Sea hear now
TONY CLAYTON-LEApicks his top acts and happenings at next weekend’s Sea Sessions
A SURF AND MUSIC festival? The President of Ireland (that’s Michael D Higgins to you, mate) is going to make a speech, tour the festival site and present awards to the, ahem, Barefoot Expression Session Surfers? Sign me up right now . . .
Sea Sessions is one of a kind – a multi-stranded event that blends music, extreme sports, surf contests, beach sports and even beach Olympics. The really good thing about the event, however, is that it is neither fish nor fowl – the ingredients are sifted through a finely-holed pop culture colander, and end up as a rounded weekend where music (covering quite a few hipster genres) co-exists quite happily with the kind of activity that’s great to watch but perhaps not to participate in and, yes, we’re talking high-octane, two-wheel mash-up BMX freestyling.
The event is also well located in Bundoran, a town very much used to catering to the needs of not just the native holidaymaker but those irritatingly cool types that flex their six packs as if they were going out of style. Of course, we’re talking about surfer dude babe magnets who flock to the area due to its singularity as a bona fide surfers’ paradise.
So there you have it: an open-air event where people go to get wet, an area of south-west Donegal that’s simply breathtaking in its natural beauty, and a bunch of music (see our Must Hear panel on this page) that stretches boundaries without fear of snapping.
Now regrouped into, by all accounts, a boisterous, occasionally ramshackle live unit, Mancunians Happy Mondays bear witness to the fact that you don’t have to be a genius to make a living in the music business. You just have to own a few decent tunes and a collective hard neck.
When he isn’t rocking the mic, Rev Run (the lead guy from Run DMC, sillies!) rocks the decks, and here – in cahoots with DJ Ruckus – you can expect a rigorous, riotous mix of hip-hop, electro, funk, soul and rock.
A three-piece no-messing machine, Dubliners Mark, Shane and Tom take the templates of garage rock/classic rock and pop, and give ’em a good kicking.
The Leeds band with enough pop song corkers – try Ruby, I Predict a Riot, Everyday I Love you Less and Less and Never Miss a Beat – to rouse the bones and spirits.
Since their latest album, Little Sparks, was released in January, we haven’t stopped playing it. Simply put, it’s rammed to the hilt with tunes, tunes and tunes. A highlight, for sure.