Thursday 19 September 2019

Carry on camping with Imelda

Imelda May is headlining the Kaleidoscope family festival
Imelda May is headlining the Kaleidoscope family festival
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

No better woman than Imelda May to headline Kaleidoscope, Ireland's first proper camping festival for families, on June 28, 29 and 30 in Russborough House, Blessington.

She'll fit right in with the vibe - while helping to create the vibe with her beautiful music - because as a kid growing up in a two-bed gaff in Dublin's Liberties she knew all about the fun of the great outdoors with five siblings, sisters Edel and Maria and brothers Brendan and Fintan.

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Their parents, Tony and Madge, didn't have a lot of money so holidays as a family tended to be low-budget even no-budget affairs in the most bizarre places.

"Every time I go to Paris," Imelda told me in 2014, "I see that stretch of grass. And I can't believe that we actually camped under the Eiffel Tower as kids! My dad set up the tent for all of us, thinking: 'This is a nice spot!' But we woke up to police wanting to arrest us!

"I took a photograph of the grass under the Eiffel Tower a couple of weeks ago. So I have great memories of my childhood. You want your child to say they had a lot of love. I had a mad childhood.

"And I want loads of fun for Violet," she said, referring to her daughter.

"Good times and loads of love. She is having a ball on the road. She is speaking different languages and trying different food. She loved tapas in Spain."

So I hope Ms May will be camping in Wicklow next weekend with the rest of us. I also hope she will be playing a lot of tracks from her T Bone Burnett-produced piece de resistance of pain Life Love Flesh Blood, one of the albums of 2017.

Another act well worth going to Kaleidoscope for is the band of the moment, Wild Youth.

Their single Can't Move On proved there is a lot of substance to the claims being made about the Dublin quartet. Having toured in the UK with The Script, after being personally requested by Danny O'Donoghue, et al, they are on the cusp of something that I hope they are ready for.

You should also be giving your time (when you are not running around after your kids at this family-friendly fest in Wicklow) to enjoying the performances of the brilliant Delorentos, the wondrous Wyvern Lingo, the sublime Ryan Sheridan, the always powerful Kila, the inspiring Tom Odell, to say nothing of live favourites Riptide Movement and Hermitage Green.

And I haven't even mentioned Jerry Fish's Electric Sideshow with Jack O'Rourke, Breathe With the Beat (House of Yoga!), The Kilo 1977, as well as, among others, The Frank and Walters, Natty Wailer, and Stomptown Brass.

Nor have I mentioned that one of the great Irish bands will also be headlining Kaleidoscope next weekend, the one and only Bell X1,

I'd walk to Wicklow with my tent on my back just to see them, as, I suspect, would most sane music fans.

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