Led by singer/songwriter Mike Scott, the group' sole constant member, The Waterboys formed in London in 1981 named after a line in the Lou Reed song "The Kids." A newspaper advertisement calling for musicians led to a response from multi-instrumentalist Anthony Thistlethwaite; along with drummer Kevin Willrinson, The Waterboys issued their self-titled debut in 1983. Keyboardist Karl Wallinger and trumpeter Roddy Lorimer joined for the 1984 follow-up A Pagan Place. With 1985's This Is the Sea, The Waterboys reached an early peak and it earned the group a significant hit with the single "The Whole of the Moon.
However, after the album's release, Wallinger departed to form World Party, which prompted Scott and Thistlethwaite to relocate to Ireland and begin with a clean slate. When the Waterboys returned in 1988 with Fisherman's Blues, they were joined by traditional Irish players like fiddler Steve Wickham, drummer Dave Ruffy, key boardist Guy Chambers and bassist Marco Weissman, resulting in a stripped down, folky sound that was continued on 1990's Room to Roam.
In 1991, Scott moved to New York without Thistlethwaite or any other band members; the release of 1993's Dream Harder, cut with session musicans, marked a return to an electric, more rock-oriented sound. Soon Scott moved back to Scotland, where he began a lengthy stay at a spiritual commune; there he recorded the folk-ringed Bring 'Em All In under his own name, apparently putting the Waterboys to rest for good.
In the tradition of boy bands like Take That and Boyzone comes Dublin's Westlife, a quintet consisting of Shane Filan, Nicky Byrne, Bryan McFadden, Mark Feehily, and Kian Egan. Faan, Egan, and Feehily were among the group's six founding members, but the other half of the group was dispatched when Louis Walsh, Boyzone's manager, took interest in them. This made room in the band for Byrne and McFadden; Walsh also introduced Westlife to Boyzone vocalist and solo artist Ronan Keating, who became the group's co-manager shortly after they cemented their recording contract. The group's first single, 1999's "Flying Without Wings," entered the U.K. charts at #1, a feat they replicated with "Seasons in the Sun" and "Swear It Again" in 2000. Their self-titled debut album met with similar chart-topping success and quickly went platinum in their homeland. Westlife was released in the U.S. by Arista Records. in early 2000.
Wexford Festival Opera
For fifty years the Irish coastal town has been seducing the world with wonderful productions of rare opera presented as part of a festival that is truly unique. The warm and vivacious welcome, the narrow and ancient Viking streets and the tiny, atmospheric Theatre Royal add to its pleasures which include over forty daytime events as well as the eighteen evening performances of three major productions.
Opera is the beating heart of the Festival and the Wexford company of artists, drawn from all over the world, participate in many of the daytime events as well. The productions are rehearsed and performed only in Wexford so a visit is essential since it provides insight and entertainment for everyone, from the newest Festival recruit to the opera aficionado many of whom make Wexford a regular and treasured destination.
An air of enthusiasm takes over the town with the Antiques Fair, the Singing and Swinging Pubs, the shop windows bedecked in festive decoration, the restaurants, the sights and sounds of rehearsal and performance all contributing to the excitement and the atmosphere.
Fordham Radio plays a host of Irish music and Irish related shows on 90.7 FM.
Prior to the spectacular success of his Riverdance at Eurovision in 1994, Fill Whelan was well known in Ireland as a composer of music for theatre and television and as a record producer with a number of Irish and International hits to his name. His production and arranging credits include, among others, U2, Van Morrison, Rate Bush, Richard Harris, Johnny Logan, Paul Brady and The Dubliners. Riverdance was of course, composed especially for the interval act for the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest, an orchestral piece concieved for hard shoe Irish dance and televized to a European audience of 300 million viewers. As a single release, Riverdance spent 18 weeks at #1 in the Irish Charts ans was a Top Ten hit in the U.S. The show is now touring in two troupes, The Liffey troupe is touring Europe while the Lagan troupe tours North America.
From Belfast, at 13, he started playing guitar, insIj?red by John Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance," while his later teenage years were influenced by Northern Ireland's punk rock scene, French poetry and singer-songwriters such as Bob Dylan. He released his debut single, "Religious Persuasion" in 1985, instantly achieving indie credibility. In 1995, White formed the loose collective Alt with Hothouse Flowers singer Liam O Maonlai and Tim Firm. A prolific recording artist with a flair for poignant poetic imagery, White has latterly bypassed the major label route to release material on his own resolutely independent label.
40,000 people, 20,000 of them sleeping in a tented village, over 110 bands and DJ's performing across five stages for the duration of the 2nd annual Witnness weekend in July 2002 at Punchestown Racetrack outside Dublin. Descibed by many as the biggest and best music festival of the year in Europe.
The Wolf Tones
Very few bands manage to stay together for several decades. Even fewer are able to do it when their prime focus is politics. But then again, there aren't many around like the Wolfe Tones. Taking their name from Wolfe Tone, one of the leaders of the 1798 Irish Rebellion, they've remained unabashedly loud and proud of their politics since they began in 1963, even when the Irish government was banning their records (which it did in the late '60s). Formed by Derek Warfield and his brother Brian, who recruited piper Noel Nagle, they added singer/guitarist Tommy Byrne a year later, and took the huge step of turning professional, establishing themselves first of all as traditional ballad singers, working at home and in England, then venturing on their first U.S. tour in 1966. They worked steadily, releasing records, but not afraid to walk the line -- they had their first record banned in 1966. By the end of the decade their material was routinely banned at home, even as Los Angeles was handing them the keys to the City. As time has passed, their music has changed little, but to their fans -- who've tended to love them as much for what they write about as the manner in which they perform -- that's hardly a handicap. The Wolfe Tones split recently and Derek Warfield has made a number of solo forays into the world of folk recording several albums from 1995 onwards focusing on Irish history and the American Civil War.
A Womans Heart
The biggest-selling Irish album ever, this album continued to hold a place on the Irish charts two years after its original release, with sales of 350,000.
On December 26th, St Stephen's Day, the first Christian martyr, stoned to death shortly after the Crucifurion is honored. People in some parts of Ireland dress up in costume and play and sing traditional music. The "Wren Boys" now include girls, and adults often accompany the young people. Folk costumes and traditional music and dancing are often part of 'going on the wren,' and the money collected is often used for community or school projects.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W X Y Z