Conor O’Brien’s first Villagers remix is not what you’d expect from the man known for his folk and singer-songwriter style.

Marked as a “club edit”, his remix of Stephen Tiernan’s Participant song ‘You Better’ guts the original and takes it on a trip to the minimal room at a Berlin club.

Watch the excellent video for the original by Bob Gallagher (Girl Band, SOAK, Saint Sister).

Posted on February 7th, 2017

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Today, the volunteers and homeless who were occupying Apollo House vacated the premises to honour the court order to get them to vacate but not without strong words for the state.

In a statement, Home Sweet Home said:

“It is regrettable that in recent days the state has failed to take this opportunity to publicly support this effort to address a national emergency, instead seeking to deny clear commitments made and to use law to effectively force some people back into unsuitable accommodation for their needs.”

“Accordingly Home Sweet Home as a public campaign will house those currently in Apollo House elsewhere until Minister Coveney and the support services deliver what they committed to last Friday 6 January 2017 – the short and long term needs of residents being met according to their needs.”

Conor O’Brien, the singer-songwriter who eloquently operates under Villagers is the latest artist who has written a new song in tribute to the Home Sweet Home Campaign, which will continue to be “a permanent intervention in the nation’s housing policy and discussion.”

As Conor sings “you can’t quench the flame of Apollo House.”

Posted on January 12th, 2017



BBC Radio Ulster’s Across The Line is the best radio show showcasing new Irish music from across the island. It’s a fine example of the exact thing that RTÉ is missing from its schedule – foundational support for emerging music in the Republic (shameful really). It’s currently presented by Rigsy and Stuart Bailie and I contribute to it every 4-6 weeks, as I did last Monday.

Across The Line started as The Bottom Line in September 1986 and 30 years later as Across The Line, it’s still championing Irish music and to mark the occasion, there will be a special gig on Monday September 5th at Ulster Hall, doubling as a broadcast that will feature live performances and interviews with SOAK, Therapy?, Villagers (acoustic), R51 and Saint Sister with more TBA.

Audiences can apply for tickets to this special concert – they will be allocated through a random draw and applications can be made until Monday 1 August at 4pm. Tickets will be limited to two per person.

The event will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Ulster from 8pm-10pm and streamed live on

Rigsy says: “I was practically reared on ATL, with Mike Edgar introducing me to so much amazing Irish music throughout the 90s. So, it’s a real privilege to be presenting the show these days alongside Stu Bailie – and to be involved in this 30th anniversary celebration gig. As is always the case with ATL – we’ve a mix of huge success stories and exciting, box-fresh bands we’ve only recently discovered. It should make for another truly special and memorable night – which it would need to be in order to mark such a momentous milestone!”

Stuart Bailie says: “ATL and The Bottom Line have been a great source of my musical education. I remember the days of Davy Sims and Mike Edgar with fondness and it’s been an honour to have become part of that fearless story. So many excellent artists have been nurtured, supported and promoted to the wider world and the Ulster Hall gig will see some of that love being returned by the acts. I’m sure that will be reflected in the audience response also, while I’m looking forward to an ATL team reunion – a top collection of professionals, music devotees and mavericks.”

Posted on July 26th, 2016


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The programme for the Kilkenny Arts Festival to take place from 5th to 14th of August this year has been announced.

The 43rd edition will include a celebration of Mozart across 15 concerts, The Marble City Sessions (St. Canice’s Cathedral, Sunday 14 August) – hosted and co-curated by Martin Hayes, writer Paul Muldoon and actor Stephen Rea but of interest to Nialler9 readers are shows from Villagers (Sunday August 7th @ Set Theatre ), Icelandic electro-pop band FM Belfast (Saturday 6 August @ Set Theatre), folk band The Unthanks (Saturday August 13 @ Set Theatre) and Sam Lee (Friday 5 August @ Set Theatre) among them.

See the full programme at

Posted on June 15th, 2016


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The Galway International Arts Festival announced its lineup of music this week and it includes some shows of interest including Villagers, BellX1, Dan Deacon, Pleasure Beach, Optimo, Suede and others.

July 13: Popical Island vs Citóg Records @ Róisín Dubh (€10/€12.50)

July 13, 14, 18 & 20: Vinyl Hours @ Festival Club (Free) – Festival artists reveal their most treasured
 vinyl memories

July 14: Pleasure Beach, Orchid Collective @ Roisin Dubh (€10/€12.50)

July 14: King Kong Company @ Roisin Dubh (€18/€20, late show)

July 15: Optimo @ Electric (€5/€10)

July 15: Stomptown Brass @ Monroe’s Live (€10/€12)

July 15: Elvis Costello And The Imposters @ The Absolut Big Top (€49.50)

July 16: The SoulJazz Orchestra @ Roisin Dubh (€22/€24)

July 16: BellX1, The Academic @ The Absolut Big Top (€35)

July 19: Villagers with special guest Mick Flannery @ The Absolut Big Top (€33.50)

July 21: Tama Sumo @ Electric (€5/€10)

July 21/22: Dan Deacon @ Roisin Dubh (€22.50/€25)

July 22: God Is An Astronaut @ Roisin Dubh (€16/€18)

July 22: The Gloaming @ The Absolut Big Top (€39.50)

July 23: Daithí, Mmoths, Toby Kaar @ Róisín Dubh (€14–€16)

July 23: Nightmares on Wax, DJ Stingray, 313 & Sleazy McQueen @ Electric (€10)

July 23: Suede @ The Absolut Big Top (€45)

July 24th: Brian Deady @ Roisin Dubh (€16/18)

Posted on May 24th, 2016


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Congrats are due to Villagers‘ Conor O’Brien who was given an Ivor Novello songwriting award today for the pretiguous Album Award for his Darling Arithmetic release last year.

Conor previously won a Novello for Best Song Musically and Lyrically’ in 2011 for ‘Becoming A Jackal’.

Other winners include Snakehips for ‘All My Friends’ for Best Contemporary Song, David Holmes for Best Television Soundtrack for his work on London Spy soundtrack, Lifetime Achievement went to Damon Albarn and Portishead were awarded the PRS for Music Outstanding Contribution to British Music.

Conor is working on the followup, to be his fourth album but there are plenty of live dates ahead this year.

Villagers live dates

Thurs 26-Sat 28th May – Freak Valley Festival, Siegen, Germany
Fri 1st July – Vida Festival, Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain
Fri 1st-Sun 3rd July – Castlepalooza, Laois, Ireland
Thurs 14th July – Super Bock Super Rock, Lisbon
Sat 16th July – Colours of Ostrava, Ostrava, Czech Republic
Tues 19th July – Festival Big Top, Galway
Sat 23rd July – Le Poisson Rouge, New York
Sun 24th July – Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI
Fri 26th August – Purbeck Valley Folk Festival, Swanage

Posted on May 19th, 2016



A roundup of recent gig announcements.

Other recent announcements including Dublin City Block Party and more in the news section.

Texas alt-rockers White Denim play Whelan’s on Tuesday 16th August. New album Stiff is a return to form. Tickets €18.50+fees on sale now. They also play Belfast’s Limelight the night after.

Rising pop star Dua Lipa plays The Academy Dublin on Wednesday October 5th. Tickets are €22.90 +fees on sale Friday at 9am.

Villagers and Mick Flannery will share a bill at the Galway International Arts Festival this July 19th. Tickets on sale at

Other Voices have confirmed their first lineup for their stage at Electric Picnic at Stradbally Hall, Co. Laois from 2nd – 4th September. They include Le Galaxie, Karl Blau, Saint Sister, Julia Jacklin, Margaret Glaspy, Jalen N’Gonda and Dr. Dog.

Music Network have confirmed a lineup of acts for Body & Soul Festival’s Woodlands Stage. The lineup will focus on contemporary, improv and classical and feature Séamus Begley with Catriona McKay and Chris Stout, OKO, Christine Tobin, Bangers and Crash percussion trio, The Carducci Quartet; Máirtín O’Connor, fiddle player Zoë Conway and guitar and bouzouki player Donal Lunny.

Norwegian indie-pop band HighAsAKite play Whelan’s in Dublin on May 22nd.

Young Hearts Run Free are putting on a celebration of musician Gene Clark (ex-Byrds) on the 25th anniversary of his death on May 24th, upstairs in MVP. The night will feature:

  • Live performances of Gene Clark songs by Ross Hamer (Jetsetter), David Tapley (Tandem Felix), Tony Poole (Starry Eyed And Laughing), Anderson, Peter Smith (The Urges)
  • Reading and Q&A with author Johnny Rogan, the world’s foremost Byrds/Gene Clark scholar
  • Exclusive playback of unreleased, never-before-heard Gene Clark tracks
  • Excerpt from the documentary film ‘The Byrd Who Flew Alone’

Tickets are priced at €12 and are available in advance at This is a not-for-profit event and proceeds will be donated to the Dublin Simon Community.

New Dublin band Barq will launch their second single ‘That Thing You Love’ on May 29th upstairs in Whelan’s. Tickets €5 On Door. Here’s the impressive first single:

All Tvvins were confirmed for the support slot for the Foals gig at The Marquee in Cork this summer on July 5th.Tickets are €36 +fees available from Ticketmaster.

Hare Squead will support De La Soul at their Dublin Olympia Theatre gig on June 16th. Tickets are €40+fees.

Tickets are available from unless otherwise stated.

Posted on May 10th, 2016


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Castlepalooza today has announced a new partnership with Aiken Promotions for its 10th year that sees them bring in bigger names and move the festival from the August bank holiday weekend to Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd July.

On the way to a redesigned site at the haunted Charleville Castle in Tullamore this year are:

  • Caribou
  • Jurassic 5
  • Cat Power
  • Romare
  • Tiger & Woods
  • Alle Farben
  • Cian Nugent
  • Colm Mac Con Iomaire
  • Overhead, The Albatross
  • Somerville
  • Get Down Edits
  • The Altered Hours

That might be Castlepalooza’s best lineup yet on the strength of headliners alone.

Tickets are a bit more this year but are still a reasonable €134 + fees for the weekend with camping or €115 + fees for a weekend ticket. Tickets go on sale on Monday at 9am from Ticketmaster.

Posted on February 25th, 2016


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Villagers have a live album recorded in one day in London’s RAK Studio coming out this Friday called Where Have You Been All My Life?.

Following on from ‘Memoir’ debuted in October, a cover of the Jimmy Web /Glen Campbell song ‘Wichita Lineman’. The live album is released this Friday on Domino.

Listen on Spotify.

Where Have You Been All My Life? Tracklisting

1. Set the Tigers Free
2. Everything I Am is Yours
3. My Lighthouse
4. Courage
5. That Day
6. The Soul Serene
7. Memoir
8. Hot Scary Summer
9. The Waves
10. Darling Arithmetic
11. So Naive
12. Wichita Lineman

Posted on January 5th, 2016


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