REVIEW: Stendhal Festival of Art – Saturday 8th August

Welcome to Stendhal Festival of Art 2015.
Welcome to Stendhal Festival of Art 2015.

Stendhal has been the recipient of Ireland’s Best Small Festival award and it’s latest showcase demonstrated why it’s a worthy winner.

Family-orientated, on lush green grass and music and arts around every corner. This is our last installment of Stendhal Festival of Art 2015 – Saturday 8th August.

Maria & Conor live at Stendhal's Main Stage
Maria McGrann & Conor Breen live at Stendhal’s Main Stage

Maria & Conor – Main Stage – 13:30

Maria McGrann
Maria McGrann

 

Afresh on the Air Stage.
Afresh on the Air Stage.

Afresh – Air Stage – 14:15

Afresh at Stendhal
Afresh at Stendhal

Ryan McMullan
Ryan McMullan

Ryan McMullan – Karma Valley Stage – 14:15



LORE on the Main Stage.
LORE on the Main Stage.

LORE – Main Stage – 14:55


Robocobra Quartet on Keady Corner
Robocobra Quartet on Keady Corner

Robocobra Quartet – Keady Corner – 14:10


Marty O'Reilly
Marty O’Reilly

Marty O’Reilly & The Old Souls – Air Stage – 15:35

Marty O'Reilly off the stage.
Marty O’Reilly off the stage.
Marty O'Reilly & The Old Souls
Marty O’Reilly & The Old Souls


Hurdles at Stendhal
Hurdles at Stendhal

Hurdles – Karma Valley Stage – 15:35

How do you feel your performance went down at Stendhal? “We played on the Karma Valley Stage which was awesome. We’ve been working on our new EP and have been excited about playing our new material live a while now. It was great to see see the crowd react so well to the new tunes, they were fantastic.”

Having seen the festival site, what do you think of Stendhal Festival of Art? It was our first time at Stendhal and it was amazing. The festival was beautifully put together and the family friendly atmosphere was great. With Glasgowbury finished now, Stendhal seems to have taken over as the new big summer event for local music.”

Where can fans find out more about you? “If you want to check out our music and find out when you can get a hold of our new EP go to our facebook/instagram/twitter pages, or our bandcamp – facebook.com/hurdlesofficial

Hurdles
Hurdles

Edward F Butler
Edward F Butler

Edward F Butler – Keady Corner – 15:40

“Performance went swell – you could hear a pin drop. They were such an appreciative crowd”



Dylan Walshe
Dylan Walshe

Dylan Walshe – Woodtown – 16:15

How do you feel your performance went down at Stendhal? “Had a crowd gather round in Woodtown & as the set went on, kids were dancing with their parents to a solo acoustic performance. What more could ye ask for… Even had Terry Craig join me on stage for a couple of tunes after a heavy night & short pre gig run through. Perfect, warm & attentive reception.”

Having seen the festival site, what do you think of Stendhal Festival of Art? “Derry seems to be one of the most creative counties on the isle with a strong sense of community, most people either do something creative or they’re appreciating something creative, it’s a two way thing & Stendhal Fest is a strong representation of that. Stendhal’s a true supporter of local talent & isn’t shy about putting them on stage alongside well established international acts, that’s the way it should be & they’ve achieved it. The hospitality couldn’t have been better either, all staff for that matter.”

Where can fans find out more about you? www.DylanWalshe.comhttps://www.facebook.com/dylanwalshe or www.muddyrootsrecords.com/


The Hardchargers at Stendhal Festival of Art
The Hardchargers at Stendhal Festival of Art

The Hardchargers – Wooly Woodland – 17:00

How do you feel your performance went down at Stendhal? “We were really pleased with the turnout to our small stage on Saturday at 5pm. We have been playing on main stages at other festivals this summer, and though that is a great experience, it is also a pleasure to play a packed out small arena. The crowd filtered in 20 mins before we were due to play and waited patiently for us to set up. We had a brief power cut during our set, but the audience used this as an opportunity to buy a few CDs and have a welcome banter with us about the music and other work we do!”

Having seen the festival site, what do you think of Stendhal Festival of Art? “Its a large site, be prepared for a good hike, it took me a while to find our stage tucked away in the far corner! This allowed me a good walk round to other stages and attractions though. I especially enjoyed the Soundhenge tent filled with gongs and pitched steel drums. There was a chilled out artist feeding/watering area that was a good place to get a seat and a meal and network with other performers.”

Where can fans find out more about you? “We can be found on all the usual social media spots Facebook as The Hardchargers, Twitter as @thehardcharger5 and on thehardchargers.bandcamp.com”



Katharine Philippa on the Main Stage.
Katharine Philippa on the Main Stage.

Katharine Philippa – Main Stage – 17:40

How do you feel your performance went down at Stendhal? “Well, I have a vision, and quite a bit of ambition, so it would be rather miraculous if I proclaimed how completely happy I was with my performance. But considering it was my first time at Stendhal, and playing, quite literally, with the wind, it was okay. Stendhal’s organisation, however, was super smooth: soundcheck and performance timings unfolded like clockwork; I was escorted to and from premises by mule; straw was generously dolloped onto particularly muddy patches — a simple yet important act which eased my post-festival shoe-cleaning blues.”

Having seen the festival site, what do you think of Stendhal Festival of Art? “It’s beautiful. The surrounding area is stunning and it felt like Stendhal truly respected the land it sat upon. There was a clear focus on the natural, and the handmade; some of the trees even wore their own version of knitted sweaters, “trunk sweaters”, you might say, and I’m rather fond of knitwear, so felt quite at home at such a sight. The hard work, professionalism and friendliness of the organisers/volunteers was clearly evident. To me, that’s vital. I’m so grateful to Stendhal for asking me to play, and for looking after me so well.”

Where can fans find out more about you? “Google! I can’t hide from it. The greatest task is spelling my name correctly — but from there, I can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud etc., and have a website which basically houses all you need to know inc. upcoming live shows.”


Balkan Alien Sound at Stendhal Festival of Art
Balkan Alien Sound at Stendhal Festival of Art

Balkan Alien Sound – Woodtown – 17:40

How do you feel your performance went down at Stendhal? “We had a really great time this year at Stendhal and it was fantastic to play the new stage at Woodtown. There’s a magic vibe down there that really brings the performers and the crowd together. We had a very receptive audience of all ages which is great to see.”

Having seen the festival site, what do you think of Stendhal Festival of Art? “This year is our third time playing the festival so we’ve had an opportunity to see the festival grow. They really branched out this year with the new main stage and development of the woods. Knowing the amount of work the guys put in its great to see the festival growing organically. Places like Keady Corner where young people ran and performed at all weekend will ensure the Stendhal ethos will inspire another generation of musicians.”

Where can fans find out more about you? “You can check out our website www.balkanaliensound.com for concert and tour details.”

Live at Stendhal 2015
Live at Stendhal 2015


Samba at Stendhal
Samba at Stendhal
Summoning at Stendhal Festival of Art
Summoning at Stendhal Festival of Art

Oh Volcano live at Stendhal
Oh Volcano live at Stendhal

Oh Volcano – Air Stage – 18:25

How do you feel your performance went down at Stendhal? “Yeah we where really happy with the gig, it seemed like it was well received, it’s always nice to play a festival like Stendhal.”

Having seen the festival site, what do you think of Stendhal Festival of Art? “It’s a really nice place, it’s hard to tell if I even seen all of it, some cool hidden stages.”

Where can fans find out more about you? “All the usual places, Facebook, Twitter. It’s all easy to find.”



 

GO WOLF performing at Stendhal 2015
GO WOLF performing at Stendhal 2015

Go Wolf – Karma Valley Stage – 18:25

How do you feel your performance went down at Stendhal? “I think people really enjoyed it. We were pleasantly surprised by the turn out and the Karma Valley stage was a great venue with a super sound team.”

Having seen the festival site, what do you think of Stendhal Festival of Art? “We had a great time playing last year and the Stendhal guys have stepped it up again this year. The woodland area was especially beautiful and a great setting for live music.”

Where can fans find out more about you? “We are @lovegowolf on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and Youtube. Or just search for GO WOLF on Spotify.”

GO WOLF
GO WOLF


 

Sister Ghost
Sister Ghost

Sister Ghost – Keady Corner – 20:00

Live at Stendhal 2015
Live at Stendhal 2015

 

George Firehouse live at Stendhal Festival of Art
George Firehouse live at Stendhal Festival of Art

George Firehouse – Wooly Woodland – 21:30

How do you feel your performance went down at Stendhal? “Well that’s a pretty loaded question. I spend far too much time worrying about how my performances went down so I’ll go with an ‘Och, grand'”



 

Rainy Boy Sleep
Rainy Boy Sleep

Rainy Boy Sleep – Air Stage – 21:30

Live at Stendhal 2015.
Live at Stendhal 2015.

 

Live on the Garden Shed Stage
Live on the Garden Shed Stage

Teresa Livingstone – Garden Shed Stage – 20:55


Kerbdog live on the Karma Valley Stage.
Kerbdog live on the Karma Valley Stage.

Kerbdog – Karma Valley Stage – 21:30

Gigging NI’s Sarah McCrossan: “Entering the stage to a packed Karma Valley tent, the members of Kerbdog are all visibly older and wiser but when they pick up their instruments and kick off the set with “Pledge” they relax into their younger selves. The crowd, (well, me) also feel young again and the energy is electric. Kerbdog are a band that were way before their time and their grunge sound still holds up well today. With its chugging bass sound “End of Green” transports us back to days of Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and a time where music had edge. “Mexican Wave” is a crowd favourite and creates a mini moshpit of middle age and a ferocious singalong erupts. At the front of the stage a little boy of around seven or eight years is giving it his all on his air guitar and its good to see that Kerbdogs sound is still popular, even with kids.”

Performing live at Stendhal 2015.
Performing live at Stendhal 2015.

“Frontman Cormac Battle notices the young boy throughout the set and it raises a smile from the rest of the band also. On “Severed” Battle spits out lyrics with venom and bitterness but this is quickly tempered by the upbeat “Sally”. From the stage Battle asks the little boy at the front what his name is, and dedicates the full set to Phelim before welcoming him onto the stage to dance and craft his air guitar skills in front of bassist Colin Fennelly. “

Kerbdog
Kerbdog

“While singing along to “Sally” I feel its somewhat sad that Kerbdog never hit the “big time” as their songcraft and tight musicianship are rare find in the Irish rock scene but as they end on the stunning “JJs Song” I’m comforted by the fact that this band I love have written some absolute gems of songs which stand the test of time and they are still getting to play them to crowds of fans, doing what they love and getting new fans hooked along the way. “



We Were Promised Jetpacks live at Stendhal
We Were Promised Jetpacks live at Stendhal

We Were Promised Jetpacks – Main Stage – 20:40

Gigging NI’s Sarah McCrossan: “Frontman Adam Thompson makes the introductions and tells the audience they have flown here especially and are going to play a few of their songs from all their albums and as they proceed the wind does not abate. Launching into “I Keep it Composed” Thompsons voice alternates between a soft purr and a throaty powerful roar, while Michael Palmers guitar drives the song forward. On “Moving Clocks Run Slow” Darren Lackies crashing drums and Sean Smiths quick paced bass invigorate the crowd and encouraged by this the young festival goers at the front break into dancing despite the muddy conditions. “Moral Compass” slows things down again with a more Cure-esque vibe. But once the crowd hear the first opening notes of “Quiet Little Voices” cheers erupt. A fan favourite, it soon turns into a raucous singalong with the encouraged crowd joining in with the catchy chorus and “woah oh oh oh’s”.”

WWPJ at Stendhal Festival of Art
WWPJ at Stendhal Festival of Art

“In between tracks there is little in the way of crowd interaction but it seems to be more to do with the freezing weather and not the audience as Stuart McGachan is blowing on his freezing hands to heat them up and Palmer takes the full brunt of the wind breezing into the stage exit. Such is life for a hardworking band like We Were Promised Jetpacks and its easy to tell that despite this, they love to play to a live crowd such is the ferocity of their performance. On “Sore Thumb” with its sparse intro of guitar and keys turning into a lush landscape of sound it is easy to imagine Thompson as a traditional Scottish folk singer such is the power and passion in his voice. He pulls away from the mic and sings over bass notes virtually acoustic before the wall of guitar sound crashes in. Its a spinetingling moment and leaves the crowd in rapturous applause. The band end their set on another firm fan favourite, “Thunder and Lightening”. The audience seize their last chance for crowd participation and join in with every word of the haunting lyrics with fervour. As the song ends abruptly on the lyrics “I’m leaving” our time too with Jetpacks is over and band exit to an avalanche of applause and the crowd are left happy and buzzing for the last night of the festival.”


 

Duke Special on the main stage at Stendhal
Duke Special on the main stage at Stendhal

Duke Special – Main Stage – 22:15

Live at Stendhal 2015
Live at Stendhal 2015
Live at Stendhal 2015
Live at Stendhal 2015
The crowd enjoying Duke Special.
The crowd enjoying Duke Special.


 

Hot Cops concluded Stendhal Festival 2015.
Hot Cops concluded Stendhal Festival 2015.

Hot Cops – Keady Corner – 23:00

Hot Cops
Hot Cops

 

Thank you Stendhal Festival of Art! Yet another great year!

All our photos can be found on our Facebook page here.