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Having paved the way for the likes of Kodaline, Hozier, Picture This and more, Eurosonic has consistent­ly provided a platform for emerging artists. Peter McGoran takes a look at the 2018 festival.


Eurosonic has had its finger on the pulse of emerging talent in Europe for over three decades now, bringing the best and brightest to the unique setting of Groningen city, and putting them on-stage in front of music promoters, festival organisers and record label talent scouts.

Over the years, numerous artists have benefitted from the talent programme, gaining insight into the industry, exploring the internatio­nal music scene, and getting the chance to meet with profession­als who can set them on a path for their future.

Taking place from January 17-20 2018, the Eurosonic organisers have cast their eye over the burgeoning Irish music scene and we’re truly spoilt for choice when it comes to the nine artists they’ve selected.

We’re delighted that our Breakthrou­gh Artist of the Year, Seamus Fogarty (left), is getting the chance to perform tracks from his truly exceptiona­l sophomore album, The Curious Hand. Embracing everything from krautrock to traditiona­l balladry, as well as mixing convention­al instrument­ation with ‘found sounds’, field recordings and live electronic­s, Seamus’ palate is a broad one, and his on-stage execution is second to none. We’ve no doubt that he’ll impress.

Elsewhere, the ambitious Dublin-based production up-starts known as Diffusion Lab can boast that from their humble origins, they’ve managed to get two artists slotted in for the festival this winter, in the form of highly touted stars, Soulé (right) and Jafaris.

Soulé’s brand of electronic pop, indebted to UK garage, 2-step and R&B, has seen every one of her singles become a viral hit. She also bagged herself a Choice Prize nomination for her first single, ‘Love No More’, earlier this year.

Jafaris, meanwhile, has been concocting a heady brew of hip-hop and poetry over the last few years, fusing it with a unique Dublin vernacular which is truly a joy to hear. The release of his 2017 EP Velvet Cake put him on the map for Irish festival bookers, and he certainly showed us what he can do with incredible performanc­es at Electric Picnic and Forbidden Fruit.

There’s also a quartet of incredible singer-songwriter­s booked for the festival in the New Year. Dermot Kennedy stunned everyone with his powerful single ‘Glory’ earlier this year, which bore the influence of folk singers like Ben Howard; David Keenan has married Irish literature with the folk musings of Bob Dylan and The Dubliners on songs like ‘Cobwebs’ and the riveting ‘James Dean’; Rosborough absolutely dispelled the notion that Derry accents can’t produce great singing with ‘Burn Blue’; and Ryan McMullan was rightly recognised as one of Belfast’s brightest stars when he found himself supporting the likes of Foy Vance, Snow Patrol and Ed Sheeran.

Not to be forgotten are Bitch Falcon, a trio of gritty artists from Dublin who we’ve come to love all the more because they’ve shown time and time again that rock’n’roll is still thriving in this country. We put their latest single, ‘Of Yours’, in our Top 5 tracks from 2017, and we can’t wait for our European counterpar­ts to get a taste of it live.

It’ll also be worth your while seeing Belfast-based Robocobra Quartet in the flesh. Featuring off-beat jazz, post-punk ferocity and freeassoci­ating lyrical PSAs, we guarantee there won’t be anyone like them in Groningen.

The final day of this four-day festival will feature performanc­es from Dutch artists only. This year, we’ll be looking forward to catching garagerock band Afterparte­es perform for their fifth year. Originatin­g from Horst aan de Maas, and driven by their love for energetic ’70s punk and heart-breaking power pop, this is a band soaked in the sounds of Iggy Pop, T-Rex and King Tuff.

Get ready for a seriously rocking start to 2018!

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