ABOUT: Lead singer Jess Kavanagh, drummer Stephen McHale, bassist Neil Dorrington, drummer Tommy Gray are BARQ. Tommy, Neil and Jess have all played with Zaska at points with and without Hozier in that arrangement. Jess sang with Hozier, including performing backing vocals on early Hozier tours in 2013-2014. All are sought-after session musicians performing individually on other projects. Together they make a jazz-soul-funk sound that they call agrosoul. 

News Archive

(From 2016 and 2017)

Nov 2: BARQ played their reimagining of the Pulp Fiction soundtrack for Smithwick’s Soundtrack Series at The Opium Rooms in Dublin, including Son of a Preacher Man. Also, Jess was interviewed by kids for a new RTÉjr show, The One Where Kids Talk. Oct 31: Optimus Prime added to Spotify’s A Breath of Fresh Eire playlist. Oct 28: Jess performed a Halloween Film Fatale Dance Macabre event. Oct 26: Jess finished her tour on vocals with The Waterboys at the 3 Arena in Dublin. These are the pics from the tour that took them through the UK, beginning October 18 in Bristol, with a final gig in Dublin. Oct 25: Stephen McHale and Neil Dorrington were part of the house band for the I Heart Elliot Smith gig at Whelan’s. Oct 18: Jess and her heritage story is featured in the exhibition, I Am Irish, celebrating diversity. Oct 17: BARQ played Dolan’s in Limerick for the Smithwick’s Soundtrack seriesOct 13: BARQ were interviewed by the OB Blog for the Making Waves documentary. Oct 9: The band spent some time relaxing in New York after their Mondo showcase. Oct 8: Postcards from New YorkOct 6: BARQ showcased at Rockwood Music Hall as part of Mondo New York. Oct 5: Postcards from New York BARQ made an appearance on 8 Radio Ireland’s A Cuppa.

Current Release: Optimus Prime – available on Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes and all the usual online places.

July 11: Announced that BARQ was added to the lineup for Longitude Festival. Catch them on the mainstage at 2:30 pm on Friday, July 14. July 2: BARQ was back working with Crooked Gentlemen Productions on their new video.  July 1: Taking the stage at 6:35 pm, BARQ was the first opener for The Corona’s sold out Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin gig. They also live streamed their entire set to Facebook. Photos from Hot Press, Dara Munnis, Cote Calmet, and live video of BearJune 29: The video for Bear from BARQ’s latest Sofar Sounds appearance was released. June 24: BARQ played the Bulmer’s Lounge stage at the Body & Soul Festival, Ballinlough Castle, Co. Westmeath. June 16: Watch BARQ’s interview in the Hot Press Speakeasy at Forbidden Fruit. June 7: BARQ’s track That Thing You Love (Let Go) is featured on a new Spotify playlist called Female Fronted, Drawn Together. It’s curated by HAWK’s lead, Julie Hough who also drew an image to accompany each track. June 3: BARQ performed at Forbidden Fruit Festival and had a chat with Hot Press in their Speakeasy. Golden Plec review. June 1: The Declan Session was released with Stephen and Jess performing an acoustic version of For The Love of a Name BARQ released a promo for their upcoming appearance at Forbidden Fruit. 

May 27: The members of BARQ were the backing band for the supergroup I Heart Rumours gig in The Opium Rooms. May 24: Declan the VW Bus was a mobile studio for BARQ in Dún Laoghaire. May 21: BARQ played theKwassa Kwassa main stage at Farmleigh House in Phoenix Park, Dublin for Africa DayMay 18: Announced that BARQ will be the opening support for The Coronas at The Royal Hospital Kilmainham on July 1. BARQ played Sofar Sounds Dublin and live streamed their set to Facebook. May 11: BARQ was a featured group at a Music Cork industry showcase. May 10: BARQ played the Degrees of Light album launch at The Button Factory in benefit of Aware mental health and is available to stream on Spotify and on iTunes. Their track was recorded in March and is a cover of Anderson .Paak’s Am I  Wrong. They also received this amazing doodle of the band. May 6: BARQ started the day with an acoustic set in support of the Mosney Instrument Drive along with Zaska and Wyvern Lingo. Later, they headed to The Olympia to play FM 104’s The Gig to benefit ISPCC Childline. They joined in for the finale of Hey Day. 

Apr 28: Announced BARQ will play the all-Irish stage at the Forbidden Fruit Festival in June. Apr 27: BARQ released a Spotify playlist of all the bands the saw and played with at CMW and Jess was pictured with Michael D. Higgins (President of Ireland) at the Hot Press Covers exhibition launch. Apr 25: Announced BARQ will be playing the Degrees of Light charity album launch party for Aware mental health and were featured in FM 104’s The Gig artist profile.  Apr 24: BARQ spent their last day exploring Toronto. Apr 23: BARQ played their last night in Toronto at the Cadillac Lounge. Apr 22: BARQ got out to the Mod Club in Toronto to catch Romes’ gig and afterward played a frat house in Toronto for Scene Magazine. Apr 21: Jess and Stephen talked business at the Meet the Labels session at CMW. BARQ played their second showcase in Toronto at Supermarket. Periscope live video. Apr 19: BARQ played the Music From Ireland showcase at The Drake  Underground for Canadian Music Week, with a mention from Music YYZ. Review from A Music Blog, Yea? Apr 18: BARQ were off to Toronto for Canadian Music Week. Now Magazine in Toronto chose BARQ as one of the 5 Must-Sees for CMW, they were the Editor’s Choice in Scene Magazine, and they got radio play from CIUT. Apr 8: BARQ played an acoustic gig for Music Town Dublin. Apr 7: Jess met President Michael D. Higgins and later BARQ played in Meeting House Square for the Hot Press Covers launch. Apr 6: BARQ closed out the Big Giant Head tour at Whelan’s in Dublin. Apr 5: The Big Giant Head Tour stopped at Roísin Dubh in Galway. Apr 4: BARQ played the Ruby Sessions at Doyle’s with their Big Giant Head pals. Apr 2: BARQ played Central Arts in Waterford. 

Mar 31: Continuing on the Big Giant Head tour, BARQ played Connolly’s of Leap. Mar 30: BARQ announced that they are one of only 12 bands showcasing at the Music Cork industry conference and played Cyprus Avenue in Cork, despite an army of clonesMar 29: The Point of Everything podcast had an interview with Jess.  Mar 27:  Feature in the Irish Examiner on BARQ. Mar 23: BARQ kicked off the Big Giant Head tour with Harbouring Oceans and Hawk in London as their first release Gentle Kind of Lies celebrated its first anniversary Mar 19: BARQ is planning their next music video. Mar 18: BARQ was featured in augmented reality in London as part of the Culture Ireland and Arts Council Ireland St. Patrick’s trail. Mar 17: Bass player, Neil Dorrington, is backing Loah on her SXSW dates and Jess Kav was doing some Thin Lizzy in Dublin. Mar 16: Announced that they’ll be playing The Beat Yard fest in August in Dun Laoghaire. Mar 12: Acoustic gig supporting The Suffers in Whelan’s. Mar 9: Tommy Gray played drums with Bantum at the Choice Music Prize on RTE. Mar 7: Jess Kav and Faye O’Rourke participated in a panel discussion This Woman’s Work about Irish Women and the Irish Music Industry.  Mar 4: Striking Sounds #Strike4Repeal fundraiser at Jigsaw, Dublin Mar 2: Laying bass in Sun Studio for their forthcoming Anderson Paak cover.

Feb 28: One year ago, BARQ played their first live gig as a band at The Workman’s. Also, Jess Kav and other familiar faces will be on Mick Puck’s (Waterboys) forthcoming album. Feb 26: Neil Dorrington was in studio (with a rabbit named Pierre) laying down bass for Zaska’s debut album. Feb 23: 3/4 of the band played The Bowery in Dublin alongside John Byrne, HamSandwich, Carol Keogh and White Mice celebrating 40 years of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. Feb 22: Played The Sugar Club, Dublin, with Ailbhe Reddy and Maria Kelly. Feb 22: Jess joined Max Zaska in jamming with drummer Ralph Rolle at The Sugar Club. Rolle is best known for being the drummer in Chic, but he’s also played with Paul Simon, Prince, Lady Gaga, Aretha Franklin, John Legend, Elvis Costello and D’Angelo. Videos. Feb 17: BARQ were on RTÉ 2FM in Studio 8 performing their single Bear and a cover of The Weeknd’s I Can’t Feel My Face.  Feb 16: BARQ announced an upcoming tour with Berlin-based Hawk and Harbouring Oceans. The Big Giant Head Tour opens in London on Mar 23 and continues through Ireland until Apr 6. Feb 13: BARQ announced a gig with Hawk and Harbouring Oceans for this spring #BigGiantHead. Feb 9: BARQ’s new video for Bear is getting attention from District Magazine and Nialler9. BARQ played an acoustic set supporting Madeleine Peyroux at The Olympia, Dublin. Feb 8: BARQ will be playing the Strike 4 Repeal fundraiser on March 8 at Jigsaw in Dublin.  Feb 7: BARQ released the video for their single Bear exclusively through A Music Blog, Yea? and announced their appearance at Canadian Music Week in Toronto, April 18-22.  

Jan 31: CDs are now for sale featuring an interactive augmented reality cover. Jan 26: BARQ played Jameson Bow Sessions, with Booka Brass and Soulé at Sugar Club, Dublin. Finale jam performance of Missy Elliott’s Get Ur Freak OnHot Press review and photos. Pure M review.  Announced FM104 The Gig for ISPCC Childline at The Olympia, Dublin – with The Academic, Little Hours Band and more to be announced. Jan 24: BARQ were chosen by Golden Plec as one of their picks for 2017. BARQ will be playing an acoustic set supporting Madeleine Peyroux at The Olympia on Feb 9. Jan 21: BARQ played a Fundraiser for Home Sweet Home at SinE. Jan 12: BARQ announced for the Home Sweet Home fundraiser on Jan 21 and drummer, Tommy Gray talks about his favourite gear. Jan 11: Jess Kavanagh was a panelist speaking about feminism, along with Hozier, at the IMP Hour event organized by Faye O’Rourke from Little Green Cars and Susannah Appleby. Jan 7: Stephen McHale, Tommy Gray and Neil Dorrington performed backing band duties for the Dublin Bowie Festival with Jess Kavanagh joining in a bitJan 1: BARQ at Custom House, Dublin Live Music Trail, NYF Dublin Festival. 

Dec 28: Irish radio has been playing BARQ with Radio8 having their single Bear #3 on their playlistRTÉ 2FM included BARQ in their top 100 most played Irish artists and Tall Dan Hegarty put Bear at #2 on the top Irish songs list. Dec 21: A great set of photos from the 5 Band Bash were released. Dec 20: The Last Mixed Tape included That Thing You Love at #16 on the top 100 songs that made 2016 list. Dec 19: Gentle Kind of Lies landed at #29 on Nailler 9’s top 50 Irish songs of 2016 list. Dec 10: BARQ performed outside in Dublin to raise awareness and funds for the Simon Community, a homeless charity. Dec 9: BARQ opened for The Strypes at The Olympia.

Nov 17: BARQ released their newest single, Bear, which is featured on their 3-song EP on Bandcamp.