Author: Eoghan Augusta

Eleanor McEvoy & Usher’s Island Added To The Line Up For Kilkenny Tradfest

Eleanor McEvoy and Usher’s Island set for Double Headliner concert not to be missed on St Patrick’s Day at the Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny
24th January 2017: Kilkenny Tradfest has today announced that Eleanor McEvoy, one of Ireland’s most accomplished singer/song writers and musical sensation Usher’s Island will appear at a Double Headliner concert on St Patrick’s Day (March 17th) at 7pm, the Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny City.

Usher’s Island sees the coming together of five of the most influential and acclaimed names in traditional Irish music including, Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny, both members of Planxty, Paddy Glackin a founding member of The Bothy Band, Mike McGoldrick of Lunasa and Capercaillie and John Doyle who played with Solas. Each is a talented soloist in their own individual right, but in this new band they offer a blend of old and young and of vocal and instrumental talents that results in exceptional music. Combined with the enchanting sounds of Eleanor McEvoy this is set to be a very special Double Headliner concert not to be missed.

Eleanor McEvoy has enjoyed both national and international success throughout her career and received much critical acclaim. Naked Music is the title of Eleanor’s new album, recorded alone in the studio to create an intimate collection of her music at its most raw – one instrument, one voice, performed live. Best known for her songs Sophie, Harbour, The Secret of Living and of course Only A Woman’s Heart, Eleanor’s new album features exclusive artwork by the famed painter Chris Gollon.

Commenting, Malcolm Noonan, Kilkenny Tradfest Chairperson said, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Eleanor McEvoy and Usher’s Island to our 2017 Kilkenny Tradfest festival. It is a privilege for us at the festival to be able to host such a wonderful concert – seeing Eleanor live is always spectacular, and Usher’s Island includes some of the most significant and influential Irish musicians of our age, so I’ve no doubt it will be an evening to remember.”

Mr Noonan continued, “This year we’re celebrating five years of Kilkenny Tradfest, and once again we have a jam-packed schedule for all music lovers. The festival seeks to celebrate our musical heritage, as well as showcase some of the new emerging talent Ireland has to offer. With something for all the family, Kilkenny Tradfest is the place to be this St Patrick’s Day weekend (16th – 19th March).”

Tickets for Eleanor McEvoy and Usher’s Island Double Headliner will go on sale from Friday 27th January – in person from Rollercoaster Records, Kilkenny or online from or €25 plus Booking Fee.

I HAVE A TRIBE announces Dublin show and new single After We Meet

I HAVE A TRIBE -Whelans, Dublin – Friday 3rd March

“After We Meet” is taken from the debut album Beneath A Yellow Moon, which came out last year on Gronland Records. Lyrics and music by Dubliner Patrick O’ Laoghaire.

With the forthcoming single, “After We Meet”, Patrick has teamed up once again with Myles O’ Reilly for the video. Patrick worked on the newly recorded single this month in Berlin with additional vocals from Mary-Kate Geraghty.

I Have A Tribe will play Whelans, Dublin on Friday 3rd March

You can follow I Have A Tribe on Facebook, Twitter and their Website

Irish Trad and Folk Sensation Beoga confirmed for Kilkenny Tradfest

Beoga, who recently collaborated with Ed Sheeran will play in Paris Texas, Kilkenny City on Thursday 16th March as part of Kilkenny Tradfest

Wednesday 18th January 2017: Kilkenny Tradfest is delighted to reveal that Irish trad and folk band, ‘Beoga’, are coming back to Kilkenny to join the line-up for this year’s festival. The acclaimed Antrim based five-piece band, will make their debut performance at the festival with a special concert in Paris Texas in Kilkenny city centre on Thursday 16th March at 10pm. The event is free, but early arrival is advised.

Kilkenny Tradfest, takes place over the St Patrick’s Day weekend (16th – 19th March) and this year the festival will celebrate its 5th anniversary. Once again Kilkenny Tradfest will showcase and celebrate the best of Irish traditional and folk music in a variety of unique venues across Kilkenny city, and over the coming weeks the packed schedule, with something for all the family, will be revealed.

Beoga (gaelic for ‘lively’) are based in County Antrim, and have been together since 2002, when they were drawn together after ‘jamming’ in a ferocious session at the All-Ireland Fleadh. The bedrock of their sound lies firmly within the Irish tradition. However, they are not afraid to incorporate other genres’ into their music. From bluesy riffs to Astor Piazzola-style jazz, to a raunchy New Orleans jamboree vibe, their music always returns to a wonderfully bouncy Irish sound. The result is traditional, with a huge sense of fun and adventure and it all works wonderfully well.

Commenting, Malcolm Noonan, Kilkenny Tradfest Chairperson said, “We are thrilled to welcome Beoga to Kilkenny Tradfest 2017. Fans of traditional and folk music are in for a special treat with this five-piece sensation set to enthral those lucky enough to attend, with their glorious sound on Thursday 16th March. The event is free, and we expect there to be huge demand so we’re encouraging everyone to get there early. We at the festival have been followers of Beoga’s music for years, and they continue to blaze a pioneering trail, rewarding world music fans with fresh creative energy. Their recent collaboration with Ed Sheeran will no doubt send the band’s profile into orbit, and rightly so.”

The band, who have released six albums and played shows all over the world have received much critical acclaim globally, most recently however they made the headlines as a result of their collaboration with singer Ed Sheeran. The band joined Sheeran at Decoy studios in Suffolk last June to record two tracks, one about Galway and one about Wexford, where Ed has strong family roots.

Beoga have been inundated with questions about the collaboration with Ed Sheeran but the band insist they have been sworn to secrecy on his upcoming third album ‘Divide’. Fiddle player and vocalist Niamh Dunne, who hails from Limerick said, “We did two songs with Ed but I can’t tell you anymore! I’m sworn to secrecy! We did one song when we got there that he hadn’t written so the whole thing was very natural really. I’d say the songs are folky.” she added. According to Bodhrán player Eamon Murray the opportunity to record came about quite organically “Our pal and fellow Northerner, Foy Vance is on Ed Sheeran’s record label and they’d been listening to a couple of our tracks on tour. When it came to making a new album, Ed himself reached out and asked if we’d like to be involved, and we said aye!”

Beoga will play Kilkenny Tradfest on Thursday 16th March at 10pm, and fans will be treated to a range of their music, including songs from their most recent album, Before We Change Our Mind. Released in 2016, Before We Change Our Mind is the band’s 5th studio album and has positioned them at the arc of Irish traditional music’s new wave. Under the stewardship of producer Michael Keeney (Foy Vance & Ed Sheeran, Lisa Hannigan & Bonnie Rait), recording was undertaken with live takes where possible, resulting in a refreshing and ebullient feel, whilst losing none of the polish or veracity of previous efforts.

Over the coming weeks more acts and performers will be announced as part of the Kilkenny Tradfest’s eagerly anticipated line-up, information on tickets etc. can be found at Announced last week, Singer, Songwriter and Instrumentalist, Paul Brady will headline this year’s festival.

Singer Songwriter And Instrumentalist Paul Brady To Headline Kilkenny Tradfest

12th January 2017: Kilkenny Tradfest has announced that singer, songwriter and instrumentalist, Paul Brady will headline this year’s festival. Kilkenny Tradfest, takes place over the St Patrick’s Day weekend (16th – 19th March) and this year the festival will celebrate its 5th anniversary. Once again Kilkenny Tradfest will showcase and celebrate the best of Irish traditional and folk music in a variety of unique venues across Kilkenny city, and over the coming weeks the packed schedule, with something for all the family, will be revealed.

Making his debut appearance at Kilkenny Tradfest, Paul Brady’s performance will be a highlight of the festival, with Paul taking centre stage within the stunning setting of St.Canice’s Cathedral on Thursday 16th March.

Commenting, Malcolm Noonan, Kilkenny Tradfest Chairperson said, “It is with great excitement that we announce internationally renowned Paul Brady, as our headline act for this years’ festival. Paul will be performing a very special concert at St.Canice’s Cathedral in the heart of Kilkenny City. Paul is one of Ireland’s most highly regarded and successful artists. He continually crosses musical boundaries, incorporating folk, rock, blues, traditional Irish and classic pop styles into his song writing. It is a really special treat for Kilkenny Tradfest and we’ve no doubt tickets will be in high demand.”

Paul’s live performances, whether solo or with full band, include songs from his extensive catalogue of 40 years. He began to write songs in the early 80s and has since forged a reputation as one of Ireland’s finest singer-songwriters, releasing many popular and critically acclaimed records. An evening with Paul Brady on stage is a captivating experience, as he invites you into his world of songs and music in a way that will surprise in its intimacy, sense of fun and raw power.

 Tickets on sale from Friday 13th January – in person from Rollercoaster Records, Kilkenny or online from €35 plus Booking Fee

Syrias Vibes – Fundraiser Supporting Rescue Services in Syria Tonight In The Workman’s Club

In response to the crisis in Syria a small group of Irish bands have come together to put on a fundraising night this Monday, December 19th in The Workman’s Club. All the proceeds of the night will go towards funding vital humanitarian groundwork in Syria.

The organisers will be working with Syrias Vibes, a Dublin based charity who are currently fundraising to put two new ambulances on the ground in Syria. Syrias Vibes was created by Dublin born DJ – Calvin James to support the civilians of Syria in their plight for freedom and safety. They’re currently at 44% of their goal, with one ambulance expected to be active by next week. Organisers are hoping that a sold out show could help to make this a reality.

The night boasts a great line up from the Irish music scene that will include music from Paddy Hanna, Tandem Felix, Floor Staff, Participant, Myles Manley and Cal Folger Day as well as DJ Set from Ben Bix of Meltybrains? and some special guests.

Calvin James of Syrias Vibes will also speak on the night about his experiences in Syria.

Show at 8pm and tickets are €10 on the door

You can also donate directly to the Syrias Vibes ambulance fund here:

or to MSF (Doctors Without Borders) here:

Ports Play Christmas Show At The Limelight 2 On December 18th

Derry four piece, PORTS are pleased to announce a Christmas show at The Limelight 2, Belfast on Sunday 18th December 2016. The band recently released their new single ‘The Few and Far Between’ and announced that the track has been chosen as soundtrack for the NI Tourism Discover Northern Ireland campaign for 2016/2017.

Tickets on sale NOW from Limelight Belfast, Katy’s Bar and Ticketmaster outlets nationwide. Northern Ireland customers can phone 0844 277 44 55 & Republic of Ireland customers 0818 719 300.

PORTS are a four piece band from Northern Ireland. They consist of Steven McCool (Bass and Vocals), Mark O’Doherty (Drums), Ryan Griffiths (Guitar) and Conor Mason (Piano). 2016 saw the release of their debut album “The Devil is a Songbird” which has been shortlisted for the Northern Ireland Music Prize. Having performed in Ireland, UK and Canada PORTS have gone from strength to strength after the release. Gameplay, the first single released from the album, made an impact after being used for MTV Teen Drama “Awkward”. That momentum has continued to grow with naming the band as one of the “Faces of 2016”.

The summer also saw them establish themselves as a main stage festival band at Festivals such as Stendhal, Moira Calling and Open House Festival
At Music City festival in May 2016 they opened the festival as support for the Mercury Prize Shortlisted band “The Villagers”

‘The Few and Far Between’ has continued that trend by being chosen for the NI Tourism Discover Northern Ireland campaign for 2016/2017.

You can follow Ports on Facebook and Twitter

David Hope Announces His New Single ”Christmas Day”

The man from Clare is back with new music and just in time for Christmas. ‘Christmas Day’ is the first single from Hope’s forthcoming third studio album ‘Tough Love’, which is due for release in March 2017. The track was recorded and produced by Christian Best (Mick Flannery / Marc O’Reilly / Jack O’Rourke) at the renowned Monique Studios in Co. Cork.

The song is a modern twist on the classic Christmas story of the nativity, mixed with the eternal struggle of travelling home to be with family and loved ones. Hope has left down his trusty acoustic guitar in favour of a more electric, robust pop orientated sound.

‘Christmas Day’ was chosen as the RTE Radio One song selected for the European Broadcasting Union Christmas Music Project and will feature on a playlist across all member states. The single will also feature on RTE Radio One’s Christmas Playlist 2016 and a number of stations in Germany and Austria.

A new music video was shot on location in Hope’s native County Clare, produced by award winning Limerick based cinematographer, Steve Hall.

David Hope, the Irish folk troubadour with the infamous Celtic growl hails from County Clare in the West of Ireland. Over the past 13 years, Hope has performed and toured extensively in both his native Ireland and mainland Europe, averaging in excess of 200 shows per year. During this time, Hope has built a reputation as one of the very best live performers on the touring circuit today.

The new single ‘Christmas Day’ available on iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play and Spotify now.

You can follow David on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Blink Announce Plans To Re-Release All 3 Of Their Critically Acclaimed Albums In 2017

Blink have announced plans to re-release all 3 of their critically acclaimed albums in 2017 on their Garage Records label.

To celebrate the re-release of “A map of the universe” on March 3rd they are releasing “Happy Christmas 22 (I still miss you)” on December 18th.

The band said “To mark the re-release of the entire Blink catalogue, the original Christmas song has been at long last been released as a single – 22 years behind schedule it would seem, although the title would suggest that this was the plan all along!?

Never a band to run with the standard way of doing things, we’ve avoided many requests to see the song issued as a single in its own right, and up until now it has only been available on “A Map Of The Universe By Blink”.

The recording features John O’Neill of The Undertones on guitar, alongside Steve Hillage.

Happy Christmas 22 (I Still Miss You) is dedicated to Aiden Lambert, brother of Dermot Lambert, and the effervescent mastermind behind Blink’s many adventures and releases, who sadly passed away just before Christmas 2015.”

Blink – Happy Christmas 22 (I still miss you)

• From “A Map of the Universe” re-released March 3rd 2017 on Garage Records

• Features John O’Neill (The Undertones) and Steve Hillage

You can follow Blink on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

Elephant Named As the Conor Walsh Memorial Bursary Winner

HWCH are delighted to announce that the winner of the inaugural Conor Walsh Memorial Bursary is Dundalk act Elephant.

In March 2016 an alumni and friend of the festival, Conor Walsh from Mayo, died suddenly. At HWCH this year all 100 bands participating were asked to vote for the act who most embodies Conor’s talent and bravery among their number. Elephant will be awarded €2,500 toward a recording or touring bill.

The HWCH Industry Convention took place in the Chocolate Factory this year and provided an opportunity for international delegates, Irish bands and domestic music industry professionals to meet face to face and make important first contacts. The panels and discussions were recorded and are now available to listen to on podcast. Topics include How to apply for a US performance Visa, 21st Century Labels, a conversation with Chris Douridas and many more.

“We are thrilled with the success of this year’s event and the impact it has had on the reputation of Irish music here and abroad. We look forward to next year’s event and all that happens in between” – Angela Dorgan HWCH Director.

HWCH returns next year on the 28th, 29th and 30th September 2017. For both Irish and international music professionals and music fans, HWCH is an essential one-stop shop for new Irish bands.

The annual European showcase, Eurosonic Nooderslag will take place in Groningen in January of next year. Music From Ireland have announced that the Irish bands taking part in 2017 will be Aine Cahill, Bonzai, Brian Deady, Bry, Ex Magician, Hare Squead, Lisa O’ Neill, Picture This, Saint Sister, The Eskies, Walking On Cars and Wyvern Lingo. RTE 2FM will preview the festival over the coming weeks. For full details see

All aspects are possible due to valued support from The Arts Council and Culture Ireland, with added assistance from Failte Ireland/Tourism Ireland.

See Hard Working Class Heroes for further updates on the festival throughout the year.


Music Network today welcomed the announcement by Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, confirming capital funds of €210,000 for the Music Capital Scheme 2016.

The Music Capital Scheme, supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and managed by Music Network, comprises two distinct awards that provide funding for the purchase of musical instruments to both non-professional performing groups and to professional musicians.

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humphreys TD said: “The Music Capital Scheme is a fantastic initiative which literally puts instruments in the hands of both experienced and aspiring musicians. It has benefited thousands of people across the country since it was set up in 2008. We know that encouraging participation in the arts, such as learning to play a musical instrument, is very beneficial for our young people, and the Music Capital Scheme is one of the ways in which my Department aims to make that easier. I am very pleased to be able to support the Scheme again this year and I wish all of the musicians benefitting all the very best with their future endeavours.”

Commenting on the announcement, Music Network CEO Sharon Rollston said: “As the number of people making music in Ireland is increasing, due by a large degree to the exceptional work of Music Generation among others, there is and will continue to be an increased demand for access to instruments to enable musicians to flourish. The Music Capital Scheme is a key resource nationally and is central to Music Network’s ambition to establish a National Music Instrument Fund to ensure that no musician is prevented from reaching their full potential. We are indebted to the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs for its vision and its continued support in addressing this need.”

The Music Capital Scheme was established by The Arts Council, The IRMA Trust and Music Network in 2008 as an action-research initiative designed to provide support for the purchase of musical instruments. In response to the success of the initial pilot scheme, funding has been made available since 2011 by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

The Music Capital Scheme has funded 227 musicians, groups and organisations, benefitting up to 30,819 people throughout Ireland since its inception in 2008.

The Music Capital Scheme will open for applications on Wednesday 30th November 2016, with a deadline of 12 pm Thursday 26th January. Further information is available at

Music Capital Scheme Advice Clinics will be held in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick & Sligo during the week of 9th January 2017. For further details, please contact Music Network’s Programmes Administrator Sarah Cunningham at Tel 01 475 0224/

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