Aslan, who took their name from the heroic lion in C.S. Lewis’s series of books chronicling the fictional land of Narnia (Aslan is the Turkish for ‘Lion’), emerged from the working class areas of Finglas and Ballymun in Dublin’s Northside, in the mid 1980s. They released a demo single, ‘This Is’, in the Spring of 1986, which was a huge hit and became the longest ever play-listed single on Ireland’s pop radio station, RTÉ 2fm.In the summer of 1986 they played a series of rapturously received shows in the UK and Melody Maker noted, ‘Lucky the label that signs this band!’. Janice Long at BBC Radio 1 recorded Aslan in session and went on to air it for an unprecedented three times in the subsequent weeks. At the end of 1986 Aslan walked away with The Stag/Hot Press,’ Most Promising New Band’ award and signed to EMI.In 1988 they recorded their debut album, ‘Feel No Shame’ which shot straight in to the No.1 spot of the Irish charts and remained there for weeks. Within a couple of months it was certified Gold. Then in August 1988, just as the option for their 2nd album had been picked up, Aslan infamously imploded, torn apart by overindulgence of all kinds.Five years and a day to the last time they gigged together (on the 11th of July 1993) they played what was supposed to be a one off charity gig in Finglas; the spark was reignited and Aslan landed a new record deal with BMG. The first fruit of the deal, their single “Crazy World”, entered the charts at No 4 and stayed in the charts for 3 months, becoming one of the most played songs on Irish Radio for the year.
Crazy World” also won the “Single of The Year” in 1993’s Hot Press Awards. A few months later the follow-up single “Where’s The Sun” reached No.3 on the chart.The latter part of 1994 was spent touring consistently in Ireland and recording their album, ‘Goodbye Charlie Moonhead’, which was released in Ireland at the end of 1994 and charted at number one, going on to be certified Gold weeks later. Then in 1995 the band were dropped, the victims of boardroom changes at BMG.Undeterred, Aslan went into the studio under their own steam and began recording a new album, ‘Here Comes Lucy Jones’ in April 1996. Released in October 1997, the album went into the Irish chart at 14 and Aslan were nominated in seven categories of the 1997 Hot Press readers poll.‘Shame About Lucy Moonhead’, a compilation of the best of Aslan’s recorded work on EMI, was released in July 1998, shot into the Irish albums charts at No.1 and has since turned double platinum.In March 1999 Aslan played 5 sell out shows in Ireland’s most prestigious intimate venue, Vicar St, during which their live album and video concert movie/DVD ‘Made In Dublin’ were recorded. Both shot to No 1 in their 1st week of release. The album turned platinum within 3 weeks and remained in the top 10 for 8 weeks. Aslan finished 1999 on a high note by selling out Ireland’s largest indoor venue (9000 capacity) , the Point Theatre on 26th December.
From the turn of the century till now.In Summer 2000 Aslan toured Australia for the first time to promote the release down under of the album “Shame About Lucy Moonhead” and in the process, sold out shows in Sydney and Melbourne. Aslan ended 2000 by playing their first gig in the Netherlands to a sell out crowd and then returned to home soil to sell out the Point Theatre again on Dec 27th.In the Spring of 2001 Aslan recorded a single, “She’s So Beautiful”, (featuring Sinead O ‘Connor on backing vocals,) which entered the Irish singles charts at number 9. The band released the follow-up “Different Man” which charted at number 7.In September 2001, the band’s most recent studio album, “Waiting For This Madness To End” went straight into the Irish Album charts at number 1, out selling the number 2 album four times over. The following week it remained at number 1 and kept Kylie Minogue off the top spot! “Waiting For This Madness To End” hit the platinum sales mark after only four weeks.In Christmas 2001 Aslan again sold out the 9000 capacity Point, and in 2002 Aslan were nominated for eight categories of the Hot Press readers poll, demonstrating the immense following the band have in their homeland.October 2005 and the band release a 48 track CD, simply called The Platinum Collection. The album chronicles the singles, b-sides and rarities of their long career. The platinum collection went into the charts at no. 3 and after a few weeks lived up to its name by achieving triple platinum sales.The same year also say a successful sold out show in the Point marking the platinum collections release.2007 saw the release of “For Some Strange Reason” which was produced by Ger McDonnell. It went straight into the top 10 album charts at number 7.In February 2008, Tony McGuiness left the band and moved to Australia. He was replaced by Rod O’Brien and in 2009, the band released a covers album “Aslan UNCASE’d” which went straight into the charts at number 2. It was kept off the number 1 spot by Eminem. The single from the album, John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” was play listed on every station in Ireland and has become an Aslan favourite at their live gigs.2010 saw the band undertake an extensive Australian tour which took them to Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra which was a great success with a lot of the gigs sold out!On the 19th April 2012, the band attended The Savoy cimema for the world premier of their film “Please Don’t Stop” which tells the full story of the bands 30 years together. The film was made by three friends of the band; Paul Andrews, Daragh Murphy and Ronan Quinn and it received a standing ovation at the end. A DVD of this movie is being released in September 2012!The following day, 20th April 2012, their album “Nudie Books and Frenchies” was released on the E.M.I. label and went straight in at No. 1 in the Irish charts! Not only did the fans like the album, but the critics described it as one of Aslan’s best albums to date and it received rave reviews across the board.Towards the end of 2012, Christy was admitted to hospital with a chest infection. Little did anyone know but Christy had cancer which was blood cancer, amalydosis, which was attacking his heart. He was transferred to Beaumont hospital where a pacemaker was fitted and more tests could be done. It looked like the end for Aslan.In June 2013, A Night For Christy was organised in the Olympia Theatre which Christy attended. The vibe for the night was that all the acts had to perform an Aslan song. Such was the demand from acts that Aslan could have done a week in the Olympia. The list of acts that performed were Paul Brady, Danny from The Coronas, Gavin Friday, Bressie, Riptide Movement, Horslips, Jedward, Steve Wall, Tom Dunne, Don Mescall, Mary Black, ORB, Kiera Dignam, Gavin James, Ryan Sheridan, Damien Dempsey & U2.U2 recorded a video from New York of them performing Aslan’s “This Is” which nobody expected them to do. Big thanks to Guggi who was MC on the night and had a big part in getting U2 on board. The night ended with Christy doing Crazy World.In February 2014, Aslan released a live album “30” which was recorded over 2 nights in the Olympia Theatre to celebrate the band being together 30 years. After a year of no Aslan gigs, Christy received the news that he was in a type of remission. He wanted to do a gig and the band booked the Olympia Theatre for the 30th May. This gig sold out in 7 minutes and a second was added which also sold out. Aslan were BACK and added a 3rd gig in the INEC in Killarney.Aslan are playing the Olympia Theatre in Dublin on 20th September 2014 and on the 3rd & 4th October the band will be returning to Germany to play their first gig outside of Ireland since Christy’s return to the stage. They’re be playing The Paddock Club in Frankfurt Hann, Germany.In 2015 Aslan played with sell out shows in Dublins Vicar st and the Olympia theatre and Cork s Opera house. With Christy getting stronger the band played a number of festivals in 2016 including Groove Festival and Daytripper festival as well as the INEC in Killarney.The band also played in London in October. This December sees the band playing 3 Sold Out shows in Dublins Vicar St where the band will be performing their biggest selling album Made In Dublin in its entirety accompanied by a string quartet , percussion player and keyboard player just as when the original album was recorded back in 1999.With 2017 gigs already confirmed for the Olympia theatre Dublin and Live At The Big Top in Limerick in March and Corks Opera House in April, Aslan are back to their best . The band will also return to London in March 10 th and 11th to play 2 gigs at Nells Jazz and Blues Club in Kennsington.In July, Aslan played an outdoor gig in the Iveagh Gardens in Dublin. The last time Aslan played an outdoor gig in Dublins City Centre was in the Ilac car park back in 1988 and the band were worried they would not fill such a big venue. But there was no need to worry, as the gig Sold Out and it was an amazing day for the fans and the band.A week after the Iveagh Gardens gig an hour long documentary called ‘This Is Christy’ was shown on RTE 1 . The film crew had been following the band for the past four months around Ireland and also following Christy, it was one of the most honest documentaries made as there was no holds barred as Christy spoke about all his past demons. The documentry also featured 2 key members of Aslan, Svenn the bands manager and Fitzy the bands keyboard player, both of whom passed away within a few weeks of each other as the documentary was being made.The band were devastated and had to attend Svenn’s funeral in Norway and Fitzy’s in Dublin. Just as everything was going great this happens. These 2 guys ment so much to the band and not a day goes by when they don’t think of them. Svenn and Fitzy R. I. P.The documentary had one of the biggest viewing figures for any show this year and the following week when Aslan played the Sligo Fest expecting a crowd of 2000, 7000 people turned up and an amazing gig took place. With Aslan about to go back into the studio before Christmas to record new material and with a run of gigs around Ireland including 2 nights in Vicar St and a return to Belfast. Aslan are as popular now as they ever were.2017 sees the band still selling out venues both in Ireland and the UK. The band have had to add a second date to the IVEAGH GARDENS GIG in Dublin so they are now playing 13th July and 21st July ( SOLD OUT). With the release of a new ASLAN Single “NOW I KNOW” on 5th June and dates selling out everywhere for the 30th Anniversary FEEL NO SHAME TOUR! ASLAN ARE STILL ROCKING 35 years on.The Story continues….
The 4 Of Us shot to early fame towards the end of 1989 with their debut Songs for the Tempted, which featured the massive hits Mary and Drag My Bad Name Down. The follow up Man Alive made Q magazine's prestigious Top 50 Albums of 1992 and included the UK Top 30 song She Hits Me.
‘Sugar Island’, their latest album, explores the brothers' early years growing up in Northern Ireland; musically, it focuses on the trademark interplay of their acoustic guitars. As singer Brendan recalls: ’It was a dark time for sure, but as kids we still managed to have a lot of fun. Everyone who lived through that time has their own stories to tell; we thought we’d share some of ours.’
Since they started releasing records more than twenty years ago, Feeder have never been far from the charts or strangers to the stage. Having sold over 5mrecords, they’ve played all over the world, bringing their anthemic rock music to fans old and new, always exhilarating, always celebratory. Tracks like Just TheWay I’m Feeling, Buck Rogers, Feeling A Moment and Lost and Found are just some of the 25 top 40 chart hits the band have enjoyed over the years along with a double platinum singles collection in 2006.
In 2010 the band spent a year getting back to their roots and playing new tracks in clubs under the name Renegades. An album of the same name was then released followed by their eighth studio album, ‘Generation Freakshow’. Thisalbum garnered glowing reviews in The Times and The Evening Standard.
After a four-year break to pursue solo projects, 2017 saw Feeder release the“Best Of” album which marked up another Top 10 album for the band.2019 sees the band ready to reclaim their position as one of the biggest and best British rock bands. Grant and Taka return for selected festival dates and releases later this year. Twenty-Two years down the line and the Feeder juggernaut still thunders on, with no intention of slowing down.
FUN LOVIN' CRIMINALS
Est. 1993, NYC
They are, still, the world’s finest and only purveyors of cinematic hip hop, rock ‘n’ roll, blues-jazz, latino soul vibes. The planet’s best-loved “cousins from New York” who, through the mid-late 90s, chronicled life in their native city while bending the global ear to the sonic possibilities of exuberant hip-hop gangster-rock merged with lounge music, funk, mariachi trumpets and 'Bass-o-matic' Barry White. While possibly smoking a cheroot, in a sweat-dripped Puerto Rican nightclub, somewhere on the Lower East Side. Like The Killers and Kings of Leon today, the UK loved them first, the most; whip-smart story-tellers in smarter Saville Row suits, who told vibrant, satirical, comically tall tales of living large in the neon metropolis via music, drugs, crime and existential ennui. With a penchant for a beautiful “lady”.
Formed in New York in 1993 by nightclub-working colleagues Huey and Fast, FLC gate-crashed the euphoric Brit-pop party in 1996 and brought along some unexpectedly unique swag, the generational classic album ‘Come Find Yourself’ which gave us the cackling refrain “stick ‘em up punk, it's the Fun Lovin' Criminal” and the Pulp Fiction–sampling ‘Scooby Snacks’, the Valium assisted stick-up stunner with its immortal refrain, “Runnin’ around, robbin’ banks, all whacked on the Scooby Snacks”. Huey, at 27, was already an ex-con and Desert Storm marine veteran, a charismatic New York smooth-talker with Irish/Puerto Rican roots and immaculately tended goatee. Girls, you might say, responded. The mid-to late 90s was a twirling martini cocktail of world travel, acclaim and phenomenal album sales, including three weeks as support on the U.S PopMart tour with U2 in 1997 (Huey refers to Bono as “rich Uncle Paul”), through second album ‘100% Columbian’ (1999, featuring their Barry White eulogy ‘Love Unlimited’) and the early 2001 release of third album ‘Loco.' “1995 to 2002 was living the dream for us,” smiles Fast. “It was just non-stop fun. We were out on tour for seven years, we lived it and we don’t have any regrets.”
FLC released the albums 'Welcome To Poppy's' in 2003 and 'Livin' In The City' in 2005. The last studio album released was 'Classic Fantastic' in 2010. 2011 saw the release of their triple live album 'Fun, Live, and Criminal'. The band released a live concert film titled 'The Bong Remains The Same' in 2014 featuring 26 live songs from a performance at Shepherds Bush Empire in London on their 2010 Classic Fantastic tour. September, 2015 will mark the 20th anniversary of the bands first ever live shows at The Tunnel nightclub in New York City. A world tour is currently being setup to celebrate 20 years of FLC. The band will be performing their debut album 'Come Find Yourself' in full from start to finish.
Their reputation as a live band spectacular grew, which resonates today - “anybody who ever plays after us at a festival really does not like that spot,” guffaws Huey – playing Glastonbury 2008 (on the Jazz Word Stage) to thunderous reception. “The guy who ran the Jazz/World stage at Glastonbury,” says Huey, “told us, ‘there were 40,000 people watching your set, whoever was on after you and had half that’. There’s still people who know. If they’re looking at the flyer at a festival, ‘Dude! Fun Lovin' Criminals are playing in a half hour.' And those are our people. To get to them is why we make music.”
The trio, now all relocated to the UK have left the cartoon New York netherworld behind for a colossal outdoors party, creating self-produced classics recorded in their London studio's featuring life-long “fourth member”, the Grammy-award winning hip-hop engineer Tim Latham ISP (A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Lou Reed, Citizen Cope…and Britney Spears). “Well, we’re still guys from New York,” grins the incorrigible Huey. “We keep in the forefront of our minds that any day above ground is a good day. That’s No.1. No.2, you’ve got the love of your friends and family. No.3, you have to laugh a little during the day. No one’s planting a flag here, no-one’s curing cancer but you have a hard week, you get home, whatever your poison is, have a glass of wine, smoke your spliff and go, ‘phew, I’m glad that’s over’ - that’s what we’re here for. For that exact moment when you can just put aside everyday bullshit.
Heeding Woodie Guthrie's maxim, Alabama 3 have never feared the reduction of their technology. Consequently, Alabama 3 acoustic is brave enough to go out on the road armed only with a battered acoustic guitar and harmonica, preaching Guthrie's word that 'this machine kills fascists.'
In homage to the classic delta blues slide players like Mississippi Fred McDowell, Howling Wolf, John Lee Hooker and their own Rockfree Base (though not in that pantheon of greats), we present our own narco-acoustic slant on Alabama 3 and the music that has inspired us along the way.
Complete with Larry Love's gravelly ash-stained vocals, Nick Reynolds bank robber melodies on harmonica, they provide a raucous show, which is in no way constrained by the boring maxim that often goes with acoustic gigs! Fresh from their full band recording of ‘Blues’ released in November 2016, fans have enjoyed acoustic arrangements of the latest recordings along with their back catalogue of hits this year.
An unrivaled Marxist machine gun, Alabama 3 Acoustic are on a mission to get you mashed.
“I love you baby 'till the parking ticket runs out,” sings Ciaran Lavery. “Until the lights in the street are as bright as the stars...”The award-winning singer-songwriter from Aghagallon in County Antrim, Ireland may be decorated at home by the Northern Ireland Music Prize (for his 2016 album 'Let Bad In') and might have totted up over 90 million streams on Spotify during his five year solo career, but it's the unrivalled knack he has for a poetic heart-stopping lyric that's set to earn him wider recognition as a treasured singer-songwriter.
VILLIERS AND THE VILLAINS