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‘Busking Brothers’ Harry and Alfie become YouTube sensations

By Caitríona McKenna 

Harry (left) and Alfie (right) - photographer Paddy Benson (flickr.com/pbenson)

Harry (left) and Alfie (right) - photographer Paddy Benson (flickr.com/pbenson)

In keeping with the YouTube success stories, Dublin’s very own Harry (18) and Alfie (16) Hudson-Taylor have become online hits, currently ranking in the top 20 most subscribed musicians in Ireland on YouTube, with over 3,500 subscribers.  And if that’s not enough in terms of a YouTube take-over, the lads have also recently become partners with YouTube. Those are some big accomplishments for two Dublin brothers who haven’t even reached their twenties yet. The Liberty caught up with them to ask how they feel about their achievements.

Harry: “It’s crazy! Making our YouTube account was just a spontaneous thing after a group of German tourists asked us to sing during a family holiday in Italy and they suggested we do so.  It started off with us uploading a song for them when we got home and then we just built it up and up…that was 2 years ago.  Eventually we realised that we actually had some original stuff so we said we’d give it a try.  It’s the original stuff that made the YouTube people realise that we can do our own stuff too and don’t need to cover other songs, which got us the partnership.  It’s a fairly prestigious thing because you’re associated directly with YouTube, you’ve a financial partnership with them and you get more exposure than the average person so it’s really good.”

After they uploaded their first YouTube video they went busking for the first time in Grafton Street with a keyboard and guitar, making €60 in the first hour.

You may recognise the ‘busking brothers’ from playing around Grafton Street and Temple Bar, usually standing on bins and poles and interacting as much as they can with the audience.  They’ve recently been playing a lot of gigs too in the likes of Captain America’s, Whelans and The Button Factory (where they collaborated with fellow Irish musicians Mo Hat Mo Gheansaí as a Mumford and Sons tribute band Little Lion Men), both for themselves and for various charities.

Harry and Alfie busking on Grafton Street - Photo: Jemma Curran

Harry and Alfie busking on Grafton Street - Photo: Jemma Curran

You may have also seen Harry and Alfie on The All Ireland Talent Show last year in which they got through to Shane Lynch’s final 16.  Although they didn’t win, the exposure certainly helped them gain more fans. 

Alfie: “The attitude we had going in was that we’d do it for a bit of craic and just to spread our name around.  It did give us a bit of a boost to know that we got as far as we did out of the 2,000 people in Dublin who auditioned so we weren’t too upset when we didn’t make the final 8.”

Harry: “It was nice to experience what happens behind the scenes, how they can manipulate stuff by editing it in such a way…they made it out like we were fighting on the show, almost like a Noel and Liam Gallagher kind of way, taking things out of context and making it seem like one of us was stronger than the other [as a musician], but it worked out for the best because we got enough exposure from it that people remembered us.”

 Next on the cards the lads are going to Germany this week on an all expenses paid trip to play at the Yeah Yeah festival with their Little Lion Men band, and then in January they are heading to a studio in London to record one of their songs.  You can also see them in promo videos on ZozzyTV on Grafton Street at the minute, as well as checking them out on their YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/HarryAlfieHudson, Facebook www.facebook.com/harryandalfie and website www.harryandalfie.com .

Also listen to an audio clip of Harry and Alfie Hudson-Taylor on DIT FM last week, talking and singing live in studio.

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