Carlow, Leinster, IRL

CLEERE having just finished a year long Irish tour with discovery channel’s Keith Barry and have played to more than 75,000 people in Ireland alone. Having supported other high profile bands such as The Script and Status Quo the band are truly on the road to big things. 2010 was no exception seeing the band launching their new album East/West and latest single Sick Day (All A Joke). This year 2011, CLEERE have their eyes set on touring the UK and are already working on their new album.


Back when Joe Cleere was a nipper, most other kids spent their days kicking a ball around, chasing girls and watching TV. Joe was different. Not that he didn't enjoy those sides of his adolescent life, he enjoyed getting into trouble as much as the next pup! But Joe had a gift rarely seen in someone so young, a raw talent for music. With a voice full of soul and melody and a prodigious guitar talent, he knew from pretty early on that this was the road he walking, and he was taking his guitar with him.

At just 12 years of age, Joe played his first gig with his very own band, 'Joe Plays Jimmy', covering songs of the grand master of the axe, Jimi Hendrix. If anything else, this kid had balls. His taste in music was sophisticated. Uninterested in the music of the day, he spent hours with the records of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, John Lennon and Bob Marley. In awe of their unique ability to craft timeless music, he began to write his own songs.

At the age of 14, Joe travelled to Finland to record his first EP of original songs. In the same year, he entered the prestigious Jacobs 2FM Song Contest. It turned out Joe wasn't just a good musician; he had also learned how to right a tune. His song 'XXXXXX,” reached the final where he played live to a sold out Vicar Street in Dublin. Although he didn't win the contest, the buzz of playing live to such a big audience was thrilling. He was hooked.

Joe began to spend more and more time and effort writing songs and in 2006, he and his band once again reached the final of the 2fm Song Contest, only this time they scooped the €10,000 prize. Persistence and hard work had paid off, and finally Joe had the money he needed to start recording an album. Between 2004 and 2006 Joe had been busy writing his soon to be released debut album, East/ West. Not one to rest on his laurels he also began building his home studio, Fretless Records. After a long spell of building live rooms, learning sound engineering and gathering equipment, fretless records was ready to track in 2007.

Just like a mad scientist, Joe locked himself away in the studio, where a year of intensive recording, experimentation and learning began. By 2008 the Album was ready to be mixed and mastered; the only problem was Joe had poured his life savings into the studio and the album and was, well, broke. It was then a small miracle occurred, just as it was desperately needed, Cleere won the Artlinks Bursary Award 2008 and was grant aided €8,000 to finish and promote the album. With the new budget, Joe enlisted the talents of Philip Magee (The Script, Aslan, Brian McFadden etc) to mix the album before it was mastered by Steve Fallone of Sterling
Sound New York ( The Strokes, James Brown,).

The finished product is a bitter sweet album contrasting the difference between the eastern world and the western world in terms of wealth and equity. Each song has its own place on the album and tells its own story. With a mixture of soul, reggae and tinge of the blues, CLEERE manage to navigate each genre effortlessly. Joe Cleere has been gifted with a shiver inducing voice, which is beautifully showcased on upcoming single "Sick Day (All A Joke).

In 2009 Cleere organised the first ever free disc give away street tour in Ireland. The Q4Free campaign in August 2009 saw the band give away 10,000 discs for free to the general public as part of a nationwide street tour. Armed with nothing but their instruments and joined by a street team of loyal follows, the band travelled to cities all over the country, receiving a warm reception both in the media and with the audiences they entertained every day. In the same month Joe played an acoustic support for the artist Ruth Anne, where a chance meeting with magician Keith Barry would present the band with a rare opportunity.

Having been blown away by the performance, Keith invited Joe to play the TF Royal Castlebar as his support the following week. The gig was a huge success, leading Keith to invite CLEERE on tour to be his support act. In September 2009, CLEERE embarked on a 15 date nationwide tour with Keith Barry. This tour later grew into a 75 date stint through the remainder of 2009 into 2010 taking in venues such as, INEC Killarney, TF Royal Castlebar, Everyman Palace Cork and 20 nights in the Olympia Dublin.

In the latter half of 2010, CLEERE have been involved in numerous live national radio and TV performances, such as "Today With Pat Kenny" which has a listener-ship of over 200,000 people, having songs featured on two of the national TV stations and with continuous airplay on many other radio channels.
As a Barretstown volunteer Joe has recorded a beautiful version of 'Walking In The Air'. Joe's haunting arrangement makes the perfect backdrop for a glimpse of the magic of Barretstown camp with all funds raised going straight to Barretstown.



album EAST / WEST 2010
single: Sick Day (All A Joke) 2010