So many great Irish Rock and Pop stars – but so many more who didn’t get that lucky break…

HORSLIPS – huge – but good enough to have been massive world wide

We celebrate* our successful stars. And rightly so.

We’re proud of Saoirse Ronan and Fiona Shaw and Cillian Murphy and Colin Farrell. There’s a long list of successful Irish actors.

And writers – from Joyce and Beckett and Yeats through to Seamus Heaney and today’s high achievers like John Boyne and John Banville and others.

We also have a proud list of rock and pop stars about whom we boast.

U2, The Script, Van Morrison, Thin Lizzy, Rory Gallagher, Sinead O’Connor, The Cranberries and so on.

*(There will always be those who think it’s trendy to knock what’s popular. They’re best ignored.)

But what about our brilliant singers and musicians who are far, far better than many who have achieved success but who never made that breakthrough in Britain or the US.

They could do with more airplay here. Yes, Ronan Collins and John Creedon and, generally, the RTE crew play quite a lot of Irish. Commercial stations don’t seem to be quite so good. 

Right now, all broadcasters need to look after our own. At the end of the day, they as good if not better than their non-Irish counterparts.

So. This list is off the top of my head. I have seen many of them live and bought the music of most over the years.

They’re in no particular order.

  1. Bagatelle
  2. Bees Make Honey
  3. The Blades
  4. Cactus World News
  5. Cry Before Dawn
  6. Granny’s Intentions
  7. Ghost of an American Airman
  8. Horslips
  9. Light a Big Fire
  10. The Lookalikes
  11. Moving Hearts
  12. Hothouse Flowers
  13. Fountainhead
  14. The Saw Doctors
  15. Skid Row
  16. Stagalee
  17. Stepaside
  18. The Atrix
  19. Stiff Little Fingers
  20. Virgin Prunes
  21. Big Self
  22. Rhythm Kings
  23. A House
  24. Picturehouse
  25. Mick Flannery
  26. An Emotional Fish
  27. Aslan
  28. Black 47
  29. Christy Hennessy
  30. The Revenents
  31. Dr Strangely Strange
  32. Eire Apparent
  33. Fat Lady Sings
  34. Fatima Mansions
  35. Hot House Flowers
  36. In Tua Nua
  37. JJ72
  38. Le Galaxie
  39. Mamas Boys
  40. Luka Bloom
  41. Jack L
  42. Mellow Candle
  43. Paddy Casey
  44. Power of Dreams
  45. Republic of Loose
  46. Rocky deValera and the Gravediggers
  47. Something Happens
  48. Stars of Heaven
  49. Sultans of Ping FC
  50. That Petrol Emotion
  51. The Four of Us
  52. The Blizzards
  53. The Coronas
  54. Niall Connolly
  55. Liam Geddes
  56. David Keenan
  57. The Frank and Walters
  58. The Radiators from Space
  59. Lir
  60. The Stunning
  61. The Thrills
  62. Tir na nOg
  63. Toasted Heretic
  64. Zen Alligators
  65. Gavin Friday
  66. Bell XI
  67. Eleanor McEvoy
  68. Lisa Hannigan
  69. Julie Feeney
  70. Microdisney
  71. Ash
  72. Golden Horde
  73. Elmer Fudd
  74. The Greenbeats
  75. Loudest Whisper
  76. Jerry Fish and the Mudbug Club
  77. Stars of Heaven
  78. Some Kind of Wonderful
  79. Junkster
  80. The Forget Me Nots
  81. Energy Orchard
  82. The Pale
  83. Swim
  84. Declan O’Rourke
  85. Jape
  86. Therapy?
  87. The Frames
  88. The Strypes
  89. James Vincent McMorrow
  90. Damien Rice
  91. My Bloody Valentine
  92. Fionn Regan
  93. DC Nien
  94. Mundy
  95. Jimmy MvCarthy
  96. John Spillane
  97. Pugwash
  98. The Blizzards
  99. Wallis Bird 
  100. Auto da Fe

I’m fed up counting.

So you can just add in Nine Lies, The Coronas, The Blizzards, Royseven, Two Door Cinema Club, Hamsandwich, The Answer, Codes, The Chakras, Fred, Hybrasil, Heathers and Adebisi Shank, Aoife Nessa Frances, Hudson Taylor, the Script, Iarla O Lionárd, Damien Rice, Damien Dempsey, Delorentos, Jinx Lennon, Fionn Regan, Dermot Kennedy, Villagers and all the other ones I’ve forgotten.

Music. We’re pretty good at it.

Now we just need to make sure our musicians can survive.

And don’t forget the small venues either – the likes of Whelans, the Academy, Grand Social, Workmans’ Club and other vital small venues making no money at all right now,


2 thoughts on “So many great Irish Rock and Pop stars – but so many more who didn’t get that lucky break…

  1. gerryfloyd

    Saw Elmer Fudd and I’m sure Dr,S.S. at an openair,overnight rock festival in Portane around 70/71. Had a Loudest Whisper single.
    A great list of bands/singers there. Luck and management plays a big part in being successful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Germ

    Don’t forget Whipping Boy…and one of the best Irish albums ever in ‘ Heartworm ‘

    Liked by 1 person

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