It’s been too long since we heard some new music from Belfast band Pleasure Beach, but no longer do we wait.

‘Burning Up’ is the band’s new single, their first since ‘Magic Mountain’ last April, and the first with a reconfigured lineup.

Like their impactful song ‘Go’, ‘Burning Up’ is the sound of a band comfortable with channeling the wall of sound of Arcade Fire’s sound and able to tap into a rich emotional well set to cavernous drums. This a band who can get, to paraphrase the song, a stranglehold on your heart.

Pleasure Beach have their own headline shows coming up.

Tour dates

February 23rd – Dublin, Whelans
February 24th – Belfast, Limelight 2
February 25th – Galway, Roisin Dubh,
March 2nd – Cork, Cyprus Avenue

This song has been added to the Nialler9 New Irish music playlist.

Posted on February 10th, 2017


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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The Belfast band Pleasure Beach have left a dent on the Irish music scene in the last year with a couple of great singles in ‘Go’ and ‘Dreamer To The Dawn’ that recalled the spirit of Springsteen and Arcade Fire.

The band’s new single ‘Magic Mountain’ shares its fabric with the sonics of The War On Drugs: galloping drums, sustained notes, reverb and an uplifting carousel release.

You can catch Pleasure Beach live supporting Ham Sandwich at The Academy on May 14th in Dublin, followed by The Great Escape in Brighton, Longitude and Indiependence this summer.

The single will be released on April 22nd via Faction Records.

Posted on April 18th, 2016


For the last couple of years, I’ve been compiling an up to date playlist of modern Irish music to celebrate and coincide with St. Patrick’s Day.

This year, I wanted to do something more to date and to roll it out across the year to coincide also with my weekly Irish Times column of new Irish music and as a companion to the general New Music playlist.

So today, I’m launching my New Irish Music weekly playlist which will be regularly updated. Because Irish music isn’t just for Paddy’s Day.

Join over 500 other listeners for fresh listens to new Irish music. There are songs from artists who have received support from Nialler9 in the last year or so from Brian Deady, Shit Robot, Roisin Murphy, Burnt Out, Saint Sister, I Have A Tribe, Le Galaxie, Rusangano Family, Come On Live Long, Daithi, Jape, Bitch Falcon, Pleasure Beach and many more.

The focus is on Irish music happening now, emerging and trending. I want this to be the definitive collection of new Irish music throughout the year in one place which I’ll be featuring as it comes on the site. Subscribe below.

Listen on Spotify

Subscribe to the newsletter too so you don’t miss out on any updates.

Posted on March 14th, 2016


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Cork indie festival Indiependence has revealed its first lineup today (is it announcement day?)

The festival returns for its 11th year to Deer Farm, Mitchelstown from Friday July 29 – Sunday July 31 and playing will be:

  • Editors
  • Bell X1
  • Ash
  • The Strypes
  • The Kooks
  • Pleasure Beach
  • Idlewild
  • Hudson Taylor
  • The Blizzards
  • Little Hours
  • King Kong Company
  • Brian Deady
  • CC Brez
  • Saint Sister
  • Coasts
  • Stephanie Rainey
  • & more to be announced



Three tiers of early bird tickets for the fest have already sold out, with weekend camping tickets for the festival now on sale at €119.

The Beer Hall Stage, Comedy & Spoken Word, the Silent Disco, Festi-Huts will return and more announcements are imminent as are customary.

Posted on February 24th, 2016


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The Choice Music Prize have announced their song of the year nominees, which features 10 songs to a public vote.

The shortlist is decided by a combination of Choice judges (who are solely responsible for the album list), Today FM DJs and airplay.

They are:

All Tvvins – ‘Thank You’

Daithí – Mary Keane’s Introduction

Pleasure Beach – ‘Go’

The Academic – ‘Different’

Fight Like Apes – ‘Pretty Keen on Centerfolds’

Otherkin – ‘Ay Ay’

Kodaline – ‘Ready’

Hozier – ‘Someone New’

Gavin James – ‘Bitter Pill’

Vote here.

Posted on January 27th, 2016


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The music industry showcases continue to roll on with Eurosonic in Gronigen in Holland and SXSW in Austin Texas coming up in January and March respectively.

As part of the second wave of announcements for SXSW, Rusangano Family, Girls Names, Enemies, Saint Sister and September Girls are in there among the international acts like Nao, Autre Ne Veut, Pixx, Mercury Rev, Blanck Mass, Ezra Furman, Menace Beach and Vant. The whopper Spotify playlist for all of them is here.

The Academic and Rosie Carney were previously announced.

For Eurosonic, the entire Irish contingent via the Music From Ireland party has been revealed and it features: Marc O’Reilly, Rusangano Family, Pleasure Beach, The Academic, Otherkin, The Hot Sprockets, Colm Mac Con Iomaire and The Young Folk.

These acts will be abroad looking to make moves to benefit their careers.

Posted on November 18th, 2015


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After the release of their debut track, ‘Go’ which established their stadium-rock leaning swagger, the Belfast band Pleasure Beach have followed up a successful Hard Working Class Heroes gig with the recorded version of live standout ‘Dreamer To The Dawn’.

The song is another close Springsteen / Arcade Fire imprint: a galloping rhythm section, synth strings, subtle backing vocals that provide key colour to the vocal yearning. When it all coalesces in the instrumental a carousel melody whirring into gear, and the drums beat in double time, I’m ready for some fist pumping celebrations.


Posted on October 15th, 2015


This year’s Hard Working Class Heroes lineup of new bands is a tough one. Primarily because there are so many new bands to see for the first time and secondly, because the quality of those unseen is greater than in previous years. This year, the tracks on the Breaking Tunes profiles are well-produced and suggest that there are more bands and artists more clued in to How Music Works than ever.

So for three days, from Thursday to Saturday, HWCH returns to seven venues featuring 100 bands playing to music fans and industry delegates.  There are free daytime gigs, a convention in the Liberties featuring speed sessions, panels, talks and more. There’s a special Banter with Pitchfork’s Jessica Hopper on the Sunday. There’s also a special Nialler9-curated afterparty with Dublin Theatre Festival in The Grand Social on Saturday night late with the debut live performance of R.S.A.G. and French producer Cosmo Vitelli as Teleoke.

Here are 20 new bands to see this weekend, I capped it at 6 bands per day. Some of last year’s picks are also playing the festival for further investigation so they weren’t featured here (Rusangano Family / Dear Desert  / Buffalo Woman and more).

Thursday | Friday | Saturday

1. Hare Squead


These Dublin rap soul pop dudes are just getting better.

Thursday October 1 – 10.15pm @ The Academy

It was only last year at the festival where Hare Squead really became known at their Meeting House Square gig. Since then, the Dublin trio have been expanding their sound of rap, R&B, soul and pop music with a full live band show that’s really starting to hit home and gel. With a couple of years more experience, these guys could be huge. On a similiar style-tip, Stay Gold in the same venue are a band following a similar path. 

2. 13


Years & Years style-pop

Thursday October 1 – 8.15pm @ The Academy

A new Kildare duo,  David “Monty” Montgomery and Conor Cuffe only formed less than a year ago but with a tropical dance track called Waiting hanging around, they are doing something decidedly more pop than a lot on this list and are worthy of further investigation.

3. Tiz McNamara


Cork/Liverpool singer-songwriter with atmosphere

Thursday Oct 1 – 8:50pm @ The Grand Social

With over 90,000 plays on Spotify for just two songs, the Cork-born, Liverpool-based singer-songwriter has the metrics on his side. It’s the songs that matter though and his most recent single ‘Take It In’ impresses with its production by Scandinavian duo Boxes that takes a singer-songwriter style in a more atmospheric direction.


4. Saint Sister


Self-proclaimed atmosfolk duo

Thursday Oct 1 – 9.20pm @ The Workman’s Club

Celtic-influenced harmony folk world or “atmosfolk” as Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre call it. Their debut EP is released next month and the music so far has had a pleasing ethereality to it with harmonies to the fore alongside harp tones.

5. Maud in Cahoots


Thursday Oct 1  – 10.50pm @ The Grand Social

The kind of sophisticated pop music that Maud In Cahoots make has a lot in common with Scandinavian pop music, The sisters Maud and Zoe Ní Riordáin and band have also showed some interesting initiative by placing their songs in a theatrical show context. The new single ‘Cure For The Crazy’ is their career best track.

6. Elephant


Dundalk singer-songwriter

Thursday Oct 1 – 7:30pm @ The Grand Social

Dundalk musician Shane Clarke’s sweet vocal tones are what makes his elemental guitar and keys music work so well, lending his songs a delicate disposition. A debut album is on the way shortly.

Thursday | Friday | Saturday

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Posted on September 28th, 2015


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Hard Working Class Heroes have announced their lineup for this year’s edition taking place on the weekend of october 1st to 3rd in The Workmans Club, The Mercantile, The Academy, Bad Bobs, The Grand Social, Hangar. Tickets are on sale now from €20 + fees per night or €45 for three nights.

The festival will also include talks, mentoring sessions, speed sessions, a tech convention and more. The festival is sponsored for the second year by HMV Ireland with help from The Arts Council, Failte Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the NDRC. 500 bands submitted applications. The 100 below were chosen. I was one of the judges who are drawn from the local and international music industry.

Delighted to see Rusangano Family, Carriages, Elephant, Bitch Falcon, Hare Squead, Joni, Pleasure Beach and I Have A Tribe in there.

Ailbhe Reddy
Atlas Moon
Bad Sea
Bitch Falcon
Buffalo Sunn
Buffalo Woman
Callum Orr
Comrade Hat
Corner Boy
Dear Desert
DVO Marvell
Elastic Sleep
Electro Sensitive Behaviour
Everything Shook
Fergal O’Connor
Florence Olivier
Frankenstein Bolts
Half Of Me
Hare Squead
Heroes in Hiding
Hot Cops
I Have A Tribe
Jennifer Evans
Johnny Stewart
Katie Laffan
Lie Ins
Lilla Vargen
Maija Sofia
Maud in Cahoots
Me Auld Flower
Mere Moths
Miles Graham
My Tribe Your Tribe
Neon Atlas
New Pope
New Valley Wolves
Not Monsters
Oh Boland
Old Hannah
Patrick Freeman
Pine ¶he Pilcrow
Pleasure Beach
Róisín O
Rusangano Family
Ryan O’Shaughnessy
Saint Sister
Sample Answer
Slow Skies
SlowPlace LikeHome
Staring At Lakes
The Altered Hours
The Fontaines
The Journals
The Man Whom
The Soft Look
Third Smoke
This Other Kingdom
Tiz McNamara
We Raise Bears
We, the Oceanographers

Posted on August 11th, 2015


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Pleasure Beach are a new band from Belfast, who formed in a Belfast coffee shop in January (speaking of Belfast coffee shops – I recommend Established – where I’d bet these guys and gals formed). Their members’ names are Lisa, Rachel, Kat, Alan and Richard and their debut single has some pop swing to it.

‘Go’ is a track that recalls Arcade Fire/Bruce Springsteen in its stadium guitar slung gallop to the finish with some more contemporary synth-pop influence. It’ll be released on Monday May 25th backed with another single ‘Absentee’.

The band play their first show on June 5th in The Menagerie, Belfast.

Posted on May 6th, 2015