Saturday, 20 December 2014

Merry Christmas, People of the Year Awards & More

Darren's Christmas Message

Hey everyone,

It's Christmas and time for the last of this years newsletters!

As per usual, things are in full flow and this year has proven to be the busiest in ages. Next year is shaping up to be something similar so hold on tight.

Thanks to you all for your continued support of me and The High Kings. I appreciate it.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2015.

God Bless.

People of the Year Awards

“This Saturday night The High Kings will open The People of the Year Awards on RTE 1.
It's a huge honour for us to be part if this special show. Tune in after the main evening news.”

“Looking forward to tonight's "The People of the Year Awards" at the City West.
We will be opening the show with "Ireland's Call"
Always an inspiring event.
Tune in to RTE 1 at 9.30pm.”
The High Kings all dressed up and ready to go at City West!

The High Kings were proud to be invited to perform Ireland's Call to open the 2014 People of the year Awards at Citywest Dublin. The event was hosted by Grainne Seoige and broadcast live on RTE One worldwide.


“With the legendary Paul McGrath”
'Maybe This Christmas' Release
“The official video for "Maybe This Christmas" has just been released. Proud to be part of this great song and hoping that "Childline" and "Make a Wish Ireland" benefit hugely from it. Great job Sile Seoige
Song is released on December 5th.
Christmas number 1?
It's up to you.”

Maybe This Christmas is available in Irish record stores and from iTunes worldwide NOW, released 5th December. Please help Sile, Darren and Brian, and all involved, in their support of Childline and Make-A-Wish Ireland.


“Getting ready to open The Saturday Night Show with the "Maybe This Christmas" gang. Hanging with Brian and Barry Devlin”

Darren and Brian singing along on the Saturday Night Show with Sile Seoige and friends for the TV debut of ‘Maybe This Christmas’.

“Proud to be part of the "Maybe This Christmas" charity single tonight on The Saturday Night Show.
Amazing job by Sile Seoige!
Kiddies and musicians were great and always good to see friends from the industry.
Brian Dunphy Billy Farrell Brian Kennedy Keith Shanley Rachel Pilkington Mervyn Rundle, Caroline Henry”

Irish Winter Tour Gets Underway
Update from the studio from HK HQ “Final day of rehearsals! Get ready for some brand new tunes tomorrow night Dublin!!”
Bord Gais Dublin

“Good morning all from HKHQ, it's an early start for us all today as the Four Friends Live Tour begins tonight in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre Dublin, expect some new song plus all the old favourites, our first stop this morning is on John Murray Show on RTE Radio 1 between 9am and 10am for some song and chat, don't forget to tune in
And let's not forget all our very dear friends in the USA who celebrate Thanksgiving today, we hope you all have a very happy and peaceful holiday and we look forward to seeing you all again in 2015.”

“On route to RTE Radio 1 to go live on The John Murray Show after 9am.”

The High Kings in the studio with RTE Radio 1 presenter Shay Byrne, who was covering on the day for John Murray.
It was an early start for Darren and the lads, in the studio at RTE R1 chatting and performing a couple of songs with Shay Byrne.
You can listen with an option to download on this link. CLICK HERE

This is official RTE video footage of their studio performance of Marie's Wedding.

“Stage almost set for tonight's opening show of the tour at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre.”

“Wow Dublin! What a night. Nothing like a couple thousand rowdy punters to start off a national tour. Great fun.
Thanks so much to everyone for kick starting the tour with such a bang.”
There was no photography allowed during the show at the Bord Gais Theatre, but here is a photo of them at the end of a very busy signing!
Photo copyright Carol Billett
Radio Promo

Listen to Darren chatting to Paul Dower on TCR FM.

UCH Limerick

“Stage set at University Concert Hall, Limerick.
Onstage at 8pm.”

"Amazing crowd tonight at UCH Limerick.
Thanks to everyone who came out to see us. Great fun."

“Mullingar. Epic. Fantastic crowd and great buzz!
Looking forward to opening The People of the Year awards tomorrow night on RTE 1.”

Photos copyright Anja Mueller


Update from HK HQ “Athlone! Are you ready!! Only a few hours until showtime folks, The Radisson Blu Hotel is the venue, doors at 730pm and showtime at 8pm!! We will of course be around after the gig to meet and greet anyone who wants to swing by to say hello!!”

A clip of the High Kings performing ‘Oh Maggie’ in Athlone.


“Stage getting set for tonight.”

“Thanks to fantastic crowds in Athlone on Friday and the INEC Killarney last night. Great buzz. Good times.
'Tis a frosty morning and we're on the road again.”
"What a view to wake up to."

A Few Christmas Treats

Just a few annual Christmas treats from Darren and the High Kings to get you in the festive spirit! Firstly a couple of original Christmas songs, co-written and performed by Darren.

Back in 1976, long before any thoughts of becoming a High King, a little lad went to see Santa to tell him his Christmas wishes.
A few years later, in December 2004, that little lad was proudly performing with The US Marine Corps Band at The White House Christmas Pageant for President and Mrs Bush!
Finally a couple of festive treats from the High Kings! These two songs were recorded for the Celtic Woman 'Celtic Family Christmas' EP released in 2008, sadly no longer available.
A Final Few Words From Darren....
“Spinach really does work!”

That's all the news for now, Darren and the lads will have a few days off for the Christmas holidays before continuing with in to the New Year with the Irish tour. 

We hope you have enjoyed the round up of all the news from the past couple of weeks and the Christmas treats from Darren and the High Kings.

We will be back with more news in the New Year.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Thanks for your continued support!

Darren and the DH Team

Monday, 8 December 2014

Four Friends Live, Aviva, Maybe This Christmas

'Maybe This Christmas' Childline/Make a Wish Single
“On route to Windmill Lane Recording studios to join an array of industry folks and record the new Childline Make a Wish single.
Great cause! Looking forward to seeing some folks for a long overdue catch up.”

“What a fantastic experience tonight was and great to see so many friends and colleagues respond to the call from Childline and Make a Wish foundation.
Sile Seoige, respect to you for pulling us all together for such a great cause.
Good to see Jenny Buckley , Brian Kennedy Paul Byrne, Jack L, Mervyn Rundle, Rachel Pilkington, Niall Morris, Shane Byrne, Billy Farrell, Kathryn Thomas, Valerie Roe, Keith Shanley and indeed our own Brian Dunphy”
Darren and Brian are both involved with this charity single, recorded last night. Please drop by and like their Facebook Page and support this worthwhile cause.
It has been confirmed that the single 'Maybe This Christmas' will be made available for download worldwide on iTunes from 5th December.

Irish Independent Article

Sile Seoige's chat with Paddy McKenna on 2FM and the first official radio play of Maybe This Christmas!
Share & spread the word!
Make-A-Wish Ireland & CHILDLINE need your help!
Available TO BUY in Irish stores and on iTunes Worldwide December 5th.

Click to listen to the interview and song

The High Kings Get Ireland's Call Again!
“On an already busy week, we are delighted to announce we will sing at the Ireland v Australia International rugby match this Saturday at the Aviva Stadium.
To my Australian friends, we will also be performing "Advance Australia Fair" so turn your TV's up. know what to do when we sing "Ireland's Call".
Rehearsal for the big game, photo courtesy of Brian
Final rehearsals for the anthems at The 51 Bar
"Shoulder to shoulder"
"Great day! Come on Ireland!
The High Kings were honoured and proud to be invited to sing all the anthems before the rugby match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium. The cameras unfortunately remained focused on the teams, but you can listen to them sing "Advance Australia Fair" "Abhran Na bhFiann" and "Ireland's Call" on this link with an option to download.

Aviva Anthems Audio

Rugby fan video of The High Kings singing the Irish anthem.

Late Late Show
“Tune in to tonight's Late Late Show on RTE 1 Folks.
We will launch our brand new album and DVD with a live performance.”

“Great to see Saoirse Ronan again last night at RTE.”

The High Kings launch their new album and DVD 'Four Friends Live' performing McAlpines Fusiliers on RTE One's prime time show the Late Late Show 14 November 2014.
'Four Friends Live' Available NOW!

The brand new High Kings CD/DVD bundle is on sale now for free worldwide shipping direct from Celtic Collections for €20.
Also available the Celtic Woman Emerald CD/DVD and High Kings Four Friends Live CD/DVD as a combined bundle for €30.
'Four Friends Live' Radio Promo
“Promo week for the new album and DVD starts at Spirit Radio after 10am this morning, followed by East Coast Radio at 11.30am and finally a trip home to Kilkenny for a chat and tunes on KCLR FM at 3.30pm.”
All interviews are available to listen and download on the links
SPIRIT FM - with Wendy Grace, includes live performances of McAlpines Fusiliers and Be Thou My Vision.


Download Be Thou My Vision

Video footage of the High Kings performing McAlpines Fusiliers in the studio.

 Coffee break at East Coast FM, photo courtesy of Brian
 EAST COAST FM - with Declan Meehan, includes studio performances of Whisky in the Jar and Marie's Wedding.

CLICK HERE - Darren’s telephone interview with Willie talking about the release of Oh Maggie, the new CD/DVD, and the forthcoming High Kings tour.


“Coffee break on the promo trail this morning.
Heading to Tippfm to chat with Fran Curry after 11am.”
TIPP FM - with Fran Curry, includes performances of McAlpines Fusiliers and Go Lassie Go . They played out with the new live version of Town I Loved So Well from the CD, but as this is downloadable, we have left you the intro and audience reaction to the song as a taster.

SOUTH EAST RADIO - with Alan Corcoran includes performances of Marie's Wedding, Go Lassie Go, and McAlpines Fusiliers.


“About to go live on Midlands Radio 103FM.”
MIDLANDS 103 FM - with Will Faulkner, includes performances of Marie's Wedding and McAlpines Fusiliers.


WLR FM - Darren’s telephone interview with Geoff Harris.

From the Archives
“2003 American magazine advertisement for "Blood and Smoke" my first US single after signing with Miles Copeland's Ark 21 label with Universal Records.

 Promo photo of Darren taken at Sarasota Beach 2007.

“Throwback Thursday.
Backstage with Boyzone on the first tour we did together.”

The High Kings performing with Young Voices at the LG Arena Birmingham, includes the song Gaudette.
Finally From Darren.....

“RIP Jimmy Ruffin. One of the Motown greats.”

“A genius has retired from our great game.
Thanks for the wonderful memories Tommy Walsh.”

That's all the news for now, we'll be back with all the news from the Irish Tour soon.

Thanks for your continued support

Darren & the DH Team

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Songs of Praise, new HK CD/DVD and more...

Darren Holden - The Story So Far
We put this video together 3 years ago to showcase Darren's career.
We thought it would be nice to share it again, especially for those of you that didn't know Darren before he was a High King.
Two Kings, Two Cities

On the 23 October 2011, Darren and Brian were interviewed on 4 FM performing a few acoustic songs in the studio. This included a first hearing of High, a song they wrote together later to be included on Friends For Life. Here they are with a beautiful acoustic medley. Two Kings singing about two cities! Enjoy!

Darren's video blog before the interview!

More From the Archives

In October last year, the High Kings were on tour in the UK and The Beatles secretary Frieda Kelly was at their Liverpool show. Here is Darren backstage with Frieda earlier in the day.
"Donny Osmond came backstage to meet us at Riverdance on Broadway. 2000"

"That time Alice Cooper came backstage to meet me and the guys in the band after a "Movin' Out" show in Tempe Arizona."


Four Friends Live


'FOUR FRIENDS LIVE' The High Kings brand new live CD/DVD Bundle will be available on November 14th!! This is an Ireland only release but copies will be available from our online store for our international fans. More to follow soon . . . "

Pre- order now online from The High Kings online store!


Songs of Praise

"Good Evening from Boston Logan Airport Folks.
Don't forget to tune into BBC 1 TV tomorrow afternoon at 4.15pm to see us perform 2 songs on the legendary show "Songs Of Praise".
We recorded our segment's a few weeks ago during a whirlwind day for us, as we had just flown over
from Dublin after performing at the All Ireland Hurling Final Replay in Croke Park."

"Amazing reaction for last nights "Songs of Praise", thanks to everyone for the positive comments."
Round Up - US Autumn Shows

Update from HKHQ US bound! - "Good morning all and it's hard to believe it's October already!! Today all of us at HKHQ are feeling very excited about our final trip to the USA for 2014 later today, first stop is Sellersville PA tomorrow (Thursday) and then over to Chicago and the IBAM Festival, before heading East again to Boston/Somerville and finally Norfolk CT . . . . . . come on down and say hi!!"


"Tonight's theatre and a walk around Sellersville."

"Ronan and me getting ready to tackle some Longhorn steak."

"Just met some cool people on a roadside stop in Indiana. All on their way to the game.
Come on Notre Dame!

iBAM Chicago

"Should be a good night later at The IBAM! Gala Awards Dinner in the Erin Ballroom at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago. We are performing one song! YAY! : ) "
Photo shared with us by Stacy McReynolds.
See this and a lot more great photos of Darren and the lads, at both the iBAM awards and their show in Chicago, on Stacy's website.


"Had the honour of chatting with legendary stage and screen actor John Mahoney at The IBAM Awards.
Probably best known as Frasier's dad"

"Had the pleasure of meeting Barry Jazz Finnegan in Chicago a few weeks ago. An incredible and unique artist from Dublin. Brian Dunphy and I were just blown away by his talent. The picture behind us was completely drawn with charcoal by Barry."

Pic courtesy of John Finnegan copyright



"Ready for tonight's invited audience WGBH PBS Show in Boston."

"Beautiful sunny weather in Boston can only be topped by 2 sold out shows tonight!
Bring it on.
We dedicate our performances tonight to the memory of the great Philip Chevron.
One year gone today."

"Having a great day reconnecting with Boston on another beautiful day.
Spent 3 months living here around 10 years ago with Michelle.
Forgot how great it is."

"Always great to hook up with extended High Kings family. William Quigley, Gregg Hartnett and co, it's been way too long. Glad you guys were there tonight. Wicked Good!!"

Infinity Hall, Norfolk CT
"Our last USA concert of the year has come down at Infinity Hall, Norfolk Connecticut. Big thanks to everyone who came out to see us not only tonight, but in Pennsylvania, Chicago and Boston.
Heading home tomorrow for a bit of down time, and then in a few weeks we will reconvene to plan the next tour."

From the High Kings Archives

The Town I Loved So Well is now established as a song Darren has made his own and gets an amazing reaction at every venue. It was 4 years ago that he performed it live for the first time at Luminaire in Kilburn London. It was a much more raw performance than he does today, but he blew the audience away. This was that first ever performance.
It was 4 years ago that the High Kings performed for the first time in the UK and Darren got to perform Leaving of Liverpool to the Liverpool crowd!
On St Patrick's Day 2011, during their US Spring Tour, the High Kings were invited to perform on the legendary Regis and Kelly Show. The show was broadcast coast to coast across America on ABC.
Finally from Darren......

"Remembering my old buddy Stephen Gately today. 5 years have flown."

"Just heard that Alvin Stardust has passed away. What a shame. One of the UK's greatest rockers.
He will be missed.
A true original. RIP."

"Delighted and honoured to have been invited to sing with the brilliant Tommy Fleming on his brand new Top 10 album "The Wests Awake"."

That's all the news for now. Following the US as shows, Darren and the lads are spending some time relaxing with their families before they begin preparations for the new Irish Winter Tour. We will bring you news on the new 'Four Friends Live' CD/DVD and the tour as it becomes available. You can follow daily updates direct from Darren and his admin team by following his Official Facebook and Twitter pages.

Thanks for your continued support

Darren & the DH Team

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Croke Park, Today Show, and more!

Movin' Out LA 10th Anniversary

This September marked the 10th Anniversary of the opening night of Movin' Out at the Pantages Theater in LA. Billy Joel was at the opening and joined Darren on the platform after the shows. Here is Darren performing New York State of Mind at the end of the show, and then accompanying Billy on guitar while he performs Only The Good Die Young.
Another video of Darren performing in the show.

Darren with the Movin' Out Band of 2006!

South East Radio

"South East Radio listeners, I will be chatting to Alan Corcoran at around 11.45am this morning in advance of our almost sold out concert in Enniscorthy on Thursday next Sept 11th."

CLICK HERE to listen to a recording of the interview
Today Show RTE 1

Update from HK HQ: - "Just about to arrive at RTE Cork for 'The Today Show' on RTE 1 Television - we will be talking about our roles as Ambassadors to the 'Trad for Trocaire' campaign, we urge everyone to get involved no matter how big or how small the event is . . . .big announcement from us coming too . . .and a song of course!! Don't forget to watch - 4.30pm on RTE 1 TV . . ."

"Goofy pic time with Brian!"
The High Kings on RTE 1's Today show with Dáithí Ó Sé and Maura Derrane. There's an Interview with Darren and Brian promoting their involvement with Trad for Trocaire and a performance of Go Lassie Go to close the show.
All Ireland SHC Final - Croke Park

"On route to Croker for The All Ireland.
Come on The Cats!!"

"Me nerves are gone! What a game. Thought we had it with 10 mins to go but fair play to Tipp they never gave in. 2 great teams. Some very suspect decisions though but sure Barry Kelly just keeping to form.
I will miss the replay this year but I'm sure me nerves will be equally shot, watching online.
Congrats to both KK and Tipp.
Mammoth entertainment."

Then the replay......

"Absolutely delighted to be performing with the lads before the Kilkenny v Tipperary All Ireland hurling final replay this Saturday afternoon.
I would love to see every Kilkenny flag waving and hear everyone singing when we get to "The Rose of Mooncoin"!!
Should be a great craic, and we are honoured to once again be asked to perform at such a massive event.
The only bad thing is......once we sing we need to leave, so we won't get to see the game!"

"Ready for Croker!
Can't wait to perform once again on All Ireland Final Day, especially with The Cats involved.
We kick off at 3.55pm until 4.25pm.
Bring your voices and get as loud as you can.
Should be great fun."
A few words from Darren (and Finbarr!) before they performed on the pitch at Croke Park.
"Myself and Brian with RTE presenter Dáithí Ó Sé at Croke Park"
"Go on The Super Cats!!!
Greatest ever!
35 All Ireland Titles.
10 for Henry and Cody!!
Legendary team. Absolutely delighted.
Just landed in UK. Dancing around runway lol
Hard luck Tipp. Always a great team.
Think we brought the Cats luck yet again.
Woo Hoo."

You can watch Darren singing Rose of Mooncoin with the High Kings on the pitch at Croke Park on his Facebook page. They were performing a set ahead of the All Ireland SHC final replay between Kilkenny and Tipperary. Video courtesy of the Holden family.

Photos courtesy of


High Kings Dublin Show Competition
Exciting Facebook competition announced for the Dublin show at the Bord Gais Entergy Theatre in November!

CLICK HERE for the High Kings Facebook page to Enter!

Just like and share the image below to win the chance of the ULTIMATE HIGH KINGS PRIZE PACKAGE!
1. Four premium tickets for the opening show of the High Kings Irish Tour in Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin on Thursday 27th November.
2. Overnight hotel accommodation and dinner for four at the Maldron Hotel Cardiff Lane, just beside the Bord Gais Energy Theatre.
3. Meet and Greet with the High Kings after the show.
4. A premium gift package of all High Kings CD's/DVD signed by the band.

For show details and to purchase tickets

Each week we will pick out one lucky winner who will win TWO PREMIUM TICKETS to the show on November 27th, the overall winner of THE HIGH KINGS PRIZE PACKAGE will be chosen on Friday 21st November. All you need to do is like and share the picture below!!! Good luck everyone!!!!

Tour Dates Announced 2014/2105

Tour dates have been announced for Germany and UK in 2015, as well as dates for the long awaited Irish Winter Tour! CLICK HERE for full list of dates, venues and ticket links.

 Irish Show Round Up

"Thanks to a great Sligo crowd tonight at The Fleadh. Brilliant fun. Wild atmosphere. Nice to see one of Country music's finest talents John Mcnicholl there."

"Thanks to a huge crowd at Bannagher College last night. Incredible turnout and brilliant night. Lovely to see my family rockin' in the front row all night, and to get Josh up onstage for the finale for his first time!
Thanks to Ken Lucas, Jared Marc O'Maidín, Sean Corrigans Bar and co for taking care of us so well as always!!"

"Thanks INEC Killarney for a truly great night. Huge crowd yet again and brilliant atmosphere. Had the pleasure of our 5th member, the now very grown up Adam O' Sullivan join on stage yet again for the finale. Great to see the rest of the O'Sullivan family too!"

"The line of people waiting to get into tonight's concert in Enniscorthy is massive. Always a great sign.
Nice to be back in Nanny Holden's turf. Should be a good night."

"Enniscorthy. What a night. What a crowd. One to remember. Thanks to everyone who came out to see us. Massive."

"What a way to wrap up our summer tour tonight in Newcastle West.
8,000 of the loudest people we've heard in quite a while. Crazy night. Loved every second of it.
Amazing finale to a great festival."

"One of the best audiences we have played to. Thanks so much to everyone who came out to see us tonight."

"Great to see my old friend Alan Shortt last night in Newcastle West. Alan did an brilliant job as always as MC and introduced us onstage."
Ice Bucket Challenge - Killarney

"Here it is - the High Kings Ice Bucket Challenge!! Please like and more importantly SHARE this and generate much needed funds for the IMNDA - just text MND to 50300 or hit the donate button on the IMNDA website! thanks to Billy and Rod from Aslan and Bobby from SVI Touring for applying the finishing touch to the challenge!! This is truly hilarious and we look forward to seeing our nominees doing the deed!!"

CLICK HERE to watch the video on the High Kings Facebook page
Milwaukee Irish Festival

"Boarding a flight to Chicago bound for Milwaukee for the festival!! Should be a great weekend."

"Had the pleasure of our great friend Sharon Shannon joining us onstage in Milwaukee last night."
Photo courtesy of the

"Had a great meal tonight at The Safe House in Milwaukee with some of the guys. Brian went walkabout and found a reminder of the last time I was there with the Movin' Out gang."

HK HQ signing off in Milwaukee!
"Well folks, we have had an amazing time at Milwaukee Irish Fest over the past few days, sadly we must return home tonight but we have all had the most enjoyable experience! Thanks to the thousands of volunteers who donated their services, t...o our magnificent stage crew at the Coors Light Stage and to you good people for coming out and enjoying the music. We return to the US for a few shows in early October, watch this space!! Milwaukee rocks!!"

From the Archives

As the High Kings were in recently in Milwaukee and Cavan, we thought you might enjoy this recording of Cavan Girl from Milwaukee in 2012
Back in February 2010, the High Kings dropped in to the studios of Newstalk radio for a performance interview. The programme had an 80's theme and they were asked to break from their folk tradition and perform an 80's song! So here they are with a once only performance of A-Ha's 'Take on Me' Enjoy!

The High Kings performing Red is the Rose on the streets of NYC for RTE R1 St Patrick's Day 2011.
Two years ago! The High Kings sang The Parting Glass to bring the Notre Dame PEP Rally Welcome Home concert to a close, the show was streamed to a worldwide audience on YouTube. RTE won't allow us to upload this video to YouTube, but you can watch on Darren's Facebook page.

If you enjoyed our video of the High Kings singing The Parting Glass at the Notre Dame PEP Rally, we thought you might like to have the audio version for free download with our compliments.

Finally from Darren.... 

"Another Hollywood legend gone. I had the pleasure of meeting Lauren Bacall in New York while I was doing "Movin' Out". A star through and through. RIP"

"Another absolutely beautiful September day in Dublin. Could to with a few weeks of this.
Remembering all those who were lost or left behind 13 years ago today in the USA.

"RIP Bob Crewe. Great songwriter and performer from The Four Seasons.#originaljerseyboy"

That's all the round up of the news for now, Darren and the lads are currently in the US performing a few shows before coming home to Ireland to prepare for the Irish tour. We will bring you more news as soon as we have it, but as always you can follow the regular updates direct from Darren on his Official Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for your continued support

Darren and the DH Team