15 Best Rock Irish Rockers

fighting irish
(We felt this worked for this post)

Happy St. Patricks day on this Friday March 17th. Today is a very special day for all those who are in love with Celtic and Irish culture, and Irish music has a huge impact on the whole world of music, such musicians as Rory Gallagher, Damien Rice, Enya, Sinéad O’Connor, Hozier, Róisín Murphy and Loreena McKennitt are all from Ireland.

So to celebrate this day we prepared a list of 15 famous rock bands which you may not have known are from Ireland.

Honorable mentions:

  • Dropkick Murphys (not from Ireland)
  • Kodaline
  • JJ72
  • Planxty
  • Blood or Whiskey
  • The Fureys
  • Geasa
  • Taste
  • The Strypes
  • Kerbdog
  • The Boomtown Rats
  • Bell X1
  • Walking on Cars
  • Paranoid Visions
  • Mourning Beloveth
  • Tír na nÓg

And here’s the list!

15. Skid Row

Irish band Skid Row remains in the shadow of the American band with the same name, but they undeniably deserve their credit. Being active in the late ’60s/early ’70s, Irish blues rock/psychedelic rock band Skid Row are also known as the guitarist Gary Moore’s first professional band. Also, you’ll be surprised, but Phil Lynott was the band’s original vocalist from 1967 to 1968.

14. Horslips

Horslips are an Irish Celtic rock band whose songs are frequently inspired by traditional Irish airs, jigs and reels. The group are regarded as “founding fathers of Celtic rock” for their fusion of traditional Irish music with rock music and went on to inspire many local and international acts. Although they had limited commercial success in their own lifetime, there was a revival of interest in their music in the late 1990s and they came to be regarded as one of the defining bands of the Celtic rock genre.

13. The Frames

Founded in 1990 by Glen Hansard, The Frames with their own blend of indie rock/folk rock has been influential in the Dublin rock music scene. Glen Hansard is also known as an actor and as an Academy Award winner along with Marketa Irglova for their song “Falling Slowly” from 2007’s movie “Once.”

12. Altar of Plagues

formed in 2006 in Cork, Ireland, Altar of Plagues are among the most well-known post-black metal bands today. Releasing 3 studio albums, the band announced their split in 2015.

11. The Thrills

One of the most well-known Irish indie rock bands, The Thrills were formed in 2001 in Dublin. Their big break came with their debut album “So Much for the City” (2003) which became an Irish number one.

10. Primordial

Formed in 1987 in Skerries, County Dublin, Ireland, Primordial play a unique style of pagan metal, which can best be described as a blend of black and celtic folk metal with strong influences from their Irish roots.

9. The Corrs

The Corrs, formed in Dundalk, County Louth, are known for combining pop rock with traditional Irish themes within their music. The group have released six studio albums and numerous singles, which have reached Platinum in many countries, and have sold 40 million albums worldwide.

8. Cruachan

Cruachan are recognised as one of the founders of the genre of folk metal. With a specific focus on Celtic music and the use of Celtic mythology in their lyrics, Cruachan’s style of folk metal is known as Celtic metal. The band named themselves after the archaeological site of Rathcroghan in Ireland also known as Cruachan.

7. The Script

One of the best-known modern pop rock bands, The Script were formed in 2001 in Dublin, Ireland. Based in London after signing to Sony Label Group imprint Phonogenic, the band released its eponymous debut album, “The Script,” that peaked at number one in Ireland and the UK. Their next three albums all topped the album charts in Ireland and the UK.

6. God Is An Astronaut

One of the worlds biggest post-rock bands, God Is An Astronaut took their name from a line in Clive Barker’s film “Nightbreed.” The band was formed by twin brothers Niels and Torsten Kinsella in 2002 and at the moment they already have 7 studio albums. Their touring across the world helped further cement them as one of the big 3 post-rock instrumental bands in the world, even finishing in the top 90 worldwide bands according to Last.FM.

5. The Dubliners

One of the most influential Irish acts of the 20th century, they celebrated 50 years together in 2012 (the band was formed back in 1962), making them Ireland’s longest surviving musical act. Also in 2012, the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards bestowed them with a Lifetime Achievement Award. With all that, The Dubliners are entrenched as luminaries in European folk music.

4. The Cranberries

A hallmark of ’90s alternative/pop rock, The Cranberries are one of the rare Irish bands to make an auspicious run on US music charts with singles like “Zombie,” “Linger,” and “Ode to My Family.” With singer Dolores O’Riordan’s unique vocals, the Hogan brothers’ grungy guitar and bass and Fergal Lawlor’s drums The Cranberries are one of the most successful rock acts of the ’90s and have sold over 40 million records worldwide. The band has achieved four top 20 albums on the Billboard 200 chart and eight top 20 singles on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.

3. My Bloody Valentine

One of the most important names on the shoegaze scene, My Bloody Valentine were formed in late 1983 in Dublin. Their 1988 album “Isn’t Anything” is generally regarded as one of the most influential records of the period, acting as an important precursor to the early ’90s “shoegazing” scene. In 1991, the band released their second full-length album “Loveless,” later declared one of the finest albums of the 1990s. After their split in 1997, the band reunited in 2007 and performed several concerts the following year. The band released their third album, “m b v,” in February 2013, which once again confirmed their cult status.

2. U2

Since the band’s formation in 1976, U2 have consisted of Bono (real name Paul Hewson) (vocals, guitar, harmonica), The Edge (real name David Evans) (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), Adam Clayton (bass) and Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums, percussion). The band is the biggest selling alternative rock act of all time, having sold 150 million albums worldwide as of 2008. They have won 22 Grammys and were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

1. Thin Lizzy

One of the greatest hard rock bands ever, Thin Lizzy were formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1969. Though the band’s vocalist Phil Lynott has died in 1986, he will always be Thin Lizzy’s de facto leader, being a composer or co-composer of almost all of the band’s songs. And if you ever listen to any classic rock radio station in the USA or Europe you’re bound to hear one or two Thin Lizzy songs.