The High Kings

Irish Folk RockBuy TicketsEnhance your Kate experience with Membership!

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The High Kings are Finbarr Clancy, Darren Holden, Brian Dunphy and newest member Paul O’ Brien. The High Kings formed in June 2007 when Brian, Darren, Finbarr and former member Martin Furey were asked to join a brand-new Irish ballad group by David Kavanagh after he had noticed a gap in the market for a band specialising in traditional Irish music.

It didn’t take long during their first studio rehearsal for them to realise that the way their individual voices blended together meant that they were onto something special. The High Kings play 13 instruments between them, creating the unique sound and atmosphere that they still showcase to this day. This was confirmed when their self-titled debut album reached number 2 on the world Billboard Music chart. In March 2009 The High Kings played 5 consecutive sold out shows to a packed audience in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre.

Towards the end of 2009 The High Kings licensed their second studio album ‘Memory Lane’ to Universal Music Ireland signifying the fast trajectory that the band had taken in their short lifespan.  ‘Memory Lane’ was released in February 2010 and after a successful Irish tour the album went platinum in June only 4 months after its initial release. They followed ‘Memory Lane’ with a ‘Live in Ireland’ album which received critical acclaim as it showcased the energy that the band brings to the live shows.

By 2011 the band had out grown the venues they had been previously playing and had to start playing larger venues not only in Ireland but also in America and across Europe. Many fans became regular faces as they effectively followed the band on their sold-out tours many crossing oceans and borders through-out the world just to see their favourite band perform live. People loved what they were doing; bringing a new take on traditional Irish ballads to audiences of multiple generations. In 2013 the band licensed their forthcoming album 'Friends for Life’ to Sony Worldwide, another indication of their global appeal. ‘Friends for Life’ featured 8 original songs written and composed by the band and was released in 2013. Taking their original songs on the road was a new and exciting milestone for the band and it wasn’t long before the likes of ‘Oh Maggie’ and ‘Irelands Shore’ were being sung back to them by the audience.

November 2014 marked another milestone for the band when they recorded ‘Four Friends Live’ at the Millennium Forum in Derry which was their first joint CD/DVD and the first live DVD recording since the debut DVD 'Live in Dublin' in 2008. The early part of 2016 was spent back in the studio recording their ‘Grace & Glory’ album. The album charted at number 1 on the Irish Indie charts and was very well received by critics and fans alike. The rest of 2016 and early 2017 was spent extensively touring the new album. Over the past 12 years The High Kings have released 4 studio albums, 2 live albums and 2 DVDs. In 2017 they released a compilation album ‘Decade’ which celebrated 10 amazingly successful years together and also included 5 brand new recordings.

In 2012 they performed for President Obama in Moneygall, this led to a personal invitation from the president to perform at the 2012 White House St. Patrick’s Day celebration. They flew directly from London where they had already been the headline act for the Lord Mayor of London’s St. Patrick’s Day concert. In 2015 The High Kings were invited to the Pentagon as guests of General Martin Dempsey, who is the Chairman of The Joint Chiefs of Staff. They performed alongside the US Marine Corps band marking another special occasion for the band. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Irish Rugby anthem ‘Ireland’s Call’ the band were asked by the original composer Phil Coulter to record their own version which was subsequently included in the TV3 documentary.

The High Kings continue to set the bar extremely high for Irish Folk bands across the world and are widely regarded to be at the forefront of the genre. In 2019 after a 12 year journey The High Kings continue to perform in sell out venues across the globe to their ever-growing army of loyal fans that span generations.  

Parking

The Kate parking map - accessible parking is available on Main Street and in the parking lot behind the Kate

Parking at the Kate is free and easy! There is not one dedicated parking lot; however, there is ample parking surrounding the venue.

Parking on the street is limited and shared by all Main Street merchants. We ask that you consider one of the suggested off-street parking locations in blue where Kate patrons have permission to park.

Shows start promptly at the time posted to our website and printed on your tickets. Planning to arrive 15 minutes prior to the show is always a great idea—plus, it give you a few minutes to explore the Katharine Hepburn Museum!

Directions

The Kate is located at 300 Main Street in downtown Old Saybrook, a short distance from the I-95 corridor as well as the Route 9/I-95 interchange. Get Driving Directions

Concessions/Bar

The Kate’s Concessions/Bar area is open for most shows, offering bottled water, soda, juice, and a selection of movie theater candy. For those 21 and over, a selection of beer, wine, prosecco, and simple mixed cocktails are available.

Cash or credit cards are accepted and beverages purchased at the Kate may be taken into the theater.

Concessions/bar may not be available for all performances and selections may vary. For more information, contact the Box Office at (860) 510-0453.

Nearby Dining Options

Consider one of the many great nearby restaurants for a bite to eat before or after the show. To explore options, check out our Dining page.

The Kate theater is located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Cultural Arts Center. The orchestra level is accessible by elevator from the 1st floor lobby; the balcony is accessible only via stairs. Accessible seating locations may vary slightly by event and are clearly identified on the interactive seating chart for each performance. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Box Office at (860) 510-0453. For additional information, please reference our Box Office & Theater Policies.

Seating chart

Become a Member

Whether you are drawn to the Kate for a love of the performing arts or of Katharine Hepburn, we hope that each Kate experience is a great one. As a patron, you help to keep the arts alive in our community.

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The Kate is generously sponsored by:

  • Pasta Vita
  • Saybrook Point Resort & Marina
  • Sennheiser