Here's the top 50 acts in Ireland according to my humble tastes. The list acts as a guide to the music which excites me at this moment in time. It excludes bands not currently working in Ireland or who have been dormant for some time. So in basic terms here's a list of bands to watch out for on a random night in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Dundalk etc ....
50. Heritage Centre http://www.facebook.com/theheritagecentre
49. Seamus Fogarty http://www.facebook.com/pages/Seamus-Fogarty-Music/112030042201855
48. The Man Whom http://www.facebook.com/themanwhom
47. SJ McArdle http://www.facebook.com/sjmcardlemusic
46. Allie Bradley http://www.facebook.com/alliebrads
45. Drunken Boat http://www.facebook.com/drunkenboatie
Dublin's Drunken Boat are three albums into their career with a forth in the pipeline. I caught the band live by accident last Summer and I was mesmerized by their sound and musicianship. Drunken Boat make dreamy indie sounds which work.
44. Polly Barrett http://www.facebook.com/pages/Polly-Barrett-Music/108088589256392
Cork's Polly Barrett has a very pure voice and an ability to write really good, in depth meaningful songs like this one taken from her debut album 'Mr Bookshop'.
43. The Manhattan Syndrome http://www.facebook.com/TheManhattanSyndrome
Dublin indie rock band The Manhattan Syndrome perfected the art of writing anthems with their debut EP released last year. I've yet to see this band live but it's high on my to do list for 2012!
42. Aaron Shanley http://www.facebook.com/aaronshanley
If you're anxiously waiting on Damien Rice to appear from behind whatever rock he's under you could do yourself a favour and check out the songs of Aaron Shanley. This Lisburn lad has recently spent some time in Nashville recording new songs which I hope will be released this year.
41. Bouts http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bouts/275118665844806
Bouts have just released a double a-side single which happens to really excite me. Their fuzzy indie songs like 'Turn Away' make Bouts one of the best bands out there at the moment.
Part 3 tomorrow!