24. Dublin, Republic of Ireland


The Republic of Ireland’s capital has proved that the Irish have a music scene beyond Celtic folk and regrettable boy bands.

The 1970s saw hard rock favourites Thin Lizzy burst onto the scene with hits such as ‘Boys Are Back In Town’ and ‘Jailbreak’. Charismatic frontman Phil Lynott’s showmanship would influence many young pretenders, both in Ireland and abroad.

And late in the 1970s, a fledgling band was formed by a young Larry Mullen Jr. in the kitchen of the Mullen household. That band would become know as U2. The rest, as they say, is history.

By the mid-1980s, with U2 well on the way to becoming one of the biggest bands in the world in popularity and commercial viability, Dublin showed it still had a fertile rock underground to be acknowledged.

The peerless My Bloody Valentine unleashed the seminal alternative rock classics Isn’t Anything and Loveless on unsuspecting ears, and became the flagship band of the short-lived ‘shoegazing’ genre.

The band, led by the genius Kevin Shields spent over 20 years following up their ground-breaking second album, which is regularly voted one of the very best of the 1990s (or all time) by critics. Pleasingly, the follow up to Loveless, named  m b v, was released in early 2013 to rave reviews.

Home favourites U2 continue to churn out albums and embark on mega-tours, and Dublin has continued to supply a steady stream of rock ‘n’ roll for the world.

Associated acts: U2, My Bloody Valentine, Thin Lizzy, The Virgin Prunes, The Radiators From Space, Sinead O’ Connor

Landmarks: The Clarence Hotel