There’s no question that Limerick is a city teeming with musical talent. We’ve compiled some of Limerick’s top bands that you must listen to (if you haven’t already). All these and more can be found on the Limerick Music Spotify Playlist – just scan the code and listen.
Formed in 2011, Protobaby have toured all over Ireland, UK, Netherlands and Poland with their music. They have appeared at numerous festivals and earned themselves a place on the cover of Hot Press Magazine.
This band has built up quite an impressive following, with their satisfying clash of synth and solid rock and years of touring and gigging all over the world. Following the return of frontman Colm McGuiness, we see Protobaby return to their original line-up and finally release a follow-up to their successful debut album, The Spark. Since its release in early 2016, Cosmic Heart has received phenomenal feedback from critics and fans alike.
Next is three-piece post-punk ensemble Slow Riot, who have just released their acclaimed second EP, Trophy Wife. Slow Riot’s dark, brooding lyric and abrupt guitar riffs give them a similar sound to bands like Joy Division and Interpol. The single Trophy Wife has received plenty of airplay on both national stations such as Today FM, as well as BBC Radio. Slow Riot’s infectious hooks and peculiar lyrics pave the way for a promising future for this Limerick band. They have recently earned a spot alongside Lisa Hannigan and Wyvern Lingo at Dublin’s Interlude music festival this summer.
Bleeding Heart Pigeons
Experimental rock band Bleeding Heart Pigeons have recently graced us with their debut album, Is. Since their formation in 2008, Bleeding Heart Pigeons have appeared on Other Voices, played at numerous festivals and toured all around Ireland and the UK. The band’s innovative song-writing strays from the traditional formula, each song holding more artistic range than most established artists can achieve in an entire album. The edgy lyrics and clean finish of Is make it a strong contender for this year’s Choice Music Awards and prove that this West Limerick trio have far to go yet. The album was released in stores on May 20th.
Randolf and the Crokers
Randolf and the Crokers are a Limerick folk band, formed in late 2011. Their debut EP, Conversation Amongst the Ruins was released in May 2015 and they have since been touring across Ireland showcasing their music; the harmonious ballads and upbeat harmonica solos, force your toe to tap along.
The Lana Del Rey-esque sound is a step down from the previous, fast-paced rock bands, for the casual listener who prefers the more serene side of music. The band are set to appear at the Doolin Folk Festival this year alongside the Hothouse Flowers and Wallis Bird before releasing another single and video from the EP.
Sometime later this year Randolf and the Crokers hope to return to writing and recording some new music – until then you can enjoy their Conversations EP and keep an ear out for anymore concert announcements near you.
God Knows, MuRli and mynameisjOhn have come together to form one of Limerick’s most revolutionary and talented hip-hop groups to date. Their bass-led backing tracks run smoothly alongside honest lyrics touching on topics such as identity, belonging and politics. Previous releases from the group have been highly acclaimed by The Irish Times, Nialler9 and Pitchfork, and earned them a support slot with Snoop Dogg and Run the Jewels along with numerous invitations to festivals. Rusangano Family’s debut album, Let the Dead Bury the Dead, speaks of migrant struggles and explores the perspective of an African immigrant living in Ireland. This personal input, along with Rusangano Family’s genius lyrics, make them one of Limerick’s most promising acts of 2016. Already their track Heathrow has received high praises internationally for the awareness it has raised of the immigrant experience.
Although they are Brighton based, lead-singer Brian McNamara hails from Limerick. Taking influence from bands such as The Frames, The Waterboys and Tom Waits, Warsaw Radio’s debut EP Give it all to Fear is nothing short of amazing. Their rich, easy listening and story-telling style contributes to recent success throughout both UK and Ireland. Following Give it all to Fear’s release, Warsaw Radio have accompanied Irish Singer-Songwriter Mick Flannery on his UK tour and will soon be spending the summer playing a few local gigs in England, starting with London in June.
Lead Singer McNamara does his best to capture the raw, acoustic sound of live studio to accompany his emotional lyrics of love and infidelity. Their single Give it all to Fear now has its own music video available to watch on YouTube.
Do You Want it All, released at the beginning of the year, is one of the highly-anticipated tracks off Fox Jaw’s untitled September EP. If their previously released album Ghost Parade is anything to go by, then this EP is definitely one for pre-ordering. Fox Jaw’s music is rock and roll at its finest. Their exciting sound successfully manages to maintain the same, familiar rock formula while also keeping to their own original and unique style. Ghost Parade was ground-breaking in the Irish rock scene. This modern take on an ageing genre creates a somewhat apocalyptic vibe. Fox Jaw have shared stages with artists such as Calvin Harris, Jape and Fight Like Apes. This month they are set to play a small acoustic gig in Limerick’s Stormy Teacup Café as part of the café’s monthly Thomond Sessions.
Driving basslines, intricate lyrics and some addictive guitar hooks, four piece rock band Tigwara are set to be one of Ireland’s bands to watch in 2016. Following their highly-acclaimed, self-titled EP in 2016, Tigwara have taken Ireland by storm. With the official launch of their EP in May, this band have their work set out for them with numerous local gigs and concerts elsewhere in the country. Tigwara, meaning Free Man, speaks of the band’s full freedom in both composition and musical experimentation. Recognised as one of Limerick’s more innovative bands, Tigwara’s multi-influence rock EP is definitely worth a listen.
Article by: Christine Costello
Photography by: Tarmo Tulit
Read more from The Limerick Magazine here.