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               Irelands First Boy Band                       



1957    Con & Dec went to O'Connell Schools in Dublin, where Dec joined the school Harmonica Band and learned how to play the mouthorgan, whilst Con joined the school choir. Con also learned to play the harmonica at home, and having spent many hours at the fireside playing together they formed a harmonica group called 'The Harmonichords'. Under their new name they performed their first concert at The Boxing Stadium in Dublin , then went on to play on many other shows around Dublin, honing their stagecraft skills. They often played on air with the Radio Eireann Light Orchestra, and appeared in all the major theatres in their home city of Dublin. During this time they appeared on Hughie Green's 'Opportunity Knocks' on Radio Luxemburg having time off school to do so. 



1959  Con & Dec played in 'Fit Ups' (put together shows) all over Ireland and with the encouragement of Karl Denver added singing and playing guitars to their accomplishments. This meant they could now do two acts during a show - thus earning more money!! All this whilst still at school...............



1960  They appeared on the 'Ed Sullivan TV Show' in America. They also appeared in Ireland on a 25 week prime time radio series with Eamonn Andrews called 'Odd Noises' which was an Irish version of 'The Goon Show'. They thank Fred O'Donovan the producer of 'Odd Noises' who, if anybody, started them on their career. 

They learned about recording techniques, both vocal and instrumental, primitive though they were at that stage. ( The engineer used a tube from a vacuum cleaner to create a delay effect - you had to use ingenuity in those days! ). Con & Dec were also taught the skills of stage make-up, although what that had to do with appearing on the radio was a mystery to them at the time. Later however it came in very useful.

Their reputation grew, and they became household names throughout Ireland. This resulted in them becoming so busy that they performed 37 shows in one week............ and they were still at school!!


1961  Now well established in Ireland they travelled the length and breadth of the country performing on the harmonicas and also singing to their own accompaniment on guitar and bass. Little did they know that their fame was spreading abroad and that things were about to change for them. They were asked to perform in Glasgow for two weeks at The Pavilion Theatre followed by two weeks at The Hume Hippodrome in Manchester. The same promoter, Philip Solomon was to make them a life changing offer the following year.


Philip and Dorothy Solomon

Philip and Dorothy Solomon
They made it all happen


  BLUE LEFT ARROW   A typical poster for one of the many shows they appeared in all over Ireland both north and south of the border. Unfortunately their co-star on this particular show Othmar Remy Arthur was killed in a car crash on the Naas Road just outside Dublin on his way home from a show. He was driving a V.W. Beetle at the time.



They continued to hone their skills on their instruments practising every night after school.