Derry's talent more interesting than Belfast - Stendhal organiser

Susie Blue.Susie Blue.
Susie Blue.
Derry is currently producing more interesting batch of music artists in Belfast, the organiser of the forthcoming Stendhal Festival has said.

The Limavady Festival will showcase 20 acts hailing from Derry city and county over August 11 and 12.

Stendhal organiser Ross Parkhill said the award winning music and arts extravaganza has, since its inception in 2011, had a policy of packing its stages with the best musical talent from Derry.

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Mr Parkhill says it is no surprise that there are so many North West acts on the bill this year again, saying that he believes that Derry is currently producing a more interesting batch of musicians than Belfast, or anywhere else in Northern Ireland.

Paddy Nash.Paddy Nash.
Paddy Nash.

“Derry has been pumping out a lot of quality over the past few years,” he said. “It is a city where music seems to play a big part in everyone’s everyday life so it is no surprise that there are so many acts that are ready to break out who originate from this area.

“Soak is obviously the big one in recent years, but there are so many who are ready to go, ROE and Susie Blue for example who made their Glastonbury debuts this year.

“There are so many good acts that we could genuinely run a Derry only stage and it would have everything and be a big hit at the festival and for me, the current scene in Derry is the most exciting in the country.”

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One of the local acts performing at the festival, Derry’s Paddy Nash, who has just released a new album, said: “Stendhal to me is like a wonderful open armed, open air gallery piping super music and oozing kindness and craic from all corners.”

Wake America.Wake America.
Wake America.

Eoin O’Callaghan of Best Boy Grip and Wake America, is also returning this year under his Wake America moniker.

“I’m so excited to get back to Stendhal this year,” he said. “I can’t wait to blast the new Wake America set all over the fields.”

Sus McCaul, front woman of Susie Blue, said that for her, the best part of Stendhal is seeing it grow each year. “I’ve been to Stendhal regularly since it started up and watched it get bigger and bigger each year, so from an artist’s perspective being asked to be a part of an event that is clearly moving in the right direction year on year is an honour,” She said.”

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Alt rock act Making Monsters, who are currently finishing up with the writing of their debut album, which is scheduled for release in 2018, have been cited on many occasions as one of the Festival’s favourite bands and guitarist Paul Monk says the feeling is mutual.

Making Monsters.Making Monsters.
Making Monsters.

“It is by far one of our favourite festivals,” Paul said. “The best in local artists mixed with big touring acts, a beautiful location and super family friendly. Their standard and attention to detail is unrivalled and it’s awesome that it exists just down the road in Limavady.”

Electronica mastermind Ryan Vail has been all around the world this year and says that he can’t wait to get back home for Stendhal.

“This year I’ve already played in Germany, England, USA and all over Ireland,” he said. I was touring a completely sold out AV Show that I’m bringing to Stendhal and it’s going to be amazing.

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“Stendhal for me is one of the festivals I look forward to the most in summer. I bring my family, perform and get to soak up all the arts and little touches and nuances that make it so special and make it really stand out from other festivals.”

Ryan Vail.Ryan Vail.
Ryan Vail.

Another rising Derry star, Roe, also made her Glastonbury debut last month, a rapid progression since she made her first ever festival appearance at Stendhal last year.

“I’m so excited to play Stendhal this year,” she said. “Last year it was my first ever festival experience and I was so happy to be asked to play, just me and guitar, having only had a few songs out.

“The Stendhal guys have been super supportive with everything I’ve done since then and I’m delighted to be asked back to play with my whole new live setup.

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“I’m just back from playing on the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury, and walking around there I can totally see where and why John and Ross got the inspiration for starting Stendhal, which has me all the more excited to play again.”

Catch the very best in local music alongside acts the like of Ash, The Magic Numbers, Sharon Shannon and David O’Doherty at Stendhal Festival on August 11 and 12 at Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady.