Angela Diver - bass, violin, vocals
Joan Diver - drums, vocals
Marie Thérèse Diver - keys, accordion, vocals
Gráinne Diver - guitar, vocals
Screaming Orphans are the four Diver sisters - Joan, Angela, Gráinne and Marie Thérèse - with the good fortune to have been raised in the magic of Bundoran in County Donegal, Ireland.
There is a great tradition of music to be found in Irish homes especially in the Gaeltacht or Irish-speaking areas which have produced the likes of Clannad, Enya and Mairead, Micheal and Triona Ni Dhomhnaill. The sisters' home was no exception. From an early age, the Diver sisters performed with their mother Kathleen Fitzgerald, a well-known Céilí singer in Ireland, playing shows in Ireland, England and Germany.
When the band hit their teenage years, they formed their own Celtic pop band, Screaming Orphans. The band’s first pop/rock shows were at local surf festivals in Bundoran playing cover songs. During this time the band contributed a track to the Litmus Surf Movie that achieved cult status in the surf world in the following years.
Soon they started writing their own music and travelling to Dublin to play the singer/ songwriter clubs, including the famous Whelan’s. At one of these shows, Screaming Orphans were seen by the director of London based Blue Mountain Music publishing company, founded by Chris Blackwell of Island Music (Bob Marley, U2) and subsequently signed a publishing deal with Blue Mountain Music.
The band’s next break came with an invitation to play at a St.Brigid's day concert in Kildare along with Irish artists like Christy Moore, Liam O'Maonlai, and world-renowned singer Sinead O'Connor. Sinead O’Connor then asked the band to be her back-up singers and open for her on her subsequent tour. Screaming Orphans went across Europe, America and Canada and appeared on David Letterman and numerous other TV shows as part of Sinead O’Connor’s show and as a band in their own right.
The following year was spent touring with world music star, Babba Maal, singing at his homecoming concert in Dakar, Senegal and contributing vocals to his album Nomad Soul. The band also recorded with Peter Gabriel and were backing vocalists on the Joni Mitchell track Magdalene Laundries for The Chieftains Tears of Stone album. They also contributed tracks to the Jeremy Thomas film All the Little Animals starring John Hurt and Christian Bale.
In early 2000s, Screaming Orphans signed with Warner UK (WEA) and recorded their debut album in Normandy, France with the legendary Mike Hedges, who has been producer for the likes of Siouxie and the Banshees, U2, Manic Street Preachers, Texas and Travis.
Soon the band traveled back and forth to the U.S. to work on music for cartoon pilots with Funny Garbage, an interactive development company whose clients include MTV Networks, Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, The Smithsonian Institution, PBS, CNN and HBO. At that time, Screaming Orphans also started playing various music venues throughout the US, including Irish festivals, universities and performing arts centers.
The band soon became one of the most sought-after Celtic bands and continues to actively tour across America, Canada and Europe, and play at various Arts, Folk, Celtic, and World music festivals as well as performing arts centers and concert series. The band is known for their powerful, award-winning sound that combines their own original melodic old-school pop songs with their unique and modern take on traditional Irish music and song.
In 2007, Screaming Orphans were invited to be a part of the Marc Bolan (T Rex) tribute concert which took place in Central Park, New York City. This was a great honor for the band as they were asked to open the show in this iconic setting and perform two songs. The line-up of that legendary concert included Patti Smith, Moby, Blondie, Lloyd Cole and many other artists. They were asked again in 2017 to perform as part of the Marc Bolan 40th Anniversary Tribute Concert in New York City alongside Marc’s son Rolan Bolan, Suzanne Vega and members of David Bowie’s band.
In 2016, the band was invited to perform at the prestigious Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington DC. In 2018, they recorded backing vocals for the new album by French artist Mathieu Insa. The album was produced by legendary producer John Reynolds. They were also featured on the album Bankers And Gansters by Black 47, the legendary New York City band. Larry Kirwan, lead singer and songwriter with the band, is currently host of the very popular Sirius XM radio show Celtic Crush. Larry has featured the band extensively on his radio show as have many other radio stations throughout the U.S.
The band has won the Top Celtic Rock band category and their music was also included on the Ultimate Guide to Irish Folk album, which includes tracks from many of their musical heroes.
Screaming Orphans released their folk album Taproom in August 2017. Guesting on this album was world-renowned piper Eric Rigler (Titanic, Braveheart, Million Dollar Baby, Cinderella Man). Taproom charted at No. 1 in the iTunes Charts, the iTunes Word Music charts and top ten in the Billboard World Albums charts. Taproom was named Folk/Pop/Rock Album Of The Year by Folk'n'Rock Magazine.
In 2019 Screaming Orphans released their pop album Life In A Carnival. This album was recorded in London and produced by legendary John Reynolds (Sinead O’Connor, Herbie Hancock, Indigo Girls, Belinda Carlisle, Brian Eno, Andrea Corr, Damien Dempsey). It charted No. 1 in the Irish Singer/Songwriter charts, top ten in the Billboard World Music Charts as well as top 25 in the U.S. iTunes pop charts which is an incredible feat for an unsigned band.
In January 2020, Screaming Orphans were handpicked by the organizers of Tradfest 2020 for the launch of the festival in Iveagh House (Department Of Foreign Affairs), Dublin alongside the Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe and the new CEO of Culture Ireland Kieran Hanrahan. They were also chosen by the head music programmer of RTE Radio 1 to be part of the RTE broadcast for Tradfest in Dublin Castle the night before the band’s show in the Olympia Theatre, Dublin.
The Covid pandemic of 2020 cut short the bands' tour in the U.S. but the cessation of all live shows did not stop the band’s creative output. During the lockdown in Bundoran, Co Donegal in 2020 they recorded an album of Irish, Scottish and American folk songs and tunes that they had played as children. They called the album Sunshine and Moss (sunshine (light) to represent the good acts that came out of the pandemic and the moss (shade) to represent the hardship.) The album received very positive reviews from the critics and reached No. 4 in the iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts in the U.S. and No. 2 in the Singer/Songwriter charts in Ireland. It also received widespread airplay which has continued into 2021 and 2022. Sunshine and Moss was chosen as album of the year by Manilla PR and one of the tracks, Mary From Dungloe, was featured on BBC U.K. Mersey Folkscene selection for 2020.
The band maintained a strong online concert presence during the pandemic by live streaming concerts every two weeks to a large global audience on their Facebook page. In addition, Screaming Orphans worked with festivals in the U.S and Europe to help them maintain a strong online presence by participating in various online events produced by festivals and theatres (Association Of Celtic And Irish Festivals/ Irish Embassy U.S., Milwaukee Irish Festival, Kincardine Scottish Festival Canada, KVMR, Galway City Council/ Town Hall Theatre, to name a few.) This resulted in over a million views of Screaming Orphans live online performances.
In 2020, Screaming Orphans also worked with critically acclaimed songwriter John Spillane to write the band’s first Christmas single Song We Used to Sing. The new single was released in December to great success and received extensive airplay from premier radio stations in Ireland, UK, U.S. Canada and Germany. It was also chosen to be on the coveted and exclusive RTE Radio 1 (largest national radio in Ireland) Recommended Christmas List.
In December 2021, Screaming Orphans released the band’s first full Christmas album, Happy Christmas Vol. 1. The album received great press reviews and was played on numerous radios stations in U.K., Ireland and the U.S. A song from the album was also included on the RTE Radio 1 Recommended Christmas List.
“Wow. Energy. That was brilliant... “ - Declan Meehan, Morning Show East Coast FM
“I love your sound. It’s fantastic.”
- Marty Morrissey, CountryWide RTÉ Radio
“I love that! I defy you to be in a bad form listening to that.” - Will Faulkner, Midlands 103 Radio