Influenced primarily by second-wave ska, classic pop, and new wave, Irish five-piece the Blizzards occupy the unidentified territory between Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, and Lily Allen, balancing frank, occasionally explicit lyrics atop energetic rhythms and sweet pure pop melodies. Singer/guitarist Niall Breslin turned his back on a promising professional Rugby career to pursue chart success with the indie rock ensemble he formed with three former school friends: drummer Declan Murphy, bassist Anthony Doran, and keyboard player Aidan Lynch. The catalyst to the Mullingar band's success, however, was the addition of guitarist Justin Ryan, a Londoner who introduced the 2 Tone ska influence that would become one of the group's defining features.
The Blizzards released their debut single, "The First Girl to Leave Town," in Ireland in April 2005. The single narrowly missed the Top Ten, but finished as the year's best-selling independent release. Greater success soon followed as the band signed to Universal Records Ireland in early 2006. Three further Top 40 singles were issued, including the Top Ten hit "Miss Fantasia Preaches," before A Public Display of Affection saw light in October of the same year. Helmed by famed U.S. producer Michael Beinhorn (Korn, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden), the group's debut album climbed to number four in the album charts and saw release in the U.K. early the next year. As of August 2007, the Blizzards were working on their second studio album for Universal Ireland, tentatively due for release in the first quarter of 2008. ~ Dave Donnelly