Monday, 22 August 2011

Back In The USA!!

Hi Everyone

Before we head off back to the USA, we start with a few words from Darren following his beloved Kilkenny Cats win at Croke Park, as well as news of his new profile on Google+

"KK need a huge one for the next day. Let's hope it's in them. Woo hoo"

"Today I took Josh to see Kilkenny play in Croke Park for the first time and he loved every minute of it. He wore the Black and Amber with pride and roared on the Cats with his dad just like I did with my dad all those years ago. And so it begins......"


Darren has had a Google profile for a while and this has now been upgraded to a Google+ account. They say that Google+ may be bigger than Facebook and is one for the future, although it is currently still under development with sign up by invitation only. If you are on Google+, please add Darren to your circles. If you would like an invite, please email us at


Stop Press Latest!!

Just in case you missed the 'Stop Press' added to the last blog a couple of days after it was published. With special thanks to Anne and Peter Greb, we now have a recording of the interview they did with the High Kings while they were in Germany. You can listen to the interview and their recording of 3 songs live from the show in 'The Cave' on the player on Darren's official website.

Heading for America!

"Well, after a long travel day from Dublin to New York, onto Minneapolis, then a 2 hour drive, we are finally here in La Crosse, Wisconsin. but looking forward to playing the festival tomorrow night!"

"! Thanks to Casey, our great promoter in Wisconsin, we have had an amazing meal at Piggy's! Totally top class despite the name. Great laugh. Brilliant show tonight, super crowd. On to St Paul tomorrow morning for 2 days. Can it really be a year since we played that festival??"

Irish Festival of Minnesota - St Paul

"Just arrived in St Paul for the Festival. We play tonight at 5pm and tomorrow at 2pm. Weather looks good so bring it on!!!"

"Absolutely massive crowd tonight in St Paul, Minnesota. Loved every second of it. Huge reaction and the weather was amazing. Can't wait to do it all again tomorrow at 2pm!"

Special thanks to Sarah Veverka for sharing her photos of The High Kings in St Paul with us. All photos on the following slide are copyright Sarah Veverka Photography

"Lovely show today under scorching sunshine at the Minnesota fair. Absolutely drained from the sun, but what a super audience again! few days off now to recharge."

"What a great city St Paul is. Thanks to Dave at "Anytime Fitness" for allowing me to work out there this morning. Beautiful weather here, and no better way to chill than grabbing a Starbucks and catching some ray's!"

RIP Elvis August 16 1977

Darren has always been a huge Elvis fan and couldn't let the day go by without a few words for his idol.

"34 years ago today, my mum walked into my bedroom and said to me and Vinnie "You will never guess who has died?" I immediately said Elvis! Even as a young child he played a major part in my life and it continues to this day. The world will never again witness anything like him. There will only ever be one Elvis! Long live the King!"

Back on the road!!

"Getting ready to leave St Paul for the 6 hour drive to Milwaukee. Another beautiful day which kicks off what should be a massive weekend for us."

Milwaukee Irish Fest

"Milwaukee!! What a first night! Amazing crowd, and this was meant to be the quietest night?? Can't wait for the next 3 then! :)
Seriously, great fun and a great vibe all round. Great to see so many HK fan's that travelled so far to be there. You know who you guy's are.
Let's do it all again on the Harley Davidson stage tomorrow night!"

"Milwaukee!!! If last night was crazy, then tonight was off the scale entirely!
Massive audience and the loudest for a long time! Beautiful setting yet again. Loved it big time. We are live again tomorrow night at 8.30pm."

"Milwaukee! once again I have been left speechless. What an amazing, loud, wild, massive audience you were tonight! I didn't want it to end. Thank you! Tomorrow is the final HK show of the festival and you can be sure we will go out with a bang!"

"Went out with a massive bang today. What a crowd!! Under glorious sunshine, it was one of the best days of performing ever. I can never thank Milwaukee enough for the reaction to The town I loved so well. Took me completely by surprise. Can't wait to hopefully do it all over again next year!!"

Darren and the the rest of the lads now have a couple of days off before their final show in the US at the Rocky Mountain Irish Festival in Loveland Denver Co.

We'll be back again soon with more news.

Thanks for your continued support

Darren & The DH Team

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Kings in Germany at the Balve Hohle!

Hi Everyone

The High Kings took a short break from their festivals in the US to make a whistlestop visit to Germany for their first ever performance at the Balve Hohle. The event was an overwhelming success winning them many more new fans as well as finally delivering a dream to those German fans that had been patiently waiting to see them live in their own country.

This photo slide contains official and professional photos taken at the event. Special thanks to the following for sharing them with us.

Marc Dobrick for

There were a number of videos taken on the night and this player contains a selection for you to help you appreciate the atmosphere and amazing reception they got when they took to the stage. They did their full show, going through without a break, and then returned for the finale to join Na Fianna and the Keltic Kats for Go Lassie Go. You can watch that, and a selection of songs from their set, on the player.

As well as the official photos, some of the German fans lucky enough to be at the show on Saturday night have also generously allowed us to use their photos and share a little of the experience with them.

We would also like to thank Uta Baumeister from very much for sending us the following press cuttings from the German newspapers covering the event. The text is understandably in German and huge thanks to Thomas Loffel for very kindly giving an over view of the content of the articles for the benefit of the non German fans.

08.08.2011, Süderländer
High Kings let the Cave quake!
10th Irish Folk and Celtic Music Festival at Balve with 3500 visitors.

The High Kings commented that the venue and the mood was brilliant. During the 3 days of the of the10th anniversary festival, there were 3500 visitors to Europe's biggest cave. The highlight and Saturday Night's main event was the High Kings. The group, with all their CD's achieving Platinum status, interrupted their US tour for the performance in Balve. They rocked the cave from the first moment they appeared on stage. They gave us more than 2 hours of excellent entertainment. The article mentions 2 encores, but Thomas corrected that there had been 3. The audience had been 1200 people on Saturday Night, who also got to see, Craic from Germany, Keltic Kats from Kilkenny,  and Na Fianna, a young group from Ireland. Between the performances the 1st Sauerland Pipes & Drums filled in with Scottish Music while the stage was re-organised. There were visitors from almost all parts of Germany from Hamburg to Munich and even people from Italy and France. The festival was a great success for all groups and bands.

08.08.2011, Westfalenpost

High Kings release storms of cheering in front of 1200 visitors!

Sean Reeves commented that the 10th birthday of the Irish Folk Festival succeeded much more than expected. A great firework of Irish and scottish music. Sean Reeves, the organizer of the festival, was very proud to get the High Kings for 10th anniversary of the festival. The article mentioned that all members of the High Kings are sons of legends of the Irish folk scene, although we of course know that Darren isn't, and Sean Dunphy was actually known as a Showband singer. It went on to say that they had interrupted their US tour for their first concert in Germany and that their CDs in Ireland and the States are Platinium. They did an excellent more than 2 hours lasting performance without a break. 1200 visitors were thrilled and cheering and the High Kings showed enthusiasm, power, and great expression during the acapella parts like: Red is the Rose, The Old Triangle and the special version of Go Lassie Go/ The Dutchman.
They although mention here the other groups and bands: Craic, Keltic Kats, Na Fianna and The 1st Sauerland Pipes & Drums. There was great praise for everybody.
The article mentioned that many songs were played more than once time, for instance Dirty old Town, Rocky Road to Dublin, Whiskey in the Jar and so on, but that it was very interesting to listen to the different versions of all the groups. At the end of the event, all groups that had performed on Saturday came on stage to perform a last song together and say goodbye to the audience. The festival was a great success and all the people were happy and enthusiastic about the High Kings. 

09.08.2011, Westfalenpost 
New stage provides a unique atmosphere
Soundproblems because of Bands own mixers. Hopes for a light financial plus

The decision to change the concept for placement of the stage for the festival at club Balve proved to be right. The Club' s bosses decided not to build a stand, because of  financial pressures. Sean Reeves, the event organiser, commented that he´d been very sceptical about  placing the stage on the dance floor and not in the right hand cave arm, like in former years. But it turned out to be a positive surprise for all. The acoustics were brilliant, cause the bands now played directly into the cave.
A very special and unique ambience was created this way and a special installation of the lighting brought the cave into the right place. The sound was a great point of discussion in the audience. Sometimes ingenious, at other times totally mushy. Technical boss Stephan Haarmann commented: All bands with their own sound mixer sounded bad in the beginning, it´s very difficult for a soundman to work in a cave. Anybody who´s not willing to listen to the advice of the cave pros will have big problems. The High Kings had to fight this point when they started with the performance, but they made it in the end by boundless enthusiasm. It is written in the article that the High Kings actually wanted to do a short gig and go back to the hotel, which was completely untrue, they knew they were booked as Saturday Night main act and they were on fire for their first concert in Germany.

Celtic Rock 

Google translation of an article from Celtic Rock Music in Germany. To read the original article in German​/11948

The High Kings did an interview for Celtic Rock while they were in Germany. The interview has been transcribed for the Celtic Rock Music website. This article is in German, but if you paste the URL in to a Google search it should bring the page up as the first link with an option to translate the page. 

Celtic Rock Interview

That is all we have for you from Germany for the moment, although we will soon have a recording of an interview the High Kings did with Peter Greb for a German community radio "Radio Unerhört Marburg" and for the internet radios, Ireland and, USA soon!

You can listen in live to the interview!!
Saturday 13th August

"We will start at 7 pm Irish Time and 2 pm Eastern Standard Time in the USA. You will get an evening with a lot of good music, most of it from the Irish Scene, old and new. There's an interview with the Irish Group "The High Kings" (Finbarr Clancy, Martin Furey, Darren Holden and Brian Dunphy) on their trip to Germany. They did an outstanding concert in Balve. We will talk about it. Please join us for this "Big Irish Night" on and enjoy the music. We hope to see you all in the Chat of"

Stop Press Latest!!

Special thanks to Anne and Peter Greb for giving us a recording of the interview they did with the High Kings while they were in Germany. You can listen to the interview and their recording of 3 songs from the show on the player on

We'll leave Germany with a few words from Darren as he arrived back in Ireland!

"Just landed back in Dublin after an amazing night in Germany!
Massive crowd and on the more memorable shows to date.
Now.....Come on The Cats!!

The Kilkenny Cats won their All Ireland Senior Championship Semi Final and will be heading for the final again this year! A good weekend all round for Darren!

He is now heading back to the US with the rest of the High Kings to take up where they left off with a series of Irish festivals. We'll be back with more news from the US as soon as we have it.

Thanks for your continued support

Darren and the DH Team

Friday, 5 August 2011

Good News, Utica NY, and Pittsburgh!

Hi Everyone

The High Kings have just finished their first run of US Irish festivals before a short break and we  bring you photos and video from the last few shows. Also, thanks to your support, we are pleased that Darren's various official sites are continuing to flourish. Have you visited all of his sites yet? You can find direct links to them all on the left of this blog!

Good News!!

We have two pieces of good news to celebrate. On the 3rd August, just 7 months after Darren's new official website was launched, it has reached 25,000 views! If you've not visited the site, why not pop by there now? You'll find everything you need to know about Darren and all the various phases of his career to date.

And that's not all!!

We are also thrilled to report that Darren is currently at Number 1 in the Reverbnation Singer/Songwriter chart for Dublin. He also holds the number 2 slot nationally in Ireland!

Great American Irish Festival Utica NY

After the rain washed out most of the Saturday night shows in Cleveland, they were hoping for better weather in up state NY. It looked as if they were going to be unlucky once again! Fortunately, this time when the rain came, the show could still go on!

"Wow. Spent 5 hours on a beautifully scenic train ride from NYC to Syracuse today. Totally chilled after 4 days of Big Apple mayhem. Great to hook up with everyone there. Tomorrow The High Kings go to The Great American Irish Festival in Utica NY for 2 nights.

Rainy day in upstate New York."

"What a great night tonight at the Great American Irish Festival. Huge crowd who braved yet more torrential rain to come and sing their lungs out with us, and thanks to the festival organizers for having such a well run event happening! Great catching up with so many familiar faces too. Roll on tomorrow!"

"Holy crap. Ridiculously large crowd this evening for our show at the festival, and took LOUD to a whole new level. Great fun. What a night!"

Hartwood Acres Pittsburgh

"7 hours drive to get here to Pittsburgh!! Quick change and now off to soundcheck!! arghhhh"

"Tonight was a night to remember. The most stunning setting that we have played in to date. Hartwood Acre's Pittsburgh. We arrived onstage to a 5,000 strong crowd while the sun was setting, and the atmosphere was just electric. Beautiful night. This leg of the US summer tour is done as we head home tomorrow night for a few days. Can't wait to see my gang!"

Final words from Darren.....

"Back on the home turf again for a few days after a long overnight flight from Atlanta. Off out to the sunshine with the kiddies!"

The High Kings have returned home to Ireland for just a few days. They have a whistlestop visit to Germany to perform at at the Balver Hohle this weekend, then after a few more days in Ireland will be heading back to the US for more festivals. Hopefully Darren will get to see his beloved Kilkenny Cats beat Waterford and book their place in another All Ireland Hurling Final on Sunday!

We'll be back with all the news of Germany and the rest of the US festivals soon.

Until then, thanks for your continued support.

Darren and the DH Team

Monday, 1 August 2011

Killarney, Cork and Cleveland USA!

Hi Everyone

It been a little while since we have done a news update as the focus was on the Kilimanjaro Climb For Kids Documentary with our last blog. We will start with a little update on that before moving on to the High Kings shows in Ireland and across the pond.

 Kilimanjaro, the reaction!

"Absolutely bowled over by the enormous reaction to the documentary tonight. The phone and FB hasn't stopped!! What's most amazing about all this, is not only the lifelong bonds that are formed with everyone who climbed Kilimanjaro, but the awareness for "Our Lady's" in Crumlin thats has been highlighted again throughout the country. Thanks so much for all of your kind comments tonight! Its a proud moment for us all."

"Climb for Kids Director Michael Sheridan has confirmed the official RTE viewership figures from last night's documentary was a whopping 365,000 viewers or 25% of audience market share!!!"

One final newspaper article, received too late for the Kilimanjaro special 

Sunday Mirror 17 July 2011

High Kings in Ireland!

"Castlebar!! Time and time again the Royal Theatre just never lets us down! What a night! What a party! What a crowd!"

"Kilross! Amazingly out if control crowd with loads of old friends!! Loved it!!
On to Killarney!!!"

Gleneagle Hotel Killarney, and Neptune Stadium Cork

The High Kings set off for Killarney for the first of their 3 shows scheduled there this summer. They were performing in the Ballroom of the INEC Gleneagle Hotel and the tables in the dance floor area to make way for additional seating. Just as well as the sign above the box office said 'Standing room only for the High Kings' The audience were treated with not just one, but two performances by young wannabee High Kings.

"INEC Killarney! Literally wedged with a sensational audience who wanted it bad! They got it too! Brilliant night. Here's to next Saturday. If it's anything like tonight we are in for a treat!"

"Morning all. About to head to Cork for tonight's show with John Spillane at Neptune Stadium. Should be a blast.

Huge thanks to the 5th High King Adam O' Sullivan for once more tearing the house down with his dazzling vocal skills last night. The man's a legend. Sam Dunphy also showed us how it's really done too, a born entertainer."

"Just met the main man!!"

"Neptune Stadium Cork! Amazing night!! Brilliant crowd. Great vibe."

This player has a number of videos recorded at both the Killarney and Cork shows.

Off to Donegal, then back to Killarney!

"Tomorrow marks a new chapter in The High Kings domestic touring schedule. We fly to our show in Co Donegal! I kid you not."

"The new HK mode of transport."

"Wow! Long long day, but tonight's superb audience made it so worthwhile.

Fantastic crowd here in Ballyliffin, who sang and laughed their way through 2 hours with us tonight. Great fun."

"Up at 6am to fly back to Dublin, and then on to Killarney for another concert at the INEC tomorrow night."

"Massive night a the INEC! Just Massive. Loudest crowd in months. So nice to have the family there too. Makes it extra special to sing the songs my mam and dad taught me, and dedicate it to them. Homebound in the morning."

"We're coming to America......"

Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival

As the High Kings set off for America and their first festival in Cleveland OH they were hearing of soaring temperatures and knew they were going to be melting in the heat. They didn't expect that there would also be a fear of drowning and washed out shows!

"Just ended up a very long but enjoyable day of travel. Spent the day laughing with Tommy Fleming who is also on the festival this weekend.

The heat is unreal here in Cleveland, and tomorrow we kick off the first of 5 shows! Bring it on."

"Wow, did I sleep that long!! Beautiful day outside, Dunphy is at the pool! :)
Gym first though! Need to wake up."

"First gig of the Cleveland Festival done! Great crowd, and after todays massive thunder storm it was actually a lovely night! Thanks to everyone who turned out to see us. Back at it again tomorrow."

"OK Cleveland....What's with these storms!!"

"Well we reached the halfway point in the show today before yet another massive storm disrupted proceeding's. People ran left right and centre for cover. This weather is nuts!

Tonight's show depend's on how the clouds behave so...let's see!"

"Tonight's show has been cancelled due to the rain and storms. Oh well, at least we have tomorrow!"

This player has a number of fan videos of the High Kings performing at all the 2011 US festivals.

"Cleveland! Thanks for a great weekend! Huge crowd tonight for our last performance. Brian and I joined Tommy Fleming tonight in his show, for a performance of "Red is The Rose" and " Raglan Road" Really enjoyed that!

Early start in the morning for me as I am going to favourite city for 4 days! Woo hoo!!"

"Loved being back in the Big Apple. Loads done and the buzz here is electric as always. Heading to Syracuse to hook u with the guys tomorrow night."
Darren did hook up with the guys in Syracuse ready to hit the next festival on their schedule in Frankfort NY, The Great American Irish Festival! We'll be back with news of that soon.
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Thanks for your continued support

Darren and the DH Team