Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Back to School, TV, UK Tour, and More....

Message from Darren

The High Kings are currently taking some time out to be with their families, but Darren recorded this short video for you before he signed off for the holidays!

Country Showtime

Watch Darren interview Brian Dunphy on Keep It Country's 'Country Showtime'. The interview was first broadcast 24 May 2017.

A couple of photos from the recording of the show.

School Awards

“Proud to be heading home to Mooncoin this morning, where I am guest speaker and presenter at The Student of the Year Awards at my former secondary school "Collaiste Cois Suire".
I'm honoured and grateful to receive this very kind invitation.”

“I'm not normally too emotional or overwhelmed but I can honestly say that today is a day that I will never forget. I had no idea that so much effort had gone into my being home at my former secondary school "Collaiste Cois Siuire" in Mooncoin to present "Student of the Year" awards or be guest speaker.
What an incredible welcome!
The years rolled back as I met all my former teachers, Dennis, Jim, Mr Cool...Stevie and Principal Tom Walsh who were there especially for the event and we reminisced for hours.
I have to give huge thanks to my woodwork teacher, Martin Gordon, who along with Principal Paul Duggan, Imelda, Michelle and my former neighbour Maureen, extended the very kind invitation to attend this years awards.
The students were an absolute credit to the school and I'm most grateful to them for appreciating what I had to say and singing along with me at the end of the ceremony.
The video reel of my career to date was a big surprise, but the school pic at the end was the icing on the cake haha. The gifts of a framed pic of Rocketts Castle and a Hurley signed by all the teachers will have pride of place in my home.
Privileged to have had my parents in attendance, along with my sister and my son Josh.
As always the pics are courtesy of the great Joe Cashin.
One to remember."

The career video they played as Darren’s introduction.

As Darren posted, he was honoured and overwhelmed by the reception he got yesterday at his former secondary school "Collaiste Cois Suire" in Mooncoin where he presented "Student of the Year" awards and was guest speaker. But Darren couldn't go home without singing them a few songs, including their anthem Rose of Mooncoin. Thanks to Joe Cashin for for recording it and sharing it!

Darren 'back to school' performing The Town I Loved So Well, in the village he loves so well. Thanks to Joe Cashin for recording and sharing.

Darren's schooldays have been Over a while, so why not sing it for those still there, along with Hand Me Down My Bible. Thanks again to Joe Cashin for recording and sharing it.

This is a video displayed on the 'Coláiste Cois Siúire' website. It was put together with photos and video clips as memories of Darren's return to his former school in Mooncoin for their awards day.

"Big thanks to Joe Cashin for full page coverage in this weeks Munster Express of Colaiste Cois Siuire Student of the year awards a few weeks ago in Mooncoin.” #oldschool #highkings #proud

“More great coverage in today's Munster Express of the recent visit home to Mooncoin and Collaiste Cois Siuire. Thanks so much once again to the ever reliable.” Joe Cashin.

New York State of Mind

After the soundcheck at Parr Hall Warrington, Darren made the most of the great sound and acoustics. Here he is performing New York State of Mind on the piano, just as he did all across America up on that platform in Movin' Out.

Spyder Sympson RIP

“I recorded this to mark 25 years since the passing of the wonderful Spyder Sympson on 29th May 2017. Just a little something in his memory.”

WLR FM Interview

Listen to Darren chatting to WLR FM presenter Geoff Harris on the 'Lunch Box' show ahead of the High Kings show in Dungarvan at the end of June.

Darren – Breakaway!

A little clip from the first known recorded footage of Darren performing back in 1989. This is Johnny B Goode with his first band Breakaway at Howley's Lounge in Mooncoin at the tender age of 16.

Back in the Studio, 10 Years On!

“Hi ho Hi ho, It's off to work we go.”
#hk17 #studio

Irish Tour

Carrick on Suir

“Carrick on Suir! Absolutely brilliant night. Thank you so much for an incredible welcome back.” #clancyfest

UK Tour

"High Kings on the High seas."


Listen to Darren chatting to Gail Lofthouse on BBC Radio Leeds ahead of the High Kings show at the Leeds Irish Centre.

First UK show done in Leeds, a little encore intro from Darren!

Photos copyright carol Billett

“Leeds! Thank you for an amazing show last night. A fantastic Yorkshire welcome. Onwards to Warrington for tonight's concert at Parr Hall.


“Then there are days when the hotel is 'this' great.” #Villagehotel

“A wander around Warrington.” #hkuk17 #mersey

“Tonight's beautiful venue. Parr Hall in Warrington.” #hkuk17

The High Kings performing Black Velvet Band at the Parr Hall Warrington.

Show photos and group signing photo copyright Carol Billett.

The very happy High Kings after the fabulous show at Parr Hall Warrington. #hkuk17

“Parr Hall Warrington tonight was quite literally off the scale! That's the kinda show I'd like to play every night! Fantastic atmosphere from an outrageously great crowd.
Absolutely loved it!”


The High Kings performing Red is the Rose on the final night of the tour in Birmingham, including a proposal happening in the front row!

“What a way to wrap up the UK tour. Ultimate crowd in Birmingham! The loudest and greatest audience in yonks. Couldn't get enough of it. Thank you so much to everyone for giving us one hell of a night.
This one will live long in the memory.”

US Tour Dates

Summer/Fall US dates announced!

Check out for a full schedule of confirmed 2017 dates and ticket links.

Finally From Darren.....

“Last night Patrick Bergin joined me to play an impromptu harmonica solo while I sang "Roadhouse Blues".
So there!”

#thedoors #sleepingwiththeenemy #gentleman #legend #lillies #patriotgames

That's it for now!
After their much needed break, and a few Irish dates, the High Kings will be heading Stateside during most of August and September. As always, we'll bring you a round up of all the latest news as we get it.

Thanks for your continued support.

Darren & the DH Team

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Irish Tour, Johnny Logan, Elaine, and US Tour 2nd Leg

For this newsletter, rather than write his usual message introduction, Darren has recorded a short video for you all.

 Country Showtime

“Tune into "Country Showtime" when I will be chatting to Irelands Eurovision King Johnny Logan, as well as showing some of his best known songs!
I had a lot of fun shooting this episode in Bruxelles, Dublin with Steve Bloor.”

Watch Darren interviewing Irish Eurovision star Johnny Logan on Keep It Country's 'Country Showtime'.

A nice article about Darren's presenting job on Sky TV's Keep It Country show 'Country Showtime' in the Kilkenny People.


Emerald Guitars Sligo & Maynooth

Darren playing his Artisan X20 performing Black Velvet Band at the Glenroyal Hotel in Maynooth.

Photos copyright Carol Billett

Elaine TV3

“Looking forward to joining the gang at TV3 today at 3pm for "The Elaine Show". Tune in for some interesting topics!”

“The boys on set at TV3 for "Man Friday" on The Elaine Show coming up today at 3pm. Great to hang out with Joe Rooney and Graham O' Toole.”

A few video stills of Darren on the panel.

Watch Darren on the all male panel of TV3's Elaine Show. Some of the topics were a little risqué but a lot of fun was had by all. We have tried to edit Darren's participation in the show, whilst keeping it in context.

Darren & Brian Q&A

While holed up in their Albany hotel during heavy snow storms, Darren & Brian took an hour out of their day to do a FB Live Q&A on Brian's official page. Watch them answer questions in two parts.

Part 1

Part 2

From the Archives

“From the Archives: The New York State of Mind Band.
Pic taken pre-concert at Mohegan Sun Casino 2007.
L-R Amy Goff (Meat Loaf) Dave Rosenthal (Billy Joel)Jeff Kazee (Bon Jovi, Southside Johnny) Nils Lofgren (E Street Band) Myself (Movin' Out) Christine Ohlman (Saturday Night Live) Chuck Burgi (Billy Joel) Mark Rivera (Billy Joel, Ringo Starr) Andy York (John Mellancamp) Crystal Taliefero (Billy Joel) Will Lee (Saturday Night Live)
What a pleasure it was to sing and be part of this incredible group.”

US Tour Round Up - 2nd Leg

First a few little extra videos shared with us from the venues in the first leg of the tour originally covered in the last newsletter.

When you take a 'Pianoman' to New York City, you have to expect him to be in a
'New York State of Mind'!
Thanks to Chrissy Silver for recording this clip at NYC City Winery and allowing us to share it.

Watch the High Kings in TV Studio A at KCPT in Kansas City, Missouri as they are interviewed by Jon Hart and perform ‘Hand Me Down My Bible’, 'Nancy Spain', and 'Ride On' live in studio.

Old Saybrook

“Old Sabrook CT.”

 “Massive thanks to a fantastic audience at The Katherine Hepburn Cultural Center in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
Big shout out to Marcella for the great gifts and also to our very first fan to sport a High Kings tattoo! On route to North Carolina, Avett Brothers country. Who wants to burn me a cd of their best songs?”


“Kings in North Carolina.”

 Darren performing a little bit of 'I'm Going to Carolina in My Mind' in Morganton North Carolina, March 16th 2017. Thanks to Amy Lacoste for recording the clip and allowing us to share it.


“Cleveland, as I said onstage, to be thousands of miles from home on our National Holiday, you made us feel so at home in your city.
One of the most memorable nights of this or any tour to date.
Every song was met with deafening applause, but on a personal note, the reaction to "Town" and "Oh Maggie" topped off an already great St Patrick's Day for me. I love to write songs, and to hear one sung at me at such volume, is goosebumps stuff.
Also, thank you for joining me on "Rock you like a Hurricane" which I dedicated to the legendary Uli Jon Roth from The Scorpions who was in the audience. Great to chat with him after the show and to hear how much he enjoyed what we did.
Finally, I dedicated my performance last night to the memory of Sean Dunphy, who last performed with us onstage, 6 years ago to the day. RIP.
Onwards to Michigan!”


A little video from Darren.


“Beautiful day in Chicago for our final show of our US Tour. Sold out at City Winery.”

“Homeward bound tonight from Chicago after a great 3 weeks of touring. Incredible night at City Winery last night. Maybe the best crowd of the run! Loud and proud. Thanks for joining in on "Right here Waiting" which true to form on this tour, is a Chicago song.
Even the writer got a kick out of it.”

Watch Darren perform a little of 'Right Here Waiting' at the City Winery Chicago 19 March 2017, the final stop on the High Kings Grace & Glory US Spring Tour.

“I was very lucky to be able to sit down in the British Airways Lounge in O'Hare airport in Chicago on Monday last and have a lovely chat with the legend that is Paddy Maloney. I didn't think he'd have a clue who I was, but after I introduced myself, he said, "Ah, You're the chap that sings Coulters song... He was on to me about ya"
You could've knocked me over with a feather. Dumbstruck.
One of Irelands most important and greatest musicians, and by far one of the nicest I've encountered in my career. After we chatted about Mooncoin and my Dad bringing me up on The Chieftains, I walked away totally inspired, and he called me back to give me his phone number "Come over for a few tunes someday". Sure we'll sing The Rose of Mooncoin!
I can die happy now.”

Ireland Tour Round Up


“Hats off to a fantastic audience at Glor in Ennis last night. A brilliant atmosphere throughout the show and quite a few great spontaneous moments. The Grace & Glory songs were met with rapturous cheers so massive thanks to CLARE FM for playlisting the album and listening to your listeners.
Onwards to Sligo for tonight's concert at Sligo Park Hotel.”


Listen to Darren chatting to Pauric Byrne on OCEAN FM, in advance of The High Kings concert at Sligo Park Hotel.


“Sligo! Fantastic crowd. A really great night. Thanks so much to you all for a very memorable show.”

Photos copyright Carol Billett.


All photos copyright Carol Billett.

The lads after the signing.


Listen to Darren chatting to John Keane at KCLR ahead of the High Kings show at The Hub, Cillian Hill Kilkenny.


“Great to be back on home turf tonight at The Hub in Kilkenny!
Shaping up to be a big one.”

 “Theres something special about doing a show on home turf, but last night at The Hub in Kilkenny City was something else! I can't say how proud I was to walk on that stage and hear such a massive greeting from an incredible audience. And it never let up for 2 hours. So many memories in one show. Thanks from the bottom of my heart to Kilkenny. You never let us down.
Great to have my family and many friends from Mooncoin there!”


“Thank you Athy! Amazing night. #hk17”


“Always good to see.”

 “There are great nights, and great nights but tonight in Clonmel was something altogether different. A raging hot crowd with ear blasting volume gave us a show to remember for years. Absolutely incredible.
Every chorus was sung as if they're lives depended on it and when Brian called my Josh and Sophie on stage for the last song......icing on the cake.
Thank you Clonmel.”


“Nearing showtime in Mullingar.”

“Thanks to another fantastic audience in Mullingar Park Hotel last night. Brilliant night.
Tonight it's the INEC Killarney where we are onstage at 9.30pm.”


Photo copyright Siobhan English.

“INEC Killarney was just ridiculous last night. Unbelievable crowd and show.
On the road now to Ballybofey for tonight concert.”


“About to go onstage here in beautiful Ballybofey, County Donegal.” HK17

“Just when I thought we couldn't top last nights crowd at The INEC, we walk onstage tonight to a completely packed audience at Jacksons Hotel Ballybofey. The volume!! Wow, this was my favourite show in years. Very live, raw and real from start to finish. More than 2 hours of pure energy and fun. Love it. Standing ovations, massive crowd singalongs......I could go on and on. Thank you Co Donegal!”


“Charleville Co Cork.....last night was just off the scale! Thanks you for another full house and massive crowd that made more than loads of noise! Great fun.
Big thanks to Aodan O' Cadhain from Ireland's best trad/folk group "Socks in the Frying Pan" for joining us onstage for the last song.”

Photos copyright Siobhan English.


“The best atmosphere at a HK show for a long time. Best fun in ages.
Thank you Baltinglass!”


“The last night of the tour. Claremorris Town Hall. Should be a stormer.”

 “Claremorris Town Hall. What a fantastic way to end another sold out tour. Too much fun. Our ears are still ringing from the volume. Apologies for the Elvis impersonation but when you're put on the spot....😊
Thanks to everyone who saw us on this tour. You all made it very memorable.”


“Netherlands! We will see you all tomorrow!”

 “Netherlands, we are on our way.” #HK17 

 “Hoogeveen soundcheck”. #hk17

“Loved tonight's audience in Hoogaveen. Absolutely incredible volume and atmosphere from start to finish. Thanks to everyone who travelled from Germany to be there also. This is why we love The Netherlands. Digging the Dutch HK Tour shirt also. Hope to see you guys again!”

Photos copyright Patricia Zerta.

Dublin Date Announced! 

“The High Kings Dublin show at Vicar St on 10 December are on sale now!”


That's the round up of all the news for now. The High Kings are now having a short break from touring with a few days off with their families. The family time is brief though, as Darren said in his video introduction, they are about to head in to the studio for a project to be announced at a later date! We'll bring you news of that as soon as we have it!

For now, as always, thanks for your continued support.

Darren & the DH Team