Hot Chip, The Orb, Heather Small and Gomez duo among first acts for Stendahl

Hot Chip, The Orb, Ye Vagabonds, Heather Small from M People and Ben Ottewell and Ian Ball from Gomez have been announced among a first selection of musical acts to perform at the Stendhal Festival over July 4-6.

Heading up the first wave of announcements are Grammy Award, Ivor Novello Award and Mercury Prize nominees Hot Chip, who will be bringing their outstanding DJ set show to Karma Valley at Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady, on Saturday July 6.

Hot Chip's position as the thinking person’s party band is now firmly and magnificently set in stone, as is the group's ability to mix the highest strobe-lit euphoria with the most reflective kind of headphones melancholy.

In a career that has already produced seven albums, an infinite number of mixes and borderline devotional live performances, Hot Chip have claimed the salvation of the sweet spot of the dance floor as their own.

Tracks like ‘Over and Over’, ‘Ready for the Floor’ and ‘Need you now’ have cemented the band as festival favourites all around the globe and their set at Stendhal is sure to go down a storm.

Without question one of the most recognisable voices in British popular music, Heather Small has seen and done it all in a stellar career and will grace the Karma Valley Stage at Stendhal on Friday July 5.

As Part of M People, hits such as 'Moving On Up', 'One Night In Heaven' and 'Search For The Hero' and albums like Elegant Slumming, Bizarre Fruit and Fresco, have ensured Heather has achieved massive worldwide success.

Two Brit Awards and the Mercury Prize with M People allowed her to step into a solo career with aplomb and her song ‘Proud’ became a global smash hit and the soundtrack to a whole host of very special events including London's successful 2012 Olympic bid.

The Orb initially manifested as visionary mischief-makers in acid house revolution in the late eighties and early nineties and thirty-five years since Alex Paterson lit the multi-coloured touchpaper on The Orb’s interstellar space odyssey, they land at Stendhal this summer on Friday July 5.

With an ever-rotating cast of co-creators, a continuous string of charting albums, numerous EPs, compilations, mix records and countless remixes since, The Orb remains a truly essential and still pioneering recording project and an ever-engaging live presence.

One of the pioneers of Britpop, Gomez achieved incredible success in the late 90’s with their two most acclaimed albums, ‘Bring it on’ and ‘Liquid Skin’.

Band members Ben Ottewell and Ian Ball will take to the stage at Stendhal on Saturday, July 6, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of both the records and their Mercury Music Prize win, with a stripped back two-piece show that reinvents and reintroduces the incredible songs birthed around the turn of the millennium.

Tracks like ‘Bring It On’, Whipping Piccadilly’, ‘We Haven’t Turned Around’ ‘Get Myself Arrested’ and ‘Rhythm and Blues Alibi’ have aged like a fine wine and will no doubt bring back memories of the halcyon days of Britpop and the late 90’s.

Also on the bill are Acoustic Rave pioneers The Showhawk Duo, Multi award-winning Folk act Ye Vagabonds, former Walking on Cars frontman, Pa Sheehy, 7-time All-Ireland champion harpist Lisa Canny, Indie standouts Skinny Living, Zulu Afrorave rapper Toya Delazy and a brand-new collaboration between Pat McManus (Mamas Boys) and Cormac Neeson (The Answer) called ‘When Ireland Rocked’.

Derry pop rockers Lavengro make their Stendhal debut, while Belfast Punk rock is well represented by the raucous Problem Patterns.

Tyrone’s The Logues will be playing their whiskey-soaked folk, Karl Devlin is a purveyor of Delta Lagan Blues, Moon Landing is an alternative music project created by 24-year-old, multi-instrumentalist Jake McCrea and Dead Goat is the new musical offering from Mark McCausland (McKowski/The Lost Brothers), Stevie Scullion (Malojian), Decky McManus (The Basement) & Matt McGinn.

Belfast's new indie soul sensation Vera is a band that defies genre conventions, seamlessly blending modern indie vibes with elements of groove, soul, retro pop, and rock, while The Causeway Shantymen’s sea shanties not only entertain but also serve as a cultural link to the rich maritime heritage of the Causeway coast.

Rounding off the first batch of musical performances set for Stendhal this July are; The Unholy Gospel Band, Chubby Cat, Reevah, Lydia Ford, Dylan Walshe, Mister Sister, Rua Rí, The Craic Inn, Springsteen tribute The Seeger Sessions Revival and the Dungiven Community Choir.

Festival Director Ross Parkhill said: “A lot of these acts have not only enjoyed major critical and chart success but they are also performers with some big tunes that can get everyone singing along and help manifest the very special atmosphere Stendhal has become renowned for.

Ross continued: “I’ve seen Hot Chip at several festivals over the years and can personally attest to how they never fail to get an audience invested and on their feet.

“Heather Small is one of the most legendary female voices in British Music and in terms of cultural touchstones, for anyone who grew up in the dance scene in the 90s, the Orb will hold a very special place in their hearts.

“I’m also very much looking forward to Ben and Ian from Gomez doing their thing but to be honest, I think the most exciting thing about this overall first announcement is the diversity in the genres and how hybrid genres like the acoustic rave of the Showhawk Duo or the Afrorave of Toya Delazy are becoming a genre in their own right.

Ross added: “We still have a lot more acts to announce, the main body of our home-grown programme is still to come, as is our family and comedy programme.

Ross concluded: “I’d also like to publicly thank The Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, JKC Coleraine, Alchemy Technologies, Help Musicians and Macrete for their continued support and we can’t wait to share what else we have in store for 2024 with everyone in due course.”

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