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The best bars for live music in Ireland

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Along with Guinness and potatoes, live music bars in Ireland are one of the stereotypical images you might think of when conjuring up thoughts of Ireland.

You might imagine something like the beautiful Corrs or you might favour something along the lines of the slightly less aesthetically pleasing to the eye The Pogues. Either way there’s going to be violins, guitars, drums and great voices, but what you really need is a good bar to do it all in. There’s obviously no shortage but to come up with a list is nigh on impossible. Here are just a few of the best bars for a sing along on the island.

The Pavilion Bar – Cork

Located in the Huguenot area of the city just off the rather commonly named Patrick Street, Pavilion Bar is an all out music and drinking experience. Not only are there live acts almost every night of the week, but there’s a bit of comedy sometimes too, a great bar full of great drinks, and a late licence for the place to turn into a nightclub. There’s a really interesting mixture of live acts, from the cool and up and coming likes of Fionn Regan to people you might not have heard of unless you live in Cork.  Not only will it be your traditional Irish songs, but bands playing all brass, singer songwriters and even a wee bit of ska thrown in there for da craic. Well worth a look.

Jagger’s Common Room – Dungannon

Head up to Northern Ireland for some of the most up to date contemporary Irish live music at the fairly new (since 2005) Jagger’s Common Room. You might not find the likes of The Chieftains plugging in their harps in this place but you will find some of the coolest new live music from all different styles, from indie to ska to blues and to rock. There’s also a great opportunity for you yourselves to get up and in front of the mike, as Sundays are Unplugged nights, where you can show the room why you’re as good as any of those on The X Factor. Worth a look if you’re not too fussed about tradition.

Eamonn Doran’s – Dublin

If you want to go straight for the jugulars, so to speak, look no further than this place. Like many of the bars and pubs in Dublin, especially around the Temple Bar area, you will find a mixture of ‘real’ establishments and then those out to get the Americans in their doors and spending their travellers cheques. Eamonn Doran’s live music bar is the real McCoy but isn’t just exclusive for locals. It’s a great place to not only have a few quiet drinks with mates but also get to witness some amazing Irish music played with the rawness and drunkenss you’d expect. It’s got everything you could want, from great pints of the black stuff to plenty of cool people watching cool music and even a pizza place inside to satisfy that hunger when it kicks in. Not to be missed.

Photo of Irish band playing live music in Cork originally posted by Txapulin

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer phil mcdonald

Phil is a freelance writer working on various writing and editing projects ranging from feature film scripts to travel writing. He enjoys writing from experience and sharing information on the many places he has visited over the years

3 responses to “The best bars for live music in Ireland”

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  1. Pakistan travel says:
    January 19th, 2009 at 16:12

    Nice article.

  2. Yvonne Fennelly says:
    June 9th, 2012 at 04:19

    Just traveling through the country for two weeks 6/28 to 7/10, most likely focusing on the Wexford/Waterford area, but we’re open. Would like to focus on live music with a R&B orientation. We are going to keep this trip spontaneous, no previous reservations anywhere.

    Also, any chance you think we can find tickets outside the venue in Dublin for Snow Patrol? (just thought i’d ask)

  3. joe says:
    January 22nd, 2013 at 00:46

    Hi Phil. We are starting plans for a holiday. My beautiful wife and I have wanted to travel to your country for ever an ever… It will be our first vacation without children since our honeymoon almost 30years ago. We both love to dance and see live music. We are in our 50′s. WE are looking for an Irish town to start our journey. Cork looks like it will have shopping and the like along with dancing / music pubs. Any suggestions ? Thank you from the Espos. Joe & Mary

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