Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Merry Christmas from Darren

Darren's Christmas Message

Ho Ho Ho!!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Are you all ready? Shopping done? Munchies at the ready?

My answer to that is the usual. NO!!!! Eeek....

It's just been a crazy time over the last few weeks for HK and myself and shopping has had to wait until next week at the earliest. I traditionally like the buzz of last minute shopping. I always remember my childhood Christmas Eve's were spent in Woolworths in Waterford, where I my 7 year old self would run around picking up gifts for my family. Happy times. Maybe that's why I always leave it late! : )

I want to thank you all for your amazing support and friendship throughout 2013 and here's promising that 2014 is gearing up to be the biggest HK and DH year yet.

Stick around and jump aboard. You won't regret it.

Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year.

God Bless.

Darren's Christmas Songs

These are two original Christmas Songs written by Darren with Bryan Steele

Darren KCLR FM Christmas 2009

Back in December 2009, Darren dropped in to KCLR to chat to Sue Nunn about his favorite books. Not expecting to sing he arrived without his guitar and performed a couple of impromptu songs. Listen to the chat and Darren performing acappella versions of Blue Christmas and Oh Holy Night.


Christmas at The White House

Dec 5th 2004. Darren was invited by President and Mrs Bush to perform with the US Marine Corps Band at the annual National Christmas tree lighting at The White House. Darren performed some seasonal standards along with a Billy Joel classic.

Here he is at the end of the night sharing a mic with the president to sing Jingle Bells!

A visit to see Santa....

“Taking my kids to see Santa Claus today, and just found this pic of me going to see him many moons ago! I'm just as excited!”

Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall

The High Kings joined the Young Voices choir on their Arena tour winter 2011/2012. The tour incl a very special Christmas charity concert in aid of CLIC Sargent at The Royal Albert Hall. Here they are singing Step It Out Mary! Watch through to the end when a couple of thousand children join in the singing in their Santa hats!

Earlier in the show they performed Rocky Road to Dublin and Whiskey in the Jar. They returned to the stage to close the show with the Queen Finale, Brian providing the lead vocal for Who Wants To Live Forever and Darren rocking the stage with One Vision, before they both took things up a gear out in to the audience for Don't Stop Me now, with a little help from Finbarr. Watch it all here!

Christmas Eve on Grafton Street

On Christmas Eve 2008, the High Kings joined Joe Duffy for the RTE R1 broadcast live from Grafton St. Here they are singing God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. You can listen and download with our compliments!


High Kings Christmas classics

The High Kings recorded two Christmas classics, Driving Home For Christmas and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, which were included on the Celtic Woman 'A Celtic Family Christmas' CD a few years ago. Unfortunately, the CD isn't readily available now, but you can hear the songs courtesy of these two You Tube videos.

We hope you have enjoyed a little Christmas cheer from Darren and the High Kings.

We will be back with all the news in 2014, for now we will sign off 2013, wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and good health and happiness for the New Year.

Thanks you all for your continued support

Darren and the DH Team

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

New York, Dublin, RTE, and More..

Sony Showcase - New York City

“On plane about to take off for New York where we will be performing a special acoustic set at the Irish Consulate, and later at the Mc Kittrick Hotel.”

“New York City!! As always, you never let me down. Great night in Manhattan with a warm, loud and totally fun crowd. So many friends at the show tonight. Great to see everyone. Huge thanks to everyone for coming to the show.”

The following photos and video are courtesy and copyright of Margaret Cowen

Playlist of videos from the Kitterick Hotel Show

Irish World Interview

Darren and Martin were interviewed by UK Irish newspaper Irish World before the High Kings 'Friends For Life UK Tour.

CLICK HERE  for readable version

Bord Gais Theatre Dublin

“Dublin Billboard Advertising for next week's opening night of the new tour at The BGET.”

“Rehearsals complete for the new tour kicking off tomorrow night here in Dublin at the BGET. Who's coming to see us around Ireland on this tour?”

“Tonight we kick off the brand new High Kings Irish Tour at The Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin.
Should be a great night.
See you all there.”

"Sound check"

“Just met up with my old pal Edele from Bewitched backstage. Must be at least 17 years since we shared a stage together. Time flies.”

“What an amazing opening night to the tour. Incredible. Loudest crowd in ages and a total blast from start to finish.
Thanks Dublin!!”

John Murray Show RTE Radio 1

“The High Kings will be live on RTE Radio 1 tomorrow morning with John Murray at 9am.”

The High Kings on RTE Radio 1 with John Murray. Following an announcement that the Monty Python show had sold out is seconds, they began by looking on the bright side of life! The songs, Friends For Life and Leave Her Johnny have been edited due to the download option of file. Enjoy!


The High Kings sing for RTÉ TEN

The High Kings give an amusing interview and perform Leave Her Johnny, for RTE TEN. Watch them both here!


Irish Consulate Performance

The High Kings performing at the Irish Consulate 1 November 2013 to announce the Honorable Jack Ahern as the Grand Marshall for the 2014 St Patrick's Day Parade. Photographs copyright of James Higgins and Dominick Totino Photography

Cliff Richard

“Michelle and I had the honour of meeting and chatting with Sir Cliff Richard on Friday. An absolute gentleman and legend.” 

Irish Music Magazine

“Irish Music Magazine article.”

CLICK HERE for readable version

Darren on WLR FM

“Hey folks. Tune in to the legendary Geoff Harris on WLR FM around 2.15pm today. I will be chatting to him in advance of The High Kings concert tonight at The Theatre Royal in Waterford.”

Listen to Darren chatting to Geoff Harris on WLR FM ahead of the show at Waterford's Theatre Royal that night.


TG4 – Geantrai Na Nollaig

“Tomorrow The High Kings are Offaly bound to film "Geantrai Na Nollaig" for TG4 in the beautiful surroundings of Kinnitty Castle. The show will be broadcast on Christmas Night and will also feature some other well know folk and trad artists. Should be fun.”

“Tonight's venue for Christmas TG4 taping. Kinnitty Castle.”

“Brilliant night in Kinnitty Castle taping TG 4 Christmas special.
Met up with some great friends, Martin O' Connor, Donal Lunny, John John Spillane.
The show will be broadcast on Christmas Night.”

HK Irish Tour hits the road

“This Sunday Night The High Kings will return to The Theatre Royal Waterford. Always a great night and brilliant crowd. Looking forward to being back in the aul' stomping ground.”

“Waterford!! What a night! Full house at The Theatre Royal. Rockin' from start to end. Great to see all my family and old friends and really nice to see the big turnout from the Mooncoin crowd!
'Oh Maggie' Holden had a blast!!
Thanks to everyone once again.
Back in Dublin and Zzzzzzz.....time”

The High Kings announced – “The High Kings are performing a very special 1 hour set at the Button Factory this coming Friday at 1pm. It's all part of Fiver Friday and in aid of The Simon Community. Tickets are......A FIVER.”

Button Factory photos courtesy and copyright Anja Muller

“On route to University Concert Hall in Limerick on a rainy Friday evening.”

“Limerick you are indeed a lady!!
What a fantastic crowd and totally there to party!
Brilliant night. Thanks to everyone for coming out in such huge numbers.”

Other Updates from Darren...

“50 years ago today The Beatles came to Dublin.
Time Machine please!”

“Love, Hope and Healing to the people of The Philippines. They need it. So tragic.”

“Monday workout done. Now I'm going home to cry....#damnthathurt”

“Still Top 20 after 7 weeks.”

“4 miles done at gym. Feet up tonight to kick off season 3 of Love Hate. Yes, I know I'm behind but we will be up to speed by the weekend!”

“One of my favourite nights ever playing The Library at Lillies Bordello. Unreal buzz. Great and very loud crowd. Great to see so many musicians in tonight. Plus to the wild ladies from the Hen party ......WOW!!
Good times.”

“Sending prayers and sympathy to all those affected by the terrible tornados and storms in the USA.”

“JFK. 50”

“Kilkenny wins top award for best large tourism town led by Kilkenny Tourism and Keep Kilkenny Beautiful. Congrats to everyone involved! Great achievement.”

"’Friends for Life’ is back up 2 places to 23 in this weeks album chart. 10 weeks in the Top 30! Yay
Thanks to everyone who is buying the album and keeping us there.”

“Rest in Peace Nelson Mandela. The world is a lesser place immediately.”

“Nothing like a night of enjoyable mayhem in Lillies. Great crowd. Great fun. Nuts in a festive kinda way!”

“John Lennon. Legend. 33 Years gone today.”

That's all the news for now, we'll be back with more news as we have it!

Thanks for your continued support

Darren and the DH Team

Monday, 4 November 2013

Friends For Life Germany, Amsterdam, and More

German Tour


“Brian and I just did a radio interview here.”

“Just finished Munich Radio interview with Brian and ready to folk and roll with our German Friends as we kick off the tour here tonight at 8pm.”

“Munich!! Amazing night. What a welcome to Germany. Way too kind. Thanks so much!
On to Berlin tomorrow!!”


“Hello Berlin!”

“Berlin! What an amazing welcome! Loved every second of it! Huge crowd and loud as.....
Very nice to meet our German Sony family afterwards too!
Good times.”


“Frankfurt!! Wow. Really loving Germany. Such a wild audience tonight!!
Massive and loud crowd!
Heading home for 2 days in the morning. Can't wait!!!”


“What a great night in Osnabruck. Mad crowd and totally out to party. Loved it.
Thanks to a very fun audience for making it special.
On to Cologne.”

Photos of the concert from Karsten Rzehak Concert Photography


“About to drive 2 hours to Cologne for the penultimate show of the "Friends for Life" German tour. It's just been the best time so far, and we are looking forward to closing out on a "HIGH".”

“Tonight's Venue in Cologne.”

“Cologne. What can I say!
My favourite German show of the tour. Amazing setting, great great crowd!!
One to remember

Final show in Hamburg tomorrow!”

Photo courtesy and copyright Rainer Keuenhof via

More Rainer Keuenhof Photos from Cologne Show


“Stir crazy on tour bus.”

“Nice to be back in Hamburg. Final show of a very successful tour of Germany!! Looking forward to it. Was a stormer here last year.”


“What a way to finish the German tour!! Hamburg. Incredible volume from you guys. Loved every second of tonight. Thanks so much Germany!!

German Tour Fan Photos

The link is in German. The page has a translation link for Google, but those unable to do that, this is the translation pasted below.

The High Kings - A balancing act between tradition and modernity

4 October 2013 by Andreas Winkelsträter

They are the most popular Irish folk band on stage and play together up to 13 instruments: The High Kings. Here are their own voices with which they sing their own songs as well as the Irish traditionals in perfect harmony, not even counted. SOUND FIELD spoke with Darren Holden about the upcoming tour of Germany and the new album "Friends for Life", the on Friday, 4th October appears.

"The High Kings" have already celebrated great success in Ireland and the United States. How did it all start?

Darren Holden: Back then, we all four got a call today our manager Dave Kavanagh. We knew him because he was also the manager of Clanned: was (note Irish band). And he was with Paul McGuiness in the management of U2 in the early days. Dave had the idea. to create a completely new folk and ballad band in the Celtic tradition for the new millennium. All this for a whole new generation of listeners. I lived at the time in New York, just my four-year commitment to Billy Joel's "The Pianoman" had ended on Broadway. In June 2007, I flew to Ireland to meet. There I also met Brian Dunphy. Brian and I were together in Riverdance on Broadway and have toured together a few years traveling the world. I thought it was wonderful that he was there. Because Dave's idea of the new band was awesome. Finbarr Clancy and Martin Furey are the other two of our quartet.

And then it went off very quickly?

Darren Holden: Yeah, we started very quickly with the samples. We were immediately on the same wavelength - both musically and personally. It felt everything so fresh and new. That was great. Everything was as we would work together for a long time. We wanted to bring nothing stale. Just as the Dubliners, for example, in the 1960s. We wanted something new, and quickly as possible. And in a short time have been able to convince the EMI in Ireland and in the USA by our idea and get a contract. In March 2008, we have then already released our first album.

And you were equally successful ...

Darren Holden: Yeah, that was an incredible success. Thus we have can not be expected. We are entered directly into the U.S. in the world music charts on the 2nd place. We have huge festivals played in front of thousands of people in England and Ireland. And then we decided that it must go on, that we stay together. We want like to expand as long as it is running. And it seems as run all still excellent.

The band's name is "High Kings". Who had the idea and meaning of the name?
Darren Holden: That was our manager. He wanted to celebrate that we are all High Kings in Ireland and strains of royal descent in our country. The High Kings come from all four directions. And Dave picked us also at four different corners of the world. It is basically a name that stands for a lot of power, has many cross-connections to Irish music and culture. We want to maintain the tradition of Irish music despite the changes. And as our name fits perfectly. We are now the new generation of High Kings, the tackle it now and it drives forward.

In Ireland, there are a lot of successful folk band. Was there not a risk to start with something completely new?

Darren Holden: Of course, when you start something like this in Ireland in the folk area, so that a risk is always connected. How far someone is willing to take the risk to each is left to itself. Therefore we were very careful in the beginning, to remove us from the not too far, what the purists want. We were not allowed to break up between us and the many traditional bands the band. But honestly, I can not really properly describe how we the people have welcomed here with open arms here in Ireland. Of course, there is always the risk that certain groups do not like you and you do not welcome as a new ballad group. Because many of the ballads are built on nostalgia and things that have happened in the past. But we could not be happier with all the many positive reactions.

Why the High Kings are just now coming to Germany?

Darren Holden: Last year it was a happy coincidence that we were on a short tour, ten dates in Germany. Over the Internet or even Facebook have figured out the dates the German fans. And, it's hard to believe that all shows were sold out. Completely. We do not know how all this could happen. We started in Berlin. The church was packed to the rafters. And it was even better. Now it is time to release an album of new material in Germany with us.

New album "Friends for Life" from 4 October

On 4 October, the new album "Friends for Life" appears. Can you tell me something about working on the album?
Darren Holden: We decided one and a half years ago, record a new album. And as we were keen for the Irish accordionist Sharon Shannon. With it we went into the studio together. And really, we were not satisfied with our songs that we had there in the studio. And I think I was even's, who simply plays a traditional song, I think "Oh. Maggie, "the first song on our new album. That's what I've been working for some time, because my mother's name is Maggie. And I wanted to write a song with her name. Sharon has fell in love with the song. And then the other three guys came and worked on the harmonies. And very quickly we had arranged our first traditional song. And Sharon wanted more of this kind of music. And we have a lot of material, since we all write. And we have selected the best of the. We have eight of the songs on the album and packed four elderly. So we kept the balance between tradition and modernity.

You are now particularly excited because it is the first album in Germany?

Darren Holden: You're always nervous. But that is always positive for me. The anticipation of Germany outweighs with me. Germany, which is a huge market for us. I look forward to this challenge now for us to expect one of the largest music markets in the world. The other boys. With hard work and Irish luck, we'll make it
"Our fans are friends for life"

The name means "Friends for Life": Do you think that the fans who have heard the High Kings once, be friends for life?

Darren Holden: Most certainly. One hundred per cent. We have many intimate connections with our fans, which we have since our founding, and also to those who are only our followers recently. And many of these contacts have now become friends. We remain as best we can, with all in contact. And with Facebook we've got a whole new dimension. That makes things a lot easier - and the global.

And now you are preparing for the tour in Germany?

Darren Holden: We have already started in Ireland with advertising. In the last week we were in the famous Irish TV show. In Ireland, the album is already on the market. And it is already in the TOP 10 Now we are in the studio and rehearse the new songs for about five days. On 5 October we start the UK tour. And from there it's off to Germany directly. And we are very pleased. We are already really excited.

What will you play in Germany?

Darren Holden: This will be a mix of our three studio albums. We will select two of the older albums, what we consider to be the most famous pieces. And with the pieces of "Friends for Life" we will tinker it a two-hour show. But I can already tell there are also some surprises, songs that are not on the albums. I think that we have a large body with the material from three albums. Most of our German fans know the lyrics of our songs au of the first two albums. And now the challenge is to learn the lyrics of the brand new Album (laughs).

Interview with Darren and Finbarr for

The interview is again in German, but we have the following translation with courtesy of Thomas Loffal. Thanks Thomas.

The High Kings in Interview, TZ Munich

 8th October 2013

Munich - The most popular Folkband of Ireland is playing at the "Freiheizhalle" at October the 16th. Darren Holden and Finbarr Clancy talk about Fan-Love, Passion and the Future.

For all those who still do not know you, would you describe yourself please.

Darren: The High Kings are: Darren Holden, Brian Dunphy, Finbarr Clancy and Martin Furey. We came together 2007, when our Manager Dave Kavanagh presented to us the idea, to join all together to found a brandnew Celtic-Group for the new Millenium. We all knew each other before, but I´d worked together only with Brian Dunphy until then, in New York City for "Riverdance on Broadway". We felt "Good Vibes" from the first moment on. Nevertheless, it was the first time, that we were playing and singing all together as a group and ´t was great luck that audience all over the World loved that and gave us a very warm welcome with wide opened arms.

Finbarr: Additional to that, we´re all children of musicians. I am the son of Bobby Clancy, from the famous folkgroup: The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem. Martin is the son of Finbar Furey, who was member of: The Furey Brothers & Davey Arthur. Brian´s father was Seán Dunphy, who was representing Ireland 1967 at the Eurovision Song Contest and Darrens great-grandfather was a famous piper on the Isle. We can say, music was layed in the cradle for all of us.

And what kind of music is it exactely, that you play as such "natural born" musicians?

Darren: The High Kings revitalized this special kind of classical, traditional music which is so typical for Ireland. While staying very close to the original versions of the songs we grew with the music. Our intention was to let them sound fresher and more modern, to generate interest for this kind of music in a new generation, even by the younger people.

Finbarr: To make it simple: The High Kings are playing so called "Irish Folk" in a modern way and additional to that our Original Songs, written by ourselves, like you can listen on our new album "Friends for Life".

From which side did you get the greatest support and influence at the start of your carreer as a group?

Darren: The irish Entertainment legend Shay Healy was our coach in the beginning. He helped us to get into the history of the songs and the songwriters and he was was it who reminded us at the rich variety of the art and music we would gonna perform all over the world. He was, and still is a valuable benefit for the High Kings. And he has always one or two great jokes in stock!

Finbarr: It´s thanks to Shay that I joined the High Kings. He was the first contacting me when the Band was formed! Thanks to You, Shay!

You had very loyal fans, right from the start of the Group. What was your most impressing experience with them?

Finbarr: Most impressing for me are our friends from Bavaria, Thomas and Karin Loffel. They travelled in the past, parallel to our tours, through Ireland and Germany, and they even came to London when we were showcasing our own new material for our new album. Thomas made straps for our instruments and Karin was baking cakes, cookies and more for us. They are wonderful and we love them! (Thanks Finbarr, you embarrassing us, have a red head, but thanks from the heart!)

It difficult for me, to pick out only one single moment, because we are always thrilled by the enthusiasm and the attention of all our fans - at home, like all over the world. They have little gifts for us, like T-Shirts and Sweets. They invent even a High Kings Beer, that was in Germany again, by the way. Great Thanks to "T&K", in this sense. What I´m trying to say, our fans are the very best reason for us to keep on going every time, because they give us all their appreciation, all the time.

You all together play 13 different instruments. Wow! With such a wide variety, how do you decide which ones you gonna use in your new compositions? And is there a kind of "Basic-Instrument", you usually start with?

Darren: For usual, we know intuitively which instruments harmonize best with the songs. I think, that results on the fact that we know each other quite well musically and we the special way each of us sounds with his instrument. It´s just a little bit crazy, how it does everything by itself, when we work together.

Finbarr: To answer on your second question: I write my songs for usual with an acoustic Guitar, that´s my main instrument. I play Banjo, Bass Guitar and Flute too, but in my eyes, the Guitar is a very versatile insrument, quite handy for composing songs. My own creative process starts normally with a chord sequence and the rhythm, then follows the tune for the singing and finally I do the lyrics. But sometimes I do it the other way, many songwriters start with the lyrics, everybody has it´s own way of doing this.

After your first album you changed from Stage-Acting-Style to a "re-energized folkgroup" (OMG, wonder where he did get these terms?). Where will you see the the High Kings at the next step of evolution?

Darren: I think we did a lot for revival of the comecial Irish Folk Music - in Ireland, in the USA and beyond. But we worked as well bringin in our own special style into this genre. Doin so, since we have already achieved a lot. With our new album "Friends for Life" we extended the limits again, by recording eight original-songs. I think we simply needed and wanted that, to set targets on a high level in within Irish Folk Music. The results, in our eyes, are very promising and encouraging.

Finbarr: That´s right, I´m the same opinion, that the next step is the way of the original-songs. "Friends for Life" is our first step into this direction. We had a lot of fun to work on our own compositions. Every single step on the songs - the thinking up, the arrangement, the recording and mixing - that´s all very satisfying and worthwhile. I think it was only a question of time to release our own compositions, cause all four of us are song-writers.

Considering this development: Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?

Finbarr: That´s easy! We would like to see ourselves as an established institution of music in Europe, the USA, Australia and at every place where the people would love to listen to our music! I wish to have so much fun further on and to bring new and innovative music to a fan base, interested in it.


“Just back from a great workout at "Fitness for Free" in Amsterdam. Love this city and so happy to be back once again. Getting ready to head out on the town with the lads and crew for a few cups of tea and cookies. : )”


“Just spent the day wandering around this amazing city. What a great place to get lost in. Loved it. Final show of the tour tonight, and what a tour its been. Amsterdam, thanks for having us. We'll be back. : )”

“Out of all the shows we have done in 5 years, never have I encountered a wilder, louder crowd for a HK show. Couldn't have prayed for a better finish to the European tour. Thanks Amsterdam.
Homeward Bound.”

Good Times!

“Got a private Gig with The High Kings this evening, but hoping it finishes in time so I can stop over to the O2 to see my old Boss Billy in concert!”

“Cool private High Kings event at Google offices.”

“Hanging' backstage with my old gang!
Good times!”

“Hanging with the band and loving the reminiscing!!
Way too good a time tonight. Face sore from laughing!
I miss these guys so much!
Billy was beyond amazing!!
Great great times!!!”

Other Status Updates From Darren

“Friends for life is up 2 places this week from 13 to 11 in the Irish Top 30 album chart.”

“Unreal!! We are up to number 10 in the Irish Top 30!!
That's 4 weeks in a row in the top 15. Amazing!!
Thanks everyone.”

“Wow. "Live in Ireland" has re-entered the Top 40 albums at number 37. Not bad for a 3 year old record. "Friends for Life" 6 weeks in Top 20 at number 13.”

“Lou Reed has taken a final walk to the Wild side. RIP”

“Having just finished a lovely tour of the UK, I would like to offer prayers and well wishes to all those bereaved or affected by the terrible storms over there. Stay safe if you all can. RIP Donal Drohan.”

“About to head to Tyrone for a festival appearance tonight with THK. Tomorrow morning we fly to New York City for a very special private set, followed by a full show at The Mc Kittrick Hotel for Sony Music and 200 friends and fans that snapped up the limited number of tickets available. : )”

“Unreal night in Fintona Co Tyrone. Look up wild in the dictionary and you'll see a pic of this place!!! Crazy!!
On to NYC”


For all news, photos, and video, from the UK tour plus Irish Radio Promo.

That's all the news for now, we will be back with updates from the New York City show and other news as soon as we have it

Thanks for your continued support

Darren and the DH Team

Friends For Life UK Tour, Irish Radio, and More....

Irish Radio 'Friends For Life' Promo

The High Kings have had a number of performance interviews on Irish radio which we have recorded for you. As the files are downloadable, sections of the songs performed have been removed as they are from the new album.

Performance interview in the studios of Spirit FM

Spirit FM Interview

The High Kings chatting and performing in the studios of East Coast FM with Declan Meehan

East Coast FM Interview
Three of the High Kings were chatting and performing in the studio at Tipp FM with Fran Curry, they will explain where the 4th one was!

Tipp FM Interview

Friends For Life UK Tour


“On route from hotel to BBC Radio Merseyside for a live chat and song with Billy Butler”

“Brilliant interview on BBC Radio Merseyside with the legendary Billy Butler.
Walked in as "Oh Maggie" was being played! Mam is getting famous in the UK!!
Followed by Galway Girl, Johnny Leave Her plus we performed some tracks live.
Really great interview.
Just got into Epstein Theatre.
Very cool space.”

“They've come to take me home!!”


The High Kings in the studios of BBC Merseyside with Billy Butler.

“Just met The Beatles secretary Frieda Kelly backstage here in Liverpool. What a thrill”

“Wow! Liverpool! Couldn't have picked a better place to kick off the UK tour. Brilliant night, great crowd. Great vibe all over the city today which spilled over for the gig!
Gotta love home games..
On route to Gateshead now.”


 “Just back from a 4 mile Tyneside run. Lovely town. Looking forward to the show tonight at The Sage!!”

 “Thank you Tyneside!! Great night in your lovely neighbourhood.
On to Glasgow tomorrow! Haven't been up there since the Boyzone tour in 1996!!
Love Scotland!!”

“Another Tyneside run complete and ready for the trip up to Scotland at midday.
Glasgow is first up tonight!!”


Oran Mor, Glasgow “Tonight's Venue!!”

“Och Aye Nessie”

“Glasgow!!! Thanks for the great welcome!!
Super crowd. Huge voices.
Can't wait to come back!!”


“Just spent the best day walking around Edinburgh. Absolutely stunning city and a totally uplifting vibe.
Chilling before hitting the stage at 8.30pm.”

“Edinburgh, Are ya ready!”

“Last night in Scotland we paid tribute to Pogues legend and visionary Phil Chevron who passed away yesterday.
His influence was immense.
His legacy is safe.

“Sad to leave Scotland and all it's wonder's, but very happy to be getting up early in the morning to fly home for 2 days!! Can't be without my little gang for 2 long. Plus we have HK stuff to do : )”


“On route to the UK after flying home to record a slot last night for "Ireland AM"on TV3 which will air on Friday Oct 25th.
Solihull is the destination today. Show starts at 7.30pm”
“Solihull!!!!! Wow!!
My ears are still ringing! Talk about loud! Thanks so much for the amazing reception. You absolutely folked!
Best show of the tour so far!
All the Maggie's in the house take a bow.
Off to BBC Coventry and Warwickshire to record a slot with Bob Brolly which airs on Sunday. Then it's a night off in Manchester....”

Before they set off to Manchester, the High Kings dropped by BBC Coventry & Warwickshire for a chat with Bob Brolly and performed 3 songs, including Oh Maggie, live in the studio. The interview went out on BBC West Mids the following Sunday.

 BBC Coventry& Warwickshire Interview

 “BBC Coventry and Warwickshire earlier” 


“The lads hangin' out in Manchester. Cool Manc pub and Oasis blasting out”

“Tonight at 7.30pm, we hit the stage at "Band on the Wall" here in Manchester. Should be fun!”

“Holy S##t Manchester!!
Unreal noise tonight. Best show of the UK tour by far.
Mad for it!!!
Loved it. What a crowd!!
Thanks to everyone who came out to see us!”

“We met this wonderful young man last night in Manchester. He is a massive HK fan and after his parents wrote to us we surprised him with a backstage Pre show get together!
His name is Sean Harrington. 13 years old and blind since the age of 3 as the result of cancer.
His smile lit up the entire room and reminded us once again of the important things in life.
He is a gem.”


“On route from Manchester to London to play Bush Hall tonight at 7.30pm.”

“What a way to end the UK tour! Unreal crowd tonight at Bush Hall! Way loud and so into it.
Thanks UK. See ya next year!
On to Germany.”

Playlist of all the videos from Liverpool, Solihull, and London 

'High' on Ireland AM

The High Kings took a break from their 'Friends For Life' UK tour to record their first single from the album 'High' for TV3's Ireland AM.

“Folks, tomorrow morning we will be appearing on Ireland AM on TV3 performing the first single "High" from the new album. Should be on around 10am”

“The High Kings. TV3 Ireland AM. This morning. Performing "HIGH" the first single from the brand new album "Friends for Life". Check it out.”

My Great Grandfather - Jim Byrne

“Here is a picture of my Great Grandfather, Jim Byrne, playing his pipes in Tullamore in 1928.”

"Courtesy of my cousin another pic of our Great Grandad."

“This is my Great Grandfather Jim Byrne, on possibly one of the only recordings, if not the only one of him, from 1921.
Fascinating stuff.”

Jim Byrne - Audio Clip

“Musicmakers is a song that was written by myself, Brian Dunphy and Don Mescall a few years ago in California.
It celebrates where the music came from in each of us. Brian's dad, my great grandfather who was the piper Jim Byrne etc...
It's a heartfelt and uplifting song lyrically and melodically and while it’s not on the actual new album, it is however one of 2 exclusive bonus tracks available for download on I-Tunes.
We are so proud of this song as it meant so much to us to create it with Don.”


For a round up of all the news, photos, and video round up of the 'Friends for Life' German tour, Amsterdam, and other later news.

Thanks for your continued support

Darren and the DH Team

Sunday, 29 September 2013

New Album Launch 'Friends For Life'

Launch message from Darren just before the 20 September Irish release:

“After 5 years with The High Kings, 3 hit albums on EMI and Universal, countless sold out tour's, here we are kicking off the biggest, most important week of the groups career to date.
This Friday we release our brand new studio album "Friends For Life" in Ireland, which will be followed up in the coming weeks by it's release in 22 countries including Germany, UK, Spain, France, Australia and Japan.
It's the first album to contain 8 of our own songs, and also the first since signing a worldwide new record deal with Sony Music International.
The first single "High" penned by Brian and myself is at radio all over Europe now and gaining airplay daily.
Thanks to all the DJ's who have already gotten behind it and championing it. It's always great to hear it.
I'm excited to say that we will be popping up on a big TV show this week to launch the album. Should be fun.
Thanks to all the HK fans past, present and future for all your support in getting us here. It's very appreciated.

New Single 'High'

Our new single "High" is now at every radio station in the country. Lets make it a hit. Tell your local station, You want to hear it now!

“The lead off single from the brand new High Kings album "Friends for Life" has gone out to Radio all over the UK. It's called "High" and was written by myself and Brian Dunphy last year in Albany, New York.
To all my UK friends,please give your local station a call or a text and ask them to give it a spin.

Friends For Life Album Preview

We are so excited about our new album “Friends for Life

Scroll over the tracklist to see all 12 tracks

Album Release Ireland

"This time tomorrow the new High Kings album "Friends for Life" will he on the shelves of your local HMV,Golden Discs Tesco, Dunnes, etc and also available online.
The last 3 albums have been top 5. Can we go one better?
Come on Ireland, lets folk up the charts!"

"President Michael D. Higgins has announced that today is officially High Kings Day!!!
Nah....not really. But our new album is in stores and on I-Tunes now!
What are you waiting for"

"Yeah baby! Love it! Tower Records!"

"My dear mammy is going to be famous after the first song on our new album! Oh Maggie"

"The High Kings have done it, day one of release Friends For Life is No1 in the Irish iTunes World Music chart"

Friends For Life is available NOW on iTunes in IRELAND! There are two bonus tracks, original song Musicmakers and Keg of Brandy which can be purchased separately! You can preview 90 second clips! This link is the Irish store and you WILL NOT be able to purchase in other countries until it is released there, but you CAN preview including the bonus tracks!

iTunes Ireland

Irish fans that don't use iTunes and want to buy an MP3 version of friends For Life with the download only bonus tracks, Keg of Brandy, and the High Kings original 'Musicmakers', can do so on this link.

Friends For Life - MP3

"Hey folks. The High Kings will be launching our new album tonight on The Late Late Show at 9.30pm!
Bring it on!"

Late Late Show

The High Kings giving a fantastic performance of their original song 'Ireland's Shore' on RTE's Late Late Show!

"Just Met Colm Meaney!"

Celtic Note

"Nothing like waking up to a number 1 album on I-Tunes World Music chart and number 11 mainstream after 1 day!
Thanks to everyone for buying it yesterday and looking forward to seeing a lot of you at Celtic Note music store in Dublin today at 3pm."

"20 minutes to outdoor show on Nassau St!"

'Friends For Life' Showcase Borderline London

Now that the album has been released, we are pleased to be able to share the videos of the original songs performed at the Borderline album showcase back in July.

CLICK HERE For playlist of 15 songs performed on the night

Album Release UK and More....

"Friends For Life is currently at No 3 in the Celtic Folk Hot New Releases on Amazon UK! It is also up at No 5 in the Celtic Folk Chart based on pre-orders. Have you pre-ordered yours yet? Not long to wait now, they will be sending them out on the release date 23 September! Don't miss out on being one of the first to hear it! They will ship overseas!"

"The High Kings new album "Friends For Life" is released today in the UK!

UK fans, Friends For Life is now available to download on the UK iTunes store, including the two bonus tracks Keg of Brandy and the fantastic original song Musicmakers! It's currently at No 3 in the World chart there, let's see if we can get it to No 1.

iTunes UK

Amazon UK

"Friends for Life" is currently number 2 in the UK I-Tunes World album chart on the first day of release.
The albums is also in stores from today in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Norway, Malaysia ,Rep of Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.
Can't wait to hear how we're doing!!"

Other release dates

The brand new High Kings album "Friends for Life" will be released in the following countries on the following dates.

Australia 4 Oct 13
Austria 4 Oct 13
China 23 Sep 13
France 14 Oct 13
Germany 4 Oct 13
Great Britain 23 Sep 13
Hong Kong 23 Sep 13
India 23 Sep 13
Indonesia 23 Sep 13
Italy 24 Sep 13
Malaysia 23 Sep 13
Norway 23 Sep 13
Poland 24 Sep 13
Rep. Korea 23 Sep 13
Singapore23 Sep 13
Spain 24 Sep 13
Switzerland 4 Oct 13
Taiwan 23 Sep 13

Canada 7 Jan 14
USA 7 Jan 14

Who's ready!!"

Fans in the US! now have Friends For Life available for pre-order as an IMPORT! Release date given as October 1st

Friends For Life Pre-order - USA

Tour Dates - Irish and Amsterdam dates added

"We are kicking off our Irish Tour at The Bord Gais Energy Theatre on November 23rd.
Tickets onsale now!"

Tickets - Dublin

"Great news for Dutch fans! The High Kings have added a date in Amsterdam to their calendar!"

Tickets - Amsterdam

For details and ticket links for the forthcoming tours in the UK and Germany, as well as the recently added winter tour of Ireland, please visit

Stop Press!!!

"Delighted to announce that The High Kings new album "Friends for Life" went into the Top 30 album chart today at number 5!
Massive thanks to all of you who went out and bought it or downloaded it during the past week. We really appreciate it."

It's been an exciting time and we hope you have enjoyed catching up with all the news from the launch of 'Friends For Life'. Those of you that already have the album, don't forget to drop by Darren's Official Facebook page or 'tweet' him on Twitter to let us know what you think.

Those of you still patiently waiting, hopefully the videos and previews will be a help until you get your albums!

We will be back with more news from the tours as soon as we have it.

Thanks as always for your continued support

Darren and the DH Team