The Stunning

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The Stunning
OriginGalway, Ireland
Years active1987—1994, 2003—present.
LabelsDirtbird Records,[1] Earshot Records, Solid Records
Associated actsThe Walls, The Saw Doctors, Altan, Christy Moore
WebsiteThe Stunning official website
MembersJoe Wall
Steve Wall
Derek Murray
Jim Higgins
Cormac Dunne
Past members

The Stunning are an Irish rock band. Formed in 1987 in Galway, they are perhaps best known for their single "Brewing Up a Storm". Known for their strong live performances, they maintain a cult following across Ireland.



The group was formed in 1987 by Steve Wall. The band played its first show in the Hilltop Hotel, Salthill, Galway. The original line-up also included Donal Duggan (saxophone), Ronan Kavanagh (keyboards) and Paddy Schutte (trombone), the latter three all leaving after the first couple of years to pursue other careers.

The first release was the single "Got to Get Away" (1988) licensed to Solid Records. It reached No. 17 in the Irish charts and received strong airplay on national radio. The band started to tour constantly starting in the west of Ireland, working their way east and finally playing their debut shows in Dublin with a three-week residency in the Baggot Inn. More singles followed: "Half Past Two" (1988); "Romeo’s on Fire" (1989) and "Brewing up a Storm" (1989).

Paradise in the Picture House
Studio album by
The Stunning
Released1990 (1990)[2]
The Stunning chronology
''Paradise in the Picture House''
Once Around the World

Their debut album Paradise in the Picture House was released under license on Solid Records in June 1990 reaching number one in the Irish charts and remaining there for five weeks. That year the band performed an early slot at the first Féile festival in Semple Stadium, Thurles and they toured constantly building up a huge following nationwide.

Once Around the World
Studio album by
The Stunning
Released1992 (1992)
The Stunning chronology
Paradise in the Picture House
''Once Around the World''
Twice Around the World

The second album Once Around the World released on Solid Records went straight into the number one spot and contained the hit singles "Heads"; "Everything that Rises"; "She’s on my Mind"; and "Mr. Ginger". The Stunning were now one of the most successful bands in Ireland and that year they headlined the Féile festival at midnight, going on after Bryan Adams to a crowd of approximately 40,000 people.

Tours in the UK and the US followed. They opened for Bob Dylan over five nights in the Hammersmith Apollo in London and two weeks later played support to the B52’s on a UK tour. Regular shows in the Mean Fiddler (Harlesden), the Powerhouse (Islington) and the Grande (Clapham) had hoped to get the band noticed by UK record labels but a deal never materialized. They made several trips to the US playing in Boston, New York City, Northampton, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Portland, Maine but these self-financed tours became impossible for the band to fund.

In 1993 they released an EP of cover versions Deja Voodoo which reached number six in the charts. That summer they played two consecutive nights in the Galway Arts Festival which were recorded and featured on the live album Tightrope which was also released that year.[2]

1994 - The break-up[edit]

Due to various business disappointments and the lack of progress internationally, the band decided to split up. They performed a sell-out Irish tour in 1994, which included their fifth appearance at Féile, and concluded with two nights in the Warwick Hotel, Galway where the band were based. The Stunning have sold well over 100,000 albums in Ireland alone.


2003 – 9 years after breaking up, they re-issued Paradise in the Picture House on the imprint Dirtbird Records as a special edition with bonus tracks and a full-colour booklet. It went to number two in the Irish charts. They played 14 sold-out shows to over 20,000 people across the country.

2006 - they re-issued the live album Tightrope and completed an eight date Irish tour that Christmas taking in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Galway, Sligo, Castlebar, Ennis, Killarney.

2008 - the band completed a 12-date Irish tour and that summer they played to a massive crowd at the Electric Picnic festival in Stradbally, Co. Laois.

2009 - the band headlined the Friday night of the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Galway city on 5 June. Around 25,000 people gathered around Galway docks to hear them play.

2012 - was the band's 25th anniversary and they celebrated with a six date tour that Christmas taking in Dublin, Kilkenny, Cork, Castlebar, Donegal and Galway. They played a follow-up concert in Galway for the Volvo Ocean Race again on 6 July, headlining the Saturday night to a crowd of around 30,000.[4]

2013 - On 13 February The Stunning were the headline act for the NUIG Arts Ball, the largest formal dress ball in Ireland, in their 'hometown' of Gaillimh.[5] On 8 June they also headlined the Helium Charity Festival in Ballymahon, County Longford in aid of Ataxia Ireland.

2014 - saw the band return to the USA for the first time since 1993, performing at Terminal 5 in New York and the Royale, Boston with the Boomtown Rats and Mundy.

2015 - The Stunning went into Grouse Lodge studios, Co. Westmeath for two week-long periods to record new material and that summer they performed several festival shows around Ireland.

2016 - Following a summer of festival shows, Steve was cast as Chet Baker in a Dutch-produced film My Foolish Heart about the jazz musician's last days in Amsterdam in 1988. The film is due for release in 2018.

Twice Around the World
Studio album by
The Stunning
Released16 March 2018 (2018-03-16)
StudioGrouse Lodge studios[2]
LabelDirtbird Records
The Stunning chronology
Once Around the World
''Twice Around the World''

2017 - "Brighten up my Life", the Stunning’s first original single since 1993, was released in May 2017. They played a sold-out show in Dublin's Olympia Theatre on 6 October and announced a second for March 2018. Another new single "Always You" is released on 10 November and features the vocals of Danielle Harrison formerly of Irish electro-rock band Skindive. The band finished the recording and mixing of the album Twice Around the World, which is due for release in March 2018.

2018 - Twice Around the World, the band's first studio album in 26 years, was released on 16 March 2018. It features re-recordings of songs from 1992's Once Around the World, a cover of The Walls' "Carrying the Fire" from their 2012 album Stop the Lights, as well as the two new singles, "Brighten up my Life" and "Always You".[1][2]

After The Stunning[edit]

The founding members, brothers Steve and Joe Wall, formed the successful Irish band The Walls in 1998 releasing three acclaimed albums between 2000 and 2012. One of The Wall’s songs "Drowning Pool" - taken from the New Dawn Breaking album - was licensed for use in the opening credits in the movie Begin Again.

Steve Wall is now an actor, and Joe Wall is lecturing at the music college BIMM, Dublin.

Derek Murray joined the Saw Doctors, and toured extensively in the US and UK. Jim Higgins spent a number of years playing around the world with Riverdance and since then has played with The Saw Doctors (drums), Altan (bodhrán, percussion) and Christy Moore (bodhrán, percussion). Cormac Dunne is a music teacher.


Studio albums[edit]

  • Paradise in the Picture House (1990)
  • Once Around The World (1992)
  • Twice Around the World (2018)

Other albums[edit]

  • Tightrope (1993) (live album)
  • Milking the Hits (1994) (compilation album)


  • "Got To Get Away" (1988), Chart placement: Number 17
  • "Half Past Two" (1988), Chart Placement: Number 19
  • "Romeo's On Fire" (1989), Chart Placement: Number 24
  • "Brewing Up a Storm" (1989/1991)
  • "Merry Christmas Baby" (1990), Chart Placement: Number 24
  • "Heads (Are Gonna Roll)" (1991), Chart Placement: Number 5
  • "Everything That Rises" (1992), Chart Placement: Number 6
  • "She's On My Mind" (1992), Chart Placement: Number 12
  • "Mr. Ginger" (1992), Chart Placement: Number 22
  • "Deja Voodoo EP" (1993), Chart Placement: Number 8
  • "Run and Hide" (2013), Chart Placement: Number 6


  1. ^ a b c "Twice Around the World by The Stunning". Apple Music. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "The Stunning discography". The Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Paradise in the Picture House by The Stunning". Apple Music. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  4. ^ "New Zealand Day - Woodquay". Volvo Ocean Race Galway. 6 July 2012. Archived from the original on 5 July 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  5. ^

External links[edit]