Derry’s new wave of musicians to make their mark at Stendhal

Sugarwolf are set to make their Stendhal Debut this summer. (Conor Kerr)
Sugarwolf are set to make their Stendhal Debut this summer. (Conor Kerr)

Derry’s new wave of talented bands and musicians will be showcased at the forthcoming Stendhal Festival in Limavady.

Organisers of the ninth instalment of the multi-award winning music and arts festival - which takes place over three days from August 15 - said they are all set to continue to cement a strong creative bond it has created with Derry.

Since its inception, Stendhal has paid close attention and showcased music and creative arts which emanate from the Maiden City and the event is doubling down on that relationship this year with several acts from the Maiden City set to take the stage, including Thursday night headline act SOAK.

Along with the highly touted SOAK, Derry acts appearing at the festival this year include; Ryan Vail and Elma Orkestra, Roe, Charity Shop Vinyl, Afekt, Cherym, Reevah, Sugarwolf, New Pagans and loads more that will be announced on the Nerve Centre Youth Breakout Stage.

Ryan Vail, who is performing his groundbreaking Borders Project alongside fellow Derry man Eoin O’Callahan (Aka Elma Orkestra and Best Boy Grip), says that Stendhal is now a can’t miss event in the event calendar.

“For me Stendhal really has it all this year,“ he said. “Basement Jaxx for most will be the must see act, and rightly so but make sure to catch Talos, Roe, Reevah, Soak & The Hot House Flowers on the Live end. For a fully blown party the Afekt DJ crew will be worth a visit.”

Ryan Vail and Elma Orkestra are bringing their stunning Borders Show to Stendhal this year and will no doubt be one of the weekend's biggest highlights.(Wrapped in Plastic Photography)

Ryan Vail and Elma Orkestra are bringing their stunning Borders Show to Stendhal this year and will no doubt be one of the weekend's biggest highlights.(Wrapped in Plastic Photography)

Sugarwolf are making their Stendhal debut this year but members of the rock act have prior experience of the event with a previous band.

Emma Gallagher of Sugarwolf said: “The Stendhal name has been familiar one with Derry and the surrounding areas since its launch in 2011. It’s a must play for bands each year and definitely one to look forward to - we’re absolutely delighted to be on this bill this year for the first time with Sugarwolf.

“It’s super exciting to visit cities around Ireland and talk to people who are familiar with the festival, have attended the festival or even performed there.”

Emma added: “If you’re thinking of heading to a festival this year I cannot recommend Stendhal enough, you’re guaranteed to see a lot of familiar faces and discover world class talent! Oh and bring your kids as there’s so much to offer for families and music lovers alike.”

Derry is a music mad town, one of our closest neighbours and has talent coming out of its ears

Ross Parkhill

Rising punk act Cherym, who have recently signed to Belfast based label, Quiet Arch, are also on the bill and lead guitarist and vocalist Hannah Richardson also spoke glowingly about Stendhal.

“We’re very excited to be playing Stendhal this year,” she said. “It’s great to have such a fantastic festival right on our doorstep and we’d implore anyone from Derry who hasn’t been before to check it out.”

She added: “This is the one time of year we collectively look forward to as a band and we can’t wait to get back on stage at Stendhal in August.”

Stendhal not only works closely with Derry musicians but also other Derry organisations such as The Nerve Centre, Foyle Film Festival, Celtronic and Zero Waste Northwest.

Cherym are Stendhal regulars at this point and their energetic sets never fail to disappoint.

Cherym are Stendhal regulars at this point and their energetic sets never fail to disappoint.

Marty McGill from the Nerve Centre says that Stendhal has become a cornerstone showcasing event in the annual calander for the Magazine Street based organisation.

“Stendhal has become part and parcel of the day to day language of the young musicians that come through the Nerve Centre,” said Marty.

“It is a fantastic event and for us in particular it gives a real focus for the projects we run with musicians throughout the year. The chance to play or be a part of Stendhal is a massive motivator for the budding and the next generation of local world beating young guns that come through Music Hothouse and Set The Stage and long may that continue.”

Festival organiser Ross Parkhill said Derry will always play a key role in Stendhal.

“Derry is a music mad town, one of our closest neighbours and has talent coming out of its ears,” he said.

“There is so much good stuff coming out of there and that has been the case for years and years now, so we will always be looking to showcase and highlight the best of the best from Derry.”