Hal (band)

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For other people named Paul Allen, see Paul Allen (disambiguation).
Hal performing in 2005.
Background information
Origin Dublin, Ireland
Genres Indie Rock, Alternative Rock, Pop Rock
Years active 2003 - present
Labels Rough Trade
Website http://www.halrecords.com/
Members Dave Allen
Paul Allen
Stephen O'Brien

HAL are a band from Dublin, Ireland composed of brothers Dave Allen (vocals/guitar) Paul Allen (vocals/bass)and Stephen O'Brien (keyboards, occasional guitars and backing vocals) (drums), who formed in 2003.


Hal were signed to Rough Trade Records in 2004 following competition between several record labels.[1]

Their first single, "Worry About the Wind" was released in 2004.[1] This single was well received by the press, and many claimed that Hal would become 'the' band of 2004.[citation needed] Their critically acclaimed self-titled debut album was one of the best reviewed albums of 2005.[citation needed] "What a Lovely Dance" and "Play the Hits" were prominently featured on Match of the Day and World Cup 2004. "Don't Come Running" / "I Sat Down" were released as a double A-side single. The band also released "Keep Love As Your Golden Rule" on a split 7" single with (The Magic Numbers)

They also contributed their cover of John Lennon's "Mind Games" for a Q magazine special CD in October 2005.

The band toured worldwide in 2004 and 2005, enjoying TV and radio coverage as well as performing supporting shows for bands such as Doves and Grandaddy.[2] the band went back into the recording studio at the end of 2005. Their second album was originally expected to be released in 2007, but did not in fact appear until five years later.

In August 2010, the band announced that they were working on their next album on their website and Facebook page.[3] In February 2012 the band released the 4 track 'Down In The Valley' EP digitally. Their long awaited second album 'The Time The Hour' was finally released in April 2012 and tipped by many to be the dark horse to feature highly in the best albums of 2012. The trademark West Coast pop sensibilities still stand out coupled on occasion with Neil Young-esque vocals whilst all the way basking in the harmonies that made its predecessor such a fabled debut.


  • The Irish Post Best Newcomer Award 2005
  • European Border Breakers Award 2006, awarded by the European Commission in Cannes in January 2006
  • Best Irish Album of 2005 in the Irish Independent
  • Nr.1 album van 2005 in French music magazine MAGIC
  • One of the albums of 2005 in Mojo and Uncut


  • Choice Award 2005 in Ireland. Hal played live at the award show in Dublin
  • Best Irish Band of 2005 at the Irish Music Awards



' Down In The Valley' (EP)(2012)

  • The Time, The Hour (2012)


  • "Worry About the Wind" (26 April 2004) - UK No. 53
  • "What a Lovely Dance" (24 January 2005) - IRE No. 19, UK No. 36
  • "Play the Hits" (11 April 2005) - UK No. 38
  • "Don't Come Running" / "I Sat Down" (15 August 2005)



  1. ^ a b Hal (band) at AllMusic
  2. ^ "HAL". Breaking Tunes. 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2012-04-01. 
  3. ^ "HAL". Facebook. Retrieved 2012-04-01. 
  4. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 240. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

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