In the seven years that The Stunning were initially together, they toured relentlessly building up a following that would make them one of the most successful Irish bands ever. In 1990 their debut album 'Paradise In The Picturehouse' spent five weeks at number one and became one of the most-loved Irish albums of all time. Two years later, the follow up 'Once Around The World' also hit the No. 1 spot, and the band went on to sell over 100,000 albums in Ireland alone. "Brewing Up A Storm" has become an anthem of sorts and is to be heard everywhere from football stadiums to clubs around the country where it is still a guaranteed floor-filler. Songs such as "Half Past Two", "Romeo's on Fire", and "Everything that Rises" are still to be heard on the radio and have been featured in movies and numerous compilation abums of the best of Irish rock. They toured the US and the UK with the likes of Bob Dylan and the B52's. During their time, the band scooped every music prize and award going and they were rarely off the airwaves. Once a year, they reform to do a few shows and in 2012 they celebrated their 25th anniversary with a number of gigs around Ireland.
Julie Feeney's third album Clocks recently went straight to No. 1 in the Independent Irish Album Charts. It won 'Best Album' in The Irish Times 'Album of the Year' category for 2012 and it was also shortlisted for the Choice Music Prize. Julie is winner of the Choice Music Prize for 'Irish Album of the Year' for her self-produced debut album 13 songs on which she played most of the instruments herself. Her second album pages was shortlisted for the Irish Album Of The Year prize and featured in '101 Irish Albums You Must Hear Before You Die' by Liberties Press. Julie headlines at the National Concert Hall, Dublin on August 9th where she has scored all of her music for herself solo with the RTE Concert Orchestra. Her sell-out shows on both sides of the Atlantic have received rave reviews where she combines her "mesmerizing stage presence and eccentric pop genius" (Hot Press) with her unquestionably original sound; and her innovative, avant-garde approach, while rooted in classical music, straddles both the pop and theatrical worlds. For her recent sell-out 10 show run in New York City at IAC, the New York Times said of Julie, ".intricate, articulate.draws on sources across centuries.Ms. Feeney's songs don't shout. They tease, ponder, reminisce, philosophize and invent parables, and she sings them in a plush, changeable mezzo-soprano that usually holds a kindly twinkle". The New York Times concluded, ".a brainy adventurous songwriter lives within the flamboyant theatricality.with songs that set character studies and philosophical musings in elaborate musical confections, often with long, internally rhymed lines. Theatrical on the shell, intricate at the core". Sharp witted, unpretentious and fiercely passionate, Julie Feeney is a genuine artist and a hugely enjoyable performer. Earlier this year Julie was invited to headline at an Oscar party hosted by J.J. Abrams' Santa Monica production company Bad Robot in LA.. With the audience in the palm of her hand, her performance enthralled Steven Spielberg, who filmed her performance on his personal iphone. Colin Farrell was also immersed. She has just returned from New York City for her U.S. release of 'Clocks' and releases in the UK on August 12th where she is already receiving rave reviews. To accompany 'Clocks', she has released a host of stunning music videos. On July 28th her first composed opera 'BIRD' will have a concert performance at Galway Arts Festival ahead of the 2014 full production. Composer, singer, orchestrator, songwriter and producer, Julie is a true artist with immense vision. See www.juliefeeney.com
Songwriter: Alice Lynskey (21)
Song: Run and Hide
Location: Wexford - originally from Dublin
Originally from Tallaght, Alice now lives in Ferns Co. Wexford. Alice is a student, studying for her science degree in DIT (BSc Pharmaceutical healthcare). Alice enjoys playing the guitar, writing music and has recently learnt how to play the piano. Her granddad is a huge supporter.
Songwriter: Niamh Murphy (34)
Song: Land's End
Niamh is a qualified primary school teacher working in Kinsale. Niamh plays in band called Foxglove and believes that it's crunch time when it comes to her career.
Songwriter: Nigel Place (41)
Song: Sad Songs
Nigel is married to Alison with 3 kids, Lír 12, Ella 10 and Aaron 8. Nigel believes taking part in The Hit might make 'Dad' seem a little cooler in his kid's eyes. A few years ago, he quit music to take up running. He has run 4 marathons but decided to go back to music when he realised he was mediocre at running but naturally talented at music.
Songwriter: Christy McGuigan (51)
Song: I Was Not Expecting To Be Loved
Location: Warrenpoint - Co.Down
Christopher has been a self employed musician and music teacher teaching children to play the drums, guitar and piano for the last 30 years. His mother runs the local theatre in Warrenpoint and he enjoys writing for the pantomime and doing some comedy acting in his spare time.
Songwriter: Gary Burke (30) and Katie Carpenter (29)
Song: Dimension Me
Location: Originally from Dublin
Music teachers Gary and Katie met while studying Popular Music Performance in Ballyfermot College of Further Education and have been going out for the last 9 years. They both share a love for music, songwriting and each other - as a result the duo formed a band called Jezzebelle.
Songwriter: Tommy Moore (27),
Song: New Tattoo, Location: Dublin - originally from Westmeath
Tommy grew up in Bermuda but attended Secondary School in St Finians College Mullingar. He moved to Dublin in 2002 and studied a Diploma in Music Management at BCFE. He then started playing bass professionally and in 2007 started a degree in jazz performance at Newpark Music Centre. For the past 6 years Tommy has been concentrating on songwriting as well as a career as a bass player.