I’ve called Body&Soul Festival one of the best festivals in Ireland in the past and the allure of the event at Ballinlough Castle is clear. It’s a festival with a considered lineup and offerings in the mediums of food, conversation, installations and site layout. For our festival preview, look out for a ticket competition, our playlist and Irish acts to see in the coming days.
Mix & Fairbanks
Absolut Bar, Friday, June 22nd.
Kildare natives Gary O’Reilly and Rob Smyth or Mix and Fairbanks met at a house party five years ago and have been playing together ever since. Their debut EP Bavarian Nights came out in March this year via 045 Recordings. The EP featured tracks such as the Linndrum machine extravagant ‘Hooly’ and the dancefloor stomper with an Inspector Norse/Daft Punk-esque sound ‘Girls’. These boys know how to party and their set will promise nothing less than a up-tempo and groove fulfilling time.
Mango x Mathman
Woodlands stage, Friday, June 22nd and Absolut Bar Saturday June 23rd
Mango x Mathman are an Irish act that have been marking a solid ground for themselves within the Irish hip-hop scene and beyond over the past few years. Following their performance at Red Bull’s Free Gaff earlier this year which got everyone talking and the release of a impressive twist on ‘Show Me Love’ by Robin S this duo are an unstoppable force who are constantly on the rise. Expect a high energy performance that delivers their own adaptation of raw Irish grime.
Bulmers Stage, Saturday, June 22nd
Pow Pig are a four piece female alt-rock band from Limerick made up by Anna Marie Rooney, Andrea Mocanu, Laura Drennan and Leah O’Donnell. Their debut EP Denture Adventure came out earlier this year, drawing on a Dream Wife-esque sound that melds a brash punk drawl similar to that of Girlpool. With highlights like ‘Birds of Paradise’ bringing an added funk element to their music, their live show is sure to packed full of rhythm and release. These girls could be your next favourite alt-rock band.
Super Extra Bonus Party
Woodlands stage, Saturday June 23rd
Super Extra Bonus Party released their first new track in eight years ‘Switzerland’ last year, an indie-rock track that features underlying synthesizers and electronic percussion. Their debut album Super Extra Bonus Party LP won The Choice Music Prize album of the year award back in 2008 which was followed on by Nighthorses in 2009. Super Extra Bonus are a band that love what they do and this is something that is reflected in their work and through their passion at live shows. Although the reaction to them band over the years has been mixed, as a whole there is no denying that they strive to deliver an entertaining and highly energetic performance.
Post Punk Podge
Bulmers stage, Sunday June 24th
Photo: Eilis Walsh (No Cat Got My Tongue)
Limerick group Post-Punk Podge emerged with Post-Punk Election Party two years ago and in the bands own words is ‘A satirical song about an alternative disco in the Dáil bar and what certain politicians would get up to at it and some of the shit we have had to put up with over the last while.’ This was followed on with ‘An Lucht Siúil’ late last year. This band tackle and deal with harsh political realities in Ireland and perhaps draw influence from their fellow Limerick natives The Rubber Bandits as they can be seen wearing Post Office envelopes on their heads in their YouTube videos and live performances. This act will make you think and reflect on issues as they deliver a passionate narrative melded with noisy riffs.
Body & Soul Stage, Saturday, June 23rd
“Atmosfolk” duo Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre go under the name Saint Sister. Their highly anticipated debut album is set for release later this year which will come as a follow on from their 2015 EP Madrid. Their latest single release titled ‘Twin Peaks’ which takes inspiration from the surreal tones of the David Lynch TV series alongside their own, more personal influences is a reflection of the progressively unique sound that they continue to deliver as a duo. Their new album promises a slightly more pop tone to their previous work whilst becoming darker and more self-aware. For more on the new album and on Saint Sister read this recent interview.
Woodlands Stage, Sunday June 24th
The most promising up and coming voice in the Irish folk scene, Dundalk native David Keenan’s artist growth since going viral singing an early version of single ‘El Paso’ in a taxi has been hugely impressive. Returning to Ireland off the back off a stint touring the United States, Keenan will be performing material off his recent Strip Me Bare EP. Songs like ‘Altar Wine’ highlight just how good a lyricist Keenan is. Continuing in the rich tradition of Irish poetry, the invocation of a “fucked up muse” in his guttural accent is powerful and emotive. Catching some of the wealth of domestic talent at this years Body & Soul is vital and Keenan is among the foremost in that category.
Body & Soul stage, Sunday June 24th
Lankum who were formerly known as Lynched is a band who are deeply rooted in traditional Irish and folk music. Currently, under the Rough Trade label, their sound is highly emotive and explicitly Irish with an international appeal. Between The Earth & The Sky came out last year and marked the band’s second album, with tracks like ‘Deanta in Eireann’ solidifying their roots yet still having the ability to move and resonate with relevance in 2018. This live performance will leave you in sheer awe of its beauty and what better place than the majestic fields in Ireland during the summer solstice?
Body & Soul stage, Sunday June 24th
Róisín Donald is also known as Derry singer-songwriter Roe who labels her music as ‘grumpy electro-pop’. At the age of just 19, she is an artist that has an impressive list of achievements under her belt already. Last year played the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury which was followed by appearances of late such as Eurosonic in Groningen, The Great Escape and Primavera Sound this year. Her performances feature live synths, drum machine beats and guitars alongside vocals that stand out.
Woodlands Stage, Saturday June 23rd
With the release of his second solo album Frankly, I Mutate in March of this year, Paddy Hanna’s weird and wonderful brand of songwriting caught the ears and hearts of critics and music heads alike. The album, which details a prolonged cycle of depression and elation in the artist’s life, is charming and honest. Hanna’s music is fluid. Some tracks, like the single ‘Bad Boys’, sound like The Strokes re-imagined through an Americana lens. Others feel more akin to a surrealistic Baroque show, such as the excellent ‘All I Can Say I Love You’. Whatever genre Hanna is borrowing from at any one given moment, the music and lyrical content never fails to land an emotional punch. Performing in the Woodlands stage on Saturday night, this show is bound to be raucous and absurdly entertaining.