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Double Ivor Novello Award winner and Mercury Music Prize nominee, VILLAGERS, are the latest act announced for Music City 2016 which returns to the city of Derry from July 4th – 10th. This will be the fourth year of the festival which attracts thousands of music fans to the Walled City for seven days of musical performances across the the city’s squares, neighbourhoods, venues, shops, pubs and clubs.

VILLAGERS will play at the opening night concert at The Glassworks on Monday July 4th,  a former 19th Century church that will also host concerts by Mercury Music Prize Nominee and Choice Music Prize winner, SOAK supported by SAINT SISTER on Friday July 8th and American trad sensations, THE WILLIS CLAN on Saturday July 9th.

Cultùrlann Ui Chanàin will be the venue for the internationally acclaimed GIRLS NAMES on Thursday July 7th while THE STRYPES headline a mammoth rock gig in the city’s historic Guildhall on Saturday July 9th alongside EXMAGICIAN, WOOD BURNING SAVAGES AND THE BONNEVILLES.

Two of Ireland’s finest songwriters DAVID KITT and MALOJIAN will play at St Augustines Church, a hidden gem on Derry’s Walls on Wednesday July 9th while instrumental Dublin rockers, OVERHEAD THE ALBATROSS, known for their intricate yet powerful melodies and energetic stage presence and R.S.A.G, one of the most innovative and astonishing Irish musicians around make the journey north for the festival.

Internationally renowned pianist RUTH McGINLEY, who has just released her latest album Reconnection will perform a special concert at The Playhouse on Sunday July 10th with one of the finest trumpet players of his generation, NIALL O’SULLIVAN. The saxophonist GERARD McCHRYSTAL returns to Music City 2016 for his fourth annual world tour of Derry, playing in a range of community and city centre settings.

Coinciding with Foyle Maritime Festival, some of Ireland’s finest bands, musicians and singer-songwriters will perform on stages in some of the main streets and squares including Guildhall Square and The Craft Village over the weekend of July 8th – 10th.  SILENCES, BEST BOY GRIP, OUR KRYPTON SON, BEAUTY SLEEP, EVE BELLE, THE CLAMEENS, PADDY NASH & THE HAPPY ENCHILADAS, STRENGTH and TRIGGERMAN are among the 130+ artists that will perform at the various concerts throughout the seven days of Music City 2016

Derry’s choral tradition is showcased throughout the festival on the main outdoor stages while the historic Walls will feature performances from pipe bands, flute bands and trad musicians. Music City Busking Competition returns to the city centre streets on Saturday July 9th with a £1500 prize fund including £1000 for Best Act.

Bars including Masons, The Grand Central and Bennigans will host late night shows from some of Ireland’s finest acts including BITCH FALCON, SWORDS and RAINY BOY SLEEP while the city’s main shopping centre, Foyleside, gets in on the act with performances throughout the centre across the weekend.

The majority of events at Music City are free of charge and family friendly. Tickets for the various Music City 2016 headline concerts are on sale now at The Millennium Forum Box Office and online at A limited number of Access All Events tickets are available priced £45. Music City 2016 is supported by Department of Culture Arts and Leisure, Department of Foreign Affairs, Tourism Northern Ireland, Derry City & Strabane District Council and Community Foundation NI Acorn Fund. For more info, check the festival website,

Villagers Announce New Album Release Date

Darling Arithmetic is the third album from Villagers, released on 10th April 2015. The follow-up to Conor O’Brien’s debut, Becoming a Jackal, and its successor, Awayland – both hugely acclaimed and Mercury-VILLAGERS LS 300dpi (photo credit Rich Gilligan)nominated – is a breathtakingly beautiful, intimate album entirely about love and relationships. Darling Arithmetic was written, recorded, produced and mixed by O’Brien at home – the loft of a converted farmhouse that he shares in Malahide, Dublin – revealing a single-minded artist at the peak of his already considerable songwriting powers. It encompasses the various shades of feeling – desire, obsession, lust, loneliness and confusion, and deeper into philosophical and existential territory, across a cast of lovers, friends, family and even strangers. Backing up his supple and emoting vocal and guitar is the subtlest palate of instrumentation – piano, Mellotron (which accounts for the album’s occasional horn and cello tones) and brushes. O’Brien plays every instrument on these exquisite, melodic songs in a sparse, spacious, acoustic-leaning fashion. On Darling Arithmetic, O’Brien doesn’t only pare back his use of language but looks deep into his own heart and motives. The opening track and first single, ‘Courage’, concerns the most important kind of love – for yourself: “It took a little time to get where I wanted / It took a little time to get free / It took a little time to be honest / It took a little time to be me.

Villagers will be performing three intimate UK & Irish live dates in February and have also been confirmed to play The 6 Music Festival in Tyneside which runs from February 20th to 22nd. A full UK headline tour is to be announced soon.

The new album “Darling Arithmetic” will be available on CD, LP and as a digital download and is expected to be released in April.

Pre-order Darling Arithmetic and receive Courage now:
Dom Mart:

Villagers Pick Up IMRO No.1 Award for {Awayland}

Conor from Villagers popped into IMRO today to pick up an IMRO No.1 Award in recognition of their album, {Awayland}, reaching the top spot in the Irish album charts earlier this year.

It’s been a busy year for Villagers since {Awayland} was released back in January, with tours throughout the UK, Europe, North America and Japan, as well as a nomination for the Mercury Prize in between.

Now Villagers are home for some end of year gigs throughout Ireland over the next couple of weeks.

Conor is pictured here picking up his award with Keith Johnson and Victor Finn of IMRO.

You can catch one of Villagers’ live shows at:

BELFAST 12 Dec Limelight  (with Amidships)
DERRY 13 Dec Guildhall (with Amidships + VerseChorusVerse)
GALWAY 14 Dec Seapoint (with JAPE + Crayonsmith)
CORK 16 Dec Savoy (with JAPE)
DUBLIN 17 Dec Vicar Street (with JAPE)
DUBLIN 18 Dec Vicar Street (with SOAK + I Have A Tribe)

The IMRO No.1 Award was established to recognise the achievement of artists reaching the number 1 spot in the Irish Album and Independent Album charts. Previous recipients have included Heathers, The Coronas and Little Green Cars among others.

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