Romance Is Dead. Since . Based in Alternative Rock | |
'Romance Is Dead' on IrishUnsigned music:
The Beer Song
The Habs

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contact name:Blake Norton
phone: (086) 317 3859
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"Romance Is Dead" is the collective name for New York songwriter Blake Norton, Dublin musician Brendan Monroe and percussionist Rob O?Halloran, an original band featuring a passionately powerful yet intimate rock presence.

Band Biography

Romance Is Dead finds its origins in 1997, when Blake Norton met Rob Power, front man of indy group "Luster," in Bray, Co. Wicklow. The new duo, at that time called "Release," were a hook-conscious pop act with Norton on guitar and vocals with Power playing bass and singing harmony. That summer they became a three-piece, teaming up with drummer Steven Fahey to play at the "Braystock" beach festival and appearing for an afternoon slot in Eamon Doran's in Dublin.
In the winter of 1997, Blake and Rob parted ways with Steven and teamed up with percussionist Kevin "Moose" Moore of Dublin metal band "Minion" to record the band's first studio demo, "Bone Marrow." The two-track single was produced by Eamon McHugh in Sun Studios, Temple Bar, Dublin. Having recruited their second full-time drummer, Brian Coffey, the new lineup spent the spring of 1998 playing several dates in Dublin city and neighboring towns, highlighted by a show in Katie Gallaghers where they performed as part of an IMRO Showcase.

With each band member's college careers requiring too much time for the group to continue performing full time, the group went on sabbatical. Front man Norton used this period to develop new material, which had been gradually evolving from a sound incorporating elements of punk and grunge into a more nuanced acoustic rock style, a result of his work with Brendan Munroe. The pair recorded seventeen new tracks, and performed part-time at private functions and parties.

In 1999, Blake took a job with Snowball Inc. in San Francisco, California, where he developed his solo acoustic set. He returned to Ireland the following year, where he and Brendan Monroe teamed up once again to record Norton's new material. Shortly there after, drummer Eugene Hogan of Cork band "Tripswitch" left the aforementioned group to enter the fold. The line-up of Monroe, Hogan and Norton hit it off, and within a month were headlining The Drew Drop Inn for Peakefest 2001.

Romance Is Dead made their Cork City debut in January 2002, headlining a Friday night show in Fred Zeppelins, with veteran local guitarist Dermot Lyons joining them for the set. Following the show, Norton and Hogan moved on to Seattle, Washington, where they spent the summer jamming with local musicians. During their three months in the U.S., they performed in the Messiah Caf? and competed in a Battle Of The Bands in the I-Spy club in downtown Seattle.

At the summer?s end, the group returned to Ireland to re-form the full lineup with Brendan Munroe. Hogan soon stepped down to pursue college ambitions, at which point Munroe and Norton decided to go forward in a fresh direction. Encouraged by the success of many fellow Irish singer songwriters and the acts such as Tenacious D, they completed the transition that was years in the making, to that of a purely guitar-based rock sound. The duo spent the eight months between September 2002 and the April 2003 behind closed doors, polishing all aspects of their act. In May, Blake was invited to appear with Joe Duffy on Radio 1 to discuss the upcoming Eurovision song contest. Later that month, he made a series of once-off musical appearances, headlining a gig at The Lobby with hard rock act ?Rift? and providing MC duties for CSN College?s final show of the season, a sold-out gig at the Triskel Arts Center in April.

In June, Blake finished a one-year music industry management course at CSN in Cork and made the permanent move back to Dublin, where Norton & Munroe are now performing full time. They made their Dublin debut on June 8th to a rousing reception when they co-headlined The Isaac Butt with Northern Irish rockers God Talking Soul. The gig launched the band's new single, "Over The Mountain," which is available at Road Records in Dublin ( This was quickly followed by a series of shows downtown in The Voodoo Lounge. On June 27th, the band appeared on live on the Dublin-based Newstalk 106 FM, which broadcasts to two million people in Ireland and all over the world on the web. The following week, they made their national radio debut when ?Thank You, Renee? was played on Radio 1. The band was called ?A Name To Watch Out For? on the Dublin scene by host John Creedon.

Three weeks later, percussionist Rob O?Halloran joined the band, bringing the group?s sound to a new plateau. The new group spent six weeks creating a new live set at the Harbor Studios in Wicklow, during which time they made a once-off appearance on behalf of Gigsmart, headlining their pre-season Saturday night show at The Voodoo Lounge on August 16th. The following week, Romance made a live appearance with Louise Mannion on Phoenix FM to announce their debut single's release to online shoppers, making it available to a worldwide audience from

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