Monday, 21 December 2015

Merry Christmas, Dublin Lights, UK Tour and More.....

A Little Bit of Christmas with Darren.... 

Hey everyone,

Can you believe it's Christmas already! Crazy.

What a year it's been and it's not over yet! Way too many recent highlights to mention them all so what better way to recap than the Christmas blog.

The UK tour was a massive success, with London going down as a lifetime memory for HK. Thanks to the huge amount of fans that came out to see us. We are now firmly established as being at the forefront of the Irish folk genre in Britain.

The Irish tour is underway and mostly sold out.

2016 promises to be equally exciting with more tours and hopefully a new album.

Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2016.

See you out there.

To help you get in to the Christmas spirit, a couple of Original Christmas songs from Darren, co-written with his former Movin' Out band member and friend, Bryan Steele.
In December 2004, Darren was proud to be performing with The US Marine Corps Band at The White House Christmas Pageant for President and Mrs Bush.

Dublin Christmas Lights 

Henry Street

“This evening at 6pm on Henry St Dublin, myself and the lads will be turning on the Christmas Lights!!
It's going to be a huge event so please get there early and join in the festive spirit.
Thanks to my buddy Brian Whitehead for the opportunity!
Ho Ho Ho....”

“The High Kings ready to switch on the Christmas lights in Henry St Dublin at 6pm!”

Photo copyright


Update from HKHQ in Henry Street during the performance.

“What a crowd! The Henry St Christmas Lights are on. Fantastic fun with a massive turnout for the event this evening. Thanks Dublin!”

Grafton Street

“This afternoon The High Kings will be turning on the Christmas lights on Grafton St. Festive fun and song all the way to get everyone in the mood!
Get in early as crowds are expected to be huge.”

From HKHQ in Grafton Street:

“What a great day! The High Kings switching on Grafton St Christmas lights and what a crowd! Amazing. Great fun.”

A little video snippet of the High Kings performing Hand Me Down Me Bible in Grafton Street, posted on Twitter!

What's On Magazine Award

"Wow! We have just been named "Artist of the Year" by UK's "What's on Magazine"!
Thanks so much guys! This is incredible."

UK Winter Tour


“Beautiful Bath”

“Bath...Thank you for the great welcome to your very unique city. We had a ball. Kicked off the HKUK tour in style. Thanks to everyone who came out to see us tonight.”

“Great to see our concert promoter and friend John Giddings before tonight's show.”

First show of the UK tour done in Bath!

Photos copyright Carol Billett


“Looking forward to playing The Sage in Gateshead tonight! Love Newcastle. Very unique vibe here always.”

“Gateshead- Newcastle.
What a crowd. An incredible welcome yet again to your fantastic city. Best audience in yonks! You've set the bar for the rest of the UK tour. Thanks a million!
PS....thanks for singing along loudly to "Run for Home".
Lindisfarne forever!”


“In honour of us heading up to Aberdeen today, here's a little snippet of a song my mam used to sing to me as a kid.”

“Thanks to a great audience tonight in Aberdeen. Really cool city and people. Also thanks to our Swedish fans for flying in especially for the show. That's dedication!”


“Ready to go on stage in Liverpool. Epstein Theatre.
Completely sold out!”

“Off the scale! The loudest folking crowd we've played to in ages. What a pleasure to walk onto the Epstein Theatre stage last night to such volume.
Thanks a million Liverpool!
As always....class.”

Photos copyright Carol Billett

Union Chapel London

"Holy s*** (literally)
We've sold this place out tonight!"

“Without a doubt one of the greatest nights ever!! Possibly the greatest night since The High Kings began. An absolutely massive sold out audience at Union Chapel London and a seriously unprecedented reaction. We are totally buzzing after that. So many lump in the throat moments from Red is the Rose sung on the pulpit,the sea of iPhone lights during Brian's Rare Aul Times, to the standing ovation after "The Town I loved so well'. Incredible. We are so grateful to Everyone who came out tonight and blessed us with a lifetime memory.
To all those who flew in from Germany, Denmark, Greece, Canada and the guys are unreal.”

Photos copyright Carol Billett

Photos copyright Anja Mueller

“What a crowd! Thank you London!!”

We showed you the reaction of the Union Chapel crowd filmed from the stage. Turning the camera round, this is the view of Darren on the stage filming the crowd. Look at the smiles on their faces!

Darren described the High Kings show at Union Chapel London as "Without a doubt one of the greatest nights ever!! Possibly the greatest night since The High Kings began." Their performance of Red is the Rose on the pulpit was definitely one of the most unique and special moments of the night.

Darren received a fantastic reaction and a standing ovation for Town I Loved So Well


Tonight's venue in a wet and windy Exeter! The SOLD OUT Phoenix!

“After a final stormer in Exeter, just want to say a big "Thank you Britain". A very enjoyable run of shows!
See ya next time.”

CLICK HERE  for a playlist of more videos from the UK Tour

 Irish Radio Promo

Midlands 103

We have recorded the High Kings on Midlands 103 chatting to Will Faulkner. You can listen on this link, including in studio performances of Ride on and the first verse and chorus of Hand Me Down My Bible. Enjoy! CLICK HERE

 Photo copyright Midlands 103.

 South East Radio
Listen to the High Kings chatting to Alan Corcoran on South East Radio. Includes in studio performances of All Around the World, RIsing of the Moon, and first verse and chorus of Hand Me Down My Bible. Enjoy! CLICK HERE 

Irish Tour

“A fantastic sold out Limerick audience helped us to kick off the HK National tour tonight at University Concert Hall. Still buzzing. Great Craic. The bar has been set in style.”


“Iontas Theatre Castleblaney.....that was a fantastic night! Thanks for braving the terrible weather to fill every seat in the house. We had a ball.”


“What a crowd. Athlone...that was fantastic. The bar is set even higher yet again. Massive volume all night long. Thanks a million to everyone who came out to see us!”
Photo copyright

Killarney/Carrick on Shannon

“Two more great audiences this weekend. Thanks to INEC Killarney and Landmark in Carrick on Shannon for bringing the party. Great stuff.”

 National Concert Hall Dublin

Since the update in our last newsletter, we have been sent a couple of photos from backstage at the NCH charity event.

 Little Bit of Christmas with the High Kings 

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.

Other Updates From Darren

 “I remember the summer of 1980. Turning 8 years old and spending every second either playing in the hurling field in Mooncoin, or watching The Moscow Olympics on TV. I remember my dad opening the door one day to a salesman who was selling a 3 cassette package of 'The Beatles Greatest Hits'. Dad bought them and handed them to me. I literally played them until they broke. Climbing onto the roof of our shed with the wireless every day and playing 'Across the Universe' over and over and over. I was hooked.
I remember waking up on Dec 9th, coming down for my breakfast before school, and hearing ' Imagine ' on WLR and my mam said " They shot poor John Lennon last night".
I knew he was a Beatle. I knew it wasn't right. His songs were on heavy rotation on every station for the next few weeks and each time one came on, I wanted to cry.
Even at 8 years old, I knew something profoundly awful had happened, and the world was forever changed.
My kids now listen to The Beatles and John Lennon.
Just tonight as I tucked them in, I told them that it was going to be 35 years since he died in New York. After we said a little prayer for him, we turned on "Imagine" and sang along. That's the magic. All these years later and the music and message is still vibrant, important and unfortunately appropriate.
35 years gone today. I remember.RIP John.”

"Huge Congrats to the Notorious Conor McGregor on become the undisputed featherweight UFC Champion after a 13 second KO of Jose Aldo in Las Vegas. Vegas turned Green, White and Gold as Irish celebrations reached fever pitch.
Myself, Brian, and Billy Farrell, released an anthem to McGregor earlier this year, and we are proud to post it again”

That's all the news for now, we'll be back with more news and updates in the new year as the High Kings Winter Tour continues and plans for 2016 are announced.

We hope you have enjoyed all our News Updates with photos, videos, and interviews, during 2015 and look forward to another very busy and exciting year ahead.

As always thank you all for your continued support, it is much appreciated.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Darren and the DH Team

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

US Tour Round Up and More..

National Concert Hall Fundraiser

“Tonight at the National Concert Hall, Brian Dunphy and I will perform as a duo, alongside Paul Harrington, Brian Kennedy, Johnny Logan, Rebecca Storm, Charlie McGettigan and more, as part of the fundraising show " Paul Harringtons Irish Jukebox Heroes". It's in aid of Haven, a charity helping to build sustainable communities in Haiti. Should be a great night!”

“Good job nobody can hear us!!”

“Backstage at the Concert Hall with Johnny. Great night so far.”

Climb for Kids Kilimanjaro - 5th Anniversary!

On October 15th 2010, Darren reached the summit of Kilimanjaro as part of 'Team Crumlin' to raise money for Crumlin Children's Hospital and CMRF. They were accompanied by an RTE film crew and the documentary 'Climb For Kids' was broadcast the following summer, watched by an estimated 365,000. This video is an edited version of the documentary concentrating on Darren's Kilimanjaro experience. He was one of a number of celebrities, including Kathryn Thomas, Sile Seoige, Jenny Buckley, and comedians Alan Shortt and Karl Spain. Their target to raise €250k was reached before they had even returned to Ireland.

Machu Picchu Trek - 6th Anniversary

It was 6 years ago, 9th October, that Darren left the comfort of his Cusco hotel in Peru and set off on Day 1 of a 4 day trek on the Inca Trail. He was part of a challenge to trek to Machu Picchu, led by his friend Keith Duffy of Boyzone, in aid of Irish Autism Action.

Ireland's Call 20th Anniversary Documentary

Unfortunately, we cannot currently share footage of the documentary due to licensing restrictions for viewing outside of Ireland. If this changes we will do so at a later date.
These are a few stills from the documentary.

US Tour Round Up


A little clip of the High Kings as they take to the stage in Michigan!

“Last night might just have been the loudest and craziest crowd we've played to in the USA!
And that's saying something after the week we've had. Never heard "Oh Maggie" sung like that! Unreal. Thanks Michigan.
This one will be remembered for a long time.”

Great action shots of Darren and Brian in Michigan by official Michigan Irish Music Festival photographer Tom Reilly! Sounds like it was an amazing night!

“Michigan. Insanity tonight. Literally.

“Concert shot from last night in Muskegon, Michigan.
Homeward bound today!”


“Looking lovely tonight Baltimore.”

“You'd think after 7 years of post show cd signings with HK that we'd heard it all.
Within the space of one minute last night, a gentleman told me that I "emanate light and leadership and that I have been anointed by God".
Directly followed by a lady who looked at me and said "You have the devil in your eyes'!!”

Norfolk CT

“Norfolk CT! What a crowd. Great buzz! Thank you so much for the massive welcome!”

Photo copyright Deena LeDuc

Somerville, Boston

“Boston. Biggest one yet. Sold Out! Can't wait.”

“Boston. Epic. That is all.
Thank you and Good Night.”

Thanks to Joe Chin for recording and sharing Darren and the lads performing at the Somerville Theatre in Boston.


“Sellersville Pennsylvania, What a crowd. A total sellout and the best fun we've had with an audience in ages!
Thanks for the massive welcome.
Next stop, Nashville TN for a few days off before 2 more sold out shows.


 “Rolled back into Nashville Tennessee last night. Spent a lot of '02 and '03 recording "Live and Learn" there and spent many great nights jamming on Broadway with some very cool players who I'll hopefully see this week.
Haven't been back since we did a few weeks with "Movin' Out' there.
We have 2 sold out shows on Wednesday and Thursday which in Music City USA, is pretty cool.”

“Possibly...The best laugh ever!
Nashville TN. Way too much fun.”

“Night 1 in Nashville done and dusted. Full House, crazy crowd and some great fun onstage.
Threw in Folsom Prison Blues, just 'cos.
Really nice to see our friends The Willis Clan in the audience and also our fellow countryman Colm Kirwan, who joined us onstage for a song.
Tomorrow night we do it all over again.”

Photo courtesy of

“Nashville. What a blast we had tonight. Another sold out show, plenty antics and a brilliant audience. Loud as folk!
One of my favourite Country singers, Tim Rushlow and his lovely wife, sat directly in front of me! No pressure.
Big thanks to our crew, Ronan Bobby Paddy and Vivien for making it happen.
A truly memorable couple of shows.
Also to Sean and Paula for the huge welcome.”

Photo copyright Charlie Brook/Lyndy Nothstine

“Backstage after our Nashville show with Country singer Tim Rushlow, his wife Mary Jane and Brian.
Pic courtesy of Charlie Brock.”

 Some more great photos from McNamaras in Nashville copyright of Charlie Brock. Thanks for sharing Charlie.

After the first show in Nashville, Darren's status included the words "Threw in Folsom Prison Blues, just 'cos." Would you like to see it? We found a recording on You Tube, although the poster has called it Ring of Fire! We have told them it's wrong, but as yet it is unchanged!


“Hello Cleveland.”

 “Show number 1 done in Cleveland. Now enjoying a beautiful sunset.”

IBAM Chicago

“Huge thrill when these guys joined us tonight!"

"Things to do in Iowa!"

"Things to do in Nebraska"


“Thanks to another sold out audience in Denver, Colorado tonight. Buzz was electric. We are down to the final 2 American concerts this year for HK after a massive 6 leg tour.
Next stop…….Vegas.”

Henderson - Las Vegas


“Definitely good to be back in Vegas “

"Tonight's venue. Henderson Pavillion, Nevada."


Update from HKHQ: “This was just taken before showtime with our good friends Solas at The Henderson Pavillion”

San Francisco

“Last day of what has been a huge US tour, and so many great memories come flooding back as we wrap up in beautiful San Francisco. Home to Michelle and I for 3 months in 2004.
What a summer we had."

 “What a way to finish off the US tour in San Francisco. One of the loudest audiences we've had. Seriously great night rewarded with pints of the black stuff. No money, just the black stuff. : )”

Other Updates from Darren

“Our friend General Martin Dempsey retired yesterday from service.
FOX News coverage showed tributes from President Obama and colleagues, before General Dempsey sung The High Kings version of The Parting Glass.
A true gentleman.”

 “Maureen O' Hara. RIP.”

That's the round-up of all the news for now. The High Kings are currently back in Ireland having a well deserved short break before going back out on the road. The next stop will be a 6 date tour of the UK at the end of November, before heading back home to Ireland to kick off their Irish Winter tour with dates throughout December and January.

The High Kings HQ have promised that they will be back in the US again in March next year, so US fans keep an eye out on the official High Kings channels for the dates and venues to be announced soon. We will share them as soon as they are publically confirmed.

As always thanks for your continued support

Darren and the DH Team