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Psychedelic folk rockers Horslips are back

Horslips are Back with a capital B -- and this time round they are doing it in style.

First came Take That, then Boyzone, and now one of Ireland's most influential rock bands have confirmed that they too are hitting the comeback trail.

Following a hiatus of almost three decades, they are returning to the stage.

They will always be famed for the 1976 single 'Trouble with a Capital T' and the guitar riff from 'Dearg Doom'.

That was recycled by U2s Larry Mullen in 1990 for 'Put 'Em Under Pressure' -- the official anthem of Jack Charlton's World Cup soccer side.

Their comeback will take place in the plush surroundings of the Dublin's O2 and Belfast's Odyssey Arena, in December.

Bassist and singer Barry Devlin joked: "I think the dressing room (in the O2) is bigger than the places we used to play.

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"It is kind of a nice last hurrah, and it is nice that we are doing it on a certain scale."

Devlin agrees that the Horslips reunion is part of a "comeback era" -- which has seen fans flocking in their droves to see defunct groups make a return to the live circuit.

But Devlin added: "It is important to point out that all of the bands that have just come back weren't born when we stopped. Take That were only being thought of.

"I think people would like to see us one more time, they don't necessarily want to see us 25 more times. So we will stop after this."

The band would willingly have returned to a smaller venue, but they quickly snapped up the tempting offer from concert promoter Denis Desmond to play the revamped O2 arena.

In 1974, at the Imperial College in London, Horslips were on the Saturday night bill for 50p, while Queen were on the following week for 40p.

"You know, I wonder want became of them?" joked Devlin, who has worked as a scriptwriter and director since his Horslips days.

He recalled some of the more unusual moments of his musical career.

"We did raffle a heifer once in the Roseland in Moate, Co Westmeath and we once had the excuse that our cable was eaten by a bullock in Sligo," he said.

The Celtic folk rockers hope the anthems which defined previous generations will strike a chord with today's young music lovers.

This time around, the band will feature Barry Devlin, Jim Lockhart, John Fean and Charles O'Connor; while Ray Fear will fill in for drummer Eamon Carr.

Devlin joked that he was re-engaging with the rock and roll lifestyle to prepare for the gigs.

"I've started behaving badly, I parked on a double yellow line. Late nights, I stayed out until 12.30 last night.

"And I'm doing a lot of drugs again, mainly anti-arthritic."

Ticket for the concerts, priced from €49.50 for the O2 and £33 for the Odyssey, go on sale Thursday, July 9.

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