Beyond the Bodhrán with Nialler9: Ships


It’s easy to be reductive about Irish music. If you’re not Irish, U2, Sinead O’Connor and tin whistles are perhaps the first things that come to mind, and maybe the Cranberries, or the Pogues. But the contemporary music scene in Ireland is very much alive and kicking, with great bands big and small, and a huge variety of DJs playing all sorts of diverse sounds. And while we’re fans of classic Irish tunes as much as the next man, let’s be clear: the Stighlorgan studio rarely resembles steerage class on the Titanic.

So, with that in mind, we’ve enlisted the help of brilliant and renowned Irish music blogger Nialler9 to go beyond stereotypical perceptions, and look Beyond the Bodhrán* at the best music coming out of Ireland today.

First up is Dublin-based boy-girl duo Ships, who have been plying their sonic experimentations since back in 2011. Blending layered electronica and diverse influences, we love their mix of ‘70s flavours and up-to-the-minute production, and they’ve been a regular on our studio stereo.

Niall says: “Dublin duo Simon Cullen and Sorca McGrath have been one of my favourite Irish bands of the last few years. I love them because their sound is electronic, it’s disco, it’s funk, it’s pop – things that aren’t typically considered from this country. Plus, their recent single ‘Space Inside’ is one of the tunes of the year.”

Niall’s blog Nialler9 is the biggest-read music blog in Ireland, launched back in 2005 and a winner of many awards. Known for breaking new bands and being deeply involved with the Dublin music scene, Niall is one of our favourite bloggers, and an all around good guy. Check out the site here:

*A Bodhrán is simple hand-held drum with a wooden frame and leather drumskin, and is an integral part of Irish folk music. Said to have been around since the time of the Celts, it was revived in the 1960s and has become a symbol of traditional Irish music.