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Girl Band Receive IMRO No.1 Award

IMRO were joined by Girl Band today to receive their IMRO Number 1 Award in recognition of their album ‘The Talkies’, which topped the Independent charts in October.

The IMRO Number 1 Award was introduced to acknowledge IMRO members who reach number 1 in the album charts here in Ireland.

‘The Talkies’, was released by Rough Trade Records on September 27th and is the follow up to the band’s critically acclaimed debut LP ‘Holding Hands with Jamie’.

‘The Talkies’ was recorded in November 2018 at Ballintubbert House, a stately home on the outskirts of Dublin “a few pay grades above what we’re used to”. The alien construction of Ballintubbert and its corridors help to navigate Girl Bands cataclysmic sound within a world of its own.

Bandmember Alan Duggan underlines this thought: “In many ways the idea behind the album was to make an audio representation of the house” –Daniel continues – “We recorded all the drums twice: once on the landing and once in the cellar, and during production we could actually cut in between both these sounds.”

Daniel, with his feet in both camps as musician and producer, explains: “After we cancelled the last tour we weren’t really writing together as much anymore so we were more into demoing and writing down parts then cutting them up, collaging them together in the computer and re-configuring them that way.”

‘The Talkies’ was produced by the band’s own Daniel Fox, and recorded in November 2018 at Ballintubbert House, a stately manor  on the outskirts of Dublin. “In many ways,” says band member Alan Duggan, “the idea behind the album was to make an audio representation of the manor home. The space became Girl Band’s sonic playground as the members worked to adjust to the house’s corners and textures to create the soundscape of the record.”  

Girl Band Website // Twitter // Facebook // Rough Trade

Cry Monster Cry Announce Details of Irish Tour

Off the back of the release of their critically acclaimed sophomore album ‘Tides’, Dublin brothers Richie and Jamie Martin are delighted to announce details of their largest Irish tour to date. This run of shows will take in some of Ireland’s best-known venues through most of February and March and will culminate with a hometown show in Dublin’s Pepper Canister Church on Friday 27th March 2020.

07 FEB             Sirius Arts Centre                      Cork                            
17 FEB              BAG – Ballymore Eustace        Kildare
19 FEB              Bridge Of Song                          Mayo
21 FEB              Levis Corner House                  Cork
22 FEB              Central Arts Centre                   Waterford
27 FEB              Mike The Pies                            Kerry             
28 FEB              The Stables                                Westmeath
06 MAR            Coughlan’s                                 Cork
08 MAR            Black Gate Theatre                   Galway 
14 MAR            Wexford Arts Centre                Wexford          
20 MAR            Fennelly’s of Callan                  Kilkenny
27 MAR           Pepper Canister Church           Dublin

Recorded live in the wilds of Donegal under the watchful eye of producer Tommy McLaughlin (Villagers, Bell X1, Luke Sital-Singh), the record sees the band taking a measured and considered approach to song-writing and production. Following the success of the debut album Rhythm of Dawn in 2015 (“Rich harmonies. exceedingly likeable”- The Sunday Times ****), the brothers reflected on what they wanted to do next.

“’Tides’ is about hope and fear, joy and sorrow. The crushing pain of loss and the beauty of new beginnings. Self-doubt. Struggles with mental health. Victory. Defeat. New loves. It’s as close to the bone as we’ve gotten so far in our song-writing, and it presents a snapshot from a very specific time in both our lives,” says Jamie Martin.

Life is often chaotic. It can push and pull you in different directions and to different shores. We wanted to write an album that not only sat as one cohesive piece of work from beginning to end, but that also felt honest and reflective of that,” says Richie Martin.

The band has since played a string of sold out headline performances across Europe, as well as an Irish support tour with Mary Black, while ‘Tides’ was recently chosen as the RTÉ Album of the Week and has received critical acclaim.

Darwin’s Daughter Shares Video for ‘Snow Angels In The Rain’

Just in time for darkest winter, Darwin’s Daughter has released a video for her track ‘Snow Angels In The Rain’.  

This fully animated short perfectly compliments the string driven ballad which combines cello & fiddle to test your senses. 

Darwin’s Daughter, aka Fiona, is a BIMM graduate living in Wicklow who regularly travels to Scotland and England seeking inspiration and collaboration for new songs. Tending to perform in intimate settings Darwin’s Daughter played recently in The Cobblestone and The Cross Sythes Folk Club in Sheffield. 

Guest musicians on the single are Kim V. Porcelli (Cello), Seamus Harmey (Fiddle) and Anthony Gibney (Guitar).  The single was recorded and mixed by Anthony Gibney at Audioland Studios (Kila, Alien Envoy) and mastered by Simon Francis Mastering (Kodaline, Aqualung, Kylie).

IMRO Award Presented to Mick Flannery

Mick Flannery joined us in IMRO today for the presentation of his IMRO Award in recognition of his No.1 self titled album. Mick was joined for the presentation by American artist Mary Bragg, who is currently on tour with him across Ireland.

The IMRO Number 1 Award was introduced to acknowledge IMRO members who reach number 1 in the album charts here in Ireland.

Mick’s sixth studio album is his third chart-topper in total, following 2012’s ‘Red to Blue’ and 2014’s ‘By The Rule’.

An award-winning, double-platinum selling artist, Mick Flannery’s self-titled sixth album, was released on Friday 5th July. Its chart results marks his continuing development as one of the very best Irish singer-songwriters of his generation.

Mick began to write songs as a teenager in his home of Blarney, County Cork. As musical influences from albums by the likes of Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and Tom Waits seeped into his creative DNA, Mick absorbed, learned and honed the craft that would send him on his way into the world. The path was smoothed somewhat when, at the age of 19, he became the first Irish songwriter to win the Nashville-based International Songwriting Competition. By the time he turned 21, he had signed to a major label and released his debut album.

With his latest release, Mick touches on loose themes of ambition and the search for a meaningful life in the context of a musician’s sometimes feckless and dysfunctional lifestyle. The central character, he reveals, is someone like him, “although this person achieves more notoriety than I have. He is properly famous, and he has to deal with that.” The loose theme is just that, however. “I’m not going to hammer it home. Facets of the theme are on the album, but the storyline itself isn’t an overarching one – each song can stand on its own, and not need to be part of a narrative.”

Mick Flannery’s self-titled album out now via Warner Music Ireland.

PureGrand Shares ‘Flowers’

PureGrand ends 2019 with the release of his new festive single ‘Flowers’. 

‘Flowers’ is a wintery new years ballad about choosing to see the positives as a new year approaches as opposed to holding on to regrets and using it as a chance to start over.

Inspired by uplifting ballads from the likes of Cyndi Lauper and Carly Rae Jepson coupled with ABBA-esque melodies, ‘Flowers’ looks to the past for its synthy sonic palette but to the future in it’s lyrical outlook.

‘Flowers’ was entirely self produced and written by PureGrand (real name Luke Faulkner).

The Dublin native makes pop music of all flavours with a love of synthpop and a healthy dose of camp at its core, PureGrand tries not to follow trends unless he likes what is trendy.

2019 has been a busy year for Faulkner with the release of his Italo House inspired EP ‘Painkiller’ to positive press last August as well as radio play for its lead single ‘Last Bus’ from Tara Stewart’s show on 2FM as well as 2XM, DDR and 8Radio.

PureGrand has also spent this year creating colourful music videos for singles like ‘Pink’ and ‘Last Bus’, while also creating visuals and music videos for fellow Irish pop artists such as Jack Rua, LOGOUS and Babylamb as well performing across Dublin (Workman’s, Sin E, Drop Dead Twice) and at some of Irelands best homegrown alternative performance nights such as Glitter Hole, Avoca’s Queer Cabaret and has most recently supported Xnthony at the Dublin Fringe Festival as part of the Deluxe Access show.


Laura Elizabeth Hughes Announces Sound House Headline

Following the release of her latest single ‘For You (Home)’, Dublin songwriter Laura Elizabeth Hughes brings an amazing year to a close by announcing her first headline date of 2020 on Thursday 9th April at The Sound House, Dublin. 

Tickets priced €12.50 incl. booking fee are on sale now from

Hopeful and heartfelt, ‘For You (Home)’ showcases a lush balance between soaring power and tenderness, culminating in sweeping piano riffs and Laura’s inimitable vocals. It is this unique voice which has seen an ever-growing fan base from across the globe with over 2.5 million visits to Laura’s YouTube channel, including R&B star Joss Stone who posted the video to ‘The Dark’ across her own social media.

2019 saw the release of the anthemic ‘In My Defence’, marking an uplifting new direction while still holding that distinctive sound and heart that the songwriter has become known for. The song earned Laura a coveted place as a cover artist on Spotify’s “A Breath of Fresh Éire” playlist. This was followed up by a collaboration with 1,000 Beasts on ‘Because Of April’, a near six-minute opus blending minimal house sonics with nuanced ambient textures to provide the perfect canvas for Laura’s vocals. September’s ‘Straight For Tomorrow’, was a return to Hughes folk roots. Taken from 2018’s ‘Ceremony’ EP, the song was featured as part RTE Radio 1’s Recommend playlist upon release.

On stage, this year saw Hughes selling out her Dublin headline show along with playing debut shows in London and New York as well as sharing stages with Billie Marten, Little Hours and Cry Monster Cry. With new music and more shows to be announced for 2020, Laura Elizabeth Hughes is an artist fast establishing herself as a rising talent among a fresh new group of emerging Irish songwriters.

‘For You (Home)’ is available across all streaming platforms. Tickets for The Sound House are on sale now from

Listen on Spotify | Watch on YouTube

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Bill Whelan’s ‘Lift The Wings’ Reaches #1 in China

Last week saw Cai Chengyu’s version of Bill Whelan’s composition ‘Lift the Wings’ (the main song from Riverdance) go straight to No. 1 on QQ Music in China. QQ Music is one of the leading Chinese music platforms, a freemium music streaming service owned by Tencent Music, a joint venture between Tencent and Spotify. As of 2018, the service is set to reach over 700 million users with an estimated 120 million subscribers

Performed by tenor Cai Chengyu, a member of the classical group Super Vocal the latest singing to Universal Music China. Super Vocal rose to fame on Hunan TV’s talent competition, the Chinese equivalent of The Voice/America’s Got Talent, featuring classically trained singers singing both operatic and musical pieces. Hunan TV is China’s leading entertainment television show. The quartet of singers in the group are Cai Chengyu, Tong Zhuo, Gao Tianhe and Ju Hongchuan.

Listen To the exclusive Chinese version of ‘Lift The Wings’ Here

This version of the track is sung by Cai and features on the exclusive Chinese version of Riverdance 25th Anniversary: Music From The Show, which went straight to number 1 last week on QQ Music Chart


Tickets for Dublin and Belfast are available now

3Arena, Dublin 6 – 9 February 2020
The SSE Arena, Belfast 19-23 February 2020

Westlife Iconic Croke Park Concert to be Released on DVD

Following their sensational return to the top of the UK album charts, Westlife have just announced they will release a brand new DVD featuring this summer’s iconic Croke Park comeback concert in Dublin.

Shot across two nights in-front of 160,000 fans, the spectacular live show captures the climax to the Twenty Tour which saw Shane, Nicky, Mark and Kian reclaim their position as national pop music treasures in an adrenaline-filled homecoming performance.

The show features the global pop kings at their very best as they perform their greatest hits including  ‘Swear It Again’, ‘Flying Without Wings’ and ‘You Raise Me Up’ as well as hit songs from their recent Number 1 album ‘Spectrum’ such as  ‘Hello My Love’ and ‘Dynamite’ to a capacity crowd with spectacular staging, lighting and effects.

Croke Park was the best concert of our lives. It was so special to conclude the Twenty Tour, our most successful tour to date, on home ground. It is amazing that the whole show is being released on DVD so that our fans can relive the memories. We’re looking forward to watching the show again when it is released,’ say the band.  Available on DVD, Blu-Ray and deluxe edition DVD+CD format which features a 13 track CD of the live audio from the show of Westlife’s greatest hits, plus their three new tracks live, Hello My Love, Better Man and Dynamite.

The release follows a remarkable comeback for Westlife which included their fastest-selling tour of all time. The ‘Twenty Tour’ sold a record 600,000 tickets across 27 cities and 13 countries. 

The Irish pop superstars have also announced a new tour for 2020 covering some of the Ireland & the UK’s largest outdoor stadiums. It will also include their first ever Wembley Stadium show and two performances at Cork’s Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

Last month Westlife returned to the top of the UK album charts for the first time in a decade with their new album ‘Spectrum’.

Westlife have sold over 55 million records worldwide, and are the only band to have their first 7 singles enter the UK chart at No.1. They also have the most singles of any artist to debut at No.1 in the UK. Overall the band have had an incredible 14 No.1 singles, behind only Elvis Presley and The Beatles. They have had 33 No.1 albums worldwide.

As a live act Westlife have sold over 5 million concert tickets worldwide.

The Twenty Tour – Live from Croke Park is available for pre-order now, released 13th March 2020

Mick Flannery Announces Vicar Street Headline

An award-winning, double-platinum selling Irish artist, Mick Flannery’s latest self-titled album debuted at number one in July 2019.

Today, Mick announces a headline show for Vicar Street, Friday 20th March 2020, this follows the news of his last run of Dublin shows all sold out, which included a four night residency at Lost Lane and Vicar Street in May. Tickets €34 on sale this Friday, 13th December at 9AM.

While County Cork singer-songwriter Mick Flannery is outwardly reserved his songs are fluent in expressing layered aspects of the human condition its flaws, triumphs and general uncertainty. 

Tickets €34 on sale this Friday, 13th December at 9AM

Adrian Crowley at the IFI

Can a film ever truly reflect who you are? Irish singer/songwriter Adrian Crowley becomes a ghost visiting his own life, imagining what a documentary about himself would be like, blurring the lines between documentary and fiction, reality and imagination, subject and director in The Science of Ghosts.

Director Niall McCann further explores the playful territory he mapped out in his first two films, Art Will Save The World and Lost In France, reimagining the parameters of the musical film form and the nature of documentary itself. The film is filled with the sonorous vocals and beautiful melodies of Crowley, snapshots of family life and lush landscapes, and includes stunning performances from Radie Peat of Lankum, Brigid Mae Power, the Crash Ensemble and words from Irish writer Kevin Barry.

The screening Tuesday, December 17th at 18:20 in the IFI will be followed by a Q&A with Niall McCann and Adrian Crowley, hosted by Matthew Nolan, plus a short musical performance. Tickets can be found here.

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