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irish music

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Grafton Street has a certain charm about it that you just can’t beat, and one thing that really adds to it is the abundance of musicians that are busking outside of shops and restaurants every day. They’re the soundtrack to your early morning dash to catch the bus on Dawson Street, to the Saturday afternoon strolls around the shops and to those late night walks home from the pub.

Nestled amongst the shops, pubs and never-ending new hotels is an ode to a very famous musician. A man we all treasured, a national icon and simply, a pure legend- Phil Lynott.

The Thin Lizzy frontman may not be with us, but his legacy has been kept alive through the music of Thin Lizzy. To mark 50 years of the Irish rock band, Hudson Taylor honoured the band’s special milestone with an unplugged performance at the Phil Lynott statue on Harry Street.

“It’s an absolute honour. This is like the Irish version of doing a Beatles song,” Alfie says about the tribute.

Speaking about the influence Irish music has had on them, Harry shared, “Getting into busking we would have learned more Irish music so Damien Rice, U2, Glen Hansard, Thin Lizzy. 

“To hear that these bands and artists were busking too gave us the push to get onto the street and play music ourselves.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hudson Taylor (@hudtaymusic) on

The early days of busking were full of nerves and embarrassment for the brothers, who were only teens at the time, cringing as their school friends passed them and their electric piano, but it shaped them into the incredible musicians they are today.

“We went out with the guitar and started to do a bit better. It then became a weekend thing. It gave us a freedom of meeting people in town and meeting other musicians.”

Stressing that busking will forever be in their blood, the Back For You singers said;

“We’re not totally detached from busking because we still busk every day in our life. The shows we play, whether we headline or not, that is kind of busking.

“At a festival, people don’t know you a lot of the time. People are there to see Florence and the Machine or the big name at the top of the line up, so that’s your chance to win people over,” Harry explained.

One place where they’ll certainly win plenty of new fans is Whelan's. The brothers have been playing in the Wexford Street venue for eight years and have five nights of gigs lined-up this December. 

Alfie couldn’t help but gush about their legendary shows, “It’s really special. We’ve been calling it our Christmas party. We’ve been playing in Whelan's for eight years, since we started as a band. It’s an amazing venue. The gigs are like a big sing-along. I actually get goosebumps thinking about it.”

At one of their 2018 gigs, the brothers sang an unplugged version of I Love You And You Don’t Even Know with fellow musicians Tadhg and Oisin Walsh-Peelo, who they met when busking.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hudson Taylor (@hudtaymusic) on

The performance was simple, but one I’ll never forget. They managed to capture the attention of everyone in the room and a powerful silence filled Whelan's, a rarity for the famous music venue.

Alfie commented, “We love doing that. You’re not plugged in and it’s so different to the other type of set where you’re plugged in and you’re in your own world and you’re playing, because you’re actually in the audience when you’re doing that."

“That’s our homage to busking,” Harry adds.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hudson Taylor (@hudtaymusic) on

Hudson Taylor have gigs lined up all across the country and new music is pending. Their next album, which features plenty of tunes about family, home and their love lives, will be released in 2020.

There are a lot of nods to home and Dublin on the upcoming album, proving that the Emerald Isle will always mean the world to the lads, no matter where their success takes them, whether that’s Bear Creek or Dame Street.

An Post have released two new limited-edition stamps available to mark 50 years of Thin Lizzy. Hudson Taylor are calling on the nation’s buskers and musicians to make their own personal tribute to the band by recording a street performance of their most loved Thin Lizzy track and sharing it on social media, tagging An Post and using #ThinLizzyStamp.  

The two national rate €1 stamps are available at all post offices nationwide and at irishstamps.ie.

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Hudson Taylor are one of the greatest Irish bands around at the moment. The Feel It Again singers deserve just as much praise and success as Picture This, yet they can often be overlooked.

Their latest single Back To You should be on everyone’s Spotify playlist because it is one of their best songs to date. It’s got that pure Irish folk sound with Hudson Taylor’s heartfelt lyrics.

To mark the release of their new single, the brothers have confirmed a string of Irish dates and you can guarantee we’ll be heading along to see them.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hudson Taylor (@hudtaymusic) on

They’ll be performing all across the Emerald Isle, including five nights at Whelan's.

Do yourself a favour and go to one of their December shows in Whelan's. Their Christmas week gigs makes my December ten times better. It is by far one of the best gigs of the year, so don’t miss out when tickets go on sale next week.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hudson Taylor (@hudtaymusic) on

Hudson Taylor are undoubtedly one of the best bands to come out of Ireland in years so bless your ears and head along to see them on their Irish tour.

You can buy tickets here. Tickets go on sale on Friday, September 13.

Check out the full list of tour dates below:

10th October – Blackbox Theatre, Galway

11th October – Big Top Dolans, Limerick

12th October – Speigeltent, Wexford

13th October – Cyprus Avenue, Cork

17th October – Set Theatre, Kilkenny

19th October – Lukers, Shannonbridge

24th October – Kenny’s, Lahinch

25th October – Ruby Room, Castlebar

27th October – The Guildhall, Derry

31st October – Mike The Pies, Listowel

1st November – Debarras, Clonakilty

17th – 21st December – Whelans, Dublin

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Just Eat, Ireland’s leading food ordering and delivery app, has been announced as the official food ordering partner of sold out music festival, All Together Now. Serving up a whole new dining experience at this year’s event, guests will be invited to Just Eat Together Now and enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner on the front lawn of the magnificent Curraghmore House.

Tasteful table toppings and chic floral arrangements will set the tone, as music fans take a seat and enjoy the freedom of choice and the luxury of fine festival dining. Supporting this year’s mouth-watering line-up of acts, a team of dedicated Just Eat Waiters will be delivering a range of flavours from popular restaurant partners Avo Nice Day, Eddie Rockets, Bear Grillz, Harty Kitchen, Dorain Delep Pizza, C’est Cheese and Shaka Poké, allowing festival-goers to relax and enjoy the weekend of entertainment.

Commenting on the announcement, Annelie McCaffrey, Head of Marketing at Just Eat Ireland said; “Just Eat is thrilled to be joining the All Together Now roster with the ambition always to make food discovery convenient and exciting for everyone. Our Just Eat Waiters will be on-hand right across the weekend, delivering everyone’s favourite flavours, with guests invited to Just Eat Together Now and enjoy a truly unique festival dining experience.”

While tickets for this 3-day extravaganza are now sold out, Just Eat is giving one lucky fan (and 4 of their mates) the chance to WIN 5 weekend camping passes. Set across 16 stages, featuring natural amphitheatres, secret woodland stages, the Belonging Bandstand and more, guests will be treated to an August Bank Holiday feast for all the senses.

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Following a busy weekend, which included two shows in Croke Park supporting Westlife and headlining Stage 2 at the sold-out Longitude Festival, Wild Youth have announced a headline show at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin on December 10, 2019.

Tickets priced from €21 inclusive go on sale at 9am this Friday via www.ticketmaster.ie

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Wild Youth (@bandwildyouth) on

Ireland’s rising stars have also released a brand-new video to coincide with the release of ‘Long Time No See’ – available to stream / download here. The video, which is shot in various locations across Dublin, captures an emotional tale faced when bumping into an ex.

Continuing on from the massive success of Wild Youth’s EP ‘The Last Goodbye, which debuted at #5 in the Irish Albums Charts, the Dublin pop-rock superstars went on to sell-out their first ever headline show in The Olympia Theatre, support The Script in London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall and perform to a packed-out house in London’s OMEARA, run by Mumford & Sons member Ben Lovett.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Wild Youth (@bandwildyouth) on

In addition to a string of live shows, their outrageously catchy song Can’t Move On has earned them over 2 million streams and the song was the most played Irish song on Irish radio in 2018.

Recently, Wild Youth shared the stage with the likes of Mumford & Sons and Dermot Kennedy at this year’s Malahide Castle, and Clean Bandit and Jax Jones at Sea Sessions.

Wild Youth consists of David Whelan, Conor O’ Donohue, Ed Porter and Callum McAdam.

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Christmas has come early for Westlife fans as the band have annouced their comeback single. Nicky Byrne took to Instagram to share the exciting news.

He posted a photo of him and his bandmates rehersing in the studio ahead of their string of reunion shows in 2019.

The 2FM DJ wrote, “Here we go again! Having just announced two Cardiff dates that bring the Twenty Tour to 32 shows so far next summer in Ireland/UK.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Nicky Byrne (@nickybyrneinsta) on

Nicky confirmed that they will release a brand new album in 2019. This will be the World Of Our Own singers’ first album in eight years.

However, before the lads kickstart their massive reunion tour, they will release a single and are set to perform on one of the UK’s biggest chat shows.

“But it all kicks off on The Graham Norton Show January 11th with our brand new single,” Nicky teased.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Nicky Byrne (@nickybyrneinsta) on

Fans couldn’t help but gush about the exciting news in the comments. “I am so excited for the 11th of January. The best thing to start off 2019.”

Another wrote: “I can’t wait, Nicky. I’m counting down the days to January 11.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Nicky Byrne (@nickybyrneinsta) on

One fan added: “This picture makes me so happy. Seeing you lads all together in front of a mic again. I can't wait to listen to the new single."

We are beyond ready for the Uptown Girl singers’ to perform their new single on January 11, 2019.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Nicky Byrne (@nickybyrneinsta) on

What a great way to start the new year.

The band recently sold out a mammoth number of shows across Ireland and the United Kingdom, including two dates in Dublin’s Croke Park in July.

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Gavin James is known for his love of Whelan's, his stunning voice which produces banger after banger, and his ability to make friends with pretty much anyone.

The singer-songwriter, who has achieved massive chart success at home and abroad with tunes such as Always, Glow and Nervous, from his breakthrough album Bitter Pill back in 2015.

We sat down for a chat with the man himself, who is the new ambassador for the Cadbury Secret Santa campaign, to chat to him about his "f*cking hilarious" father, his home away from home and his favourite celebrities, among other (random) things.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gavin James (@gavinjameslive) on

James has been known for his love and support for charities, especially Down's Syndrome Ireland, so it's not surprising that he's choosing a generous movement like Cadbury Secret Santa to represent this Christmas.

A Dairy Milk gift can be sent anywhere in Ireland for free, either anonymously or personalised, to someone you love. Frankly, that's adorable. After posting the very first Secret Santa gift of the campaign, Gavin speaks about what drew him to Cadbury.

"I have always loved the Secret Santa ritual; the excitement of sending a gift in secret and the anticipation of receiving a gift anonymously – it’s so much fun! My dad is also essentially Santa." After pointing his dad out to me, I had to agree. He was merry with a white beard.

The artist brings his family and friends with him to gigs any chance he gets: “Its good to be able to bring them away with me. Every time I have a gig in Ireland my entire family goes, I brought my dad to a photoshoot today, which is f*cking hilarious.”

Asking him about his early days of gigging in tiny pubs, and dedicated to his then-rock band, he describes why he transitioned into acoustic songwriting, despite still having an intense love for his electric guitar.

"I started off with my mates in Temple Bar, my hair was huge. I was also trying to sing high but I couldn’t sing falsetto when I was younger, I had a raspy voice back then and couldn’t pronounce the letter 's'.I never try to transition, genres just kind of come on their own, I think."

We're glad he found his niche, his musical talent started for him at a very young age, surrounded by musical talent within his own family. His latest album, Only Ticket Home, hit number one in Ireland and has already surpassed a million streams.

He describes his latest offering as a dedication to the art of "simplicity", with most of the songs only having four chords. 

"They're not trying to be smart. There was one song that didn’t make the album because I tried to record it and it just didn’t turn out right. It was the best song I’ve written in a long time, but it sounded too far away from the right sound of the album. I have it in my back pocket for next year though. I found loads of songs in the cloud, I was chuffed."

"There was like 40 but 33 of them were shit. I usually have 100 ideas but one works. The first idea is always the best song. It’s like a buffet, the first thing you look at is always what you want.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gavin James (@gavinjameslive) on

James has toured with some absolutely huge names in music, among them are Ed Sheeran, Niall Horan, Sam Smith and Kodaline, to name a few. With all this talent around him, we have to ask which artists have impressed him the most.

"Bands like Vulfpeck are absolutely insane, they’re so good at playing stuff that I absolutely cannot understand. It’s insane, like Stevie Wonder-esque.”

“Foy Vance sang songs next to me, and his voice starts low and aggressively builds up and I don’t even know how he exists. He’s insane.”“When it comes to Secret Santa gifts, Gavin's already done his bit for fellow musicians… and their skin, apparently. "Sam Smith. I gave him aloe vera before, he loved that. He’s a really nice guy.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sam Smith (@samsmith) on

We're sure Sam would say the same about Gavin, but is there anyone in the industry who he has been disillusioned by, who maybe brushed him off? It's a notoriously tough industry, which requires a thick skin for survival. IT seems James has a level-headed approach to the whole 'fame' thing.

"There are people I don’t want to meet purely because it would ruin how I feel about them, people I totally idolise, sometimes they’re just not in the mood and you don't want to annoy them. Everybody I’ve ever met has been really friendly to me though, but if someone isn’t being nice to me, I’ll tell them. I don’t mind saying that to people. It’s easier to be nice."

"I couldn't meet Ryan Adams because I love him so much, and Bruce Springsteen. He’s meant to be the nicest man in the world. I’d love to meet him but I’d be bricking it. I’d probably just say “thank you, Bruce, for all of these songs.”

"When it comes to growing Irish talent, I love David Keenan. He’s class. His lyrics are amazing. He has a song called Laurence of Arcadia with lyrics like;

“You're looking at the last know bar stool prophet to retire early from the trade, I'm going fishing for pearls of wisdom. I'll be dancing through the pissing rain. You're welcome to join me you annoyance, for I find you quite amusing all the same." It's amazing."

Irish artists have repeatedly found success abroad, yet the UK and US markets are infamously hard to break into. Why have some Irish artists such as U2, The Script, Hozier and now Dermot Kennedy made it big over there, and some slip through the cracks?

“The UK is a tough market. It’s a weird one, like the Netherlands kicked off for me because they love a sad song, and I'm good at those. I brought out a Live at Whelans track, and was told it would reach top of the Dutch charts by Christmas. I didn't believe it, because it was a live recording. Then it went number one in the Netherlands, but no one would think of a live recording doing that.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gavin James (@gavinjameslive) on

His second album, Only Ticket Home, is still distinctly within the style of his debut, and James makes sure that his roots can come across in his lyrics. When he's in Dublin, he loves chilling with his friends in the pub, living out a normal life despite his new-found fame.

Where are his favourite parts of Dublin, and if he had to move, where would he find himself?

“Whelan’s, but I spend most of my time in Temple Bar, even though it’s seven euros a pint.” *shivers*

"Where Doran’s used to be, my mate Robbie owns a little snug next to it, an Irish pub. I always go there because it seems like a little secret spot where I’d just have a pint with my mates.”

“I’ve never been to Coppers. I tried to get in years ago, I think they were closing up. They must have a quota of guys named Gavin or gingers, so I couldn’t get in.” (Can you BELIEVE this Dubliner hasn't stepped foot in the notorious nightclub? We are shook)

“I went on one night out to Nashville to see Ron Pope, and ended up staying there a week.”

“I’d definitely move to Nashville. Very random, it’s musical but it reminds me of Dublin in a lot of ways. I have a lot of friends there, I made a lot of friends there very quickly. It’s cheap too, it’s not f*cking mad, it’s not like Los Angeles. I’m not into L.A. How the hell do people get around there?”

Sounds like this lad has his head screwed on right, that's for sure.

We got two hugs out of him and a Cadbury Secret Santa letter, so we are officially his number one fans.

Only Ticket Home is out now, grab your tickets to see him live in 2019 here.

Don't forget to become a Cadbury Secret Santa and give a little something extra this Christmas- visit www.cadbury.ie/secretsanta and follow all the action on the Cadbury Ireland Facebook and Twitter pages.

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The Coronas have just announced their biggest show of 2019 with an outdoor performance at Irish Independent Park, Cork on Saturday, 22 June 2019.

Joining The Coronas are very special guests Sigrid and All Tvvins.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sigrid (@thisissigrid) on

Fresh from a busy summer touring the USA and Canada including a slot at the legendary Lollapalooza festival in Chicago this August, The Coronas are delighted to announce an open-air performance at Irish Independent Park, Cork this June.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Coronas (@thecoronasofficial) on

Tickets priced €49.50 inclusive of booking fee go on sale at 9 am this Friday, November 30 via Ticketmaster outlets and www.ticketmaster.ie

The band are currently on tour in Australia with shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. The Coronas return to Ireland next month kicking off a run of sold-out shows at The Olympia Theatre on December 3.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Coronas (@thecoronasofficial) on

“We’ve had some amazing shows in Cork over the years but we’re so excited to announce our biggest ever headline show in the Independent Park on June 22. We’re so delighted to have the amazingly talented Sigrid and All Tvvins as special guests. It will be our biggest Irish show in 2019  and we can’t wait! Hope to see ya’s there – love, Danny, Dave, Knoxy and Conor”

Make sure to set your alarm for 9 am on Friday, November 30.

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There’s no doubt fans were overjoyed to hear that Westlife are back together again. Shane, Kian, Nicky and Mark made the long-awaited announcement on Instagram earlier this month and have been posting photos together ever since.

Their latest post has sent fans into a frenzy. The foursome posted the same black and white selfie to their Instagram accounts.

All four members captioned the snap: “Tonight 8.30pm.”

Naturally, fans of the boyband started freaking out and flooded the comment section with questions.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Shane Filan (@shanefilanofficial) on

“Is it performance or new songs?!”

“Please let it be a new single!!”

“Does this mean what I think it is? Dates for Westlife?”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kian Egan (@kianegan) on

If you take a closer look at the snap of the Swear It Again singers you’ll notice it was taken in Croke Park, Dublin.

Does this mean what we hope it does? Westlife will play their first comeback show at Croke Park? The place where the lads gave their final performance six years ago?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Westlife (@westlife) on

Let’s hope so.

Keep your eyes peeled on Westlife’s social media account at 8.30 pm tonight. Let the countdown commence.

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Hozier is set to play three intimate rehearsal shows in Dublin this September. The singer has announced he will play a special run of live shows at The Academy, Dublin.

The tickets cost a mere €30 and all proceeds from the shows will go to three charities close to the Jackie and Wilson singer’s heart.

 

A post shared by Andrew Hozier Byrne (@hozier) on

The charities include Safe Ireland, One In Four and the Peter McVerry Trust.

The Take Me To Church singer has stepped back from touring as he works on his second album, so we are delighted to hear he will be taking to the stage again.

Tickets are limited to two per person.

They go on sale from 9am on Friday, August 17 at ww.Hozier.com.

The Someone New singer is set to announce further Ireland, UK and European tour dates on September 17.

The 28-year-old will also be releasing new music in the coming months and we cannot wait. It’s been too long since his voice graced the charts.

Dates are as below:

Monday, September 3 – The Academy, Dublin

Wednesday, September 5 – The Academy, Dublin

Friday, September 7 – The Academy, Dublin

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Calling all Irish musicians! 

Other Voices are offering one talented act the chance to perform at the famous Dingle music festival this December.

Applicants are invited to send in samples of their work through the new eir Other Voices Open Call system, and Dublin band, Le Galaxie, are urging musicians to avail of this “incredible opportunity.”

The chosen act will enjoy an all expenses paid trip to Dingle where they will have the opportunity to perform at the IMRO Other Room, which has previously featured artists such as James Vincent McMorrow, Villagers and Rusango Family.

The winner will also be given a three-day studio session as well as the budget and resources to film their very own music video.

Speaking to RTÉ Entertainment, Le Galazie's Dave McLaughlin said: "It's incredible, just the idea that all you have to do is put your music forward, it's not a competition per se, it's almost like a Booker Prize.”

"So it's incredible to think that a band starting out now, who has their chops together, that you're going to have access to that kind of platform."

Sound like you? Entries are open now at www.othervoices.ie/content/open-call and will close at 6pm on September 22.

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Later this month, our very own Niall Horan will embark on his first ever solo world tour – and he's bringing some local talent along for the ride.

The Slow Hands singer took to Twitter earlier today announce the support acts for his upcoming Flicker Sessions tour, adding that he wanted to make it “as Irish as possible.”

The Dublin-based Wild Youth will join Niall for his opening show in Dublin's Olympia theatre, while Kildare duo, Picture This, will join the former One Direction member in London and Stockholm.

And as if that wasn't enough, the super-talented Gavin James will support Niall in the US and Toronto.

Many fans were left disappointed after tickets for the Flicker Sessions tour sold out in minutes, and to be honest, we reckon this latest announcement will just rub salt in the wound.

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As we all know, trends come and go, but there's something about Irish fashion that's changing at the moment – and for the better.

With influences coming straight from the Irish music scene, we look at the style of Róisín O, Ireland's latest girl crush.

We're getting way more comfortable with ourselves, and that means with our clothing choices too, and we can thank gals like Róisín for it:

The piercings:

 

A photo posted by Róisín O (@roisinomusic) on

A few years ago, getting unusual piercings were a bit of a taboo (our Irish mammies wouldn't be too happy), but taking example from Róisin, they're something that have become a total norm and a style statement these days. If you like it and want it, go for it girl.

 

The hair:

 

A photo posted by Róisín O (@roisinomusic) on

Celebrities have always been changing and chopping their hair throughout the years, and it's safe to say us Irish have been a bit late to the game sometimes. But, not anymore. We relish with different looks, cuts and colours, and strive to be a bit different. Go us.

 

The grunge:

 

A photo posted by Róisín O (@roisinomusic) on

Gone are the days of the super girly girl (goodbye Paris Hilton circa 2009). Now, us Irish gals like a bit more rock'n'roll and we always grunge up our look. Whether it's adding a big statement belt, or rockin' black dress like Róisín here, we're loving it.

 

The glamour:

 

A photo posted by Róisín O (@roisinomusic) on

Saying that though, as much as we like to be comfy and original, we also LOVE to add a bit of glamour to our outfits sometimes. Whether you're heading on a night out and want to sparkle as bright as the discoball, or you simply just feel like adding some glitz to your shopping-day look, in the words of Fergie, we are G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S yeeeaaah.

 

The accessories:

 

A photo posted by Róisín O (@roisinomusic) on

If there's one thing we've conquered in fashion, it's accessories. Rocking some deadly shades, or simply adding a great bag like Róisín here, can totally change up any look and make it ten times better. We got it, girls.

 

To raise awareness of the issue of dating abuse and to raise funds for Women's Aid, we have decided to host a music gig in The Sugar Club on Wednesday July 6, where Róisín O will headline, and more special guests to be announced. If you'd like to support us on the night, you can get your tickets here now.

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