Niall Horan’s Homecoming: Inside Niall Horan and Lewis Capaldi’s Secret Mullingar Performance – ‘With Lewis, you never know where a night will go’

As he sits on a small, makeshift stage, playing acoustic guitar in a Westmeath pub, it’s hard to believe that Niall Horan was once part of one of the biggest boy bands in the world, filling stadiums globally active. Not because he’s not super talented – the 28-year-old is an outstanding singer, songwriter and musician – but because he’s a truly ordinary person. He has an innate humility that has helped him not only engage with his fans from his One Direction days, but also build a new, broader audience as an artist. soloist.

Horan on stage next to his good friend Lewis Capaldi. Their intimate performance in Clarke’s Bar was recorded for a documentary, titled Guinness Presents The Return of Niall Horan: The Road to Mullingar.

“Seriously, he’s the funniest person I know,” Horan said of his fellow chart-topping musician. “When you’re with Lewis, you never know where a night will go, but you’re guaranteed to have a good time.”

On this first night of August, the audience of family, friends and the media had a good time. Even though I was there professionally, I was as excited to meet Horan as I was when I was 15 and obsessed with One Direction.

Eleven years ago, I met boy band Tesco in Dublin’s Clarehall. I begged my mom to let me leave school early, so I could start lining up for the free meet-and-greet bracelet.

No wonder she disagrees that the boy band is more important than my Junior Cert classes. Luckily, my friend’s grandmother came to the rescue and lined up for us, and we replaced when we were done with class. After a total of 15 hours in line, my friend and I met five boys with whom we spent our teenage years obsessed – albeit for a few seconds, and not even allowed to take pictures!

Made in conjunction with Guinness, Come home documentary airs on Virgin Media One tonight. It follows Horan and Capaldi for three days this summer, as they caused something of a social media explosion when they were spotted traveling around Ireland together. In the show, we see Horan introduce his friend to chicken fillet rolls and show him the best pubs to enjoy a glass of. As well as Clarke’s performance, the pair also had a troupe on Dublin’s Grafton Street.


Lewis Capaldi, left, and Niall Horan bust on Grafton Street in August 2022 during their documentary, Guinness World Records on Niall Horan’s Homecoming: The Road To Mullingar. Photo: Lucy Foster.

The singers became friends a few years back after Horan contacted Capaldi on Instagram and said he was a fan of his work. Capaldi will then play back to Horan’s Glasgow gig as part of his first solo tour, Flicker, in 2018. They had their first face-to-face meeting on a pint on Holidays. St Patrick and their shared love for Guinness is why they reached out to the beverage company with the idea for this documentary.

On the night they were filming at Clarke’s, while Capadli joked and Horan bounced around on the small stage, the Mullingar singer’s dad, Bobby, told me it was easy to see why they got along so well. “I just couldn’t get over it, he and Lewis had a great performance today and I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “They’ve made leaps and bounds, it’s been amazing – and he’s an incredible act of support.”

Despite being a member of one of the biggest boy bands ever, Bobby said he’s proudest of his son for staying connected to his roots and admits he still worries. take care of you. “You are always worried about your child, but I have nothing to worry about. He keeps his feet on the ground and always will. His personality keeps his feet on the ground. It has nothing to do with me, it’s all on him. I’m so proud of him just for that, I’m just so proud of him. “

Bobby added that although Mullingar is proud of him, locals leave him alone to enjoy time with his family.

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Fittingly, it was Horan’s first solo hit, This town, paying tribute to Mullingar. The song released in 2016 is about the first love far from home; he wished he was there with her, but she moved on to someone new. When he sang it in Clarke’s Bar, I couldn’t help but wonder if the girl in the song (In the pub we met, he put his arm around you) in the middle of the crowd.

Horan’s second biggest solo hit, Slow hand, made the audience dance, with Capadli appearing on stage to catch up with the locals. Then came the Scottish singer’s moment to shine, as he played his ballad Before you leave went to a crowded pub, quickly transforming his personality from a comedian to a serious singer-songwriter.


A teenage dream come true for journalist Ciara O’Loughlin, who was one of the selected audience for Niall Horan’s performance in Clarke’s Bar in Mullingar

Next, they sing Car chases by Snow Patrol – which Bobby later told me was one of his son’s favorite tunes. However, the duet was interrupted by Horan chuckling at something that Capadli had whispered to him, causing the audience to laugh along. They started from scratch and, without interruption, performed a perfect version of the documentary.

Although this is not the first performance I want since the world reopened after Covid-19, it’s been emotional to be in a pub watching people dance and hold hands without worrying about social distancing.

After the movie ended, with a big smile on his face, Horan told me that it was good to go home but it was even sweeter to be greeted by friends and family at his local pub. that. Of course, it’s not just a big event for musicians; The bar owners, Ciaran and Carole Clarke, were clearly moved by the experience.

Fighting back tears, Carole said: “Niall used to come here on lunch breaks and play pool, but don’t tell his headmaster that! We are very proud and Mullingar is very proud – he is a good and excellent representative of what we have. Lots of little kids are looking at him and they realize they can do it too. They don’t have to be afraid, they can do it. Today he walked in the door and put his arm around me and said, ‘Ah Carrie how are you?’ and I haven’t seen him in 10 years”.

Ciaran says they’re emotional, not just because it’s a big day for them after struggling to continue through the pandemic, but because Fleadh Cheoil – which happens to be home-themed – is also taking place. in town that week. “We were exhausted because we had Fleadh going on, we had 20 minutes of sleep last night but it was huge for us because it was just us – it’s not a big company, just us and our family our family.”


“When you’re with Lewis, you never know where a night will go, but you’re guaranteed to have a good time.” Niall Horan, left, and Lewis Capaldi. Photo: Lucy Foster

The word that Niall Horan and Lewis Capaldi were in his pub must have caused the carnival crowd to gather quickly – then the streets filled with people hoping to catch a glimpse of the stars. Teenagers scream and scream as they clutch their phones. It brought me right back to 15 and was hoping to get a picture with the Irish guy from One Direction. 11 years passed, and earlier in the evening, I swallowed my pride and asked Niall for a photo.

Naturally, Mullingar’s casual superstar is happy to oblige

‘Guinness presents Niall Horan’s return: Road to Mullingar’ airs October 16 at 10 p.m. on Virgin Media One. Niall Horan’s Homecoming: Inside Niall Horan and Lewis Capaldi’s Secret Mullingar Performance – ‘With Lewis, you never know where a night will go’

Fry Electronics Team

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