Jeremy Engel’s top five music hotspots in Dublin

"This tiny pub hidden in a cul de sac is a pure gem and has only pure magic to offer! The sometimes friendly pub dog will be there to welcome you."
23 June 2022

By Vanessa B

“I believe wherever dreams dwell, the heart calls it home. So may you untangle yourself from the twist of melancholy and let your thoughts carry you back to the birthplace of your truth.” – Dodinsky

Paris-born singer-songwriter Jeremy Engel recently shared his recent single Tell You Ma which he describes as being inspired by his chosen home, Ireland. Somewhat of a global citizen, Jeremy has found himself immersed in various cultures via his work as a UN conference interpreter, but it was Ireland that he felt called to, sharing that his life was changed in 2006 after seeing ‘Irish Tour 1974’: “Learning about Rory Gallagher in that film introduced me to one of my greatest influences!” he shared. After falling in love with Dublin, it turned out that some of that calling might have been in part because of the fact that Ukrainian/Luxembourg-rooted Jeremy is in fact 52% Irish, as revealed by a DNA test.

Tell You Ma is a captivating and forceful pop-rock track with plush 60s-70s influences, that has been twenty years in the making. Brimming with gusto and powerful guitar riffs, it stands out as a strong example of the artist’s ardent cultural appreciation. Jeremy’s classically gravelly rock vocals compliment the retro-sounding instrumentals perfectly, while the lyrics serve as a memoir expounding on a widely shared experience of searching and yearning for a true home.

As Jeremy explained:

“This song “Tell You Ma’” is one of the first songs I ever wrote. It has been in my mind since I was 17. It took me 20 years before I decided to record it. I didn’t want to record it if I wasn’t ready, because I like to be able to do live what I can do in the studio. The groove had to be perfect too.”

Listen to the track below and read on for Jeremy’s guide to his top recommendations for musical hotspots in Dublin’s fair city.

Sin é

This pub is the go-to place in Dublin! It has everything you could wish for, great music (with many live acts), a great selection of beers and above all great craic! This place is located by the river Liffey between Temple Bar and Smithfied and it is the perfect place to start the night… and to end it! I usually go there around 6 pm for a couple of pints before heading to other places, and if I feel like dancing to the sound of classic rock I come back later at night!

Frank Ryan’s

This is my personal favorite! This tiny pub hidden in a cul de sac is a pure gem and has only pure magic to offer! The sometimes friendly pub dog will be there to welcome you. The crowd is mostly made of locals who come to enjoy the wide variety of beers and great live music on Thursdays. The decor is amazing and you will be surrounded by old posters of the greatest musicians of the 20th century, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Rory Gallagher… and bras on the ceiling! Just make sure you don’t sit at the table beneath Rory’s poster cause this is my reserved spot 🙂

You want to go there quite early because the place gets crowded quickly but in the summer days you can also enjoy the little terrace where you can order a pizza. When you’re done, swing by The Cobblestone nearby for the best trad sessions in town.

La Hacienda

This place is the most original pub you will find in Dublin. From the outside, it looks like a regular house and you actually need to ring the bell to get in. The owner comes to open the door for you (if you don’t look like a weirdo) and then off you go for immersion in a parallel universe! Inside the decoration is very unusual, with an antique diving suit, an old piano, and objects of unknown origin you will not find anywhere else. There is also an old jukebox where you can select your favorite music, but you won’t find my music there… Yet 😉

The Hole in the Wall

The lovely pub is a bit further away from the city center and you may want to take a taxi to get there. Located along the wall of Phoenix Park, this pub is the longest in Europe! This is the perfect location to spend a lazy Sunday. During the Christmas period, the decoration is absolutely amazing. You may want to get there early for lunch and extend the afternoon till the evening and lose all sense of time! Take the time to try the house beers. They also have a wine bar with an excellent selection of wines from around the world, but the Nuit Saint Georges is the best!

Nancy Hands

Nancy Hands was my local pub when I first moved to Dublin back in 2006… at the time the pint of Guinness only cost 3.70 € (Good auld times !). This Victorian pub is located near Heuston Station and I really like its relaxed atmosphere. Great food, great selection of beers and whiskeys. Ask the owner to visit the first floor, it is absolutely stunning. This is the perfect place if you feel like having a Guinness in the morning and take the time to chat with the locals who will tell you the story behind the name of Nancy Hands.

Photo credits: Jerome Morin