Irish rock band The Stunning, originally formed back in 1987 and went on to become one of the most successful Irish rock bands ever. Their studio albums Paradise in the Picturehouse and Once Around The World both reached the No.1 spot in Ireland and sold over 100,000 copies. Their most popular songs such as "Brewing up a Storm",“Half Past Two” and “Romeo’s on Fire” are still played on radio stations, at football stadiums and clubs around Ireland today. 

Lead singer, Steve Wall, spoke to IrishCentral about the importance of music in Ireland, how it influenced him in his musical career and the famous Irish musicans he has jammed with over the years. 

1. Tell us about the playlist that you curated?

The Stunning are playing New York and Boston on Sept 26th & 28th respectively. The last time we performed in the US was 1993. We’re back with the full, original line-up and we can’t wait. Also on the bill are The Boomtown Rats, Mundy and Ash. It’s a terrific line-up. So I’ve put together my playlist from all of these featured acts and it’s a good taster for what to expect at the shows. It was hard trying to pick so few songs. I actually forgot how many great singles The Rats released.

2. Who is your favorite Irish artist?

I don’t have a favorite Irish artist as there are so many that I love both past and present. I have a serious soft spot for Planxty though, and Thin Lizzy. Hang on…there’s also Sinead O’Connor, Liam O’Maonlaí, Van Morrison, The Frank & Walters….and loads of emerging artists too, such as Larry Beau. I heard a new band called “Tvvins” recently, they’re ones to watch. Ireland is exploding with music.

3. Where is your favorite place to perform in Ireland?

At a session in Murray’s Bar on Inishbofin Island off Co. Galway.

4. Who would you say has influenced or inspired your music style most? How about lyrics?

Probably hearing The Beatles when I was about 6yrs old. The melodies grabbed me right away. When it comes to lyrics it’s hard to beat the likes of Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, John Lennon and of course Bob Dylan. Lennon’s “In my Life” is pure perfection in it’s honesty and simplicity.

5. Do you think growing up in Ireland has had an effect on your becoming a musician? What sort of music were you surrounded by growing up?

Absolutely, Ireland is a great place to become a musician as people here have a lot of respect for artists. At least until you come up against the music business sharks. For most musicians the sing-song at a family gathering is often their fist public performance and the tradition of singing songs at funerals, wakes, weddings, Christenings etc. is really important. My brother and I grew up in a house where there were always records being played. From an early age we heard the music of Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Burt Bacharach, The Kinks, Martha and the Vandellas, to name but a few. Our grandfather loved the crooners such as Brook Benton, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and our mother played her classical records loud. It all found it’s way into our musical subconscious.

6. If you could have a pint with one musician, dead or alive, who would it be?

Phil Lynott

7. Where in Ireland are you from?

I grew up in Dublin where my mother is from and at the age of thirteen we moved to my dad’s hometown, Ennistymon, Co. Clare. So I’m part Jackeen, part Culchie. A perfect blend.

8. Who has been your favorite musician to tour or play with?

Myself and Mundy have been on tour before, in the US and more recently in Russia. We’re like a couple of Buccaneers when we’re on the road. We work hard and when we’ve earned it, we play hard too ;)

For tickets to the New York gig click here and for tickets to the gig in Boston click here.

IASCA is the Irish Association of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. Based in Ireland, our members are Irish music writers of all genres – artists, songwriters, composers and lyricists.

Our goal is to represent our members, support them, protect their interests and create an environment where new talent can thrive.

PLAY IRISH is an IASCA initiative to promote Irish music both at home and overseas.

This playlist is brought to you by IASCA, visit their wesbite here: