Famous bands from Dublin

Famous bands from Dublin

With Ireland's reputation for musical genius, Dublin is certainly the epicentre, featuring one of the biggest bands on the planet, as well as one of the most sensational and controversial female songwriters on the planet. Whatever your musical taste, you can appreciate the high standard of music that comes out of the city, and here is Singing Lessons Dublin's crash-course in Dublin's musical pedigree.

U2 are a band formed in 1976 in Dublin, after Larry Mullen Jr. posted an advert on his high school's notice board. From such humble beginnings, the band have risen through many genres of popular music to be cemented as one of the biggest rock bands on the planet, selling twelve albums to date and earning a reputation as a blisteringly unmissable live band. Originally a post-punk band with heavy political leanings, the band's albums like Boy, October and War see a refinement of these influences, but with the unique instrumentation courtesy of Bono and the Edge. With the band's acclaimed masterpiece The Joshua Tree in 1987, these early sounds combined with the form of a sheer perfect grasp on the pop and rock song to create such classics as 'With or Without You' and 'Where the Streets Have No Name'. Since this album, the band have brought in measured amounts of industrial, electronic and more pop sounds yet still managing to maintain the balance between these experimentations and the stadium-rock sound that they practically invented. An influence on such massive bands on the world-stage like Muse and Coldplay, U2 have earned their place in Irish and international music history.

Boyzone are perhaps the original boyband, and the band that spawned Westlife, Five, the Backstreet Boys and innumerable other bands of the same vein, for better or for worse. Formed of 5 members, after a newspaper advertisement calling for auditions to form what would become the Irish Take That. The adverts were placed by Louis Walsh, the Irish music mogul who would go on to create Westlife. With seven albums to date, the band have certainly made their mark on music, with their catchy choruses and clean image. Releasing their debut album in 1994, this was followed by two more albums, featuring their most popular songs, earning them 6 UK number one singles. During a hiatus, band leader Ronan Keating became a solo success in his own right, while the other members followed various other avenues, until the band were rocked by original member Stephen Gately's tragic and untimely death in 2009. Boyzone recently reformed and have released two more albums and headlined their own tours in the run up to their 20th anniversary. 

Ronan Keating is one of the founding members of the commercially successful boyband Boyzone, and is generally deemed the lead singer of the band. Growing up in Dublin, Keating joined Boyzone in 1993, and with them sold around 30 million records in their long existence. His breakthrough as a solo artist came with the song 'When You Say Nothing At All', featured in the film Notting Hill and opening the doors to Keating's solo career. His debut album was a commercial success, being one of the top selling albums of 2000, but was panned by critics. Keating's albums have spawned a number of popular songs, such as 'Life is a Rollercoaster' and 'The Way You Make Me Feel'. Four more studio albums were released by Keating since his debut, and most recently Keating is back with his Boyzone bandmates to tour and "do something" for their 20 years together. Keating's blend of pop sensibilities with the softer side of rock, coupled with his clean image and charity work has created a television and music personality who will be remembered for his strong contribution to the long list of Dublin exports. 

Sinéad O'Connor is a singer-songwriter from Dublin who has had a string of very successful albums and singles, a multi-instrumentalist who has also courted controversy while retaining her reputation as a powerful live performer. Her music career started in the 1980s, when she was discovered by the former head of fellow Dubliners U2's record company. Her debut album 'The Lion and the Cobra' was a massive hit, heralding a new phase in female vocalist's music, with lyrical themes that weren't afraid to speak for O'Connor's strong views. Her albums have attained relative success since, with collaborations from other respected musicians ensuring her reputation as an acclaimed songwriter. Her strong views on female rights, organised religion and politics have made O'Connor no stranger to controversy, with her appearances on US television especially infamous. Regardless of her views, it must be admitted that O'Connor is a musical force of nature, from her debut album she has never fallen into the same musical categories as her contemporaries, even releasing a reggae album to critical praise. For an example of a strong female voice in Irish music, O'Connor is the one to check out. 

The Script are an Irish band formed in 2001 by Danny O'Donoghue and Mark Sheehan, who were best friends since just 12 years old growing up in Dublin. The duo started producing and writing songs, and eventually went on to write for Britney Spears and TLC before moving back to Dublin where they recruited other members for a new band. They are clearly influenced by fellow Dubliners U2, as well as Coldplay and the Police in their combination of stadium-rock, with strict pop sensibilities. Their first album shot to number one, and the band replicated this success with their second and third albums. The lead single from the latter featured Will.I.Am, Danny's fellow the Voice coach, and was the Script's most successful release to date, going multi-platinum internationally. The band have since sold out many arenas throughout the UK, playing to many crows that clock up the tens of thousands. The Script's success depends on their catchy songs that reveal O'Donoghue's precise grasp of how to write a perfect pop song. For a masterclass in songwriting that sells out the best venues the country has to offer, be sure to read the Script carefully!

Photography: Christian Bertrand



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