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London , LA , New York Mullingar? The Irish midlands town doesnt normally feature in lists of fertile rock n roll breeding grounds, but thats all set to change thanks to The Blizzards and their penchant for perfect pop songs. A glorious amalgam of influences Joe Strummer, The Specials and Weezer are just a few theyll hold their hands up to the band have already established their credentials at home with a self-released top 20 single, First Girl To Leave Town, which received huge amounts of local and national radio airplay. Add in gushing praise from the music magazine, Hot Press, and sell-out gigs wherever they and their fanatical following roam, and its no surprise that 2006 started with The Blizzards signing to Universal Music Ireland.

Theres no buzz bigger than having a roomful of people jump around to your songs. Audiences being slayed on a nightly basis, he politely declined a new contract with the professional rugby team hed been playing for. No, really! "I was part of the Leinster back-row for three years, which was a great experience but not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life," Bressie explains. "When I told my agent I was quitting, he was really cool about it and said, 'I must give your stuff to this guy who works in the same office as me.'" The co-tenant in question turned out to be Oasis manager Marcus Russell who was so impressed with the resulting War Of The Words EP that he told Liam and Noel they could look after themselves for a few days, and jetted over to Ireland. "He got the CD on Tuesday and was in Dublin watching us play on Saturday," chuckles Justin Ryan. "Marcus has been a really good friend to the band and puts a word in when it matters. More important than having chums in high places is the quality of The Blizzards' songs, which are derived from Bressie's how shall we put this? unique worldview. "It's a very direct style in that I only write about things I've done or seen myself," he says, which makes you wonder what was going on when the inspiration for 'Superdrug' popped into his head. Other live favourites whose subject matter can be divulged are 'Culture Clash Fuck Team' (friends who shag); 'Miss Fantasia Preaches (ecclesiastical opposition to the opening of a sex shop); and 'Black Hole' (disappointingly about money). Delivered live by a 6 feet 6 inches, 16 stone singer we told you he was a rugby player! their impact is considerable. So much so in fact, that when The Blizzards made their major festival debut at Oxegen '05, there were 2,500 adoring fans at the New Band Stage to greet them. "We only expected a few diehards to be there because it was so early, but it was mobbed," Justin reminisces fondly. "That gave us the confidence to go on and do the V Festivals in England, where nobody knew us but we still got a great response and loads of positive feedback afterwards through our website." Their V performances elicited kind words from Oasis and Futureheads, and some not-so-kind words from The Zutons who were royally trounced by The Blizzards in a game of 5-a-side football.