The Choice Music Prize is this year the RTÉ Choice Music Prize for the first time and the announcement of the 10 Irish albums were revealed a short time ago on 2FM’s Tracy Clifford Show by Tony Clayton Lea, chairman of the judging panel.

The 10 albums shortlisted by the judges for Irish album of the year are:

Shortlisted albums

All Tvvins – IIVV (Warner Music)
Bantum – Move (Self Released)
Wallis Bird – Home (Mount Silver / Caroline International)
The Divine Comedy – Foreverland (Divine Comedy Records)
Lisa Hannigan – At Swim (Hoop Recordings)
Katie Kim – Salt (Art For Blind Records)
James Vincent McMorrow – We Move (Faction Records)
Overhead, The Albatross – Learning to Growl (Self Released)
Rusangano Family – Let The Dead Bury The Dead (Self Released)
We Cut Corners – The Cadences Of Others (Delphi)

A Spotify playlist of all albums

The winning act will receive €10,000, a prize fund which has been provided by The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA). All of the shortlisted acts will receive a specially commissioned award. RAAP, Culture Ireland & Golden Discs are also official project partners.

2FM has promised to play Irish music all day from 6am to midnight today to mark the announcement along with live cessions from SOAK and Delorentos and a two-hour special on this year’s RTÉ Choice Music Prize, Irish Album of the Year 2016 shortlist, presented by Conor Behan from 8-10pm.

Live event

Shortlisted albums will also be featured throughout in the lead up to the live choice prize event on Thursday March 9th in Vicar Street.
Tickets for the Choice Music Prize live event are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and at priced €26.50 including booking fee.

Judging Panel

Louise Bruton – Freelance & Irish Times
Brian Coney – Editor, The Thin Air
Maire Dineen – Súgradh Productions (Imeall TG4/Body & Soul)
Suzanne Doyle – Music, Film & Television Consultant
Dan Hegarty – 2FM
Paddy McKenna – Editor,
Cathal Murray – RTE Radio 1
Barbara Nic D – Classic Hits 4FM
Colm O’Regan – Hot Press
Niall Power – Head of Music Beat FM
Eva Short – Deputy Editor, Trinity News

Irish Song of The Year 2016

The shortlist for the RTÉ Choice Music Prize – Irish Song of The Year 2016 will be announced on Wednesday 1st February, 2017. A Special event featuring exclusive performances from both Album of the Year and Song of the Year nominees will be held in Dublin that evening in the Workman’s Club.

Previous winners of the Choice Music Prize

2015: Soak
2014: The Gloaming
2013: Villagers
2012: Jape
2011: Delorentos
2010: Two Door Cinema Club
2009: Adrian Crowley
2008: Jape
2007: Super Extra Bonus Party
2006: The Divine Comedy
2005: Julie Feeney

Posted on January 11th, 2017


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Wallis Bird has been toiling away in Berlin working on her new album for the last 20 months. Now, Home her fifth album and followup to 2014’s Architect is to be released on September 30th and Bird has teased a few snippets on her Facebook page.

The album is described as ‘thank you letter’ to her muse and partner and the cover features the pair in a loving embrace.

Kicking off the record is ‘Change’ a hopeful song, which was the last written for the album.

‘Change is about celebrating my happiness right now. It’s about knowing you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be, and moving onwards into the absolute unknown with power in your heart’, says Bird.

Preorder Home on Vinyl, CD or digital

2016/2017 Wallis Bird dates

9th Sep – IRE – Cork, Coughlan’s – SOLD OUT
10th Sep – IRE – Dublin, The Grand Social – SOLD OUT
9th Nov – UK – London – The Forge
12th Nov – UK – Fletching, East Sussex – Trading Boundries
13th Nov – UK – South Devon – Kingskerswells Church
15th Nov – UK – Manchester – Gullivers
16th Nov – UK – Liverpool – Leaf
17th Nov – UK – Birmingham – The Glee Club

19th Jan – IRE – Dublin – Vicar Street
20th Jan – IRE – Galway – Roisin Dubh
21st Jan – IRE – Limerick – Dolan’s
22nd Jan – IRE – West Cork, Connolly’s
24th Jan – IRE – Lahinch, Kenny’s
25th Jan – UK – Belfast – Black Box
26th Jan – IRE – Dundalk – Spirit Store
27th Jan – IRE – Cork – Amp Venue
28th Jan – IRE – Wexford – Opera House
1st Feb – GER – Berlin, Heimathafen
2nd Feb – GER – Cologne, Gloria
3rd Feb – GER – Frankfurt, Zoom
4th Feb – GER – Mannheim, Alte Feuerwache
6th Feb – GER – Stuttgart, Im Wizemann
7th Feb – GER – Erlangen, E-Werk
8th Feb – GER – München, Hansa 39
9th Feb – AT – Innsbruck, Weekender
10th Feb – AT – Linz, Posthof
11th Feb – AT – Salzburg. Rockhouse
13th Feb – AT – Wien, Flex
14th Feb – AT – Graz, PPC
15th-28th Feb – ITA / BENELUX / SUI / FRA – Cities&Venues soon
1st March – GER – Bochum, Bahnhof Langendreer
2nd March – GER – Münster, Gleis22
3rd March – GER – Bremen, Tower
6th March – GER – Bielefeld, Forum
7th March – GER – Hannover, Faust
8th March – GER – Leipzig, Moritzbastei
9th March – GER – Dresden, Beatpol
10th March – GER – Jena, Kassablanca
You can buy tickets here:

Posted on July 29th, 2016


Skip to day: Tues | Wed | Thurs | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon

Ticket giveaways this week:

  • Tuesday: Jenn Grant, Mama Kinn @ Whelan’s
  • Friday: The Beatyard: Young Hearts Run Free: Normski, Jazzy Jeff @ Twisted Pepper
  • Saturday:  @ The Academy
  • Saturday: Not Saying Boo: Rinse FM with Bicep[email protected] Pepper (10:30pm)
  • Sunday: Major Problems presents: Torn Hawk (Live) / TR-One / Boya + Daire Carolan[email protected] Warehouse (10:30pm)

How to enter to win – Email [email protected] with the gig above in the Subject line you’re entering for along with your full name and phone number in the body of the message. Full info on each show below. Draw closes at 6pm the day before the gig or Friday 3pm latest for weekend gigs.

Tuesday April 29th

Wednesday April 30th

  • The Amazing Snakeheads @ Whelan’s Upstairs (€15)
    [Rock] Snarling Glasgow Begbie psychedelic rock.
  • Joan As Policewoman @ Button Factory (€20)
    [Pop/rock] Joan Wasser has returned with a more soulful set.
  • Yuck @ The Workman’s Club (€16,.50)
    [Rock] London based, shoegaze noise rockers

Thursday May 1st

  • Banter: A conversation about Frank @ Twisted Pepper (6pm, Free but limited)
    [Talk] Lenny Abrahamson, Domhnall Gleeson and Stephen Rennicks talk about the film.
  • Jack presents MK, Annabel Englund, Tough Love[email protected] Theatre (€33.50)
    [House] Mark Kinchen upgrades to the big room of the Olympia.
  • THE CLUBHOUSE: ZZZ’s@ The Grand Social (€5, 11pm)
    [New club] Japanesefemale 3-piece band play live. Plus Bitch Falcon.
  • The Beatyard: Junior Spesh/Subject presents DJ E-Z  @ Twisted Pepper (€12, 10pm)
    [DJ] See his Boiler Room set.

Friday May 2nd

  • The Beatyard: Mo Kolours, All City DJs @ The Bernard Shaw (Free, 8pm)
    [Hip-hop] Free show from the Mauritian UK rapper/beatmaker. Has a song about his dog. 
  • May Day Fest @ Twisted Pepper (Free, 8pm)
    [Hip-hop] We’re Not Leaving present talks/workshops on topics impacting the youth crisis in Ireland, followed by live music/DJs: Fox E And The Good Hands, Gi, Costello and more. (Details)
  • Lake Street Dive @ Whelan’s (€17)
    [Jazz/soul pop] Boston band on the rise.
  • Barretstown Inspirations @ Olympia Theatre, Dublin (€36.50)
    [Charity]  Jack L, The Riptide Movement, The Stunning, The 4 Of Us, Paddy Casey, Republic Of Loose, The Hot Sprockets and the Barretstown Allstars.
  • Good Vibrations Screening with Terri Hooley & Guests @ The Sugar Club (€12)
    [Folk/pop]  Screening of the  film about Terri Hooley’s musical escapades in Belfast. Plus Q&A.
  • The Beatyard: Young Hearts Run Free: Normski @ Twisted Pepper (€13,  WIN TICKETS)
    [Rap] British rapper, DJ, and businessman, known for his work as a BBC television presenter. Q+A and afterparty. Free to DJ Jazzy Jeff for first 30 people.
  • The Beatyard: DJ Jazzy Jeff [email protected] Pepper (€20, 10pm)
    [DJ] Will Smith’s former partner in crime. 
  • Black Dot – “TIME” Single Release Party @ The Pygmalion (Free before 12, 10pm)
    [Dance]  Black Dot will guest at White Collar Boy’s residency in Pygmalion to launch his first release.
  • Unfinished Business @ Mabos, Hanover Quay, Dublin (€11-€15, BYOB)
    [Electronic] Electronic hypnotics from Adultrock, folk multi-instrumentalist Sive and a debut show from dream-poppers Lyttet.

Saturday May 3rd

  • The Big Blue Festival: Feather (Live) + DJ sets from Richie Kaboogie and T-woc, Manma Saor @ The Bernard Shaw (4pm, Free)
    [All-dayer] A day long event of pizza, experimental food, talks, workshops, live music, DJs,  Free pizza and craft beer tasting during the day.
  • May Day Fest @ Twisted Pepper (Free, 8pm)
    [Hip-hop] We’re Not Leaving present talks/workshops on topics impacting the youth crisis in Ireland, followed by live music/DJs: Fox E And The Good Hands, Gi, Costello and more. (Details)
  • Cancelled due to illness:  @ The Academy (WIN TICKETS)
    [Pop] Awesome Danish singer returns. 
  • The Robots @ The Village (€10)
    [Tribute] Kraftwerk tribute band.
  • Squarehead, The Notas, Otherkin, Fuck Puppies @ House Party, Clontarf Road (Free)
    [Alternative] Third SOMA gig.
  • State’s Faces of May @ The Mercantile (Free)
    [New live bands] HARE SQUEAD, The Ground Will Shake and Sights Distorted play.
  • Big Daddy Kane @ The Sugar Club (€17.50)
    [Rap] Old skool.  ‘Ain’t No Halfsteppin’
  • Burnin’ Up @ The Grand Social (Free, 11pm)
    [Disco] Return of Kelly-Anne Byrne’s disco night.
  • Not Saying Boo: Rinse FM with Bicep[email protected] Pepper (10:30pm, WIN TICKETS, €15)
    [Electronic] Belfast house jack masters.
  • Hidden Agenda: Dmitri From Paris[email protected] Factory (€15)
    [Dance] First appearance from the House man in 9 years. Plus Get Down Edits.
  • Abstract & Pygmalion Present H.O.S.H[email protected] Pyg (€10-€15, 10pm)
    [Disco/house] Solid Diynamic DJ – Sample a track here.

Bank Holiday Sunday May 4th

Monday May 5th

Posted on April 28th, 2014


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Skip to day: Tues | Wed | Thurs | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon

Ticket freebies this week:

How to enter – Email [email protected] with the gig above in the Subject line you’re entering for along with your full name and phone number in the body of the message. Full info on each show below. Draw closes at 6pm the day before the gig.

Tuesday April 22nd

Wednesday April 23rd

Thursday April 24th

Friday April 25th

  • Live From A Window: Interskalactic[email protected]’s (Free, 8:30pm)
    [Ska covers] 10 Piece Old-Skool Jamaican Ska Band.
  • Darklight Festival: Good Fridays: Buffalo Woman (Neil Watkins and Tim Donovan) and Tara McCormack @ Block T ( €10, BYOB)
    [Dance]  Part of  Block T’s Good Friday series.
  • Seven Quarters Launch Night @ Whelan’s (€10, WIN TICKETS)
    [Indie/club] with Katie Kim and Jennifer Evans and limited 7″ vinyl.
  • Everlast @ The Village (€16)
    [Acoustic] Ex House of Pain dude.
  • Wallis Bird @ The Academy (€13)
    [Folk/pop] Dublin headline show since launch of album Architect. In-store at Tower at 3pm.
  • The Beatyard: Spesh live presents Jonwayne @ Twisted Pepper (€13)
    [Rap] Stones Throw MC. Support from Well Known & Bentley Riddims
  • Membership present: A Secret Party #2[email protected] Bar,  Yamamori Sushi (€10/€12, 10pm)
    [DJs] Special Guest (Dolly) [ 3 Hour set ] Ois Buttler-Doyle (Mbrship)

Saturday April 26th

  • The Beatyard: The Animators Day Out @ The Bernard Shaw (2pm, Free)
    [Rap] Irish rap group.
  • Come On Live Long, Toast Cat Trio @ Whelan’s (€10)
    [Alternative]  First headline show of 2014 as a fundraiser for upcoming Canadian mini tour.
  • Sinead White @ Whelan’s Upstairs (€5)
    [Singer-songwriter] Charming performer with a knack for audience participation involving kazoos.
  • Flaming June Records presents Patrick Kelleher + Haüer @ The MART, Rathmines (€7, BYOB)
    [Alternative] Gallery fundraiser
  • Let’s Set Sail @ St. Werburgh’s Church (€10)
    [Alternative] A copy of the EP and free entry into Whelan’s after the gig.
  • Staring At Lakes @ Bello Bar, Portobello (€5)
    [Alternative] Staring at Lakes are a six piece alternative band based in Dublin.
  • Margie Lewis, Maria Somerville[email protected] Joinery (€8/€10/BYOB)
    [Alternative] Lewis is a classically trained violinist and jazz vocalist who uses loop pedals / Somerville is Connemara native singer.
  • Booka Shade @ Vicar Street (€27.50 up)
    [Dance] Large scale stage show by the long-standing German duo.
  • Punch Face Champions, Between Screams[email protected] Grand Social (€6.50)
    [Alternative/rock] Double A Side launch & Exhibition by Kevin Goss-Ross.
  •  Neon Disco Club @  Pacino’s (€10, Midnight)
    [DJs] TXFM’s  Kelly-Anne Byrne, Claire Beck and The Phantom Vandal DJ.
  • Subject/POGO: Perc @  Twisted Pepper (€12, 10:30pm)
    [Electronic] Album launch. Plus Niall Cleary.
  • Hidden Agenda: Flight Facilities @ Button Factory (Sold out)
    [Dance] Still tickets left for Up Up Buffet.
  • Darklight Festival Party 2014 @ The Generator (€15, 10pm)
    [Party] AV/DJ sets from disco doyens Forza Italo and post-punk pros Gib & Peter (Elastic Witch/Skinny Wolves).

Sunday April 27th

Monday April 28th

  • Watch Game Of Thrones and Mad Men?


Posted on April 22nd, 2014


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Tracks of the Week playlist

1. Shamir – ‘If It Wasn’t True’

Simply one of the best things I’ve heard in ages. The sound of DFA disco house filtered through a 19 year-old Las Vegas kid Shamir Bailey. Playful, danceable and both modern and vintage at the same time.

2. Talos – ‘Tethered Bones’

Cork blooms again with Eoin French, formerly of now-defunct Hush War Cry singing and Young Wonder Ian Ring at the controls.

3. Fort Romeau – ‘Her Dream’

Seven minutes of luscious ambient dance music from the Her Dream EP out on March 17th on German label Live At Robert Johnson.

4. Lxury – ‘Never Love’

Young UK producer Lxury provides one of the standouts of the recent Kitsuné compilation (yes, they’re still making them). Also check out his Chvrches remix and the pretty damn amazing ‘J.A.W.S.’.

5. Hundred Waters – ‘Cavity’

There’s a new Hundred Waters album on the way in May. I’m excited. ‘Cavity’ is probably the closest Hundred Waters have come to the xx-style dynamics The song is on iTunes.

6. Wallis Bird – ‘Hardly Hardly’

First single, from her fourth album, Architect out on April 11th finds Wallis Bird showing signs of sonic progression without losing her core characteristics. The song has a fervent acoustically-rendered rhythmic section that make it sound taut and controlled like a Simian Mobile Disco track. This is definitely a song that could look good on the dancefloor.

7. Rocstrong – ‘Go’Head’

Andre J.P Bangala is a Congo-born Dublin musician and ‘Go’Head’ is his debut track showing some pop swing, some funk, some doomy blues and is a bit of fresh air.

Rocstrong plays State’s Faces gig on Saturday night in The Mercantile with The Clameens and Carriages. Free in.

8. Shura – ‘Touch’

A pleasant soulful R&B debut single from London’s Shura. The video is an absolute shiftfest.

9. Future – ‘Move That Dope’

Pharrell, Pusha T, Schoolboy Q guest on Future’s new single – an absolute jam. First Beats Music product placement in a video I’ve seen too.

10. YOGI – ‘Burial’ feat. Pusha T

This silly big Yogi production is the logical conclusion of Skrillex’ dubstep, Major Lazer EDM and TNGHT’s Trap with Pusha T representing the rap force.

Posted on March 7th, 2014

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I’m not sure if Wallis Bird is as popular here as she is in parts of Europe (Germany/ Benelux / Austria / Switzerland) but it certainly doesn’t seem like she’s as well known here. Perhaps her strident Ani DiFranco-style acoustic pop has a more natural home outside of Ireland.

For the first single, ‘Hardly Hardly’ from her fourth album, Architect out on April 11th, Wallis Bird is showing signs of sonic progression without losing her core characteristics. The song has a fervent acoustically-rendered rhythmic section that make it sound taut and controlled like a Simian Mobile Disco track. This is definitely a song that could look good on the dancefloor.

‘Hardly Hardly’

Album trailer

Wallis Bird Tour dates

25th April The Academy, Dublin
26th April – Monroes Live, Galway
27th – April – Half Moon, Cork
5th May – Gera (GER) – Festival “Geraer Songtage” (Clubzentrum Comma)
6th May – Vienna (AUT) – Arena
7th May – Berlin (GER) – Postbahnhof
8th May – Frankfurt (GER) – St. Peter (Woman Of The World – Festival)
9th May – Cologne (GER) – Gloria
10th May – Hamburg (GER) – Mojo
11th May – London (UK) – Garage
13th May – Zurich (SUI) – Rote Fabrik
14th May – Milan (ITA) – La Salumeria Della Musica
15th May – Munich (GER) – Strom
16th May – Dresden (GER) – Beatpol
17th May – Linz (AUT) – Linzfest – FM4 Stage
18th May – Bielefeld (GER) – Forum
19th May – Haarlem (NL) – Patronaat – Kleine Zaal
4th June – Brussels (BE) – Rotonde @ Botanique
6th June – Saarburg (GER) – Burg Freudenberg
7th June – Mannheim (GER) – Seebühne
8th June – Beverungen (GER) – Orange Blossoms Festival

Posted on March 7th, 2014



Last night, Ireland got its first, long overdue spotlight on music video directors of this country at the IMTV Video Music Awards. The inaugural event saw Eoghan Kidney win three awards including Best video for Valerie Francis’ Punches, Best Director and Best Original Concept. It was a great night, a celebration of the creativity of largely under-resourced folk and a timely reminder that Irish music videos are as vital as ever, which is something we are finally seeing again with Under the Ether and Una Mullally’s forthcoming TG4 series in 2010.

Most importantly, I hope awards like this continue to inspire directors and their production teams to the point where we see even better videos win next year. There are some bloody great ones here all the same. Congrats to IMTV for putting on a great event. FYI: I was one of the judges for the awards.

Here are the winners:

Best Live Video

Winner: And So I Watch You From Afar – Set Guitars to Kill (Dir: Will McConnell)
Lisa Hannigan – I Don’t Know. (Dir: Donal Dineen)
Lisa Hannigan – Lille. (Dir: Will Mcconnell)
Ladydoll – Button
The Brilliant Things – Rise

Posted on November 28th, 2009


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