Pop the Cork: Indiependence bright young things . . .

. . . and of course a few old favourites. Jim Carroll picks the 13 big cheeses of this weekend's Indiependence festival in Mitchelstown, Co Cork

Thu, Jul 31, 2014, 23:05

Another weekend, another festival for music fans to flock to in search of sonic thrills. Indiependence has been pulling the crowds to Mitchelstown, Co Cork since 2006 and, with every passing year, the event and the line-up have grown in size and stature.

There’s a ton of fans setting their GPS gadgets for the site beneath the Galtee Mountains this weekend. Here’s a baker’s dozen of acts you really don’t want to miss (provided, of course, that they’re not playing at the same time as someone else on the list).

Chlöe Howl is a teenager on a mission. When she first appeared on the radars of talent scouts a few years ago, it was bold, brazen, pop belters such as Rumour that impressed all and persuaded Columbia Records to offer her a contract. Anyone who has seen her live knows she also has oodles of chutzpah to go with those tunes. She has been working on an album with Eg White (Florence & The Machine, Adele and Will Young collaborator) so we await that eagerly. Her songs, she says, “are about being a bored teenager, ’cos I am one”. We like the cut of her jib.

Chuck D and co’s adventures have taken them all around the world over the years, but there’s always room for another first: in this case Public Enemy playing their first-ever show in a town best known for making cheese. Last seen under an Irish sky when they lashed through the hits in a jam-packed tent at Forbidden Fruit a couple of months ago, PE’s modus operandi has largely remained unchanged over the years. You get a clatter of heavyweight beats, righteous preaching and hollering, and a bevy of timeless, fierce, hip-hop hits. The original of the species when it comes to bringing the noise.

When he’s not nonchalantly rescuing swimmers from possible drowning in Enniscorthy, Damien Dempsey embellishes his reputation for hard-hitting tunes delivered with heart, soul and gusto. The former boxer has journeyed a long way from his debut album – and it’s worth remembering that They Don’t Teach This Shit at School came out 14 years ago – and he has gained much musical heft along the way as his folk/pop sound has matured and developed. Listen to this year’s greatest hits album, It’s All Good, and celebrate a singer and songwriter with an unique voice and perspective who is, in the greater scheme of things, just getting warmed up. The praise and plaudits he has received from his peers, and greats such as Christy Moore, are telling.

Somewhere in the world, there’s a hard drive of some sort containing the bones of the new album by Delorentos. Album number four from the Dublin four-piece will be eagerly awaited in many quarters, especially as the Choice Music Prize-winning Little Sparks moved them onto mainstream radars and tracks such as Bullet in a Gun and Care For made them radio regulars. Their recent Record Store Day release, Unbroken, Untied, had versions of four new songs that suggest the band maintain their penchant for brave, bright and emotional music. Live, they can really soar, with or without the large Styrofoam letters that often accompany them onstage and usually end up getting carted away by the crowd.

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