The Blizzards: Louize Carroll, Jusin Ryan, Bressie and Declan Murphy get ready for their 'Unplugged' experience in Mullingar Arts Centre on Stephen's Night.

The Blizzards announce hometown Christmas gig on Stephen's Night

The Blizzards have announced they will be playing their hometown of Mullingar this Christmas, bringing their Blizzards Unplugged show to the Mullingar Arts Centre on Stephen's Night.

The foursome also have a new single on the way, ‘Great Party (You’re Not Invited)’!

"I have great memories of the Arts Centre. One of the Blizzards very first gigs was down there at Christmas time, and it was a great night! Plus when I was growing up, my mother was involved in Lakeland Productions, so was down there the whole time," says Bressie, who feels the Blizzards Unplugged tour will work perfectly in that space.

"It’s just a totally different experience, it’s more of a theatre experience. There’s a lot of conversation, chats, it isn’t just music like when you’re playing a live show, full throttle from the minute you step on stage till you leave it. It’s not like that at all, it’s just a really lovely experience,” Bressie continues.

It’s a rare opportunity to hear the band’s new songs, like Friction Burns, Closing Time, and their new single Great Party (You’re Not Invited), as well as some of their big hits.

“It just works so well, you get to talk a little bit about the songs and where they came from, and most people are quite interested in that because it gives the songs a totally different context,” said Bressie.

“It kind of reminds me of when we started, because it’s such a different format, and the songs really suit it. I never thought they would suit that kind of vibe but it also protects my ears because Dec’s (Murphy) the loudest drummer in Ireland, and in this show, he’s just on the box," he jokes.

“In Carlow, our first show, just to see the demographic – there was every age, young kids there, 15-year-olds there, people in their 70s, it was a different thing.

“What we wanted was a conversation. You don’t plan on what you’re going to say, you just leave it to the audience so it becomes a two-way performance. There’s the audience that shows up and chats, has the craic and respects the fact that these songs are a little bit quieter and a little bit more chilled out.

So, ahead of The Blizzards Unplugged, what can the audience expect?

“It’s a great show, the audience will love it. It’s a warm experience for the band. I could imagine that’s what it’s like for the audience too.”

It rounds off a big year for the band, who released ‘Sometimes We See More In The Dark’ this summer, their fourth album, penned during lockdown.

“The fourth record – it’s an interesting place, a strange place to be but I still think that the job of any artist is to create a body of work, to make records and even though it’s really overwhelming to make records and tough work, it’s your job,” said Bressie.

“We were getting into a rut of releasing singles here and there and I didn’t really want to be doing that, I wanted to commit to a body of work and songs together that we thought made sense. And it is hard because it’s an expensive thing to do.”

The foursome took it back to the early days of the ‘garage band’ sound, and invited guest Michael Harding on for meditative effect on ‘Something Grips You, Something Holds You’.

“Every band has the right to make the music that they feel is the right music for them but I think what’s become difficult in the music industry is you’re expected to be more content creators than actual musicians or songwriters.

“The industry’s changed so much, you don’t know what to be doing – like do you create content and then have no songs or do you write?

“We were like, ‘Lad, let’s just make a record. Let’s not worry too much about TikTok or Instagram’. We all get sucked in to try to play the game but sometimes you realise it’s not what you want, and that’s what the band did, we went back to first principles which is – why are we doing it – to write and play music.

“And the audience get it. You know, you get lost in this industry, you start chasing your tails and it becomes difficult. There comes a moment where you go ‘This is what we’re good at, let’s stick to this, let’s not try to be anything we’re not and that’s what we’ve done. It almost took the theatre tour to remind us of that’.”

The next release ‘Great Party (You’re Not Invited)’, written during the pandemic when “Boris was partying away and we couldn’t go to our loved ones’ funerals”, was inspired by George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

“We’ve done a video for that with the amazing Cúige team in Mullingar, we’ve had a relationship with them for the whole project and they’re just world class.

“It’s not really serious and political, it’s just that realisation that there was a very much “us and them” in the pandemic and I think that’s what the song is about.”

Tickets to see The Blizzards live in Mullingar Arts Centre on Monday December 26 are available from on on 044 93 47777.