Screaming Orphans

Date: Saturday, July 28th
Time: 7:15 pm

The Screaming Orphans are four sisters with the good fortune to have been raised in the magic of Bundoran in County Donegal, Ireland.

There is a great tradition of music to be found in Irish homes especially in the Gaeltacht or Irish-speaking areas which have produced the likes of Clannad, Enya and Mairead, Micheal and Triona Ni Dhomhnaill. Our home was no exception. From we were young, we’ve been singing and playing traditional Irish music but when we hit our teenage years we knew it was time to start our own pop rock band.

Our first gigs were at local surf festivals at Bundoran playing covers. We were soon writing our own music and travelling to Dublin to play the singer/ songwriter clubs including Whelans. At one of these shows we were seen by the director of London based Blue Mountain Music publishing company founded by Chris Blackwell of Island Music and subsequently signed a deal with them.

Our next break came with an invitation to play at a St.Brigid’s day concert in Kildare along with truly great Irish artists like Christy Moore, Liam O’Maonlai, and Sinead O’Connor. Sinead then asked us to be her back-up singers and open for her on her Gospel Oak Tour. We went across Europe, America and Canada, and appeared on David Letterman and other TV shows as part of her show and as a band in our own right.

The following year was spent touring with world music star, Babba Maal, singing at his homecoming concert in Dakar, Senegal, and contributing vocals to his album “Nomad Soul.” We also recorded with Peter Gabriel and were backing vocalists on the Joni Mitchell track “Magdalene Laundries” for the Chieftains “Tears of Stone” album.


A year later, we signed with Warner UK (WEA) and recorded our debut album in Normandy France with the legendary Mike Hedges, who has been producer for the likes of Siouxie and the Banshees, U2, Manic Street Preachers, Texas, and Travis.

While we can never forget our roots in traditional Irish music, the Screaming Orphans draw on a diverse set of influences ranging from Simon and Garfunkel, The Bangles to The McNulty Family, with a strong focus on melody-driven songs with pop and rocks strains.

Being surrounded by so many different influences has inspired us to explore new and exciting song writing and performance concepts. Our CDs reflect our Celtic roots but cross many cultural boundaries, which might explain why we recorded “Listen and Learn” in France and Malta, “Circles” in Nashville, Tennessee, “East 12th Street” in New York City, “Belle’s Isle,” “The Jacket’s Green,” “Lonely Boy,” “Sliabh Liag,” “Toy Theatre,” “Ballads Rule OK,” “Dance with Me e.p.” in Ireland, and “Taproom” in America.

Screaming Orphans Folk/Irish album “Taproom” charted at No. 1 in the iTunes World Music charts, in the top 100 in the iTunes overall music charts, and in the top 10 in the Billboard World Albums charts. The band was previously nominated by the Irish Music Awards for Best New Irish CD and have won the Top Celtic Rock band category. They were also included on the “Ultimate Guide to Irish Folk” album, which includes tracks from many of their musical heroes. “Taproom” was named 2017 Folk/Pop/Rock Album Of The Year by the Folk’n’Rock magazine.

And if you’re wondering about our name… A friend of Joan’s (Damien Granaghan) came up with it one night and we loved the name because we were going out on the road on our own and we were leaving behind our Mam who had been our lead singer for years and our Da who was our manager/sound engineer and so we became “orphans.” The “screaming” bit is what usually occurs when surrounded by family and we are known to hit certain high notes that could be interpreted as scream-like. That and our secondary school used to be an orphanage so there you have it.