Monday 12 November 2018

Who's on the bill at Castle Palooza

Castle Palooza is at Charleville Castle, Tullamore Co Offaly. There's an official policy of having Irish artists make up at least 50 per cent of the bill, so you'll find stronger homegrown presence than at other festivals. There is also a firm emphasis on the arts -- this year's event includes African drumming workshops, an 'introduction to Burlesque' class and day spa. You don't get that at Oxegen! Here are some highlights:

  • Mercury Rev

The grizzled grand-daddies of American psychedelia, Mercury Rev have spent their career asking -- and answering -- the question: what would The Band have sounded like if they had incorporated oodles of drug references into their music. With their next LP not yet completed, the band will perform a Great Hits set. (Main stage Saturday)

  • Fionn Regan

His career seems to have become a tad unstuck after he (pictured right) took forever to release a follow-up to his Mercury nominated debut, The End of History. Not that follow up Shadow of an Empire is bad. However it is far more engaging and outward looking than his first album. Maybe we prefer it when our singer-songwriters are miserable and withdrawn. (Main stage Saturday)

  • Adebisi Shank

You don't associate rural Wexford with cutting edge post-rock. Yet it is from there that cult noiseniks Adebisi Shank hail. Sounding like Mogwai jamming with Miles Davis on a malfunctioning speaker system, their racket is undeniably unique and has won a big cult following, at home and across Europe. (Main stage, Saturday)

  • Norman Jay

A key figure in the British house explosion of the early 90s, DJ Norman Jay is perhaps best known for throwing the annual Good Times event at the Notting Hill Carnival in London. His sound is primarily hard techno, but he likes to veer into funk and even jazz when the mood takes (Main stage Sunday)

  • James Vincent McMorrow

Very intense and very bearded, James Vincent McMorrow looks like the missing second guitarist from Midlake. In fact, he's a Dublin singer-songwriter -- although his well-received debut album Early In The Morning does have a strong Americana tinge. (Main stage Sunday)

Irish Independent

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