Stendhal Festival of Art announce second round of acts for 2015
Having already announced such acts as Donovan, Kerbdog and DJ Format amongst many others for this summer’s Stendhal Festival of Art, organisers of the event are pleased to announce the second raft of performers who will be taking to the stage at Ballymully Cottage Farm on August 7 and 8.
To kick things off we are delighted to announce the return of the one and only Macka B, the Reggae and dancehall pioneer who was the sleeper hit of the 2013 festival. For over 30 years Macka B has been a standout in British Reggae music and his brand of engaging, humerous and high-energy showmanship means anyone who has ever witnessed him play live before will be eagerly anticipating his return.
Rainy Boy Sleep returns to his old Limavady stomping grounds for what will no doubt be happy homecoming of sorts for Stevie Martin. Since he was last with us at Stendhal, Stevie signed to Universal Records and released the brilliant EP Ambulance. A long-awaited album is expected some time later in the year but before then Rainy Boy Sleep will be taking to the John Peel stage at Glastonbury before coming back to Limavady for Stendhal.
Also appearing will be Declan O’Rourke, who was a relative latecomer to the Dublin singer-songwriter scene.
But, in his mid-twenties, within months of discovering Dublin’s bustling songwriter open-mic circuit, O’Rourke found himself in the mix with the likes of Paddy Casey, Gemma Hayes, Damian Rice and many other Irish singer-songwriters.
Innovation is loved at Stendhal Festival of Art and Kormac’s Big Band certainly fits the bill. While DJ Kormac is best known for the tracks he produces alone in his studio, intermittently accompanied by a guest musician or vocalist, his live performances often swell into a 10-piece orchestra.
Fatherson, also set to make an appearance, are an Alternative/Indie/Rock band hailing from Scotland. In 2014, the band released their debut album I Am an Island through a record label set up by their management. The band and label worked to together to independently finance and release the record without the standard record company structure. The release was a success and went to No.11 in the Scottish Album Chart, Top 40 UK Indie charts and peaked at No.5 on the iTunes alternative chart.
Ursula Burns is a harpist with a difference who draws rave reviews wherever and whenever she steps on stage. She combines a sublime dexterity in harp skills with a razor sharp wit to command the title of the best comedy harpist in Ireland, if not the world. Winner of the 2012 Irish Comedy Music Award, the maverick songstress has released four self-penned albums and performed everywhere from the Albert Hall to burning fire escapes.
Making Monsters tore the house down last year at Stendhal, literally. That won’t stop us from having them along again for more of their powerhouse brand of hard rock. From Stompin’ Blues To Celtic Ballads & All That Folks Between, Dylan Walshe is an alternative roots artist from Dublin on the rise. His varied palette draws from; traditional Irish and European folk, to North African and Americanised blues, but his sound is his own.
This year Stendhal is excited to welcome an eclectic international experience courtesy of Afresh, a traditional Zimbabwean folk band led by Gabriel Makamanzi. This truly international band of top-flight musicians from Zimbabwe , Poland, Slovakia, and Ireland was formed in Belfast in 2007 and brings a new slant to African rhythms mixing the eclectic approaches and influences of the players into a one of a kind live experience.
Maria McGrann is a Soprano from County Down who has a wealth of stage experience courtesy of her stunning voice and vocal range. Winning a host of competitions around Ireland over the course of her singing career, Maria’s performance at Stendhal will be her first at a music festival of this type and we can’t wait for people to enjoy her beautiful operatic stylings which will be a perfect addition to a day in Karma Valley.
The Hardchargers are a raw and raucous blues-rock band that take no prisoners with their fierce live shows. Their music is raunchy, exciting, provocative and honest, ranging from down-home washboard/resonator/double bass workouts, to a heady blend of twangy electric blues and roadhouse style rock. The Whereabouts are a young, energetic four-piece rhythm & blues, rock & roll band from Kingscourt in Co. Cavan and will also play at this year’s festival.
Exit Pursued by Bear are a home-grown Limavady act that have been recently working on a raft of new material scheduled for release very soon as a follow up to their well received Bella Rose EP. Describing themselves as ‘Space Rock’ the band draw on influences such as Radiohead, Muse and And So I Watch You From Afar.
Another home-grown Limavady talent is making his Stendhal debut as the front man of his own band this summer. The Eunan McLaughin Quartet is fronted by Eunan McLauglin and brings together several stellar Jazz musicians who have been wowing audiences across the country since their formation last year.
Axecatcher are a 4-piece hardcore act based in Derry. Punchy, to the point and guaranteed to make a lot of noise, Axecatcher have evolved into a fantastic live act, blending hardcore, punk, prog and heavy rock for a signature sound that might melt your face off. Apartment B are funk, soul and blues wrapped up in a blanket of brilliance. Having gigged up and down the Country for almost a decade, this band have an unmissible live set in store for guests at Stendhal this year.
The Oh Yeah ‘Scratch My Progress’ stage will make it’s debut on the farm to showcase some of the best up and coming talents in Northern Ireland such as Hot Cops, R51, Sister Ghost, Serotonin, Shadow Police, Ed Butler as part of the ‘Scratch My Progress’ and more to be announced.