Category Archives: music news

Headline Acts announced for Rory Gallagher International Festival 2020

ASH announce details of Teenage Wildlife: 25 Years Of Ash

ASH announce details of
Teenage Wildlife: 25 Years Of Ash

Released February 14th 2020 via BMG

Having successfully outlasted their self-described ‘guaranteed real teenagers’ tagline when they first burst in earshot in 1994, ASH have today announced the release of Teenage Wildlife: 25 Years Of Ash released on 14th February 2020 through BMG and available in limited quantities with a special lenticular sleeve both on vinyl and CD.

Teenage Wildlife traces the band’s recording career from exuberant debut Jack Names The Planets through to the likes of BuzzKill from 2018’s top twenty album Islands whilst also including a brand new offering Darkest Hour Of The Night alongside thirteen Top 40 singles such as Girl From Mars, Gold Finger, Oh Yeah amid an array of the band’s recorded history. Teenage Wildlife also comes in a limited lenticular three CD set that will include an eighteen track collection of rarities including a version of The Buzzcocks’ classic Everybody’s Happy Nowadays (featuring Coldplay’s Chris Martin), the eternal Teenage Kicks and the collection’s infamous title track.

From their mini-album Trailer, a volley of intent with Jack Names The Planets, Uncle Pat and Petrol recorded whilst still at school debut album proper, 1996’s Number One album  1977, almost imploding with the follow-up Nu-Clear Sounds, the addition of teenage guitarist Charlotte Hatherley, 1998’s  historic Northern Irish Referendum show in Belfast before a return to the number one spot with the universally acclaimed Free All Angels seeing Tim Wheeler awarded with an Ivor Novello for Shining Light, consolidating a reputation for a run of extraordinary singles.

Whether the original trio or expanded four-piece with the multi-talented Hatherley, ASH have continually excelled both live and on record – an edited overview of reflection, Teenage Wildlfe encapsulates the past twenty-five years perfectly.

The release of Teenage Wildlife will be accompanied by extensive live itinerary throughout Europe and Scandinavia, re-visiting many of the towns, cities and venues they have previously played over the years. Dates are as follows:

FEBRUARY

21 Aeronef Club LILLE, FR
22 Botanique Rotonde BRUSSELS, BE
23 Das Bett FRANKFURT, DE
25 Universum STUTTGART, DE
26 Gebaude 9 COLOGNE, DE
28 Mascotte ZURICH, CH
29 Covo BOLOGNA, IT

MARCH

01 Strom MUNICH, DE
03 Futurum PRAGUE, CZ
04 Hydrozagadka WARSAW,PL
05 Bi Nuu BERLIN, DE
07 Bar Brooklyn STOCKHOLM, SE
08 Vulkan OSLO, NO
10 Hulen BERGEN, NO
11 Folken STAVANGER, NO
13 Beta COPENHAGEN, DK
14 Knust HAMBURG, DE
15 Paradiso Noord AMSTERDAM, NL
17 Stylus LEEDS University, UK
18 O2 Academy NEWCASTLE, UK
20 SWG3 TV Studio GLASGOW, UK
21 O2 Ritz MANCHESTER, UK
22 Rock City NOTTINGHAM, UK
24 O2 Academy BRISTOL, UK
25 Pyramids PORTSMOUTH, UK
27 The Roundhouse LONDON, UK

28 Gibus Club PARIS, FR
29 Le Rex TOULOUSE, FR
31 Razzmataazz 2 BARCELONA, ES

APRIL

01 Kafe Antzokia BILBAO, ES
02 Joy Eslava MADRID, ES
04 RCA Club LISBON,PT
05 Capitol SANTIAGO de COMPOSTELA, ES

HORSLIPS TO PLAY THE OLYMPIA THEATRE DUBLIN ON ST. PATRICK’S DAY

“The Snakes Farewell to The Emerald Isle” is an iconic Horslips track and one that Johnny Fean, Jim Lockhart, Barry Devlin and Ray Fean – the touring Horslips line up – certainly plan to play when they take to the stage in The Olympia Theatre Dublin for St Patrick’s Night.

It’s a chance for Dublin audiences to rock out in the company of a band who have been described as ‘defining a generation’

‘It’s been a while since we played a gig in Dublin’ says drummer Ray Fean  ‘so when St Patrick’s Night in the Olympia was suggested, we thought “that might be fun” and signed up for the gig. And yeah… the oul snakes are well associated with St Patrick, all right…’ Ray – guitarist Johnny Fean’s brother – has been playing in the hit show Come From Away in London’s West End (and has an Olivier Award for his pains). He flies in for Horslips gigs, which in 2019 have included the Fleadh in Drogheda and Feile in Thurles.

‘The last time we played the Olympia’, recalls flautist and keyboard player Jim Lockhartwas another big public holiday, the Christmas shows back in…would you believe over eight years ago, 2012? Gosh, time flies when you’re having fun.”

Since their triumphant return to playing in the O2 – back in 2009 – the band has played in America, the UK and Europe: ‘and we hope to do a few more English and European appearances over the next while as well as our Irish gigs’, says bass player Barry Devlin. He points out that the band has been on the road longer this time around than first time out. ‘St Patricks Day will make it almost eleven years of gigs. First time out it was just under ten:  we still get a kick out of live gigging, and we play material from most of the albums.’

The band have released 10 studio albums and 2 live albums as well as many singles in the years between 1971 and 1980 – all are still available as CDs and downloads. They recently rereleased vinyl copies of two of their best known albums ‘The Tain” and ‘The Book Of Invasions”.

 

TICKETS FROM €35 ON SALE FRIDAY 25 OCTOBER AT 9AM FROM TICKETMASTER

Third Annual Ireland Week Returns to Los Angeles November 1 – 8, 2019

Third Annual IrelandWeek Returns to Los Angeles
November 1 – 8, 2019

Event Patrons Include Anjelica Huston, Chris O’Dowd, Fionnula Flanagan and Roma Downey

Citywide Events to Celebrate Irish Culture, Creators, and Innovators

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA / DUBLIN, IRELAND (October 4, 2019) – IrelandWeek is proud to return to Los Angeles and present a breadth of exciting events held cross the city November 1-8, 2019.  Academy Award winner Anjelica Huston, Emmy Award winners Chris O’Dowd and Fionnula Flanagan, and Multiple Emmy Award nominee Roma Downey, will serve as IrelandWeek patrons, with further announcements coming very shortly.  IrelandWeek will present 15-plus events over eight days.

Celebrating the close cultural, trade, entertainment, and economic ties between Ireland and Los Angeles, IrelandWeek will feature a series of educational and cultural activities, including live music and theatre, visual arts, film, TV, sports and animation offerings.  This year it kicks off again with IrelandCon, the flagship conference which has sold out the last two years and attracted city and government officials, celebrities, and a who’s who of industry leaders in tech, trade, and entertainment.

The Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Prime Minister), wrapped up a two-day trade mission to Los Angeles on Friday, where he opened the new Irish Consulate.  The new Consulate hosted a series of events across the city to mark it’s opening, one of which, held at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), was proudly supported by IrelandWeek and LMU.

Held in Silicon Beach at LMU for the third year-in-a-row, IrelandCon will present an expanded schedule, with panel discussions covering a range of topics such as Brexit, Ireland’s tech innovation and rise in successful start-ups, the country’s strong tax incentives for film productions, and its economic boom which has fueled major corporate investment from around the world. For more information please visit www.irelandweek.com.

IrelandWeek Co-Founder Deirdre O’Neill-Machin explains, “IrelandWeek has emerged as a perfect platform to showcase and promote the wealth and breadth of Irish creative talent and innovation on the international stage. With sold out events the last two years, IrelandWeek has continued to build upon its success, and we’re thrilled to return again to celebrate in the city of LA.”

IrelandWeek is sponsored by Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Culture Ireland, Loyola Marymount University, Aer Lingus, Kennedy Wilson, IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Tourism Ireland, The Ireland Funds and Silicon Valley Bank.

To get tickets and updates on events please go to www.IrelandWeek.com

ABOUT THE O’NEILL GROUP
The O’Neill Group Inc. (ONG) is a full-service Conference, Event and Meeting management company specializing in producing high-quality world-class events for corporations and nonprofits both in the US and internationally with an emphasis on Ireland operating since 1999. For more information please visit www.the-oneillgroup.com

ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade focuses on serving the Irish public, both at home and abroad. We provide a range of services to Irish citizens and work hard to ensure the promotion and protection of Ireland’s interests in the world, contributing to international priorities such as peace, security and the eradication of poverty and hunger. For more information please visit www.dfa.ie

ABOUT FÍS ÉIREANN/SCREEN IRELAND
Screen Ireland’s mission is to support and promote Irish film, television and animation through fostering Irish artistic vision and our diverse creative and production talent, growing audiences, and attracting filmmakers and investment in the country.  For more information please visit http://www.irishfilmboard.ie

ABOUT CULTURE IRELAND
Culture Ireland promotes Irish arts worldwide. We create and support opportunities for Irish artists and companies to present and promote their work at strategic international festivals and venues. We develop platforms to present outstanding Irish work to international audiences, through showcases at key global arts events, including the Edinburgh Festivals and the Venice Biennales. For more information please visit http://www.cultureireland.ie

ABOUT IDA IRELAND
Ireland’s inward investment promotion agency, the IDA, is a non-commercial, semi-state body promoting Foreign Direct Investment into Ireland through a wide range of services. We partner with potential and existing investors to help them establish or expand their operations in Ireland. For more information please visit http://www.idaireland.com

ABOUT TOURISM IRELAND
Tourism Ireland is responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas as a holiday and business tourism destination. We deliver world class marketing programmes in 23 markets across the world and reach a global audience up to 600 million each year. Targeted marketing activity includes advertising online, on TV and outdoor sites, in cinemas and in newspapers and magazines, eMarketing, overseas publicity, co-operative marketing with carriers and other partners and promotions to the travel trade and consumers. For more information please visit https://www.tourismireland.com

ABOUT ENTERPRISE IRELAND
Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. We work in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. In this way, we support sustainable economic growth, regional development and secure employment. You can find detailed information on Enterprise Ireland’s activities, strategy and performance in our Reports and Publications. For more information please visit https://www.enterprise-ireland.com

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/irelandweek2019/
IrelandWeek Twitter : https://twitter.com/IrelandWeek
IrelandCon : https://twitter.com/IrelandCon
IrelandWeek Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/irelandweek/
IrelandCon Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/IrelandCon2019/

Clannad announce Irish tour dates

Clannad announce Irish tour dates as part of their 50th Anniversary Farewell Tour

Waterfront Hall, Belfast, 29th February 2020

Cork Opera House, 2nd March 2020

Tickets from £40.00 / €49.20 inclusive of booking fees

On sale this Friday at 10AM

 

Clannad are celebrating an exceptional award winning 50 year career with the announcements of a farewell world tour which includes two Irish shows. They will perform in Waterfront Hall, Belfast 29th February 2020 and Cork Opera House, 2nd March 2020.

Tickets from £40.00 / €49.20 inclusive of booking fee, available from this Friday at 10AM.

Clannad have sold out 15 million records worldwide and with eight Top 10 U.K. albums to their name. The Grammy and BAFTA award winning quartet will also release a new Anthology ‘In a Lifetime’ deluxe set to be released worldwide on 13 March 2020 via BMG.

Their world tour will last a year and a half incorporating territories such as Europe, Australasia, North America, Japan, and South East Asia dates which will be announced over the next coming months.

To coincide with this very special live tour, BMG are proud to be releasing ‘In a Lifetime’ Anthology; a multi-format, career-spanning anthology containing tracks from Clannad’s 50-year recording career. It will be available as a 38 track 2CD set, 2CD deluxe, 2LP, 2LP deluxe and an expanded deluxe 100+ track set as well as digital versions. The anthology will both delight and excite Clannad’s enormous and loyal fanbase as well as introduce this legendary, influential and culturally important band to a whole new generation of music fans.

The multi-award winning Clannad have without doubt done more than any other group to take Irish music and the Irish language to a worldwide audience. Fusing elements of traditional Irish music with more contemporary folk, new age, and rock they have created a beautifully unique and ethereal sound which combines haunting melodies and mesmerising vocals to transcend the sands of time whilst appealing to a worldwide audience of all ages.

MIC CHRISTOPHER’S 50TH

THIS WEEKEND:

BORN OPTIMISTIC PRESENTS…

MIC CHRISTOPHER’S 50TH

 

Featuring special guests Paddy Casey, Lisa Hannigan, Tim Burgess,

Mark Geary, Ailbhe Reddy & many, many more

 

8pm-11pm, Saturday 21st September, 2019

Whelan’s, Dublin

Tickets €29, with all proceeds going to Aidlink

www.bornoptimistic.com

Saturday September 21st would have been Mic Christopher’s 50th birthday. In his honour, friends, fans and admirers will stage a concert for him in his spiritual home of Whelan’s. There’s a vast array of talent gathering to sing Mic’s well-known songs together. The line-up for the concert is a mixture of close friends of Mic’s, and people he never met, who will be collaborating on his songs. With each passing year more people discover Mic’s incredible songs and this concert celebrates that.

The line-up includes:

Acko, Ailbhe Reddy, Alice Jago, Ann Scott, Aoife Carton, Clare Sands, Cry Monster Cry, Davy Lyons, Eve Darcy, Inni-K, Jane Willow, Karl Odlum, Leslie Keye, Lisa Hannigan, Margaret Healy, Mark Dignam, Mark Geary, Muireann, Nina Hynes, Paddy Casey, Sharon Horgan, Tim Burgess (The Charlatans), Q, Rónán Ó Snodaigh, Saoirse Casey, The Daydreamers, The Pale, Ultan Conlon.

All proceeds from the event will fund Aidlink’s local partner charities in Kenya and Uganda. The core focus of the work Aidlink funds is based on capacity building within society by empowering women, which begins with education, but also includes irrigation and sanitation. The welfare of children was a huge concern of Mic’s, so it’s fitting that the funds will be used in this way.

Tickets (€29) are close to selling out. Book at: www.bornoptimistic.com

All Together Now  – 31 July – 3 August 2020

All Together Now

August Bank Holiday Weekend

31 July – 3 August 2020

Curraghmore Estate, County Waterford

 

All Together Now... As the dust settles we look back and take stock of our second chapter. Firstly, the All Together Now Team would like to say we are absolutely and fully committed to making sure that the issues that arose this year’s festival are not repeated. We have taken in every comment, every email and are carefully taking note of where we need to improve. We have met and are working closely with An Garda Siochana and our other partner agencies to ensure that the traffic experienced traveling to this year’s festival does not happen again. We aim for the highest standards and plan to deliver the best festival experience possible. We are deeply disappointed that some areas of this years All Together Now fell short of expectations, and for this, we are truly sorry.

Secondly, we would like to thank the All Together Now community for its continued support, we are indebted to those who took a chance on us and joined us on our maiden voyage in 2018 and those who returned again this year, sticking with us through heavy traffic, rain and even wasps, but you still came together in celebration to make All Together Now truly special and memorable.

We have been heartened by the All Together Now community that has taken the time to share their experience with us. Although there were negatives, which we have to and will address and improve for our third edition, there were some amazing and memorable moments. You were respectful of each other, of the beautiful landscape and all our wonderful performers. You enjoyed feasts of food, bespoke cocktails, hidden stages, and hot tubs and a host of different and quirky gems. The Arcadia, Afterburner shot its flames into the night sky, whilst Tigre’s 20 foot wooden Redwood Stag installation looked on down the Road To Nowhere toward the illuminated Curraghmore House. Brunch on the Bandstand with Blindboy had you captivated on Sunday afternoon, overlooked by Tigre’s new wooden Lion. Memorable music moments from Patti Smith to The Murder Capital, The National to Loyle Carner, even the sideways rain couldn’t stop you enjoying The Wailers and Sing Along Social. Our youngest festival-goers enjoyed the dedicated kids’ space, Kids Together, where face painters and performers enthralled both parents and kids alike – the little ones even danced in the rain as George Fitzgerald took over the annual Arcadia Kids Rave.

 

Look Back: Check Out the Chapter Two aftermovie

 

We now have the privilege & responsibility of getting back to work on the third edition of All Together Now, which will again take place on the Bank Holiday Weekend –  July 31 – August 2nd 2020.

Festival Capacity: We can confirm that our capacity will not increase next year, as we endeavour to improve the overall experience for our loyal audience.  All Together Now will remain again Strictly Over 21s. Children between the ages of 12 and under can attend free of charge, accompanied by a parent with a family ticket.

The Loyalty Presale: Presale General & Family prices will remain the same as our second chapter prices from €179.50 – €208. The Loyalty Presale which allows those who attended All Together Now Chapter One or Two a chance to avail of early bird ticket prices before the festival goes on general sale. And first chance to avail of General & Family Campervan passes priced at €75.

Plus the first chance to avail of our limited five series Instalment Plan. Meaning you can get yourself a General or Family Weekend Ticket to All Together Now and spread the cost across five payments. General & Family Weekend Tickets priced – €44.00 per month for 5 withdrawals.

Please note that pre-sale tickets are subject to availability.

Maximum of x2 festival tickets per customer on pre-sale.

Maximum of x1 campervan pass per customer on pre-sale.

The Loyalty & Members’ pre-sale opens this morning

Presale link will be issued to Ticketmaster Previous Purchasers at 8AM this morning &

ATN Members Mailing List + ATN Iphone & Android APP – 1PM Thursday, 22 August and will run until 8AM Thursday, 29 August.

General & Family Ticket Release: Tickets will go on general sale at 9AM Thursday, 29 August via Ticketmaster Ireland & usual outlets priced at €220.00 including booking fee. All Together Now is again Strictly Over 21s. Children between the ages of 12 and under can attend free of charge, accompanied by a parent with a family ticket. General & Family Campervan passes also go on sale priced at €75.

We are delighted to announce a five series Instalment Plan. Meaning you can get yourself a General or Family Weekend Ticket to All Together Now and spread the cost across five payments. General & Family Weekend Tickets priced – €44.00 per month for 5 withdrawals. On the following dates:

1st payment – Day of purchase 

2nd payment – 25th November 2019

3rd payment – 27th January 2020

4th payment –  24th February 2020

Final Payments – 30th March 2020

Please note that instalment tickets are subject to availability.

Instalment tickets terms & conditions apply –

Maximum of x4 festival tickets per customer on General Sale.

Maximum of x1 campervan pass per customer on General Sale

Thank You: We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Lord and Lady Waterford for opening up Curraghmore Estate to us all. We thank Waterford County Council, Tramore Gardai, Waterford Fire Brigade, and the HSE – all of whom have been so helpful and supportive in all aspects of the development of this festival. We want to thank all the residents of Portlaw and Carrick-On-Suir for their continued hospitality and kindness. We thank all the performers, volunteers.

 

Our creative team that comes together in Curraghmore from all around the world, are already hard at work dreaming of new ideas to enhance next year’s festival. Pod will continue to fly the flag for independent promoters and we will endeavour to bring you the best show we can. We hope that you will join us for All Together Now 2020.

 

ATN Team

 

Ticket Types:

General Weekend Camping –

Allows access into the campsite village as well as the main arena/night time arena.

 

General Campervan –

You must purchase a general weekend camping ticket per person & one general campervan ticket per campervan to gain entry to the campervan site.

Family Weekend Ticket –

Allows access for 1 adult & up to 2 children aged 12 and under to enter the festival & to camp in the family campsite. You must have children with you to enter the campsite. Adults arriving without children will be refused entry and directed to general camping.

Family Campervan –

You must purchase a Family Weekend Camping ticket per adult & one family campervan ticket per campervan, which allows 1 adult and up to 2 children aged 12 and under to enter the family campervan site.

Instalment Plan –

 The initial deposit of €44 euro per ticket + Service Charge per ticket is payable on your credit/debit card and this deposit is non-refundable and not transferable. You then authorise Ticketmaster to auto debit 4 (FOUR) further payments of €44 euro, which will be charged to the same credit card in or around the following dates: 25th November 2019, 27th January 2020, 24th February 2020 & 30th March 2020. You further understand and agree that if Ticketmaster does not receive such Balance on the dates stated above that you will forfeit the Deposit and your tickets, and you consent to event organisers retain the Deposit and re-selling the tickets.

Subject To License – Over 21’s

For any ticket queries please contact Ticketmaster directly on 0818 903 001 or via the ‘Help Chat’ tab on www.ticketmaster.ie and they will be happy to advise you.

 

Join Us for All Together Now 2020

Further details on next year’s festival

 will be released before the end of the year

For media enquiries please contact

 Jenny Headen / Stef Edwards @ We Are RedHead

jenny@weareredhead.com / stef@weareredhead.com

Contact at hello@alltogethernow.ie

Facebook @ATNfestival

Twitter @ATNfestival

Instagram @alltogethernow.ie

#ATN20

ISLANDER PRESENTS…QUIET LIGHTS

ISLANDER PRESENTS…

FOR ITS SECOND EDITION, A SMALL WINTER FESTIVAL CELEBRATING THE NEW WAVE OF IRISH AND INTERNATIONAL FOLK, TRADITIONAL, AND EXPERIMENTAL, TALENT 

QUIET LIGHTS – FRIDAY 22 – SUNDAY 24 NOVEMBER 2019

VARIOUS VENUES, CORK CITY

 

A close up of a logo

Description automatically generatedIslander presents the second edition of ‘Quiet Lights’, an exciting new small-scale festival with a big heart, which aims to shine a light on the new wave of Irish and International folk, traditional, and experimental talent that are quietly forging new paths, recollecting old tales, and making new stories.

From Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th November, music from the heart and for the soul will fill Cork city’s nooks, crannies, chapels, and bars.

In terms of traditional music, the line-up features musicians at the very forefront of the genre – Cormac Begley and Liam O’Connor in concert together, launching the festival, and Lankum will have a whole album of groundbreaking music to share. It has been an exciting year for traditional and folk music with the emergence of River Lea – the new folk imprint of the legendary Rough Trade Records – and Quiet Lights presents two of their signed acts, Ye Vagabonds and the Scottish small piper Bríghde Chaimbuel for a celebration of River Lea, upon the River Lee!

In a showcase of their ambition for the future, Quiet Lights 2019 invite international acts for the first time: Peter Broderick – a transcendent American artist, who is constantly pushing both himself and his audiences to produce and experience music in new ways. And bringing new songs from her recently released album ‘What a Boost’, London-based singer and musician Rozi Plain makes a welcome return to Cork. The new album is a collection of songs that she wrote and honed whilst on tour with This is The Kit, of whom she is a member. The result is this earthy, fun, beautiful record.

The festival bill also features live shows from Junior Brother, Anna Mieke, Maija Sofia, Sun Collective, Elaine Malone, John Francis Flynn, Crevice, Lemoncello, Rosa Nutty, Eve Clague, Lowli, All The Brave Hunters, Mide Houlihan, Mantua, and there’s lots of more yet to announce from their conversations strand, which will feature thought-provoking commentary, discussion, and panels, on a number of topics.

Participating venues to house the sounds of toes tapping and string plucking include: Triskel Christchurch, Live at St Luke’s, Coughlan’s Live, Sirius Arts Centre, The Roundy, St Peter’s, The Chapel at Griffith College, and the newly reopened Kino.

Festival Director Jonathan Pearson said: “I’m really excited to have this year’s Quiet Lights music line-up out in the open at last! Marjie, Louise, Shane, and myself, have been working very hard to make sure that this year, its second edition, is a continuation of what made the first year so special. Looking forward to seeing you in November! We promise to bring a little warmth as the winter draws in.”

Tickets are on sale now. To check out the full line-up details and book, visit www.quietlights.net

THE ATRIX – ‘DUBLIN 1979-1981’

THE ATRIX

DUBLIN 1979-1981

RELEASED SEPTEMBER 19TH 2019

LAUNCH EVENT LIVE AT THE SUGAR CLUB SEPTEMBER 19TH 2019

Legendary Dublin New Wave act, The Atrix, release their long awaited anthology, ‘Dublin 1979-1981’, on September 19th. To mark the release, the band will be staging a launch event in Dublin’s Sugar Club that evening.

The Atrix formed in 1978, and came out of the same Dublin theatre/cabaret scene as Jim Sheridan, The Radiators, Neil Jordan, Agnes Bernelle, Peter Sheridan and The Virgin Prunes. The Atrix combined a strong theatrical element to quirky but memorable tunes, the most striking examples being the singles “The Moon Is Puce” and “Treasure on the Wasteland”.

They released its first single “The Moon is Puce” on Seamus O’Neill’s Mulligan label in late 1979 to modest acclaim in its local market. This first single was produced by Philip Chevron, then a member of The Radiators From Space and later of The Pogues. The band signed to Dave Dee’s DoubleDee Records label in 1980 and released the follow-up single “Treasure on the Wasteland” in 1980. It was produced by Midge Ure. They released ‘Procession’, their only album in 1981.

Their single, ‘Treasure on the Wasteland’ appeared on the now legendary ‘Just for Kicks’ compilation album, which also featured, among others, Berlin, DC Nein, Rocky DeValera & The Gravediggers, and, a then virtually unknown, U2.

The bands frontman, John Borrowman, tragically passed away in Copenhagen in 1998.

 

A Biography by Declan Lynch…

There is almost no part of the glory of Ireland at a pivotal time, in which these men known as The Atrix are not present in some form. And it was indeed a kind of glory, given that there was so much to be against, before you could get to all the things you were for, which were usually coming in from Britain or America.

 For The Atrix it would  be theatre first and then it was rock’n’roll, though in truth it was always some kind of rock’n’roll, from the moment in the De La Salle school in Finglas when John Borrowman approached Hughie Friel to talk about music and in that moment, their destinies were joined.  They were about seven years old at the time, when only about one hundred yards away from the street where they lived, other characters in this other Rising were literally being born in Cedarwood Road — Paul Hewson and Fionan Hanvey they were called, for a while at least.

And at some point during that strange little Renaissance, which was unfolding during the 1970s, there was a kid called Philip Ryan from Santry playing Bowie songs on the guitar in Hughie’s front room, visiting Hughie’s sister Valerie. Philip Ryan would become better known as Philip Chevron.

He would introduce Hughie to the work and to the phenomenon that was Agnes Bernelle and to the music of Brecht and Weil – it was beyond theatre, maybe even beyond rock’n’roll, yet these lads in the northside suburbs of Dublin could feel its twisted greatness.

Another friend from up that way, a piano player called Chris Green, was in there too. They knew they were on to something, even if they couldn’t quite figure out what it was.

Hughie became involved in an outfit called the Children’s T Company along with Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan, Desmond Hogan, Vinnie McCabe, Garrett Keogh, Paula Meehan, Ruth McCabe – not just a collection of remarkable individuals there but remarkable too for the fact that they were performing in schools and receiving an actual wage funded by bodies such as Dublin Corporation and the Arts Council.

That did not last long, but the fact that it lasted at all is the miracle. Alternative sources of energy were also to be found in the vicinity of the Project Arts Centre, with Hughie working on the set design for Jim Sheridan’s play “The Risen People” and as an actor in Peter Sheridan’s “The Rock’n’Roll Show”, which was both theatre and rock’n’roll and which featured among the contributors the name of Paul Cleary. Likewise, Borrowman was a stage manager for the ambitious Irish Theatre Company, touring with Emmett Bergin, Tom Hickey, Godfrey Quigley.

But the glory was not going to be emerging from the theatre or from literature. It was going to come from this tremendous noise that roared out of London and New York circa 1976. A great howl of insurrection that was reaching Dublin too at a time when Hughie Friel was playing drums in the Slow Motion Orchestra that had a residency in the Pembroke Inn every Thursday night, with Neil Jordan, late of the T Company, playing saxophone. And Borrowman, too, would be there or thereabouts.

They were jazzy, improvisational, but that was all over now.  Hughie went along to the Junior Common Room in Trinity College to see The Radiators From Space and knew that he had to be in some such band. There was no other way to live. On guitar, The Radiators had the kid we last encountered in Hughie’s front room, playing Bowie songs, somehow making his own connections with the Berlin cabaret of the 1930s. Now he was a punk rocker, and he would soon be seen on the cover of an early edition of the new Hot Press magazine, bound like The Boomtown Rats for the promised land of London.

Knowing that they were on the right side of history and right about most other things too, in 1978 Hughie Friel, John Borrowman, and Chris Green formed The Atrix. They would eventually be joined on bass guitar by Dick Conroy, who responded to a recruiting poster which featured a picture of the three Atrix alongside a silhouette of the fourth and a question : “Space Player : Can You Fill This Bass?”

Conroy came to the house in Number 2, Beresford Place in which the band was living and rehearsing and played the bassline of Elvis Costello’s “Watching the Detectives”. He got the gig right there, with this group that was devouring the music of Talking Heads and XTC and Joy Division, that had already devoured anything that was any good and which they had found by accident on the wasteland in the Ireland of their youth.

That house in Beresford Place, near Busarus, a mostly derelict building that by a stroke of fortune they were renting for a tenner a week, was where they truly became a band, jamming and writing songs and feeling that they might be a special group.  And not just a singular group, but one of several bands, the names of which were always being rattled off together at that time as part of a perceived Dublin punk and “new wave movement”, The Vipers, The Radiators, The Blades, DC Nien, U2, The Atrix….

And there was an artist called Brian Kelly who used to do the posters for the Slow Motion Orchestra, whose work so impressed The Atrix that they recruited him as a kind of a fifth member of the band to do all the artwork. Until then they would all be doing a bit of everything, but now they would be specialising.

Billy McGrath became their manager, having started out with Stagalee, a superb Irish funk band, which was an unusual enough thing in itself but not as unusual as The Vipers, The Radiators, The Blades, DC Nien, U2, The Atrix…

Stagalee indeed had played at one of the seminal events of this time, the Dalymount Park festival of 1977 headlined by Thin Lizzy,  who were supported by Graham Parker and The Rumour, with further down the bill the Radiators From Space and the Boomtown Rats who were about to appear on Top of The Pops later that week doing “Lookin’ After Number 1”.

I might also add that, in time, Billy McGrath would be the first “alternative comedian” I saw standing up on a stage in Ireland. But that time had not yet come.

For now he was booking The Atrix as support to The Undertones in McGonagles, a magical night.

They played the famous Carnsore anti-nuclear festival and Christy Moore enjoyed them so much he gave them a barrel of Guinness. Their sound engineer for the day was Nicky Ryan, who was also most encouraging, and whose superior abilities in sound production were eventually known to the world through the music of Enya.

The first single, “The Moon Is Puce”, was released on Mulligan, which had also released “Lookin’ After Number 1”. It was produced by Philip Chevron (there were red and yellow chevrons in Brian Kelly’s sleeve design, oddly enough) and it actually got played a lot on national radio, a strange new environment for members of this “new wave movement” who were more accustomed to bringing their demo tapes to Dave Fanning at dead of night, as he did his show in the pirate radio “studio” of Big D. They might even have got an instant review from a frequent visitor to those premises who lived nearby in Earlsfort Terrace, the great Bill Graham.

The best energies were with them now. They were playing McGonagles regularly, and in the fullness of time they would eventually be facing decisions like, who would they prefer to support on a tour of Britain, the Boomtown Rats or Simple Minds? They would go for the ones who had just had a monstrous hit with “I Don’t Like Mondays”, which they could listen to on the tour bus using this new thing called the Sony Walkman, and it would be great, even on the night in Manchester when the NME gave them a better review than the Rats.

The best energies were with all of these new bands, who were not just creating their own identities, they were feeding off each other – The Atrix were blown away by the Radiators’ album “Ghostown”, because it was produced by Bowie’s man Tony Visconti, mainly because it was magnificent.

They all went together in a boat to London, The Atrix, DC Nein, The Virgin Prunes, U2, as part of the Sense of Ireland festival organised by John Stephenson, and on St Patrick’s Night in The Venue there was a cataclysmic gig which finished up with Philip Chevron singing a version of “Television Screen” featuring Hughie Friel on drums, Adam Clayton on bass, and Rory Gallagher on guitar. Eventually the management tried to bring the curtain down but Rory just kept playing.

Midge Ure came to The Atrix new home in Ringsend to produce the single “Treasure On The Wasteland”. He played them this track he had just done called “Vienna”, which he had no immediate plans to release , happy to be involved with The Atrix, and they with him. John Leckie, who had been an engineer at Abbey Road with Pink Floyd, a producer of XTC and later of Radiohead and The Stone Roses, would produce the album “Procession”.

But in the end the story of The Atrix is not to be found in discographies or in the footnotes of the music business. It is a story of friends who followed their best instincts in an Ireland that did not encourage such adventures, of friends who became artists together, who found this thing that worked beautifully for a while, who were always bringing plenty to the party.

And when the party was over, there was much that they left behind them.

 

THE STUNNING TO CELEBRATE 30 YEARS OF ‘PARADISE IN THE PICTURE HOUSE’

“The Stunning pretty much did it all first time around, in this country at least. Paradise In The Picturehouse was the first Irish debut album to go to Number One and stayed there for Five weeks.” Hotpress

The Stunning formed in 1987 in Galway and had their first top twenty single just a year later followed by two more top ten hits before their debut album ‘Paradise in the Picturehouse hit the number one spot in 1990 staying there for 5 weeks.

The band was now a household name and became the soundtrack to the lives of a whole generation of people brought up in Ireland during the 80’s and 90’s. Over the next year or so, there were four more hit singles, followed by another number one album. They released a live album in ’93 before splitting up a year later.

After an absence of almost ten years, the band reformed for an 18-date tour, which turned out to be one of the highest grossing tours in Ireland of 2003. In 2012 around 30,000 people turned out to see them play a free concert in their old hometown of Galway city, a testament to the timeless quality of their music.

And more was to come: in May 2017 they released a brand new single ‘Brighten Up My Life’, which has received over 1700 plays on Irish radio to date. Another new single ‘Always You’ was released in November of the same year, the day before their first sell-out London show in 23 years.

In March 2018 the band released ‘Twice Around the World’, a re-recorded, re-vamped version of their number one album ‘Once Around the World’. It topped the charts once again and was the biggest-selling album in Ireland that week.

The band then embarked on a sold-out tour of Ireland and headlined festivals over the summer of 2018.

Don’t miss this special show celebrating 30 years of The Stunning’s iconic debut album at The Olympia Theatre on Saturday 14th March.

Tickets from €30 including booking and restoration fees are now on sale.

www.thestunning.net

www.ticketmaster.ie

 

E: rory@mcd.ie