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Following on from exhilarating performances at the World Bodhrán Championship Kerry, Electric Picnic, Uisneach Festival of Fires, Eargail Arts Festival and Feile na Bealtaine, Liam Ó Maonlaí and Rónán Ó Snodaigh are confirmed to perform together in  Whelans Dublin.

With a common musical background two of Dublin’s best known gaeilgóirs come together to mix their unique blends of trad, rock, folk, soul and world music. Both separately known as musical shamans, they have a common experience of the world stage through their bands Hot House Flowers, Kíla and Dead Can Dance (Rónán) and their level of musicianship is second to none. This is a unique opportunity to see the two ex Colaiste Eoin pupils reunite on Dublin stage to perform a joint set. Expect primal energies to be summoned and a lot of fun.


Born in 1964 in Dublin, Liam is one of Ireland’s best-loved musicians and singers, both in rock and traditional music. Spanning over twenty years Liam’s musical career has seen him have number one hits in over twenty countries,  playing with Aboriginal musicians in Australian outback, performing at the festival in the Desert with Malian musician Toumani Diabate and Afel Bacoum, performing for the courageous Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu kKyi and recording with some of the worlds best musicians including Carlos Nunes, Donal Luney, U2, Rolf Harris, Van Morrison to name but a few. A master pianist, Liam the also performs on guitar, harp, tin whistle and bodhrán. His love and performance of music knows no boundaries or borders and he is comfortable performing on a stadium stage or at intimate house concert.

In Ennis in 1985 he and Fiachna Ó Braonain ,with the enchanting presence of Maria Doyle Kennedy won a music award called Gradam Shlogadh. They had put together a rhythm and blues group with all songs written in Irish. This was the seed beginning of Hothouse Flowers, which went on to be one of Ireland’s most successful rock bands and released seven albums.

All through the Hothouse Flowers years, Liam remained faithful to his traditional roots.
‘Traditional music does not belong to me. I belong to it. The same as the land.’ Bono once described Liam as ‘The Best white boy soul singer in the world’ and he has been also been described as one of Irelands best Sean Nos (traditional Irish) singers.

Liam recorded his first solo album entitled ‘Rianmeaning trace or mark in Irish, with his close friend, renowned producer John Reynolds in 2002. It was released in Ireland in November 2005 and has since been released in America, Canada, Japan, UK and Europe. Rian marks Liam’s journey as a traditional artist, a tribute to his heritage and his ancestry, it is a timeless recording and intimately Liam.

In 2010 Michael Keegan-Dolan, choreographer and director of Fabulous Beast Dance Company approached Liam with a plan for to create a contemporary dance show to the music of Rian. Together they created a stunning piece of dance accompanied by live music performed by Liam and five other musicians, this was developed conjunction with Sadlers Wells Theatre London and the Dublin Ulster Bank Theatre festival where the show was premiered in Oct 2011. The show has gone on to be performed in the US, Australia, and many cities in Europe it will continue to tour into 2014

For more information

To Be Touched’ Liam’s second solo album was released December 2008. Taking a different direction from Rian, To Be Touched is a intimate celebration of Liam as pianist and song writer. Recorded in Prague and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre Annaghmakerrig, Monaghan the album is a soulful collection of songs that touch on the many influences that are contained in Liam’s musical genius with songs in English and Irish and a traditional aboriginal song.

In 2008 Liam journeyed to the Saharan country Mali with the piper Paddy Keenan to make a film ; Dambé; The Mali Project (dir Dearbhla Glynn) Luachra Productions. Critically acclaimed the film followed the two musicians on a musical journey deep into the heart of the country exploring the extraordinarily rich musical cultural of the Mali and sharing the musical tradition of Ireland with the people they met. The film will be broadcast on the Irish channel TG4 in 2013.
‘I believe the style known as séan nos, carries a sense of the soul of the land and the people who are awake in that land. I feel, when in the company of other cultures, the singing of this style opens a window into what it is that connects us. Every country has it’s own séan nos.’

‘Words particularly English words are not enough. They have been used to lie on a grand scale. They continue to be used to manipulate and confuse. Music has a purpose that remains to be seen. The potential is beyond imagination. ‘


Born in Dublin 1970 Rónán Ó Snodaigh, one of six brothers, was brought up in an Irish speaking home. His mother an artist and writer and his father a writer and publisher in the Irish language he was immersed in an atmosphere of culture and creativity from early days.  He started writing poetry in his teens, selling his work on the streets of Dublin’s city centre where he also started his musical career, busking with a collective of young musicians including Glen Hansard, Mic Christopher and Paddy Casey. Kíla started to take form from this busking fraternity with Rónán on bodhran and vocals. They quickly earned wider recognition for their unique blend of traditional Irish, rock and an ability to absorb just about any other musical culture into their writing pot.

In the 80’s Rónán performed and toured with renowned band Dead Can Dance, as percussionist. Returning from these world, stadium tours to write and record, he was soon on the road touring the world with Kíla too.

Celebrating their 25th year together Kíla have played in over 40 countries and worked in every continent to date. They have released 9 albums since the early 1990’s including sound track to the Oscar nominated film The Secret of Kells which they composed and recorded with world renowned film composer Bruno Coulais. They have long been regarded one of Ireland best world music bands and Rónán one of the most innovative and creative bodhrán players. Rónán has recently been endorsed by Korg for their electronic percussion instrument the Wavedrum

Throughout these years Rónán also found time to build his own solo catalogue. Swopping hat as bodhrán player and lead singer to singer songwriter and composer on multiple instruments, Rónán has produced five solo albums and one soundtrack album to date. Stretching his vocal chords in the English language he had produced four albums sung thought mainly English.

The gloriously musical Tip Toe and The Playdays bringing together strings, brass and guitar, to the more stark The Last Mile Home, a nod to the blues, and the deliciously funky Water off a Duck’s Back.

Tonnta Ró, an all Irish, all percussion album came in the middle and Rónán is currently working on another all Irish guitar based album.  His solo work overshadowed or over run by his commitment to Kíla in the past is now getting a bit more space to exist as Kíla are a little less busy.

Rónán has composed for a number of TV and film projects over the years, and his instrumental album Wild Journeys is the soundtrack accompanying RTE/ Crossing The Line Nature Series of the same name.

In the past five years Rónán has played a number of gigs with fellow gaeilgóir Liam Ó Maonlaí (Hot House Flowers) Brought together by their manager for a one off gig for the World Bodhrán Championships, these gigs have been widely acclaimed gems, a brilliant pairing they collaborate and share their musical genius on stage with free abandon. Rónán has also been invited to be part of Donal Dineens parish collective for a few very memorable gigs, seeing his extraordinary bodhrán playing accompanying Donal’s DJing…

Always keen to share his experience and knowledge, Rónán has produced a series of short bodhrán workshop videos free to view on youtube and gives frequent workshop/master class in bodhrán/ percussion and singing.

Rónán’s contribution to the Irish language, bodhrán playing and Dublin’s music scene is being realized and he will go down in history for his boundless energy on and off stage. In his own words he has loved every minute and his main ambition in music continues to be to enjoy and have fun with it at every opportunity.


€15 available online from WAV Tickets [Lo-Call 1890 200 078] (50c per ticket service charge applies on phone or creditcard bookings)

Strictly over 18′s, I.D. may be required.


Whelan’s Indie Club /// ZEBRA /// [Live Bands and guest DJs] w/ Late Bar from 10:30pm (Free entry before 10:30pm).