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Culture Night @ IMRO | Line-up Announced | New Addition Katie Laffan

September 22, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm


Meet The Music Managers with Ken Allen, Joe Clarke & David Rowell
Live Music from ZALI, I Draw Slow and just announced, Culture Night Trailblazer Ambassador Katie Laffan

The role of a music manager in the D.I.Y. age is less that of an advocate and cheerleader, and more that of an analyst and adviser. Appointing the right manager at the right time is one of the most important decisions a songwriter will take during his/her career as a professional musician. As the music industry has rapidly evolved in recent years music managers have had to adapt quickly to face new challenges as well as knowing when best to exploit opportunities as they arise.

This upcoming IMRO seminar offers you the unique opportunity to learn from the experience of a number of Ireland and the UK’s top music managers with advice on when and how artists should seek management and tips for those looking to break into management.

David Rowell’s marketing background spans 20 years. David began his career as an intern at James Grant Management in 1993. Later that year David made the move to Chrysalis as Product and Label Manager on the Curb / Hit Label, working on frontline and back catalogue. 1995 saw an internal change to the newly established, Chrysalis-owned Echo Label where David rose to the position of Marketing Director and looked after the careers of Feeder, Moloko, Ray Lamontagne, Nerina Pallot and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club amongst others. David and business partner Richard Engler first worked together on the hugely successful compilation series ACOUSTIC while still being respective Marketing Directors at Echo and V2. Vicious Music was set up in 2006, which expanded upon the operation and experience generated via their solo marketing ventures. 2008 saw the expansion of the team and company when Autonomy Music Group was formed with the addition of a recorded, management and publishing and sync division. In 2010 alongside Richard, David became a co-owner of the Communion Music Group.

Ken Allen is MD and founder of Faction Records and Management Company, the ex-Hot Press magazine staffer was previously an Irish A&R scout for both Polydor UK and Atlantic Records. Allen also managed The Factory Studios, Dublin but left to set up Faction managing Irish platinum selling artist Director. In 2006 and 2008 he was A&R and executive producer for both The Blizzards best selling albums A Public Display of Affection and the Domino Effect. Faction’s current roster includes platinum artist James Vincent McMorrow, two time Choice award winner Jape as well as newcomers, I Have a Tribe and Pleasure Beach. Ken Allen was appointed as a director to the board of Irish Music Recorded Association (IRMA) in 2014.

Joe Clarke runs CWB, a music focused management and production company with offices in Dublin and a residential production studio in Co. Tipperary. With a background in venue ownership and management, together with partners Paul Webb and Paul Boland he opened CWB in 2008 with the Rubberbandits being their first management client. Following their worldwide success, the company expanded adding The Strypes and Le Galaxie to their roster. Currently in addition to these, CWB manages Bitch Falcon, The Blizzards, Mark Mc Cabe, RSAG, Jack O’Rourke, Cities, Kormac, Stomptown Brass, Maud in Cahoots, Jerry Fish, Ivy Nations and Paddy Dennehy, Cut Once and Humans of the Sesh.


An inventive musician and songwriter who made her live debut as a drummer at the age of thirteen, Katie Laffan has used a bedroom studio, her grandad’s old keyboard, a laptop, instruments and €99 mic to create a sound drawn on a range of musical styles – from funk and modern pop to reggae and ska, post-punk and even a bit of hip-hop.

Combining a unique voice with her skills on drums, guitar, ukulele and keyboards, this approach resulted in her 2015 debut EP Dead As Disco – so named because most of her favourite genres are considered dead and buried. Last year’s follow up ‘Trophy’ saw her strip her sound back in an affecting electronic fashion, receiving major radio support in the process, while she returned to the full band approach with ‘Tastemaker’ – a disco influenced track that saw her feature on the 405, The Times, Record Of The Day and Radio X amongst other international outlets.

Invited to appear at the St Patrick’s Festival Young Blood event at the NCH, a summer run of festivals began with a triumphant slot at Body&Soul and ended with two shows at the Electric Picnic – including an acclaimed performance for Other Voices that saw her nominated as the best new act of the festival. She is currently working on a new EP, has been ​invited to be​ a Culture Night Trailblazer, will be playing at this year’s HWCH and is the first act announced for the IMRO Other Room at eir Other Voices.


Change is in the air and the time is now for a new face of music to emerge in the form of multi-talented singer-songwriter and dancer ZALI. The Dublin based rising star has been singing for as long as she can remember. Discovering her talent and passion for singing in the church choir during her pre-teen years, she found a love and comfort on the stage.

She landed on the Irish music scene in January 2017 and since then gained attention through her music through performances across Dublin as well as with the release of her debut Single ‘Cant Stop’ which to date has amassed over 100,000 streams worldwide on Spotify, quickly making a name for herself among rising Irish artists to watch in 2017. ZALI has been hailed by the likes of Nialler9, Hot Press Magazine, Lovin Media Group and is slowly gathering support from industry movers and shakers who support her music and vision in Ireland and the UK.

With influences ranging from the likes of Amy Winehouse, Toni Braxton, Duffy, Whitney Houston, Frank Ocean, Maxwell, Luther Vandross, Rebecca Ferguson, and Emeli Sande, ZALI has surprisingly separated the influences and managed to form a cross-genre unique sound. ZALI possesses an intensely powerful and wide vocal range honed through years of vigorous vocal training to produce a sound reminiscent of old school R&B mixed with Soul-Pop.

ZALI is set apart from the rest of her peers through her distinct ability to feel the joy within every song, be it a sad love song or a song that brings to mind the pain and struggle we all go through in life, she weaves life experiences and expertly transforms them through captivating lyrics and a combination of lively and soul filled beats to form a resonating bounce that puts listeners in a state of intoxicating good vibes.

For ZALI as an artist, the creative process carries as much of a thrill as performing. She is restlessly creative and looks at herself not just as a singer and songwriter, but as a writer in the truest form writing fiction, short stories, poems, and inspirational quotes – anything to express the multifaceted woman that she is within. 2017 has a lot to see from ZALI as she gears up to release her brand new single!


Dublin roots band I Draw Slow have been consistently honing their craft over the course of the last 10 years. They have been selling out venues in Ireland and releasing their records to critical acclaim. However, they haven’t only focused here. It’s been five years since the 5 piece band made their debut US appearance in Nashville, following the Number 2 Irish chart position of their second album, Redhills.

Fifteen tours and 24 states later, they’ve moved into a dominant position on the American folk music scene and are receiving well deserved recognition from some of the biggest festivals in the US.

2017 has been a busy year for I Draw Slow. They have just signed with Compass Records, one of the most important independent roots labels in the U.S., who also feature Ron Sexsmith, Altan, and the Waifs on their roster. Announcing the signing, Compass Records CEO Garry West said: ‘First, we noticed how they got the crowd involved in what they were doing. Their energy is truly infectious. Then we noticed that their CDs and merchandise were flying off the shelves in the festival store. That kind of immediate response is always going to get our attention! But more than anything we’ve been impressed with the strength of the songwriting, the sibling harmony and the musical proficiency of the band. They are truly dedicated to their craft.”

In May the band released their fourth album, ‘Turn Your Face To The Sun’, which was funded entirely through pre-sales to a large, loyal and growing domestic and international fanbase and reached number 1 in the Irish Independent Album Charts. Written entirely by Louise and Dave, it features vocals by the brother and sister duo, with Dave also playing guitar/mandolin, Konrad Liddy on double bass, Adrian Hart on fiddle and Colin Derham on banjo. Recorded in Wicklow with Brian Masterson, the album also introduces brass into the mix for the first time. The band then set off on their 14th North American tour amidst a buzz of anticipation on the US roots scene. This month the band have been invited to perform at the prestigious Americana Music Association showcase in Nashville.

The music has also brought I Draw Slow to play in some weird and wonderful places – such as deep into the Canadian prairie after a two hour horse-drawn buffalo safari, at the residence of the Irish Ambassador to New York and to an audience of thousands at the iconic Grey Fox Festival playing with a roots collective that featured folk legends Chris Thile, Gerry Douglas and Tim O’Brien.

Part of the band’s appeal lies in their live performances, which really showcase the exceptional musicianship of I Draw Slow. The instruments and vocals blend organically on stage, giving audiences a sense of intimacy and connection to the performance. The albums are recorded to reflect this dynamic and offer the most faithful representation of the live experience. ‘Turn Your Face To The Sun’ was recorded completely live with all five band members playing together in the live room for every track. My Portion, the lead track from the record, is a song about addiction, and showcases the beautiful vocal harmonies of siblings Louise and Dave Holden.

I Draw Slow will be presented with an IMRO Award on the night in recognition of their album ‘Turn Your Face To The Sun’ reaching the top of the Independent Irish Album Chart.



September 22, 2017
6:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Categories:


01 661 4844
View Organiser Website


Irish Music Rights Organisation
Copyright House, Pembroke Row, Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2
Dublin, Ireland
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01 661 4844
View Venue Website

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