Belfast man is voice of INXS

WANTED: SINGER for well-known Australian rock band. Leather trousers optional

WANTED: SINGER for well-known Australian rock band. Leather trousers optional. Becoming the new singer in a rock band is nerve-racking enough, but when the singer you’re replacing was a swaggering rock god who dated Kylie Minogue and Paula Yates and lived the rock lifestyle to fatal excess, it must be a positively daunting prospect.

But Belfast man Ciaran Gribbin is about to step into Michael Hutchence’s shoes and become the frontman of classic Australian rockers INXS.

Hutchence died in 1997 but thankfully Gribbin is not expected to replicate the destructive lifestyle of his predecessor. “It’s all so amazing and sometimes overwhelming,” he says.

The remaining members of INXS made the announcement yesterday. When the band posted a demo of a new song, Tiny Summer, on their website, featuring Gribbin's vocals, many wondered if Bono had defected from U2 to join the Aussie band.


Gribbin, a former member of Northern Irish band Leya, is better known as Joe Echo, his solo artist name. He wrote and performed the soundtrack for Killing Bono, the film based on Neil McCormick's memoir. He also co-wrote Madonna's Celebration, which earned him a Grammy nomination, and sang backing vocals on Snow Patrol's album Eyes Open.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist