What not to miss at Indiepen­dence. Plus, the best of the rest of the bank hol­i­day fests,

For 51 weeks of the year, Mitchel­stown is best known for pro­duc­ing a lot of cheese. But one week a year, the Co Cork town hosts the Indiepen­dence fes­ti­val. Jim Car­roll scans the board and se­lects 13 ripe, tasty acts that def­i­nitely won’t grate this weeke

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FRONT PAGE -

Another week­end, another fes­ti­val for mu­sic fans to flock to in search of sonic thrills. Indiepen­dence has been pulling the crowds to Mitchel­stown, Co Cork since 2006 and, with ev­ery pass­ing year, the event and the line-up have grown in size and stature.

There’s a ton of fans set­ting their GPS gad­gets for the site be­neath the Gal­tee Moun­tains this week­end. Here’s a baker’s dozen of acts you re­ally don’t want to miss (pro­vided, of course, that they’re not play­ing at the same time as some­one else on the list).


Chuck D and co’s ad­ven­tures have taken them all around the world over the years, but there’s al­ways room for another first: in this case Pub­lic En­emy play­ing their first-ever show in a town best known for mak­ing cheese. Last seen un­der an Ir­ish sky when they lashed through the hits in a jam-packed tent at For­bid­den Fruit a cou­ple of months ago, PE’s modus operandi has largely re­mained un­changed over the years. You get a clat­ter of heavy­weight beats, right­eous preach­ing and hol­ler­ing, and a bevy of time­less, fierce, hip-hop hits. The orig­i­nal of the species when it comes to bring­ing the noise.


When he’s not non­cha­lantly res­cu­ing swim­mers from pos­si­ble drown­ing in En­nis­cor­thy, Damien Dempsey em­bel­lishes his rep­u­ta­tion for hard-hit­ting tunes de­liv­ered with heart, soul and gusto. The for­mer boxer has jour­neyed a long way from his de­but al­bum – and it’s worth re­mem­ber­ing that They Don’t Teach This Shit at School came out 14 years ago – and he has gained much mu­si­cal heft along the way as his folk/pop sound has ma­tured and de­vel­oped. Lis­ten to this year’s great­est hits al­bum, It’s All Good, and cel­e­brate a singer and song­writer with an unique voice and per­spec­tive who is, in the greater scheme of things, just get­ting warmed up. The praise and plau­dits he has re­ceived from his peers, and greats such as Christy Moore, are telling.


Some­where in the world, there’s a hard drive of some sort con­tain­ing the bones of the new al­bum by Deloren­tos. Al­bum num­ber four from the Dublin four-piece will be ea­gerly awaited in many quar­ters, es­pe­cially as the Choice Mu­sic Prize-win­ning Lit­tle Sparks moved them onto main­stream radars and tracks such as Bul­let in a Gun and Care For made them ra­dio reg­u­lars. Their re­cent Record Store Day re­lease, Un­bro­ken, Un­tied, had ver­sions of four new songs that sug­gest the band main­tain their pen­chant for brave, bright and emo­tional mu­sic. Live, they can re­ally soar, with or with­out the large Sty­ro­foam let­ters that of­ten ac­com­pany them onstage and usu­ally end up get­ting carted away by the crowd.


All eyes are on him. There’s no doubt about it, An­drew Hozier-Byrne has had a barely be­liev­able 12 months. Last summer, few be­yond a small cir­cle of friends, fam­ily and in­dus­try ob­servers knew much about the Wick­low singer then best known for sing­ing with the Trin­ity Orches­tra. The ar­rival of Take Me To Church and es­pe­cially Feel Good Lost’s Bren­dan Canty’s win­ning video, changed all that and a year of tour­ing, me­gabucks deals, ap­pear­ances on ev­ery TV show that mat­ters, fes­ti­vals, hype and ac­claim en­sued. The self-ti­tled de­but al­bum is out next month. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see if it con­tains songs as evoca­tive, in­fec­tious and world beat­ing as Church.


There was a time when Holmes fea­tured on club bills up and down the coun­try nearly ev­ery other week­end. In 2014, though, a David Holmes ap­pear­ance as a DJ is a bit of a rar­ity so all the more rea­son to be noted. These days, Holmes is back home in Belfast af­ter a lengthy stay in LA and is bet­ter known as a pro­ducer and film sound­track com­poser. Of late, his fin­ger­prints have been all over the fan­tas­tic Good Vi­bra­tions film, the mu­sic for Yann De­mange’s forth­com­ing 71 film and the last Pri­mal Scream al­bum More Light. It would be great to get a fol­low-up to 2008’s fan­tas­tic al­bum The Holy Pic­tures, but we reckon there might be a fair bit on the to-do list be­fore he gets around to that par­tic­u­lar task.


Chlöe Howl is a teenager on a mis­sion. When she first ap­peared on the radars of tal­ent scouts a few years ago, it was bold, brazen, pop bel­ters such as Ru­mour that im­pressed all and per­suaded Columbia Records to of­fer her a con­tract. Any­one who has seen her live knows she also has oo­dles of chutz­pah to go with those tunes. She has been work­ing on an al­bum with Eg White ( Florence & The Ma­chine, Adele and Will Young col­lab­o­ra­tor) so we await that ea­gerly. Her songs, she says, “are about be­ing a bored teenager, ’cos I am one”. We like the cut of her jib.


Two al­bums in and We Cut Cor­ners are more than ready for what’s to come. Many have fallen un­der the spell of John Duig­nan and Con­all O’Breachain’s be­guil­ing dark, thump­ing pop on the back of

2011’s To­day I Re­alised I Could Go Home

Back­wards al­bum and this year’s Think Noth­ing record. The lat­ter, pro­duced and prod­ded into place by north­west su­per-pro­ducer Tommy “Vil­lagers” McLaugh­lin and mixed by Ben Hil­lier of Blur, Depeche Mode and El­bow fame, is a huge record, full of sweep­ing poise and dash­ing depths.


The still right­eous Thou Shalt Al­ways Kill in­tro­duced the masses to the work of hip-hop duo Dan Le Sac (the mu­sic dude) and Scroobius Pip (the words dude). The masses liked what they heard and the pair have be­come firm favourites, es­pe­cially when it comes to live shows in Ire­land. Since their ar­rival in 2007, they have pro­duced three al­bums:

An­gles, The Logic Of Chance and last year’s Re­pent Re­plen­ish Re­peat, as well as a solo

al­bum apiece.


This fact is go­ing to make some read­ers feel re­ally old: the Sul­tans of Ping have been at their sar­donic game for more than a quar­ter of a cen­tury. Where’s My Jumper? is the in­die disco clas­sic with which they made their name in the early 1990s, but the Sul­tans have long demon­strated the width and depth (and wit) nec­es­sary to avoid be­ing de­fined by that tune. They are also the only World Cup win­ners on the Indiepen­dence bill, hav­ing won the BBC 6 Mu­sic Foot­ball An­thems with Give Him A Ball

(And A Yard Of Grass) ear­lier in the summer.


With all the talk of Ir­ish bands get­ting them­selves in­ter­na­tional record deals and the like (and there’s been a shed load of them in the last 18 months, in­clud­ing, most re­cently, Tvvins, also Mitchel­stown-bound), many may have for­got­ten about Dublin broth­ers Harry and Al­fie Hud­son-Tay­lor. While the pair’s de­but al­bum has long been in the works, it’s not as if they’ve been idle, with much of last year spent on the road, do­ing sup­port slots with the Rolling Stones and Jake Bugg, as well as play­ing what seems to have been ev­ery fes­ti­val on the cir­cuit.


Those seek­ing hyp­notic, driv­ing, thrilling psych-rock can pull in right here. The Cork band have been play­ing swirling and twirling sounds to all and sundry for the past few years. Their live show has con­sid­er­able swag­ger, but their re­leases, such as the Sweet Jelly Roll EP or this year’s Dig Early for Cork’s Art for Blind la­bel, have also given their evan­ge­lists some­thing to shout about. Eas­ily the best freak scene with gui­tars turned to stun that you’ll wit­ness un­der the Gal­tees this week­end.


You dancin’? You askin’? Lon­don’s Horse Meat Disco posse have spread their mes­sage of good times far and wide from their Lon­don HQ. Be it through par­ties across Europe and New York or a fan­tas­tic clutch of com­pi­la­tion al­bums, the Horse Meat Disco sta­ble hands have shown a sturdy abil­ity to throw great par­ties with a smash­ing sound­track of old-school disco, cos­mic vibes, Italo swingers, house and techno killers and those rare grooves that don’t re­ally fit in any par­tic­u­lar pi­geon­hole. They’ve also gained a handy rep as the DJs to call on for your fashion show, though that’s un­likely to be needed here this week­end.


Re­cently on the road as a mem­ber of David Gray’s back­ing band, Lisa O’Neill’s ap­pear­ance at Indiepen­dence is an op­por­tu­nity to put her own songs front and cen­tre. With two al­bums un­der her ox­ter (last year’s Same

Cloth Or Not is the pick of the brace), the Ca­van woman is steadily carv­ing out a niche for her­self as a pur­veyor of folky tunes with bite. In the long run, ex­pect to see O’Neill emerge as a voice ca­pa­ble of doc­u­ment­ing the weird twists and turns of this strange land of ours. Who knows, there may even be a train to get her home to Ca­van at some stage in the fu­ture.

Indiepen­dence takes place at Deer Farm, Mitchel­stown, Co Cork, this week­end. For more, see indiepende­ncefestiva­l.com








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