• Thanks Brother release ‘We Caught It’ on 18 January


    Release ‘We Caught It’ on Fri 18 January


    Grit-pop duo Thanks Brother release their first single of 2019, ‘We Caught It’, on Friday 18th January. This is the second single from the pair, following 2018’s ‘We Are Different’ which saw the band playlisted on national radio and perform live on The Late Late Show and The Today Show and followed on with sold out shows in Dublin and Paris. ‘We Caught It’ is a slice of anthemic pop, describing magic moments of lost inhibitions. Co-produced and mixed by Grammy Award winner Ruadhri Cushnan (Mumford & Sons, Ed Sheeran) the songs crisp production highlights O’s powerful vocals, evoking shades of Florence and The Machine and HAIM.

    Thanks Brother is comprised of Róisín O, who has enjoyed great success as a solo act since her debut album ‘The Secret Life of Blue’, and John Broe, formerly the writer and singer with Irish band Miracle Bell. They began writing songs together in 2014, originally for a Róisín O solo album, however realising that there was an undeniable creative chemistry when writing, they embarked on the collaborative project Thanks Brother at the beginning of 2018.

    The band’s unusual name comes from a chance encounter that took place at a concert in Ireland, where the duo met one of their screen heroes, actor Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, Three Billboards), whose brief response to a gushing Broe’s praise was simply, ‘Thanks Brother’.

    Thanks Brother have also written songs that have been used for television series and advertising campaigns as well as co-writing for other artists. The pair recently co-wrote singles with Irish band The Coronas, including ‘Real Feel’, the first U.S. single from their chart-topping Trust the Wire album.

    ‘We Caught It’ is the first of four single releases this year culminating in an EP this winter. The video for the song is shot by the duo on their iPhones when they were crashing a Christmas party in December. Róisín explains, ‘It was a spur of the moment decision to film it while we were at The Google Christmas Party in the RDS… which we weren’t really supposed to be at… but it all sort of fit in with the imagery of the song: doing shit you’re not supposed to when you’re drunk.’

    The video will be released on Monday January 21st.  Meanwhile, Thanks Brother plan to embark on a UK and Irish tour in March/April.

    Dates confirmed so far are:

    Friday 15 March          Mc Gettigan’s Paddy’s Day Party, Dubai

    Friday 22 March         De Barra’s, Clonakilty

    Friday 29 March         St. Columb’s Hall Cinema, Derry 

    Thursday 9 May           Mike The Pie’s, Listowel


    Connect with:




  • Rosborough releases ‘The Paper Boats EP’




    “..a sparse but poetic rendering, driven by one of Rosborough’s purest, most heart-felt vocals yet” CLASH




    1. Burn Blue (Acoustic Version)
    2. In The Moment (Acoustic Version)
    3. Another Lesson (Acoustic Version)
    4. True Love Will Find You In The End
    5. Fall To Earth (Acoustic Version)


    ‘The Paper Boats EP’ is the debut EP from Derry newcomer Rosborough is available now on Ignition Records. Compiling acoustic versions of the singles ‘Burn Blue’ (nominated for Best Single in the 2018 Northern Ireland’s Music Prize), ‘Another Lesson’ and ‘Fall To Earth’, plus a stunningly authentic cover of Daniel Johnston’s ‘True Love Will Find You In The End’, the EP also includes the previously unreleased song ‘In The Moment’.

    Throughout 2018 Rosborough has received critical acclaim for his soaring, cinematic tunes (“Strident, urgent, and anthemic songwriting”CLASH, “Jawdropping” Daily Mirror) while touring relentlessly.

    He started the year with a headline Irish tour then supported Neon Waltz on their Spring UK tour before performing at a plethora of prestigious festivals over the summer. Following his recent tour in support of Seafret, Rosborough is currently on tour with DMA’S including a date at London’s O2 Kentish Town Forum on December 17th. He will then headline London’s The Waiting Room on January 24th before joining Seafret again on a European tour in February and then supporting Amy MacDonald throughout March and April.

    On tour with DMA’S, remaining dates:
    15 Dec – University Union Asylum, Hull

    16 Dec – O2 Academy, Sheffield

    17 Dec – O2 Forum Kentish Town, London

    Headline gig:

    24 Jan – The Waiting Room, London N16

    On tour with Seafret:

    2 Feb – Le Pop-up Du Label

    8 Feb – Mascotte, Zurich

    10 Feb – Durer Kert, Budapest

    11 Feb – Grelle Forelle, Vienna

    12 Feb – Strom, Munich

    13 Feb – Privatclub, Berlin

    15 Feb – Hotel Cecil, Copenhagen

    16 Feb – Nochtspeicher, Hamburg

    17 Feb – Yuca, Cologne

    18 Feb – Paradiso Noord, Amsterdam

    20 Feb – Nijmegen, Doornroosje

    21 Feb – Tivoli De Helling, Utrecht

    24 Feb – Patterns, Brighton,

    25 Feb – The Bodega, Nottingham

    27 Feb – The Wardrobe, Leeds

    28 Feb – The Caves, Edinburgh

    1 Mar – Gorilla, Manchester

    2 Mar – The Castle & Falcon, Birmingham

    4 Mar – The Bullingdon, Oxford

    5 Mar – Thekla, Bristol

    6 Mar – Islington Assembly Hall, London


    On tour with Amy MacDonald:

    21 Mar  – Eventim Apollo, London

    22 Mar – O2 Apollo, Manchester

    24 Mar – Ancienne Belgique, Brussels

    25 Mar – Tivoliredenburg, Utrecht

    26 Mar – Elysee Monmartre, Paris

    28 Mar – Osnabruck Halle, Osnabruck

    29 Mar – George-Friedrich-Handel-Halle, Halle (Salle)

    31 Mar – Alter Oper, Frankfurt

    1 April – Colosseum Theater, Essen

    2 April – Admiralspalast, Berlin

    4 April – Halle 622, Zurich

    5 April – Teatro dal Verme (Indoor), Milan

    7 April – Gasometer, Vienna

    8 April – Circus Krone, Munich

    9 April – Den Atelier, Luxembourg


  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds plus special guests at Malahide Castle on 16 June, 2019

    plus special guests

    Doves – DMA’s – Blossoms


      Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds  summer show at Malahide Castle on 16th June 2019.

    Special guests are Doves, DMA’s and Blossoms.

    Tickets priced €49.90 including booking fee go on sale at 9am Thursday 6th December


    Noel Gallagher has now been one of the most loved and successful songwriters for over a quarter of a century and recently won the 2018 Q Awards for Outstanding Contribution To Music and Best Solo Artist – adding to Noel’s list of prestigious accolades including the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection in 2013, NME Godlike Genius Award in 2012 and the Q Icon Award.

    Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds first emerged in 2011 with the eponymous album released in October that year on Sour Mash Records. The album went double platinum in the UK and has sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide.

    Recorded in London and completed in Los Angeles during 2010 and the first half of 2011 it was co-produced by Noel and David Sardy, with whom Noel has previously worked with when in Oasis.

    Noel stresses “Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds is me and whoever is around at the time of whatever it is that I’m doing, a loose collective kinda thing”

    By the time a follow up album was due for release, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live show had already surpassed playing 150 shows in 32 different countries.

    The follow up album ‘Chasing Yesterday’ was released March 2015- the first album to be produced as well as written by Noel.  On producing the album, Noel said: “It was a major pain in the arse., managing sessions from one end of the week to the other proved extremely difficult. I had all these people looking at me and saying: ‘right, what are we doing today?’ I felt like i was making the whole thing up as I went along.”

    The album spawned live favourites ‘In the Heat of the Moment’ and “Lock all the Doors”. There followed another 122 shows in 28 countries.

    A third album ‘Who Built The Moon?’ was recorded in sessions spanning 2 years with renowned producer, DJ and composer David Holmes in Belfast and London.  It was released in November 2017.

    The album debuted in UK at Number 1, achieving gold certification in less than 2 weeks after its release – making it a hat trick of Number 1 albums for Noel. Live, Noel continued to tour the world relentlessly, encompassing landmark open air shows and festival headlines, with a selection of songs he’s written and released over the past three decades, and this time with an expanded 11 piece band.

    ‘Who Built The Moon?’ was also a record-breaking 10thconsecutive chart-topping studio album in UK for Noel – no other artist has achieved such a feat.

    To connect with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds on social media and find the latest release, tour and ticket information visit:

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/NoelGallagher

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noelgallaghermusic

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themightyi/

    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/NoelGallagherTV




  • Zapho releases debut single and video for ‘Do Like I Do’

    Releases her debut single

    Do Like I Do

    And announces her first show in Grand Social, Dublin on 21 Nov.


    ZAPHO releases her debut single ‘Do Like I Do’ on iTunes, Spotify, Google, Apple, Deezer, etc. through Distrokid on the 7th of November, premiered by Nialler9. From Rathfarnham, Dublin, 25-year-old singer, songwriter, musician, producer and performer ZAPHO (aka Ele Breslin) writes the kind of smart, svelte electro-pop/soul songs that arrive only from an intuitive understanding of the form.

    Do Like I Do was a long time in the making. Written and produced by ZAPHO, with varying inputs from various producers, Steve McCann, Andy Savours and Steve Osbourne, this single is truly the product of creative collaboration. Reefing Pop by its neck collar, ZAPHO’s debut single is set to turn our senses on their toes, reminding us of what we love about Pop as a genre, while unsettling our expectations of what it should be. Like ZAPHO herself, Do Like I Do, is a standalone piece, but in the same breath the song is a resounding shout-out to that feeling of doing whatever we want to do, whenever we want to do it while owning the confidence of knowing you’re great at what you do. Do Like I Do, was mixed by James Darkin of Dublin’s Herbert Lane Studio and mastered by Pete Maher.

    Joining ZAPHO onstage in the Grand Social will be her not-so-small entourage: Chris Cahill (Guitar and Live-mixing), Laura O’Sullivan (Piano/ Violin/ Backing Vocal), Donal Pywell (Bass), Katie Ryan (Backing Vocal) , Niamh Casey (Drums) , Ryan Hardagan (Sax). A whopping 7-piece extravaganza, comprising luscious walls of harmonies, and a rhythm section your ears will thank you for.  ZAPHOs band is a showcase of the new and ever-evolving contemporary musicianship Ireland currently has to offer, all brought together in ZAPHO’s quest for genre defying Pop music.

    Bang on target, the next six months will see ZAPHO’s music filter out via songs and accompanying videos, with an occasional remix delivered for good measure. And those songs? Skillfully produced and expertly performed, prepare for lush and lively tunes that reference ZAPHO’s “deepest, darkest thoughts and desires, and everything else in-between that I’m not brave enough to, or wouldn’t, do.”

    Don’t miss this special show on Wed 21 November in The Grand Social, Dublin, support on the night comes from TADGH & DEADLYMAN. Doors 8pm and Tickets €10.

  • ‘ONE MORE YARD’ EP featuring Cillian Murphy, Brian Eno, Sinead O’Connor, Ronnie Wood, Nick Mason and Imelda May




    On 2nd November, the ‘One More Yard’ EP will be released on Evamore Records. The EP will be the first release as part of the Evamore project, which chronicles the sacrifice of young World War One soldiers and also aims to raise awareness of today’s war on cancer.

    ‘One More Yard’ is inspired by the letters home from a young Irish soldier killed at Flanders. The track’s lead vocals come courtesy of Sinead O’Connor, with supporting vocals by Imelda May. Ronnie Wood plays guitar on the track, with Nick Mason on drums.

    The full ‘Evamore’ EP, out 2nd November, includes a prologue section featuring haunting instrumentation from the iconic producer Brian Eno, with spoken word from acclaimed actor Cillian Murphy as he reads extracts of letters written by Lieutenant Michael Thomas Wall from the Royal Irish Regiment, to his mother in Dublin.

    In his letters, Michael wrote: “Nothing was spared, nothing – and when done there was not one more yard left”. Battling one more yard across no man’s land was a phrase often repeated by many soldiers in their letters and diaries.

    John Reynolds, who produced the EP, said: “The outstanding lead vocal of Sinead O’Connor and the craftsmanship of fellow artists combine to make ‘One More Yard’ a very fitting tribute to these young men as we approach the centenary of Armistice Day. The artists have taken great pride in getting involved and shown real humility and sensitivity.”

    The Evamore project started four years ago when leading scientific entrepreneur, Professor Sir Chris Evans, was conducting research on creating a new cancer awareness charity. He was struck by the emotional struggle of young people confronted with cancer and how similar their written expressions and fighting spirit were to those of young soldiers thrust into war.

    Reading over 30,000 letters written by young WW1 soldiers in the trenches, inspired Sir Chris and co-artists, to write a collection of original songs using the soldiers’ common themes, words and phrases to tell their stories.

    The project will see an album of songs produced and launched within the next six months and proceeds will go to a new Cancer Awareness Trust which will provide expert clinical advice and guidance to cancer sufferers around the world to help maximise their chances of controlling and overcoming their battles with this disease.

    The EP was produced by John Reynolds, the overall Creative Producer for Evamore, and was mastered by Real World. Full track listing for Evamore – ‘One More Yard’ EP below:

    1. One More Yard (Complete)
    2. One More Yard (ft. Sinead O’Connor)
    3. One More Yard Letter (ft. Cillian Murphy & Brian Eno)
    4. One More Yard (Orchestral)

    Ronnie Wood said: “I love the track One More Yard – a sad true story set to a haunting melody. It was a pleasure playing on it. I hope everyone gets behind this great initiative – and there will be more news soon.”

    Nick Mason, of Pink Floyd, said: “This is an outstanding project that allows people such as myself to pay our tribute to the young men of 100 years ago who fought for our freedom but also to do something to help many young people facing cancer today. I am delighted to part of bringing these songs to fruition.”

    Sir Chris says: “As we approach the centenary of Armistice Day, the sacrifice of all those young soldiers 100 years ago will be rightly honoured across the world. I feel exceptionally privileged that some of the greatest names in rock music and wonderful actors feel they too want to contribute and pay tribute to these outstanding young men through our music and words and, at the same time, help raise awareness of the challenges so many young people of today face in dealing with the dreadful disease that is cancer.”


  • Ryan McMullan ‘Bowie On The Radio’ and announcing December Irish tour

    Ryan McMullan

    Releases his debut single ‘Bowie On The Radio’


    Announcing extra tour dates in Ireland this December.


    “Picture it; A night out in New York City. It’s snowing in April, And in a taxi on my way back to my hotel room, David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ begins to play on the radio”.

    Belfast native, Ryan McMullan is the real deal. Having been blessed with a voice that can shift effortlessly between the angelic and the guttural he has honed a songwriting craft that exploits the incredible versatility and power of his God-given instrument.

    Ryan’s debut single ‘Bowie On The Radio’ is set to release worldwide on 14th September partnered with AWAL. The song captures two perspectives of a night out in New York, combining a classic guitar feel and driving bass with a more contemporary sound.

    Since Ryan’s early days, there has been significant heat from industry heavyweights. From playing in stadiums supporting Ed Sheeran and selling out headline tours throughout the UK and Europe, Ryan’s rise has been nothing short of extraordinary. The anticipation for his debut album is building and now with the release of ‘Bowie On The Radio’ we finally get a glimpse of what Ryan McMullan is all about.

    Further releases are in the pipeline for 2019 prior to his album release. Ryan will support fellow Irish act Kodaline on their upcoming European tour, and a headline tour of Australia is planned, before Ryan embarks on the end of year homecoming Irish tour including dates in Galway, Dundalk, Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Kerry with a sold out show in the Guild Hall in Derry, culminating in Belfast’s prestigious Ulster Hall which has also just sold out!


    Fri. 30 Nov                                 The Fence, Mullingar

    Sat 1St Dec                             Roisin Dubh, Extra Matinee show added

    Sat 1st Dec                                Rosin Dubh, Galway –  SOLD OUT

    Fri 7th Dec                                Snow Patrol Support SSE Arena

    Sat 8th Dec                               Snow Patrol Support SSE Arena

    Sun 9th Dec                             Spirt Store, Dundalk

    Tue 11th Dec                              Snow Patrol Support 3 Arena

    Thurs 13th Dec                         The Academy, Dublin

    Fri 14th Dec                              Dolans, Limerick

    Sat. 15th Dec.                          Cypress Avenue, Cork

    Sun 16th Dec                            INEC, Killarney

    Tue 18 Dec                                The Black Box 6pm show & 9pm Show  – SOLD OUT

    Thurs 20 Dec                            Guild Hall, Derry     Matinee and Evening Show  – SOLD OUT

    Fri. 21 Dec                                 Ulster Hall, Belfast   –  SOLD OUT

    Thurs 27 Dec                             Sean Og’s, Gweedore, Donegal

    Sat 29 Dec                                 O’Hare’s, Tipperary (Supporting Wild Youth)


  • Rosborough releases ‘Burn Blue’ acoustic single & video



     “Strident, urgent, and anthemic songwriting” CLASH

    “Jawdropping” Daily Mirror 

    ‘Burn Blue’ is nominated for best single in NI Music Prize 2018

    Rosborough has released an acoustic version and performance video of ‘Burn Blue’, the incredible track that launched his career in his native Northern Ireland. Awarded Single Of The Fortnight by Hot Press magazine, ‘Burn Blue’ was described as “Jawdropping” by Daily Mirror (Ulster), who voted it their No.1 track of 2017. Radio support came from every major Irish network, and Rosborough was invited to perform at the prestigious Other Voices Festival in Dingle alongside artists including Loyle Carner and Django Django. ‘Burn Blue’ was also recently nominated as Best Single in Northern Ireland’s Music Prize 2018 https://www.nimusicprize.com/.

    ‘Burn Blue’ (Acoustic Version) comes in the wake of Rosborough’s soaring, cinematic recent single ‘Fall To Earth’, a Track of The Fortnight in Hot Press (“sounds nothing short of world beating”) which was playlisted at Radio X. ‘Fall To Earth’ followed his UK debut single ‘Another Lesson’, which received radio support from Radio 1, Radio X and 6 Music.

    Rosborough opened 2018 with a headline Irish tour and supported Neon Waltz on their UK tour in March before performing at a plethora of prestigious festivals over the summer. Following a recent tour in support of Seafret, he will tour the UK with DMA’s in December and join Amy MacDonald on her European tour in March & April 2019.

    17 Nov – Atlantic Bar, Portrush, Co. Antrim

    26 Jan – Culturlann Ui Chanain, Derry

    On tour with DMA’s:                            5-17 December in UK

    On tour with Amy MacDonald:            March 2019

  • Martin Mackie releases single and video for ‘Magic Potion’

    Martin Mackie

    Releases ‘Magic Portion’

    The First single to be taken from his forthcoming album Temperance Songs due in 2019.

    Available now from iTunes

    “Ireland’s answer to Nick Cave”, Dan Hegarty, RTE 2FM


    MARTIN MACKIE release the single MAGIC POTION, the first offering from his album TEMPERANCE SONGS, due for release in spring 2019. MAGIC POTION features a stellar line-up of Irish musicians; KATE ELLIS, the musical director of the CRASH ENSEMBLE on cello, CONOR O’BRIEN from VILLAGERS on bass guitar, ELEANOR MYLER from the band PERCOLATOR on drums and MARTIN MACKIE on guitars and vocals. The accompanying video was made by Martin’s long-time friend and collaborator LAURA SHEERAN.

    Temperance Songs is an album which deals with the theme of alcohol in its many forms and MAGIC POTION concerns the age-old struggle between the enjoyment of booze and alcohol abuse.

    Martin said:  “The songs are about my own experiences with alcohol. Not just me personally but my family and friends. Rollovers, lock-ins, early houses, hair of the dog, and the booze blues are just some of the subjects. But I’ve tried to add a bit of comedy to the misery. For example, one song is called THE BALLAD OF CHRISTY MOORE. It’s folk tune about me coming back after the Electric Picnic. I was hanging, as they say. I’d this weird dream or maybe even a hallucination that the ghost of Christy Moore was in my wardrobe, even though he’s very much alive. Christy’s a famous ex-boozer. So, in the song he jumps out and starts lecturing me on the evils of excess. I was a bit worried what Christy would think of the song because there’s a line in it that describes him as being all ‘sweaty and hairy’. So I sent it to him. To my utter delight he sent me back a lovely postcard that said: ‘Dear Martin, Sweaty and Hairy, Ride on! Christy.’ And he drew a little guitar beside it. I’ve framed that.

    “At the risk of sounding like a pseud, I got the whole idea for Temperance Songs from a series of paintings by the artist William Hogarth. The Rake’s Progress is eight paintings showing the rise and fall of young man who ends up in the Bedlam asylum because of his partying lifestyle. I was gonna write a song for each painting but I found out the composer Igor Stravinsky had beaten me to that idea. You can’t compete with him so I had to change things. Instead I drew from my own experience.

    “There’s other songs such as A LOCK-IN FOR THE DAMNED about a famous Dublin venue where people end up leaving, completely twisted, when it’s daylight. That’s normal behaviour in the music world. The track DRUNK FOR FIFTEEN YEARS features vocals by Waterford singer KATIE KIM, who is another friend. That song is about a guy in hospital after a mammoth drinking session. Again, there’s ghosts and spirits in the lyrics, that seems to be a recurring theme. I think there’s a lot of mystery to booze, the psychological effect it has on you when you drink and the downer you can get if you overdo it. Nobody in Ireland really talks about this stuff, beyond platitudes and clichés, so I thought it would be nice explore it in an album.”


  • Join Me In The Pines release video for current single ‘Bad Blood’ and announce November Tour


    Release video for ‘Bad Blood’ on Decal Records and announce Irish Tour for November

    David Geraghty is most well-known to Irish audiences as a founding member of Bell X1 but in recent years he has been exploring a new solo direction under the moniker Join Me In The Pines. The new video for their current single ‘Bad Blood’ directed by Simon Daniels and produced by Design for Life has just been released, watch it here: https://youtu.be/prhrMBGZKqw and continues in the band’s new electropop vein, with synths and layered vocals with a distinctly 80s feel.

    Join Me in the Pines recently completed a full band tour in May and June where Dave was joined by Marc Aubele (keyboards and vocals) and Mick Major (bass and vocals) and Tim O Donovan (drums and vocals). The tour was a chance for fans to hear the bold new musical direction and it was hugely successful. David says “It was so satisfying to finally hear the full energy of the band bringing the recordings to life and to receive the reactions we did. Thanks to everyone that came to the shows. There´ll be lots more to come.”

    After completing some solo shows in July and August the full band will re-join David for a tour again this November, which will include dates in Kilkenny, Cork and Galway and a highly anticipated Dublin Show in Whelan’s on 17 November.

    A new album will be forthcoming later this year with mixing duties undertaken by the very talented Ross Dowling (James Vincent McMorrow, Talos, Brian Deady). This will be David’s fourth solo release and the second under Join Me in the Pines.


    Join Me In The Pines Live;

    Sat 3 November         Cleere’s Kilkenny

    Sat 9 November         Cyprus Ave, Cork

    Sat 17 November       Whelan’s, Dublin

    Sat 24 November       Roisin Dubh, Galway

    Ticket links at: http://joinmeinthepines.com/gigs

  • Two Balloons screens at the 30th Galway Film Festival on Sun 15 July

    Two Balloons

    Screens at 30th Annual Galway Film Fleadh on Sunday 15th July

    The magical stop-motion animated short film Two Balloons was produced in Portland, Oregon and premiered at the 30th Foyle Film Festival in Ireland last November. Since then the film has been screened at some of the most prestigious international film festivals and won many awards. And now the filmmakers are delighted to announce that Two Balloons will screen at this year’s historic 30th annual Galway Film Fleadh, taking place from 10th to 15th of July.

    Two Balloons was four years in the making and it tells the spellbinding story of two adventurous lemurs travelling the skies in their wondrous airships. One night they meet by chance and forge a bond which sees them through a calamity and cements their friendship.

    Two Balloons was inspired by the music of Peter Broderick, a celebrated American composer who has collaborated with Philip Glass, Efterklang, Yann Tiersen, M. Ward and Dustin O’ Halloran amongst many others, as well as composing his own music and film scores. When director Mark Smith heard Broderick’s ‘More of a Composition’ he knew instantly that he wanted to work with him. The score for the film is an intrinsic piece of the production and as Peter is based in Co. Galway with his wife, singer Brigid Mae Power, this screening at the Fleadh feels like something of a homecoming for Two Balloons.

    Originally the film was envisaged as a live action short and the plan was to build two real airships, but the production ran into problems when they couldn’t secure an aircraft hangar for the required length of time. So instead Mark decided to create the film as a stop-motion animated film despite the fact that he had no prior experience of stop-motion. As he says: ‘I was obsessive about preparation because I had never produced a stop-motion project. Sometimes I saw pre-production as training for an endurance race I had never run before.’

    One of the first questions asked when they made this decision was, ‘what form will the characters take?’ Mark took inspiration from Cyril Connolly’s The Unquiet Grave in which Connolly admires ring-tailed lemurs: ‘they held the secret of life to me; they were clues to an existence without thought, guilt or ugliness wherein all was grace, appetite and immediate sensation.’ And so the two curious adventurers in Two Balloons were born.

    Mark and his crew spent sixteen months storyboarding and building a stage to encompass the sets of the half-scale lemur world. Only then did they begin to shoot, which was an intensely time-consuming process: shots which were only ten seconds long took two months to shoot. The result is the nine-minute long Two Balloons, a poignant and heart-warming film which was a labour of love for all involved.

    Since its debut the film has shown at many film festivals including Flickerfest International Short Film Festival (Australia), Santa Barbara International Film Festival (USA), Atlanta Film Festival (USA), Short Shorts Film Festival (Japan), Anima 2018 (Belgium), and the upcoming Fantasia International Film Festival (Canada).

    Two Balloons has also won numerous awards, most recently the Special Mention Jury Award at Animafest Zagreb, the longest running animation festival in the world. The crew of the film was especially delighted with this award, highly coveted as it is within the animation industry. Other awards garnered by Two Balloons include Hoka Award Best Animated Short Film (Oxford Film Festival), Adult Jury Award: Best Animated Short Film (Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF Kids), and Jury Award: Best Animated Short (Sonoma International Film Festival).

    The team behind Two Balloons is looking forward to visiting Galway next month and sharing the magic of the film with the Fleadh audiences.

    Behind the scenes: A Stop Motion Ocean: https://vimeo.com/237123570

    Behind the scenes: Assembly of a Miniature Storm: https://vimeo.com/238038660