Stendhal Festival of Art announce second raft of musical acts

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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.

One of the festival organisers, John Cartwright, said: “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, humorous 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.

“His 2004 debut album Since Kyabram was a critical and commercial success and his subsequent follow ups 2007’s Big Bad Beautiful World and 2011’s Mag Pai Zai further cemented his place as one of Ireland’s best contemporary singer songwriters.

Declan’s deep-honey voice and astute song writing abilities will no doubt go down well at Stendhal.

“We love innovation 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.

“Kormac’s Big Band is a mix of live electronics, turntables, drums, bass, vocals, trumpet, trombone, tuba, guitar and live visuals. In the last couple of months they’ve performed sold-out shows in London, Dublin, Australia, Holland and Germany and a currently preparing for a full schedule of summer festival appearances including a stop at Ballymully Cottage Farm.

“Fatherson 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.

In a live setting their immediately singable choruses and hooks make their gigs an exciting and energetic experience.

“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.

Her first trip to Edinburgh festival saw her nominated for the Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality.

“This is comedy coupled with virtuoso harping wrapped up in a nervous breakdown.

“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.

“He is known for his robust guitar playing and warm unique vocal style. Where song writing is his craft and his lyrics are both insightful and poetic.

Never one to be easily tagged with generic genres, Dylan has been billed for shows representing a variety of areas in music such as folk, singer songwriter, country, blues, one man band, rock ‘n’ roll, Celtic and a cappella to name just a few...

“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.

“Described by the legendary Teri Hooley as ‘my kind of fecking band,’ the Hardchargers have been blazing a trail in the Irish music scene for six years and the time and effort has seen them morph into one of the finest live acts in Northern Ireland today.

“The Whereabouts are a young, energetic four-piece rhythm & blues, rock & roll band from Kingscourt in Co. Cavan.

“The band members have all been playing music from a very young age under the influence of bands such as the early Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Dr. Feelgood, The Doors and Chuck Berry and these influences flow from their live performances which harken back to the glory days of classic rock n roll.

Since releasing their first material in 2013 The Whereabouts have been heard on The Stuart Bailie Show on BBC Radio Ulster in Belfast, The Dermot O’Leary Show on BBC Radio 2 in London, Amazing Radio UK and Ireland plus a host of European and international radio stations.

“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.

“They are an intelligent blend of melody, rhythm and dynamics and will no doubt go down a storm once again with their big home-town following and ever growing provincial reputation.

“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.

“Blending well known funk classics with their own material, Apartment B are part of the heart and soul of the local music scene and we are delighted to be showcasing their talents at Ballymully Cottage Farm in August.”

The Oh Yeah ‘Scratch My Progress’ stage

“This Year Stendhal continues to work with local music organisations and welcomes Belfast’s ‘Oh Yeah’ centre to the farm for the first time.

“Oh Yeah will join with The Nerve Centre to take over the new Keady Corner Stage for the duration of the festival, showcasing some of the best up and coming talents in Northern Ireland.

Scheduled to play as part of the ‘Scratch My Progress’ programme are Hot Cops, R51, Sister Ghost, Serotonin, Shadow Police, Ed Butler and more to be announced.”

Tantalisingly, John added: “We will be announcing even more acts in the coming weeks as the countdown to Stendhal continues, so stay tuned to our website and social media pages for more announcements coming soon.”