It’s hardly a secret at this stage that there is something for everyone on the Irish festival scene every year, with various Irish acts being given the chance of exposure in front of audiences who might not have otherwise encountered that. One of the more underrated festivals on the circuit is the Blessington, Co. Wicklow based event KnockanStockan that happens every July. The festival operates an open call system that allows acts to apply for the chance to play the festival every year and over the years many Irish acts have made their first meaningful steps in music off the back of these stages.
The line up this year again offers something for everyone and anyone who finds themselves in attendance over the weekend is sure to leave satisfied. Here is a selection of some of the acts that we feel would be worth your time.
Over the past few years, Max Zazka has built up a reputation for being one of the most exciting and interesting live acts in Irish music at the moment. His unique style serves up a blend of funk, soul, and jazz, and it is sure to be one of the most feel good sets of the weekend.
Regular readers of Covert Music Club will know that I am a massive fan of the work of Donegal singer/songwriter Eve Belle. Belle has an ability to write bouncy and upbeat songs that hide a darker and more introspective message and immediately captivate the listener. Live she is a compelling performing drawing listeners in with her assertive vocals, and charismatic audience interjection between songs. A set not to be missed.
When not acting as the back bands for Cork singer/songwriters Dan Elliott and Jess Leen, Cork band Rowan are well able to stand in their own right with a discography of songs with heartful lyrics and outstanding instrumentation.
If you’re looking for something a bit different across the weekend, you can’t go too far wrong with Dublin four-piece, The Scratch. Having all been members of metal bands in previous years, The Scratch have successfully blended metal techniques into a folk genre for energetic and compelling live performances that have to be seen to be believed.
Lemoncello, consisting of Laura Quirke and Claire Kinsella, are becoming one of the most talked about up-and-coming folk acts in Irish music at the moment. Mixing delicate guitar and cello instrumentation with hard hitting and touching lyrics it is impossible not to be captivated by what the duo are doing with their sound.