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irish musicians

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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.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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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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Gypsies on the Autobahn are set to play at The Button Factory, November 15 2019. Tickets €15.00 inclusive of booking fee, available now from Ticketmaster.

The four-piece is comprised of brothers, lead singer James and drummer Dan Smith, guitarist Niall Mooney, and Gary Quinn on bass. After processing their first outing 2017’s Born Brief, a record ten years in the making, it’s evident that they have arrived at a point in their lives where they not only know the music they want to make but also they know themselves more than they ever did before. Freed up from the pressure of introducing where they came from on their debut, Suspended brings with it a more mature sound and central theme of hope born from moments of struggle.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Talking about writing the record, James said he had always previously found it necessary to try to use his lyrics to speak to someone else. However when it came to moving forward he found that familiar process transitioning into one that delivered lyrics he identified as him searching for hope for himself. It’s that intimacy and insular dialogue that delivers Suspended's big emotional punch and creates inevitable internal conversations for the listener because everyone can relate to them on a deeply personal level.

While they admit they write songs in what might be considered a backwards way, music first and lyrics second, it’s easy to see that it is born from an understanding between four young men who have been creating together for over a decade. This understanding allows them to continually bring each other outside of their comfort zones.

A lack of fear in suggesting things that might on the surface level sound unorthodox, ultimately delivers moments of glory that give this sophomore record brand new life. Being so close for so long doesn’t come without conflict, yet even as tensions rose and a battle between their own aggressions and sensitivities reared its head, all it did was create a raw environment where only candour could exist.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Teaming up with producer Ciaran Bradshaw, Suspended glues together seamlessly but is never afraid to go places the previous track hasn’t, providing big guitar moments that meet at a crossroads with the slower piano driven junctures like the record’s heart breaking first single Make You Mine. You can’t help but feel that Gypsies on the Autobahn aren’t just wanted by those who listen to them, they are needed.

Four men unafraid to be vulnerable in a society where that so rarely transpires. A voice for everyday people who carry real tragedy but can’t help but move forward with an infinite hope for the future.

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Niall Horan has been hot in the headlines this week, with the news that he's taking part in this year's Irish Open AND rumours of him managing a new singer.

But now, it seems that he's possibly the nicest guy around because last night he helped some Irish musicians promote their music.

Niall took to Twitter to show his fans what he's listening to on Spotify and the playlist included a long list of Irish artists.

Kodaline, Gavin James and The Academic were among the tracks he played online, and Dublin singer Gavin, couldn't help but thank the star.

Niall was super cute in his reply, saying: "Always support our own don't we gav."

It seems that no matter how much fame is thrown at Niall, he'll always be a sound, down-to-earth Irish lad at heart. 

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Ireland is blessed not only with some of the best musicians out there, but also with some very attractive ones. Guys who can play an instrument or sing have always had an easier route to the ladies.

Here are the Irish artists that the girls definitely want to see more of.

17. Damien Rice

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This Celbridge singer-songwriter has been around for quite a while but still has some appeal with the girls. The 40-year-old won critical acclaim for his solo work after leaving the band Juniper during the nineties. Damien is widely known for his musical contributions to charity such as the Song for Tibet and the Freedom Campaign. We’re sure there’s some girls out there who still love a nice sensitive guy.

16. Mick Pyro

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Intelligence is attractive! Double-whammy Mick Pyro has an MA in Renaissance Literature and is known for his unique singing style, with the ability to reach those super high notes! Having previously written for the Irish Independent, the Republic of Loose frontman also sports a lovely beard.

15. Paul Noonan

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Lead singer for popular Irish band Bell X1, Paul is loved for his excellent vocals and soft tender tone. After all, is it not every girl’s dream to have a man serenade her? Well, maybe not… But still, you’d give Paul a go.

14. Alex Trimble

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A cute and lovable frontman from Northern Ireland, we had to give ginger Alex a place in our list. His band Two Door Cinema Club have achieved huge success with their debut album.

13. Glen Hansard

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Jack of all trades, Glen is one of the most recognisable faces among modern Irish musicians. Oscar-winner, musician and actor, he has tried his hand at several occupations and won success in them all. Often found busking on Grafton Street on Christmas Eve, with his red curly hair, blue eyes and freckled arms, Glen is one of the most Irish-looking men out there!

12. Daithí Ó Drónaí

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This young Irishman drew many fans from his appearance on The All Ireland Talent Show and Sky1′s Must Be The Music. A multi-instrumental expert, Daithí has showed his tremendous skills with the fiddle and loop station to create a unique form of music. His debut album is due to be released this summer and with a new hairdo, the County Clare musician is sure to increase his popularity with the ladies.

11. James Vincent McMorrow

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James is a late bloomer in terms of his musical career but has jumped onto the scene with his debut album Early in the Morning and has started making a big name for himself overseas. The folk singer released his album Cavalier last year and his track Higher Love has received over 10 million plays on Spotify. What a voice!

10. Kevin Baird

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 Two Door Cinema Club bass-player and vocalist has a funny blog dedicated to his attractiveness at fuckyeahkevinbaird.tumblr.com.

9. Ronan Keating

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Oh Ronan, you handsome devil. Needs no lengthy introduction, but we’re sure he got a lot of action when his solo track When You Say Nothing at All featured in the film Notting Hill. Ronan’s still a big hit with the ladies.

8. Nathan Connolly

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This Belfast-born guitar player is best known for his work with Snow Patrol. It seems like they’ve been around for ages but you’ll be happy to hear that Nathan is still only 33!

7. Shane Filan

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One of the lead singers of Irish band Westlife, Shane has been admired for years by Irish women AND Louis Walsh. Shane went missing from our radar for a short time after Westlife disbanded but thankfully stepped back into the limelight after he released his first solo album last year. Phew!

6. Pete Maguire

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This young Irish producer has achieved so much on the Irish dance scene and at just 22, has a massive career ahead of him. Pete is the host of popular Spin 1038 radio show Resistance, which airs at 11:45pm on Friday nights. The young DJ has already played a number of sets ahead of high-profile stars such as Sander van Doorn, Nicky Romero and Mat Zo, as well as warming up for heavyweight stars Deadmau5 and Steve Aoki. Pity he’s on radio and not TV, but keep an eye on Pete!

5. Niall Horan

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Okay, maybe one for the younger girls, but we couldn’t leave Niall outside the top 5 for fear of a viral backlash from his millions of fans! Although he looks like he’s still waiting for his first facial hair to emerge, Niall has got that cute country lad look about him and he’s a genuinely nice guy.

4. Danny O’Reilly

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The Terenure guitarist and The Coronas frontman has made quite a name for himself over the years but was in a relationship with MTV presenter Laura Whitmore for a long time. The girls will be happy to know that Danny is now a free and single man. Line up!

3. Niall Breslin

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A bit of an all-rounder, Niall aka “Bressie” won a Leinster U-21 Football Championship medal, represented Ireland in rugby at the U-21 World Cup and enjoyed a successful music career with The Blizzards. The Westmeath star can be caught mentoring on The Voice of Ireland.

2. Siva Kaneswaran

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Siva was an early bloomer in Ireland as he started modeling at the age of 16, before signing a contract with Storm Model Management. He went on to achieve fame with English-Irish boy band The Wanted. The young singer is massively popular with the ladies and deserved his spot at number 2!

1. Danny O’Donoghue

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The frontman of The Script is one of the hottest musicians to come out of Ireland. He achieved massive critical acclaim for his lyric-writing, singing ability and his energetic performances with his band. He was a judge on the first two series of The Voice UK, drawing more female fans and increasing both his and the band’s popularity. Danny takes the cake!

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