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Archive for July, 2018

Daniel O’Donnell and Patsy Cavanagh Honoured by IMRO

On Monday 30th July, Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) CEO Victor Finn presented awards to Daniel O’Donnell, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Country Music, and to Patsy Cavanagh in recognition of the ongoing success of his hit song ‘Home To Donegal”. The presentation took place in the The Daniel O’Donnell Visitor Centre in Dungloe, Co Donegal, during the Mary from Dungloe International Festival.

The name ‘Daniel O’Donnell’ has become synonymous with country music in both Ireland and across the globe, where Daniel has been a shining ambassador and promoter of Irish music and culture. While Patsy Cavanagh has achieved the rare distinction of composing a work which has been so strongly embraced by the county of Donegal and Irish expats in particular, through the many unique and heartfelt interpretations of the song. IMRO feel it is important to recognise the impact of the craft of songwriters and musicians, it is an honour to present both Daniel and Patsy with their awards.” said Victor Finn, IMRO CEO.

Daniel O’Donnell, one of Ireland’s best-known performers continues to push out the boundaries of his career both on stage and TV in 2018 and 19.

He is the only artist in the world to score a hit in the UK album charts every year since 1988, an unprecedented and unbroken 30-year span and in doing so, he has outshone everyone from Michael Jackson and Madonna to the Rolling Stones.

In total, Daniel has now reached the UK Artist Albums Chart with almost 40 albums and has now amassed THIRTY-THREE Top 30 albums over the course of his career.  Daniel has also achieved eight number one hits in the UK music video/DVD charts over that period.

He makes regular appearances in the Billboard World Music Chart, received an honorary MBE from Queen Elizabeth, appeared on Top of the Pops, had his life celebrated on This Is Your Life and received multiple Entertainer of the Year/Person of the Year Awards in Ireland and the UK – to mention but a few of the many accolades.

Daniel’s remarkable career has moved on to a new level with his success as a TV presenter, just another facet to his ever expanding list of entertainment achievements. On receiving the award Daniel said, “I am thrilled to have been recognised by IMRO with this special award. It is always so gratifying to receive such an award in your own country from an organisation such as IMRO.

Patsy Cavanagh writes about everyday life in a style that people identify with and his songs are in much demand by top Irish performers many of whom regard him as a “master wordsmith”.

He has had more than 100 covers of his songs recorded by various artists such as Daniel O’Donnell, Mick Flavin, Big Tom and Margo (just to name a few).

His song ‘Home to Donegal’ which is now considered the Donegal Anthem has been covered over 60 times including covers in America, Australia and Denmark (Kisser and Sören).

Patsy discussed the origins of the work, “I was sitting in the plane coming home from London one night watching the city lights disappearing and that gave me the opening line, ‘the lights of London are far behind’, from that the song just flowed. It is fantastic so many emigrants have identified with the song, while this award is the icing on the success of the track.

IMRO is a national organisation that administers the performing right in copyright music in Ireland on behalf of its members (songwriters, composers and music publishers) and on behalf of members of the international overseas societies that are affiliated to it. Music users such as broadcasters, venues and businesses must pay for their use of copyright music by way of a blanket licence fee. IMRO’s Mission is to protect, promote and develop the collection and distribution of music royalties; foster music creation and promote the value of music to the creative, cultural and business communities in Ireland.

Three Ireland & Saint Sister Unveil Second Video in #MadeByMusic Series

Three have released the second music video of their ‘Made By Music’ series teaming with up & coming atmosfolk duo Saint Sister to create a video for their song ‘Causing Trouble’. The recently launched ‘Made By Music’ initiative celebrates the power of music to unite people and create lasting connections.

Directed by renowned filmmaker, Brendan Canty, the second video in the series tells the unique story of a young couple’s relationship, with their personal ‘connection’ very much at the heart of the narrative. The beautifully shot cinematic style visuals coupled with the dream-like opening scene flawlessly compliment the haunting vocals provided by Gemma Doherty and Morgan McIntyre of Saint Sister.

As part of the ‘Made By Music’ initiative, Three have partnered with three rising Irish artists to make a series of new music videos, launching with hip hop star Jafaris last month. The third and final video in the series, with DJ Kormac, will be released later this summer.

The first of its kind; this is an innovative move from a brand to collaborate with the artists, contributing to the culture of the Irish music industry helping them to reach a wider audience.

Join the conversation on social using #MadeByMusic

True Tides Release ‘Automatic’

‘Automatic’ is the second single from True Tides and the first follow up to their debut on Faction Records (James Vincent McMorrow, All Tvvins, Jape).

The track was produced by Diffusion Labs (Jafaris, DAY_S, Flynn, Soulé) and the band, mixed by Ross Dowling (James Vincent McMorrow, Bellx1, & Talos) and mastered by Stuart Hawks at Metropolis in London.

Formed in 2017, True Tides is the indie pop project of Cian, Conor and Eoghan MacSweeny, three brothers from Cork, now living in Dublin. Through a reasonably simple set-up of drums, guitar, bass, electronics and vocals, they create bold and expressive music that’s at once shamelessly catchy and sneakily complex. Although the brothers have technically been making music together their whole lives, they played their first gig as True Tides in January 2018 at the arts and mental health festival, First Fortnight, on a bill curated by ALL TVVINS. The band are currently working towards their debut album due in 2019.

They play their first headline show in Soundhouse, Dublin on September 15th 2018.

A. Smyth Releases Fourth Single ‘Second Moon’

A. Smyth continues his run of releases with his fourth single of 2018 with producer Darragh Nolan (Asta Kalapa) again at the helm.

Of ‘Second Moon’ A. Smyth explains It’s a song I’ve tried to write for years, about the feelings we try to push away and how they tend to hang around the longest.”

The song itself feels like it lives in the veins of Tom Petty’s Wild Flowers & Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs.

‘Second Moon’ follows hot on the success of ‘Be There’, a track Nialler9 highlighted as one of his Irish songs of the week and which GoldenPlec applauded for its “shimmering folk sound reminiscent of Ryan Adams” and ‘Coming Back To You’ a track REMY commented with “A chap who is kind of killing it in the Irish Pop zone now”.

A. Smyth will take to the road this summer with festival appearances at Indiependence and Castlepalooza already in the diary and 2019 will see the release of his debut solo album.

A. Smyth’s last band, Vann Music, achieved notable success, appearing at Ireland’s biggest music festivals (Electric Picnic, Longitude), scoring a commercial radio hit (Tina), featuring on prestigious TV shows (Other Voices) and working with some of the biggest names in the music industry (Stephen Hague, producer – Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Robbie Williams). Smyth wanted to explore the impact these pressures were having on both him and his relationships with those around him, rather than feed these experiences.

As a result, his new songs delve into a shared experience – a sort of modern burnout.

‘Second Moon’ is his fourth release following ‘Coming Back To You’ in April, ‘Be There’ in February and debut single ‘Into The Darkness’, last January.  All four tracks were recorded in Dublin and Wexford with drummer Dennis Cassidy (Selk), bassist Dara Higgins (The Jimmy Cake) and producer Darragh Nolan (Asta Kalapa).


Castlepalooza Festival, Laois – August 4th
Indiependence Festival, Cork – August 5th
Crowbar, Dublin – August 20th

Sean OB Shares Video for ‘Trouble’

Sean OB has released the official music video for his latest single ‘Trouble’. The video, premiered on UK website Louder Than War earlier this week, was filmed in Phibsboro and Stoneybatter on Dublin’s north side and was directed and produced by collective Plainview.

‘Trouble’is the second single from Tallaght native Sean OB and follows the debut ‘Teacher’, released earlier this year. It was recorded with acclaimed producer Rob Kirwan (Hozier, PJ Harvey and The Horrors) in Westland Studios and Exchequer Studios and was mastered in Metropolis Studios in the UK.

Displaying remarkable skills as a song-writer and lyricist, Sean writes with a hard-hitting honesty. He counts stand-up comedians like Doug Stanhope and Bill Hicks as influences that are just as important as the likes of Hunter S. Thompson and John Lennon.

Backed up by his explosive band he is now striking out for much bigger things! See upcoming live tour dates:

03.08   Cork  Indiependence Festival
04.08   Bray  Beatyard


George Hutton and Kieran Brown Team Up

Singer/songwriter George Hutton who has toured globally with ‘The Five Irish Tenors’, ‘Anúna’ and is set for a new 2019 tour ‘Songs of Ireland: A Celtic Celebration’ with Columbia Artists, has teamed up with Irish songwriter Kieran Brown to create ‘The Inside Out’.

Their debut single ‘Hold On’ will be released on the 28th July on all major digital platforms, with a full EP release coming in September. The song was produced by renowned singer/songwriter Paul Casey, featuring himself on guitar, Liam Bradley on drums and John McCullough on hammond.

Kieran and George are hoping to raise awareness for men’s mental health with the song that tells a powerful message.

As someone who has struggled with mental health issues in the past, I’ve been blessed to have good people and support around me. I think all men have at some point struggled mentally but have feared judgement if they talk about it. There’s a sense of machismo in society today, that it’s not cool to talk about your feelings or show emotion. We hope to spread a message that it’s alright to open up and talk about what’s on your mind.’ Said George has described George’s voice as ‘Spine-tingling’, PureM Magazine says he’s ‘Vibrant…vivacious….powerful’, The Independent put it simply ‘He can sing, properly’ and the Chicago Tribune quotes his performances to be ‘Tender and Triumphant

Hard Working Class Heroes Announce Ticket Info and First Delegates

Hard Working Class Heroes festival recently closed its annual call for applications with over 600 artists applying to perform. The line-up will be announced next month. In the meantime, the first round of industry delegates (listed below) has been confirmed and you can find out about them here

Oskar Strajn – ESNS

Casper Mills – SXSW

Ciara George-Lynch – Reeperbahn

Javier Lopez – Midem

Lisa Hresko – A2IM

Will Larnach-Jones – Iceland Airwaves

Anna Wester – PIAS

Daniel Horitz – Lex Records

Anton Teichmann – Mansions & Millions

Sarah Casey – United Talent Agency

Ryan Leas – Stereogum

Rhys Bradley – Martian PR

The development and progression of the conference over the last few years has earned HWCH the local and international reputation for being a must-attend event for anyone working in music in Europe. It is the largest gathering of bookers, labels, managers, music supervisors, radio folk and journalists from around the world and here at home. HWCH annually brings Ireland to the world and the world to Ireland over one weekend.

The HWCH Music Conference delegates are funded through a ‘See Here’ award from Culture Ireland and forms the first step of First Music Contact’s export strategy. Christine Sisk, Director of Culture Ireland commented, “We’re delighted to be once again supporting the inward travel of international delegates to Hard Working Class Heroes. Last year, Culture Ireland supported over 150 promoters and programmers to visit Ireland to see Irish artists at work. Based on outcomes, we know that this contact is critical to creating new opportunities for artists and that this year’s HWCH will be no exception”.

The HWCH Music Conference is also supported by Dublin City Council Local Enterprise Office and Help Musicians UK.

The live showcases will take place across Friday 28th and Saturday 29th September. On Thursday 27th September, the opening night, a targeted networking event will take place in the Chocolate Factory where all the international delegates will be invited to network with their Irish counterparts and artists attending the HWCH conference.

Tickets via Eventbrite are priced as follows (excluding charges):

Conference & Live Ticket (Friday & Saturday) €55 / Live Ticket (Friday & Saturday) €35
Conference Ticket (Friday & Saturday) €25 / Live Ticket (Friday/Saturday) €25
Single Venue Ticket €12.50 (only available on the door at live music venues)

First Music Contact, who run HWCH, work with Irish acts from the very beginning of their careers. This annual showcase is an opportunity to offer Irish acts some vital exposure provided by the stellar mix of influential Irish and international delegates who attend HWCH.

Last year HWCH reduced the number of bands showcasing to 50 and highlighted the need for acts to have a development plan and an eye on international activity. The success of this move resulted in a record number of Irish acts being selected for overseas showcase events in 2017 including Eurosonic, SXSW, The Great Escape, Reeperbahn, Primavera Pro and more.

Some of last year’s big successes to progress from the festival include acts such as Soulé, Roe, Bitch Falcon and David Keenan who played at Eurosonic in January / Fontaines, Æ Mak, Jafarais Lilla Vargen and Jealous of the Birds who showcased at The Great Escape / Paddy Hanna and Le Boom who recently graced the Primavera Pro stage in Barcelona.

Since its inception in 2003, the festival has showcased many of Ireland’s best-known acts including Maria KellySaint Sister, Choice Music Prize winners Rusangano FamilyVillagers, 2013’s breakthrough act Hozier along with Girl BandAilbhe Reddy,DelorentosSouléJapeCoronasPleasure Beach, Talos, Le Boom, Otherkin and many more.

HWCH is supported by The Arts Council / Culture Ireland / Dublin City Council Local Enterprise Office (LEO) / RTÉ 2FM / IMRO / Help Musicians UK

The Irish Post Country Music Awards Line-up for 2018 Announced

A stellar line-up of the biggest stars will take to the stage for The Irish Post Country Music Awards, in association with TG4 and IMRO, on Tuesday 11th September for a showcase and celebration of the best of Irish country music, starring special guests.

The Irish Post Country Music Awards, now in its second year, will come to you live from the Millennium Forum in Derry with a packed house of over 800 music fans set to enjoy a lively evening of entertainment featuring some of Ireland’s biggest stars in the genre.

Over 10 music acts will perform on the night with extended performances of multiple songs from some of the biggest stars. The star-studded line-up already includes Derek Ryan, Susan McCann, Olivia Douglas, Philomena Begley, Declan Nerney, Johnny Brady, Lisa McHugh, Cliona Hagan and Donna Taggart and with more acts to be announced in the coming weeks.

The public will once again vote for their favourite stars across 8 Award categories including Best Male, Best Female, Best Newcomer, Album of the Year, Video of the Year and Best Live Band. The prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 will also be presented on the evening.

Country singer Malachi Cush returns to host what promises to be a superb evening alongside popular television presenter Síle Seoige.

“The Irish Post Country Music Awards was a huge success in 2017 with record television and online viewing figures. We very much look forward to building on this in 2018 with a range of top tier artists competing for honours and showcasing their best material to an engaged audience across the globe. Country music is at the heart of Irish communities at home and abroad and championing this Irish culture is a foundation of The Irish Post brand.” Sarah Murphy, Director of Commercial Operations for The Irish Post Media Group.

The Irish Post Country Music Awards take place on Tuesday 11th September at The Millennium Forum, Derry.

Tickets can be booked from The Millennium Forum, Newmarket Street, Derry BT48 6EB by calling 0044 (0) 28 7126 4455 or online at:

Christof Van Der Ven | Empty Handed Live

Christof van der Ven has announced a brand new five track EP of live recordings of songs selected from his celebrated debut album, ‘Empty Handed’, to be released September 28th 2018. ‘Empty Handed Live’ is an exciting re-imagining of tracks from his debut album, that draws from influences that include Damien Jurado and Fionn Regan, with chest-pounding, Springsteen-esque instrumentation. Recorded at Copper Brown Studios in Finchley, London, ‘Empty Handed Live’ builds on an album that is the culmination of years touring in the UK and US with Bear’s Den, The Staves (who feature on the album, providing backing vocals on ‘Oh When the Night’), and The Boxer Rebellion.

The tracks are reflective of his explosive live show, containing expansive synths and electronics, alt-pop and the sense that his noisier sensibilities might get the better of him at any moment. The songs have had the chance to evolve over the past several months of extensive touring and high profile support dates, including supporting Bon Iver at The Hammersmith Apollo in London and joining Joan As Police Woman, Lisa Hannigan and Nick Mulvey on a number of their EU dates.

Christof says of the tracks: “These songs are the culmination of my experience of the world to date, the stories from growing up in the Netherlands, over to rural Ireland, relocating to London and everywhere in between. They’ll take you from urban sprawls, to nature’s wilderness and through love affairs back home to your beer stained sofa bed (if you have one).

‘Empty Handed Live’ will be available on the 24th September 2018. The first single ‘Oh When The Night’ will be released August 3rd. Christof will be heading out on an EU tour supporting S.Carey in September as well as string of EU and UK headline dates in October/November.

Tour Dates:
* supporting S.Carey
August 17-19: PEOPLE Festival, Berlin
September 16: Ekko, Utrecht*
September 17: Lutherse Kerke , Groningen*
September 19: Hotel Cecil, Copenhagen*
September 21: Privatclub, Berlin*
September 22: Reeperbahn, Hamburg*
September 24: Ampere, Munich*
September 28: Kenilworth Arts Festival, Kenilworth
October 24: Luxor Live, Arnhem
October 25: Dutch Design Week Music, Eindhoven
October 27: Bibilot, Dordrecht
October 28: Savelbergklooster, Heerlen
October 29: Sugarfactory, Amsterdam
October 30: TivoliVredenburg Cloud 9, Utrecht
October 31: PAARD, Den Haag
November 3: Cafe NUN, Karlsruhe
November 6: Sebright Arms, London


Debut EP From Pale Rivers Set for September Release

Pale Rivers announce the release of their self-titled debut EP which will be released on September 28th.  Ahead of that, the third single from the EP ‘Icefield’ will be available digitally on Friday.

Following on from  the atmospheric ‘Montparnasse’ and the more immediate sound of ‘Don’t Worry About Me’, ‘Icefield’ is the third track off the forthcoming EP and will be out ahead of the band’s appearances at Whelan’s Summer Watch this week and Indiependence in August.

Based out of Cork and Tipperary, the band began playing their first shows around the country including slots at Hard Working Class Heroes, Whelans One’s To Watch and Electric Picnic, as well as some high profile supports for acts such as Teleman, British Sea Power and The Wedding Present.

EP Tracklist

  1. Monparnasse
  2. Don’t Worry About Me
  3. Icefield
  4. Caught In It

Tour Dates 

5th August – Indiependence, Cork
24th Aug – Roundy, Cork (supporting Cloud Castle Lake)

“We are Pale Rivers, a five-sided case study, sound vehicle. To speak of the past is, often times, erroneous at best. But to not share some details of how things came to pass would be wasteful, un-opportunistic and questionable”.


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