Neill Lyons is from Bayside on Dublin’s northside. He began playing music at a young age under the guidance of Fidelma and Mick O’Brien. Neill initially started off on the tin whistle but soon took a greater interest in the bodhrán.
In 1994, at the age of 16, Neill won first place in the under 18s bodhrán competition at the All-Ireland Fleadh, Clonmel, Co Tipperary. Within a year of this win, Neill had formed a young an exciting Irish traditional band named Délos. Among the founding members with Neill in this band were; Éamonn De Barra, Fionán De Barra, Éamonn Galldubh, Tomás Ó Briain and Dónal O’ Connor. Délos were in big demand in the Dublin Traditional Music scene and toured Europe quite extensively throughout the mid 1990’s.
In 1999 Neill recorded a live album with the group ‘Sessions from the Hearth’, once again playing with Éamonn De Barra and other well-respected musicians such as: Peter Browne, Alan Maguire, Enda Scahill, Deirdre Scanlon and Malachy Bourke. At this stage Neill’s bodhrán playing was becoming much sought after and Neill was invited to record with the Dubliners’ Ronnie Drew on his record named ‘The Humour Is On Me Now’ which was released in 1999.
Throughout the early years of the new millennium, Neill toured with the Gavin Whelan band around Europe and one memorable tour in the Middle East.
Neill was also a frequent guest with Slide, one of the most exciting Irish traditional music bands of today.
In 2006 Neill was the inaugural winner of The World Bodhrán Championships (senior), held in Milltown, County Kerry. This important win gained Neill respect as a bodhrán player not only in Ireland but internationally. Neill’s youngest brother Conor followed in his footsteps by winning the World Bodhrán Championships in both 2007 and 2008.
To date Neill can be seen playing around the Dublin traditional music circuit and most recently has had the privilege to play with the Damien Dempsey band on the Irish and UK legs of his 2008 tour.