This is only a selection of new music – dig into more or follow the Spotify playlists.


Barq – Earthquakes

Barq continue to build their reputation as the finest soul group in the country with their new double-single release. ‘Earthquakes’, taken from that double single, is an explosive track. Lead Singer Jess Kav’s voice sounds superb, here combined with a touch of overdrive. The song is built upon a tight soul groove in the rhythm section, with distorted guitars and synths added for effect. Full of swagger, the tune finds the group sounding at their very best.


Stuck On Repeat – Áthas

Corkonian outfit Stuck On Repeat have been quietly simmering over the last year, steadily gathering a following through live performance. The excellent video for ‘Áthas’ (which means joy/ happy in Irish), taken from multi-instrumentalist and sole member John Ryan’s debut EP I Will be A Tree is full of the same quirky lo-fi idiosyncrasies as the music it accompanies.


EHCO – Eiclips

EHCO, comprised of former Enemies member Eoin Whitfield and singer Jessica Lord, have recently been releasing a slew of ultra sleek electronica tunes. Combining the polished beat production of producers like Jamie XX with a reverb soaked moody vocal, ‘Eiclips’ is at once energetic and nostalgic. Accompanied by a colorful video, directed by Rosie Barret, the track is the group’s third single release.


Pale Rivers – Montparnasse

‘Montparnasse’ marks the second single release from Pale Rivers’ upcoming debut EP. The video, directed by Lochlainn McKenna, recounts the fateful events of the night before in blurry soft focus. Emotive and evocative, the track draws you in slowly with hypnotic guitar notes and a lilting vocal delivery.


David Keenan – Altar Wine

Irish singer-songwriter David Keenan has just released his second EP, entitled Strip Me Bare. ‘Altar Wine’ is taken from that EP. The attention to lyrical detail here is exquisite, Keenan’s relationship with the written word has only further blossomed since his debut release in 2017. The song is stark and vulnerable, lonely but emboldened by the artists unwavering honesty.


Pursued By Dogs – Talk

Dublin-based four piece Pursued By Dogs released ‘Talk’, the third single from their forthcoming self-titled album, out April 27th, this week. The slow-tempo track feels in many ways like a contemporary Everything But The Girl number, in no small part because of the lead vocals from Suzanne Purcell.


Paul Alwright – Seeds Of Doubt

Paul Alwright is a Dublin-based spoken word and hip hop artist. He recently released ‘Seeds Of Doubt’, the first track from his upcoming album Hungry, out May 11th. The track is an introspective investigation into the necessity and virtue of self belief and determination featuring fine lyrical content from the Dublin MC.


Feuds – Nothing To Happen Next

Four piece Feuds have just put out their self titled debut EP. ‘Nothing To Happen Next’ is the single from that EP. Featuring the kind of earthy guitars you might expect on a The Redneck Manifesto song, ‘Nothing To Happen Next’ is a focused and high energy indie-rock tune.


Dioscó na mBó – Nadra

Hailing from Easkey in county Sligo, Dioscó na mBó are an electronic outfit producing exuberant and catchy electronic tracks. ‘Nadra’, the first of a four track EP to be released on the 4th of May, is a short but sweet psychedelic pop song layered with carefully constructed synth tones. These are ones to keep an eye on.

Posted on March 22nd, 2018


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Smithwick’s Soundtrack Series is back for its first instalment this year with Le Galaxie performing their take on the Apocalypse Now soundtrack. Support on the night comes from DJ Sally Cinnamon.

The gig takes place at Billy Byrnes, Kilkenny on Saturday, February 10th. Tickets priced at €10 are available from

Posted on January 30th, 2018


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The Smithwick’s Soundtrack Series is a series of live gigs across Ireland featuring two of Ireland’s best bands, Le Galaxie and BARQ, performing the songs and score of their respective favourite soundtracks.

Le Galaxie have reimagined songs and the score from Francis Ford Coppolla’s classic war movie Apocalypse Now including The Doors’ ‘The End’, ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ and new pieces for existing scenes like Saigon and Kurtz Compound.

BARQ have reinterpreted the classic soundtrack from Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction including Misirlou, ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’, ‘Jungle Boogie’ and ‘Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon’.

Each date is €15 entry via with a free pint of Smithwick’s at the bar and I’ll be DJing after BARQ’s gigs while Sally Cinnamon is DJing with Le Galaxie.

Le Galaxie performing Apocalypse Now supported by Sally Cinnamon

Friday 13th October – Whelan’s, Dublin
Friday 10th November – Cyprus Avenue, Cork
Friday 24th November – Black Box, Belfast

BARQ performing Pulp Fiction supported by Nialler9

Tuesday 17th October – Dolans, Limerick
Thursday 2nd November – Opium Room, Dublin
Friday 3rd November – Fiddlers Creek, Sligo

I’ve made a Spotify playlist of great movie songs to mark the occasion.

Posted on September 26th, 2017


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With a sound that has been established as a bed of alternative live band R&B or “agrosoul”, BARQ are one of the most unique offerings in terms of new bands to arrive in the last two years.

Newest song ‘Optimus Prime’ certainly picks up the chain of “agrosoul” to its logical frenetic sonic conclusion, coming across a little jazz-metal, a little rock, a little R&B and a little pop. Singer Jess Kav is such a strong singer that she can take such a cacophony of noise and dominate.

The video for the song by Crooked Gentleman takes the song’s futuristic feel and applies it to the visual.

The song was added to the Nialler9 New Irish music playlist.

Hear previous singles ‘Gentle Kind Of Lies’, ‘Bear’, ‘That Thing You Love’

Posted on August 29th, 2017


We’ve got the Body & Soul Festival stage times, the playlist and how here are the recommendation for 12 acts to see in Ballinlough this year featuring 9 acts & 3 DJs you must see.



Anna Meredith

Friday, Main Stage, 10pm

I have zero idea what the live show from Scottish composer Anna Meredith will be like as she’s made music that had an epic brass quality and experimental post-rock-style music but if either of those show up as the sun sets on Ballinlough, particularly the bombastic ‘Nautilus’ then I’d be happy.


Le Boom

Friday, Woodlands, 3am

A late-night show from one of the best new bands in Ireland? Nice. Christy Leech & Aimie Mallon are a party band who make music that moves between house, pop and electro. They are one of the hottest tickets on Irish festivals this summer so stay up late for this one.


The Bug ft. Miss Red

Friday, Midnight Circus, 21:30

If it’s heavy bass and atmosphere with a gritty rhythmic shake informed by down and dirty Drum ‘n’ bass, ragga, grime, ambient and dub, then a live show from the Bug is a must.



Friday, Midnight Circus, Midnight

JD TWitch and JG Wilkes would be an inspiration to myself and the Lumo Club crew, and no doubt countless others, because they are great DJs, they have eclectic taste, they aren’t afraid to throw a curveball in the mix , run a great label, have made great remixes and and they created the best Sunday club ever at Sub Club in Glasgow bar none. They curate and play the Midnight Circus on Friday.




Saturday 11:15pm, Main stage

Simon Greene’s most recent Bonobo album traded off his reputation as a creator of intricate electronica to add some toughness and dynamic dancefloor production to his music, making Migration his best work yet. Live, he’s already known for large band recreations of that music so this should be a treat.


ELLLL (Live)

Saturday, Reckless In Love, 1am

Corkwoman Ellen King’s electronic is fairly uncompromising sonically, eschewing clean lines and grids for grit and lo-fi noise. Beneath it all, is a throbbing techno style. As seen in the recent Women In electronica documentary, King is also founder of the Gash Collective, who are also playing throughout the weekend.



Saturday, 1am Bulmers Lounge, Sunday Woodland stage 11:15pm

BARQ are seasoned musicians having played with Hozier, Kodaline, Monster Monster, Damien Dempsey, Loah, Lethal Dialect, Ryan Sheridan and Zaska in the past and are establishing their own rap-tinged soulful R&B jazz sound under a genre they’ve coined as “agrosoul.”


Sally Cinnamon

Saturday, Wonderlust, 11.15pm

Saturday is a great day for Irish DJs. While it would be remiss of me as one-third of Lumo CLub not to mention that we are playing twice on Saturday at Reckless in love from 4pm – 6pm and Absolut Bar late at 2am til close. So before you come over the latter, you can find my Loose Joints co-host Sally Cinnamon playing at the Wonderlust stage where I know there’s going to be be tunes I can recommend. Sally introduced me (and many others) to this track and it often gets a play in her sets.



Hundred Waters

Sunday, Main Stage, 9pm

Lisa lowres

One of my favourite live bands. The Florida band Hundred Waters‘ music features skittering electronic leaps, abstract folk textures and the undeniably beautiful voice of Nicole Miglis.


Kelsey Lu

Sunday, Main Stage, 15:30 / Woodlands, 22:30

Kelsey Lu is a North Carolinian cellist and singer/songwriter who makes orchestrally-arranged ambient folk music and has an EP out on True Panther. She has earned comparisons to Alice Coltrane and Bat For Lashes, Lu’s music leans into the avant-garde spectrum yet she has collaborated with artists in the field of pop and R&B like Blood Orange, Kelela and Wet.



Sunday, Woodlands 1am

They are the creators of an album that is one of my favourites of the year, an ’80s-inspired collection of strutting synth disco with heart. Simon Cullen and Sorca MCGrath will work better than most at 1am at a festival. The place to be.


Mix & Fairbanks

Sunday, Absolut Bar, 3pm

DJ Arveene has curated a whole weekend of DJs with an emphasis on the Irish selectors and the lineup is strong across the weekend with the likes of Ciara Brady, Kelly-Anne Byrne, Billy Scurry, Jimmy Rouge, Eddie Kay, Stevie G, Cyril Briscoe, DJ Deece and Aoife Nic Canna among them. Kildare up and comers Gary O’Reilly and Rob Smyth aka Mix & Fairbanks have recently got into original tracks to whopping effect, but it’s the skills as DJs playing disco and house edits and classics that started them on their path. Just listen to the Linndrum (80s drum machine) inspired mix they made for me last year.


Sing Along Social

Sunday, Woodlands Stage. 6:45pm

Ok so slightly cheating here, but my wife Aoife runs Sing Along Social and last year’s Body&Soul was the first time her zero commitment choir debuted at a festival and it went off as you can see below. Basically, Sing Along Social is a zero-commitment choir, a group karaoke session, a party with lyrics and backing tracks. This year’s theme is Pop Battle so think Drake vs. Rihanna, Justin vs Britney, Abba vs. Fleetwood Mac and more, including props and inflatable. It’ll be gas. There’s a kids version on the Saturday too.

Posted on June 22nd, 2017


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Niamh Farrell (Ham Sandwich), Naoise Roo, Jess Kavanagh (Barq), Fierce Mild and Maija Sofia are among the artists who will be sharing their knowledge and technique at the upcoming Girls Rock Dublin camp which is taking place from June 27th – July 1st

Girls Rock aims to be a safe space for women aged 18-24 to pick an instrument (guitar, bass, synth, drums, vocals), form a band, write a song and play a gig over the course of five days.

Guest artists will include SOAK, Soulé and Hvmmingbyrd.

The cost is €250 and the fee covers music tuition, workshops in Sound Training College, lunch, instruments and band practices in Temple Lane Studios.

A few places are still available.
All the details and sign-up form at

Read my interview with the organisers on the Irish Times.

Posted on June 12th, 2017


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Music Cork is a new conference and showcasing event for the music industry taking place in Cork from May 10th – 12th.

I interviewed the organisers for my Irish Times How Music Works series last week and they explained why they started it.

I am involved in one of the three live gigs taking place on Thursday May 11th and my lineup was announced last month and includes Le Boom, Ailbhe Reddy and Lyra.

Now, two other gig showcases have been revealed and they look like this:

@ Triskel (curated by IMRO) – Cry Harridan, Jafaris, Little Hours, Super Silly
@ Crane Lane (curated by Music Cork) – Alex & Echoes, BARQ, Rob Burch …plus final act to be announced very soon
@ Cyprus Avenue (curated by Nialler9) – Ailbhe Reddy, Le Boom, Lyra …plus final act to be announced very soon

The final announcements for these shows and the full lineup for The Old Oak and Cork Opera House are also coming soon.

Music Cork has already confirmed a wealth of industry speakers for the event, including Key Note Speaker, Darcus Beese, President of Island Records. In addition to Darcus, Music Cork will also welcome Mike Smith MD of Warner/Chappell and Rob Stevenson Executive Vice President of Republic/Casablanca.

Early Bird Tickets priced €110 plus booking fee are almost sold out with full details available on

Posted on April 3rd, 2017


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Yesterday, I revealed the full lineup of acts for the church at Other Voices, now here’s the full music trail list of acts, which are the events that are free and open to the public throughout the day and after the main gigs.

The previously announced artists are below. New are:

  • AE MAK
  • Ailbhe Reddy
  • Barq
  • Bernie Pháid
  • Brass Phantoms
  • Daoirí Farrell
  • exmagician
  • For Foresters
  • Hoodman Blind
  • Ivy Nations
  • Jafaris
  • Malojian
  • Meltybrains?
  • Michele Stodart (The Magic Numbers)
  • Moon Looks On
  • New Jackson
  • Nialler9 DJ set
  • Óg
  • Phil Kieran
  • Planet Parade
  • Rosie Carney
  • Search Party Animal
  • Ships
  • Síle Denvir
  • Slow Riot
  • Stephen James Smith
  • Susie Blue
  • Swords
  • The Fontaines
  • Thumper
  • Ultan Conlan
  • We Were Giants
  • + Special guests

Yes, that’s a lot and it adds to the existing acts below. All Free. I’ll be DJing on the Friday night after the main event.

  • Bad Bones
  • Arborist
  • Soulé
  • TooFools
  • Jack O’Rourke
  • Farah Elle
  • Orchid Collective
  • Windings
  • David Kitt
  • Damolo
  • Ports
  • Rosa Nutty
  • Craig Gallagher
  • Cry Monster Cry
  • Beauty Sleep
  • Strange Attractor
  • Fangclub
  • Emily Barker
  • Majia Sofia
  • Marlene Enright
  • Land Lovers
  • Katie Laffan
  • Ruth
  • Jealous Of The Birds
  • John Cummins
  • Pat Dam Smyth
  • Ryan Vail

Posted on November 23rd, 2016


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Rising Dublin four-piece Barq’s two singles thus far have revealed an alternative live band jazz/R&B vibe.

‘That Thing You Love’ is self-described “agrosoul” while ‘Gentle Kind Of Lies’ was more of a psychedelic soul vibe.

New single ‘Bear’ was written by singer Jess Kav, after her mother passed and deals with loss and growing up. Musically, it’s got a jazz rhythm with Kavanagh’s  moving vocals exploring the aftermath of loss singing “what do we do when the buildings fall?”. The song has a beautiful coda.

The single is launched in The Bowery in Rathmines next Thursday November 17th with support from Soulé.  As it happens, I’m DJing after too.

Posted on November 8th, 2016


After announcing their arrival with ‘Gentle Kind Of Lies’, an alternative R and B track, that self-described “agrosoul” tag is going to make much more sense after hearing BARQ’s ‘That Thing You Love’.

BARQ say the track is an “a very aggressive song about meditation,” that has more prominent and eclectic jazz, rock and soul influences than previously detected. The big vocals Jess Kav maintains control among the unusual time signature and discordant guitar style.

This is track two of three to feature on the band’s upcoming EP. A single launch in Whelan’s happens on Sunday night.

‘Gentle Kind Of Lies’ was picked up on Spotify new music playlists in the UK and Brazil (as well as Nialler9’s new Irish music playlist of course), and BARQ are playing lots of festivals this summer: Longitude, Indiependence, Groove, Body + Soul, Canalaphonic, Bray Jazz, Carlow Arts Festival, with more to be announced soon.

‘That Thing You Love’ was mixed by Scott Halliday and Mastered by Andrei Eremin (Hiatus Kaiyote, Chet Faker).

Posted on May 25th, 2016


Body & Soul Festival has let loose a load of info today for the festival, which is nearly sold out and running from June 17th – 19th at Ballinlough Castle, Co. Westmeath

First here’s an overview of who is playing where including some new announcements like Music Network, Somadrone, Ocho, AE MAK, Ailbhe Reddy, Katie Laffan, Feather and BARQ.


The Gloaming / Santigold / St Germain / Hudson Mohawke / Floating Points (live) / Mercury Rev / Neon Indian / Girl Band / BadBadNotGood / Wolf Parade / Sun Kil Moon / Junior Boys / David August / Cassy / Optimo / Gold Panda / Mbongwana Star / Ibibio Sound Machine / Tanya Tagaq / Slow Magic / Jambinai / Ho99o9 / Ninos Du Brasil / NAH / Brian Deady / Bleeding Heart Pigeons / Rusangano Family / FJAAK / EMBRZ / Bitch Falcon


Holly Macve / Talos / Saint Sister / Elm / TooFools / Forrests / Mario Batkovic / Daithí / Somadrone / Myles Manley / Plutonic Dust / Loah / Ocho / Aine Cahill / ÆMak / Elephant / We Eat Electric Light / Ailbhe Reddy / Ollie Bell / Niamh Regan / PRESENTED BY MUSIC NETWORK: Séamus Begley, Catriona McKay & Chris Stout / OKO / Christine Tobin / Bangers and Crash Percussion Trio / The Carducci Quartet / Donal Lunny, Máirtín O’Connor & Zoë Conway


Daniel McDermott / PolyGlove / BARQ / Auxiliary Phoenix / The Ocelots / Joni / Tracy Bruen / Katie Laffan / Shrubs Duo / Farah Elle / Feather / Apollonia Tribal Bellydance / Floating Ballroom / Publicity Machine / Johnny Rayge / El Grey / Roisin El Cherif / Candlelit Tales & Infinity Program: The Story of Eithlinn / Marangvla A&V / Arash

Second Nature area

Body&Soul announced a new area called Second Nature featuring the Woodlands stage described as:

“…an enchanted menagerie of lush music, contemporary performance, immersive, nature-based art and Zen-like pockets of peace, nestled among the centuries-old oaks, pines and ash trees of Ballinlough Castle’s forest. This otherworldly woodland cocoon takes Body&Soul back to its lo-fi roots, celebrating ideas, intimate moments and the beguiling indulgence of chilling out.”

The Woodlands stage will be housed in this area and the stage itself, custom-designed by Christy Collard. is built from repurposed timber from the previous main stage (which also gets a facelift).

Second Nature will be more intimate and feature as well as the music programme: The Sanctuary, Solas Bath House, the Pagoda Stage (lineup above), art installations, theatre and performance, interactive experiences and documentary-filmmaker Myles O’Reilly’s area Arbutus Yarns (which will feature spoken word poet, Stephen James Smith, musicians Anna Mieke Bishop, Rhob Cunningham and Mossy Nolan).


The Light House Cinema with a pop-up cinema taking over our Sanctuary Healing area by night. From 9pm till 1am, their programme is packed with music, gas craic and timely tributes, with a special screening of Prince’s Purple Rain, alongside Stop Making Sense, Labyrinth, The Life Aquatic, The Big Lebowski and a Sing Along screening of Grease.


Robbie O’Connor and Aisling O’Mara in association with Anu Productions will present their immersive production Anu Productions will present their production Rebel Rebel, directed by Louise Lowe. The specially commissioned immersive production Every Morning I Wake and Seem to Forget which will take participants on a mystery journey through the festival grounds, as they participate in an unfolding story. Created and conceived by theatre producer Matt Smyth and director Hugh Farrell, this immersive experience blends interactive theatre with the magic of a festival where anything can happen.

Every Morning I Wake and Seem to Forget which will take participants on a mystery journey through the festival grounds, as they participate in an unfolding story. Created and conceived by theatre producer Matt Smyth (Anu Productions, Dead Centre) and director Hugh Farrell, this immersive experience blends interactive theatre with the magic of a festival where anything can happen.


Last tier €169.50+ fee tickets for Body&Soul are on sale now.

Posted on May 11th, 2016

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Canalaphonic will return to Rathmines later this year on on 23rd and 24th September this year.

The festival will take place in the venues and shops of Rathmines, along the canal in Dublin city and this year, it will include an outdoor venue at the 5,000 capacity Leinster Cricket Club. Whelan’s,The National Concert Hall Quarter’s “Vaults” and Opium Rooms will also be used as venues.

Music wise, the full lineup of 120 acts is yet to be revealed but the following will be featuring:

Rocstrong, The Eskies, Zaska, Mongrel State, Barq, Mongoose, White_Mice, The Word Up Collective, Mother Mooch, Late City Edition, Fox E and the Good Hands, Travis Oaks, Homebeat Events, T.A.S.T.E and many more to be announced.

The festival is the result of a collaboration between Dublin City Council’s South East Area Office and Abner Browns Barbershop, supported by Fáilte Ireland, Clancourt Group, WaterwaysIreland, Dublin City Council Arts Office, IMRO, Heineken, McGarrell Reilly Group and Rohan Holdings.

A launch happens in Copan Rathmines this Thursday with with live music from Barq and Word Up Collectives’ Damola.


Posted on May 3rd, 2016


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Groove Festival takes place in Killruddery House, Co. Wicklow on Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd July (same weekend as Castlepalooza), and while the headliners aimed at an older audience than most with the likes of The Blades, The 4 of Us, Ocean Colour Scene and Neville Staple Band playing, Turning Pirate have put together a stage of newer acts worth checking out.

The Hop House 13stage will feature sets from David Kitt, TooFools, Sample Answer, Planet Parade, The Young Folk, Barq, Zaska, Swords and Anderson among them.

The Academic and Elm are also playing the main stage. Tickets from €49.50 for a day pass + fees.

More info on the festival at the Groove site.

Posted on April 18th, 2016


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Indiependence’s first lineup for Mitchelstown festival on August Bank Holiday was quite an established indie-rock announcement with names like Ash, Editors, The Strypes, The Kooks and Idlewild in there.

Today, the festival have added a local indie stalwart, The Frank & Walters along with these names:

  • Wyvern Lingo
  • Otherkin
  • Bitch Falcon
  • Mind Riot
  • CC Smugglers
  • Picture This
  • Elm
  • FangClub
  • Elephant
  • Wolves of Youth
  • State Lights
  • Bairbre Anne
  • Model Aeroplanes
  • Go Swim
  • Barq
  • Neon Wolf
  • Parliament Square
  • Jupe
  • Danny Battles
  • Brave Giant
  • Third Smoke
  • Cider Wasps

Weekend camping tickets for the festival now on sale at €119.

Posted on April 7th, 2016


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