The High Kings play Carrick on January 6

Fiona Heavey

Reporter:

Fiona Heavey

The High Kings play Carrick on January 6

The High Kings

The High Kings play the Landmark Hotel Carrick-on-Shannon on January 6.

Almost ten years ago, four Irish singers, performers and songwriters decided to take a calculated risk. The constituent parts of The High Kings – Finbarr Clancy, Brian Dunphy, Martin Furey and Darren Holden – each had a wealth of history in the music business behind them, but knew that in order to maintain any level of creative interest they would have to boldly go where no other Irish ballad group had gone before.

In truth, back in the mid-late Noughties, Ireland needed a group like The High Kings. The heyday of ballad groups such as The Clancy Brothers and The Dubliners were a distant memory for generations of music fans, and to have another bunch of Irish lads taking up the baton and continuing the tradition was great news to thousands of fans worldwide.

The self-titled debut album, released in 2008, reached a highly impressive number two on Billboard Magazine’s World Music chart. It was during The High Kings second tour of the US in 2011, however – having graduated from playing small venues to larger halls as they promoted their follow-up album, Memory Lane, which also crashed into Billboard’s World Music chart – that everyone involved realised the fanbase was growing into something that no one had predicted.

The High Kings received the stamp of approval from the likes of Christy Moore and, perhaps more pertinently, Ronnie Drew, the lead singer of The Dubliners, and the man behind one of Ireland’s most recognisable and enduring ballad voices.

Tickets are on sale from Hotel Reception and ticketmaster.ie