Festival Preview: CastlePalooza 2011

The Irish festival season is in full flow and this weekend sees the return of the Castlepalooza Music and Arts Festival. Now in its sixth year the action again takes place in Charleville Castle in Tullamore, County Offaly and having not made it down since 2009 I’m looking forward to another slice of the action. Special credit must go to the organisers this year for plucking the finest home-grown talent and giving them great slots. There’s quality across the whole line-up but here’s a selection of acts I’m particularly excited about. 

For tickets etc see the official site // for the full stage times see this link.

Ghost Estates :: Friday :: Main Stage @ 8.30pm 

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F15092118  Paris by GHOST ESTATES

The Casanova Wave :: Saturday :: Main Stage @ 3.30pm 

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F5450481  The Casanova Wave by The Casanova Wave



Moths :: Saturday :: Big Top Stage @ 5.15pm 

Jaysus, it’s hard to believe this is Moths’ first gig. The brainchild of 18 year old Jack Colleran, Moths has enjoyed a phenomenal year in which every track he uploaded was devoured and salivated over by what seemed to be the entire internet.  He also managed to sneak in an official Interpol remix too…all while doing his Leaving Cert. Impressed? Well, you should be. The craft and ingenuity shown at such an early age means such acclaim is deserved and this performance, from a guy who was unknown last year, is easily my most anticipated of the weekend.

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F10515044  by MOTHS 

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F8820365  blisters by MOTHS

The Minutes :: Saturday :: Main Stage @ 8.30pm 

This year’s Temple House festival convinced me of The Minutes worth. There, with a tent barely half full, they performed with a level of blistering intensity worthy of a career-defining headline slot at Wembley Arena. Forever playing out of their skins, this is ferocious rock and roll imbued with a level of enthusiasm that is simply impossible to ignore. 



Clock Opera :: Saturday :: Main Stage @ 11.30pm 

Without any shadow of a doubt ‘Belongings’ is one of my favourite tracks of the year. A beautiful, stirring piece of music, it has infected my pores and left me dumbstruck in its simplicity and romanticism. In truth, I know little else of these Londoners but a track this sublime warrants further inspection all on its own.

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F618128  Clock Opera – Belongings by moshi moshi music 

Jape :: Saturday :: Main Stage @ 12.30am 

At Forbidden Fruit Mr Egan was given an unenviable slot. As he took to the stage early in the day, people were either just arriving, wiping sleep from their eyes from the previous nights antics or still queuing at the bar. All of this culminated in a nice but ultimately restrained atmosphere bur this time around things will be different. Classics like ‘Floating’ and ‘I Was A Man’ were made for headlining festivals, and when you factor in exciting new creations such as ‘Hands Of Fire’ and ‘Please Don’t Turn That Record On’ and well, every other track Richie has debuted in recent months, you know it’s going to be a little bit special. 

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F807607  Hands Of Fire / Lying on a Deathbed by Jape


Kid Karate :: Sunday :: The Big Top @ 12pm 

A ferocious live force – the Dublin duo have consistently managed to transfer the energy and swagger of their debut Heart EP onto the stage. Such a feat is particularly commendable when you consider the insatiable energy required to create the pulsating splendour of tracks like ‘Black and Beige’ and ‘Feel For You’. A later slot would suit a bit better but this will kick Sunday’s hangover into touch that’s for sure.

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F7429806  Feel For You by Kid Karate

Dogs :: Sunday :: Big Top Stage @ 3pm 

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F9745399&color=81ADC5&show_comments=trueUnderbeats by dogs – the band

The Young Folk :: Sunday :: Main Stage @ 4.45pm 

They made it into my KnockanStockan Ones To Watch last week and having caught that enthralling live show my adoration for this folk-infused Dubliners has only heightened. Rousing, accomplished and earnest – think Mumford and Sons with a touch of class.

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F14494630  The Young Folk – Way Down South by RisingStars 


Sacred Animals :: Sunday :: Main Stage @ 6.30pm 

Last year’s debut EP was a sublime creation that I waxed lyrical about at the time. Flickering between light and dark, Sacred Animals deals with delicate yet expansive landscapes, jumping from pin-pricks to lush tones repeatedly to create a moving, compelling experience. 

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F114201  Sacred Animals by RootMusic 


Squarehead :: Sunday :: Main Stage @ 8.30pm 

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F4602019  Squarehead – Fake Blood by lizpelly

These Charming Men :: Sunday :: Main Stage @ 10.30pm 

Lets face facts: I’m an avid Morrissey fan, so a tribute act like this was always going to be on my list. I caught TCM at The Village earlier in the year and I was blown away by their authenticity and their faithful restoration of both the Smiths’ hits and the lesser-known tracks from Moz’s solo catalogue. See you up front with the gladioli…



Onra :: Sunday :: Courtyard Stage @ 1.30am

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F14754144  Onra – L.O.V.E by Onra

Toby Kaar :: Sunday :: Courtyard Stage @ 2.30.am

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F7395832  Crank by TobyKaar

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