alan Finan, Delta Fuse, Salty Sea Dogs, Bpm, Colin Perkins, A Different Animal, Order of The Mess and Ciara Brady.

Over the years such luminaries as Tinie Tempah, Paul Weller, Bastille, Seasick Steve and loads more have graced their unique stages. The Festival started way back in 2008 as an after party for a Surfing Competition. Now it holds the top Surfing Competition in the country as well as hosting the worlds top skateboarders, BMX’ers and loads of beach sports. Supported by and working with DonegalCounty Council and Failte Ireland the event has become an important kick start to the tourist season for the capital of Irish surfing in Bundoran.

Early Bird tickets have now sold out but tickets are still available from all Ticketmaster outlets nationwide, Priced from €109.90 for 3 days and €134.90 including 4 nights camping. There’s also limited single day tickets available from €49.50, Surfer Bar (VIP) Upgrades from €50 extra plus Glamping options. Check for more details.

Sea Sessions
22nd – 24th June 2018. and Ticketmaster Outlets Nationwide

Úna Keane Announces Irish Tour

In the way the likes of Nils Frahm & Arvo Pärt can get up close and personal, Úna Keane’s piano solo album ‘As I Wake, Still I Dream’ is like a soothing cushion for the soul. Released in May 2017, the record was critically acclaimed, garnering 4 star reviews from both The Irish Times and The Sunday Times. Following a short hiatus to focus on motherhood (she gave birth to her baby girl just after Christmas), she’s brings her particular brand of minimalist piano on tour this summer with 8 Irish dates – a combination of venues and house concerts. Some UK and European dates will follow in the autumn. Full details at

Consistently beautiful” – Tony Clayton-Lea
A testament to the wonderful mysteries of sound” – John Kelly
Lingers even after the final note has been struck” – Lauren Murphy

Midsummer Arts Festival 2018 Music Industry Talk

The Midsummer Arts Festival is coming back for a third year on June 23rd 2018. With even more event and activities for all the family, it promises to be a great day out. So put June 23rd in your diary. Keep an eye out here and on our Facebook page for up to the minute details as they are announced.

Are you interested in working in the music industry? If you have any questions about working in the industry, then this is for you. Taking place from 11.30am to 12.30pm in McAuley Place, Sallins Road, Naas, this is an open forum talk with 3 of Ireland’s leading musicians, John Spillane, Luan Parle and Sadhbh O’Sullivan. Listen to them talk about how to make a living from working in the Music Industry. The floor will be open for questions at the end of the session. This is a free event and open to anyone from 12yrs upwards, but places are limited. Booking is essential. Book your place at

Chirpy Releases Debut Album this June

Introducing singer and producer, Chirpy – a dark, dream pop singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Dublin, Ireland. Her debut six track demo EP which was released last summer went straight to No. 1 on the Irish iTunes download charts and received widespread critical acclaim in the tastemaker sphere. Born Rebecca Shannon, she has been around on the Irish music scene for the past 10 years as a session musician (voice, guitar, bass, keys) and collaborator performing most notably with the Irish International set-up, Anúna (where many well known artists such as Hozier started their careers). She has toured Ireland, the UK, Europe, the US and Asia as a singer and performer.

Self-produced, Chirpy’s self titled debut album was recorded in Dublin, London and Lucerne and draws on a noticeable classical music background with contemporary electronica input, combining a sweep of cross-genre influences from predecessors including Leonard Cohen, Kate Bush and Björk, to the contemporary sounds of Stina Nordenstam, Jessie Ware and Lali Puna.

The first track ‘Breathe’ will be promoted as a single during the album release. It asks for a stop from the chaotic world with the opening line ‘it’s a miracle to be here‘…..

Born on a planet where we frantically struggle paying our way to stay on… that miracle is often easy to forget.’

RTÉ lyric fm to Commission New Music to Mark 20th Anniversary

RTÉ lyric fm is celebrating its 20th birthday by commissioning three new works, with a total fund of  €14000 available  to composers born or living in Ireland. These new compositions will be performed live by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and RTÉ Philharmonic Choir at a gala concert on 1st May 2019.

Announcing the launch of the competition, Director General of RTÉ, Dee Forbes, said:

“Since its inception, RTE lyric fm has championed the very best in classical music from home and abroad and occupies a unique and cherished place in the lives of its listeners. It is fitting that a station that celebrates both composition and live performance should mark its anniversary by investing in the composition and performance of new Irish works. I look forward to hearing the results, and to celebrating 20 ground-breaking years of RTÉ lyric fm.”  

Aodán Ó Dubhghaill, Head RTÉ’s Orchestras, lyric fm, Quartet & Choirs described the competition: 

“Irish musicians have always been at the heart of the station. What better way to mark our birthday than with a new work for the national emblem of Ireland the Irish harp with one of its leading exponents Máire Ní Chathasaigh premiering it with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.”

Commissions and prize money will be offered in the following categories:

  • A 10-15 minute Irish harp concerto in three movements for soloist Máire Ni Chathasaigh and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra –  €10,000
  • A 4-5 minute a cappella work for RTÉ Philharmonic Choir- €2,000 based on the poem Though There are Torturers by Michael Coady
  • A 4-5 minute work for the cellos of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra – €2,000

Entrants should think about creating melodic, accessible new compositions that will engage the lyric listener and that can ultimately, after its premiere performance, be recorded in studio for repeat broadcast on the station’s prime time programmes.  All entrants must submit approximately 1 minute of their proposed score, a 200 word outline of their work and a detailed musical CV. Three hard copies of each of these documents must be posted to: RTÉ lyric fm, 20th Anniversary Competition, Top Floor, Cornmarket Square, Limerick by 5pm Friday 1st September 2018. 

The submissions will be judged by Ellen Cranitch, Shaun Davey, Anthony Long, Mark Hindley & Una Ní Chanainn. The adjudicators’ decision is final.

For further details and conditions of entry, visit

CISAC’s General Assembly Meets in Warsaw, Calls on Governments to Step Up Action on Creators’ Rights

Over 200 authors and their representatives convene this week in Poland at CISAC’s General Assembly, the annual meeting of the world’s leading network of creators and authors’ societies.

Top of the agenda for CISAC – the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers – are its campaigns for stronger and fairer rights for creators, globally coordinated with national and regional partners across the world.

The Warsaw meeting will be attended by the confederation’s President Jean-Michel Jarre and many other creators from across the world. It will be hosted by ZAiKs, the Polish Society of Authors and Composers, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2018 and was one of the original founders of the Confederation in 1926.

Coinciding with the General Assembly, CISAC is releasing its 2018 Annual Report, which provides a comprehensive overview of its fight for creators’ rights globally. It will be available for download at in English, French and Spanish.

CISAC Director General Gadi Oron says: “We are gathering in Warsaw to plan for the future at a time of great opportunity for authors and authors’ societies, but also of uncertainty. In the digital world, creativity has never been more abundant, but for millions of creators the market is simply not working the way it could and should. We need the help of government and lawmakers to build a 21st century landscape which brings fairer rewards to the millions of creators whose livelihood depends on their creative works.”

ZAiKS President Janusz Fogler says: “We are delighted to be hosting CISAC again after 84 years, and to be able to bestow Honorary Membership of ZAiKS upon exceptional creator and CISAC President Jean-Michel Jarre on our 100th anniversary. This accolade, which was first granted in pre-war times, is to this day the highest distinction awarded by ZAiKs. It recognises the efforts Jean-Michel has put into improving the situation of authors worldwide and in Poland”.

CISAC works to protect the rights and promote the interests of creators and authors’ societies across all regions of the world and artistic fields. The confederation brings together 239 authors’ societies from 121 countries. These societies’ royalty collections grew 6% to €9.2 billion in 2016, providing a living to more than 4 million creators in all repertoires: music, audiovisual, drama, literature and visual art.

However, the works of authors across the world are being widely devalued and their creators unfairly remunerated. This is due to a combination of powerful users, from broadcasters to technology companies, and flawed legislation in many countries.

The Warsaw meeting will focus on four key CISAC campaigns: fixing the “transfer of value” in the digital market; seeking fair rights for audiovisual creators; an international resale right for visual artists; and promoting private copying levies.

CISAC works alongside its three Creators’ Councils: the Council of Music Authors (CIAM), Writers & Directors Worldwide (W&DW) and the International Council of Creators of Graphic, Plastic and Photographic Arts (CIAGP).


Fixing the “transfer of value”

The explosion of digital platforms has transformed how works are made available, helping some sectors like the music industry return to growth. However, authors are not sharing in this boom as they should. This is because the value generated by creative content is siphoned off by large technology companies, particularly user-uploaded content services. The European Union proposed legislation to address this problem known as the “transfer of value”.

CISAC President Jean-Michel Jarre says: “This is a critical moment in Europe’s proposal for legislation to give creators a fair deal from global technology companies. CISAC’s message in this debate is a vital one for policy makers to hear. It is: “the world is watching Europe”. There is no doubt that decisions made to fix the transfer of value in Europe this year will send a powerful signal to governments globally. Today Europe – tomorrow the world. That is an empowering message to the global community”.

Seeking fair remuneration for audiovisual creators

CISAC works with Writers & Directors Worldwide to ensure that screenwriters and directors have an unwaivable right of remuneration when their works are used by digital services and other users. In many countries, these creators do not have this right enshrined in the law. They are unable to share in the commercial success of their films and TV programmes. In May 2018, CISAC published the “AV Remuneration Study” by Professor Raquel Xalabarder. The study examines global legal systems to support reforms to introduce the right internationally. It provides the framework for governments to enact the right.

An international resale right for visual artists

By guaranteeing a royalty when works are resold by an auction house or gallery, resale right is a vital source of income for visual artists in over 80 countries. However, universal adoption of the right is essential if all artists are to benefit. This is why CISAC engaged in talks to build momentum for resale right at the World Intellectual Property Organization and lobbied decision-makers in art markets, such as Argentina and Japan, which have yet to implement the right.

Promoting private copying levies

Private copying levies are a significant income stream for creators, especially in countries with less developed copyright and collections environments. In 2017, CISAC published the Private Copying Global Study, detailing the laws of 191 countries on five continents. In 2016, private copying levies reached €374 million in global collections. At least 74 countries have a private copying levy system, but only 38 have effectively implemented it.

Photo ©: Christie Goodwin


The Deans Launch Kickstarter Campaign

For years now The Deans have been recording their music themselves, in some of the most inhospitable of acoustic environments; the abandoned second floor of an old French hotel, a dilapidated portacabin in the west of Ireland, bedrooms of madhouses and basement studios in London, coupled with the most basic of recording equipment; borrowed studio microphones and preamps, homemade vocal booths fashioned from a fortress of hotel mattresses, and a spiral staircase echo chamber.

This time however, the band feel their latest material merits a fancy pants, pro studio sound.  That’s why this past April they journeyed to Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago to record their new record with legendary engineer/producer Steve Albini @ Electrical Audio studios, Chicago. Steve Albini has recorded some of their favourite bands – Nirvana, Pixies, The Stooges.

They now require funding for vinyl and digital mastering at the world renowned Abbey Road Studios, London – as well as funding for vinyl and CD duplication. If you’re a vinyl lover then you’ll be excited to know that this will also be the first time the band will put out a release on vinyl.

Just like The Deans homemade method of making music, they rely on their home base of fans, friends and supporters to help fund these types of projects, through social media, live shows, and word-of-mouth.

Each step of the project has and will be filmed for a documentary that the band plan to releasing along with the record. The crowdfunding for the project is live on Kickstarter until June 26th.


The Blizzards Announce First Single from New Album

The Blizzards came back with a bang in 2016 with airwave dominating tracks ‘Drop Down The Anchor’, ‘Perfect on Paper’ and ‘Show Me The Science’. Now, the Blizzards are are excited to announce their first studio album in a decade. The album, due in Autumn 2018, will be compiled entirely of previously unreleased tracks from the Mullingar band.

Love Me Later‘ is the first single from the upcoming full-length and is available across all digital platforms from Friday 8 June. A pop anthem featuring Dublin rapper Paul Alwright, ‘Love Me Later‘ is a collaboration unlike anything The Blizzards have done before. Frontman Niall Breslin says ‘the song is about how love isn’t something you can pick and choose on any given day. You have to love someone at their worst if you want to love them at their best“.

The album was recorded between the legendary Grouse Lodge recording studio and Dublin’s very own Camden Recording Studios, and was produced by Philip Magee, the usual suspect behind The Blizzard‘s most recent hits.

Love Me Later’  is out everywhere on June 8, 2018.

New album coming in Autumn 2018.

Live Dates:
June 7 – Irish Post Music Awards
June 23 – Sea Sessions
August 3 – Indiependence

Marc O’Reilly Proudly Releases ‘Solitary Ease’

Ahead of a series of Irish, UK and European live dates Waterford’s Marc O’Reilly proudly releases ‘Solitary Ease’  The third cut from his much lauded 4th Lp ‘L’etre Politique’ (Political Being).

‘L’etre Politique’ sees Marc deliver his strongest album to date and is a wonderful collection of contemporary rock tracks which showcase his unique voice and exceptional guitar playing.

The album was recorded, mixed and co-produced by Christian Best.

‘L’etre Politique’ meaning ‘political being’ is as it’s title suggests, a political commentary. The album was written over a period of 3 months from Jan to March 2017 and recorded in two weeks in the summer of 2017. It deals with the politics of human interactions, from one on one friendships to more broader global themes of capitalism, war and globalisation. It offers an introspective look on universal issues-political beings, being political and the politics of being.

Marc O’Reilly has released 3 previous albums, ‘My Friend Marx’, ‘Human Herdings’ and ‘Morality Mortality’ and has enjoyed some recent international success with his track ‘Bleed’ streamed over 2 million times on Spotify and featured on the soundtrack of the German movie ‘Whatever Happens‘. His track ‘Healer’ was also recently used in the US CBS TV series ‘Salvation’.

Marc is famed for his electrifying live performances and has appeared at many major European Festivals including, Glastonbury, Electric Picnic, The Great Escape, Eurosonic, Reeperbahn etc

Forthcoming Live Dates.

Fri 1 Jun – Vantastival, Beaulieu, Ireland
Sun 17 Jun – Doolin Folk Festival, Doolin, Ireland
Fri 22 Jun – Black Deer, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK
Sun 24 Jun – Sea Sessions @ Bundoran Beach, Donegal, Ireland
Sun 8 Jul – Groove Festival, Bray, Ireland
Sun 5 Aug – Indiependence, Mitchelstown, Ireland
Sat 22 Sep – Clonakility Guitar Festival, Clonakility, Ireland
Thu 27 Sep – Coughlans, Cork, Ireland
Fri 28 Sep – Roisin Dubh, Galway, Ireland
Sat 29 Sep – Nelliefreds, Dingle, Ireland
Thu 11 Oct – Whelans, Dublin, Ireland
Fri 12 Oct – The Crescent, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Sat 13 Oct – Mondriaan Jazz, Den Haag, Netherlands
Tue 23 Oct – Philharmonic, Liverpool, UK
Wed 24 Oct – Gullivers, Manchester, UK
Thu 25 Oct – Paper Dress Vintage, London, UK
Fri 26 Oct – The Bodega, Nottingham, UK
Sat 27 Oct – Crofters Rights, Bristol, UK

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Photo: Roger Woolman

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