The Strypes aiming to end 2013 on a high

Cavan band will play both Dublin and Limerick New Year’s Eve celebrations

Pete O’Hanlon and Ross Farrelly of The Strypes performaning at IMMA  in Dublin in August. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Pete O’Hanlon and Ross Farrelly of The Strypes performaning at IMMA in Dublin in August. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times


For Cavan teenage band The Strypes, 2013 has been a year that they hoped would never end.

Twelve months ago, they were just another promising young band, all aged between 16 and 18, who gave up school to pursue their dream . But the release of their debut album Snapshot in September has propelled them into the front ranks of contenders.

This year has included praise from Elton John, Dave Grohl, Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller among many musical stalwarts, an appearance on Jools Holland and a prediction by Universal Records that one day they will be the biggest band in the world.

For guitarist and vocalist Josh McClorey, the highlight of the year was returning as hometown heroes to play a gig in Blessing’s bar in Cavan in August.

“It was all our mates, it was packed out and we played a great gig,” he said. “We never had any aspirations for what we do. It was a bit of fun, but it started getting heavy with record labels. We expected in 2013 that we would gig a load and release our first record, but the success of it has caught us on the hop a little bit.”

The band will end 2013 playing the two big New Year’s Eve celebrations, the first in College Green in Dublin city centre as support for Madness and the second in Limerick, where they will count in the New Year as part of Limerick’s City of Culture for 2014.

McClorey says they will be “doing a Phil Collins” - a reference to Collins’ appearance via Concorde at the two Live Aid shows in London and Philadelphia in 1985.

They will be given a Garda escort to Dublin Airport and then a private jet to Shannon Airport, arriving in time to headline the Limerick end of proceedings in Merchant’s Quay, down by City Hall.

They will doing promotion in the US in the middle of January for 10 days, followed by a UK tour in February with tours of the US and Europe during the Spring. A new album is also on the cards for next year.

All this means that their education will be on hold for the coming years. “Ask any 18-year-old would they like to leave school and play music and they’ll say yeah,” says McClorey.

Dubline will hope to solidify its growing reputation as an international end-of-year destination by hosting its biggest city centre New Year’s Eve concert to date tomorrow. The ‘Three NYE Dublin Countdown Concert’ begins at 8.30pm, and tickets cost €25. Joining Madness and The Strypes on the bill will be Mad Ryan Sheridan and MKS (Mutya, Keisha, Siobhán).

Limerick’s New Year celebrations will begin with a city centre parade from 5.30pm by the theatre company Bui Bolg followed by a live storybook using digital video mapping in the Medieval Quarter and a specially composed story written by local playwright Mike Finn.

Former Cranberry and Limerick native Dolores O’Riordan will be joined by the Irish Chamber Orchestra to ring in the New Year at a concert in St Mary’s Cathedral.

City of Culture chief executive Patricia Ryan said the New Year’s Eve party will be “the biggest and most magnificent occasion that Limerick has ever seen”.

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