Ash to play Stendhal Festival

ASH will play at this year's Stendhal Festival, on August 11 and 12
ASH will play at this year's Stendhal Festival, on August 11 and 12

Downpatrick rockers Ash will be a shining light at this summer’s Stendhal Festival in Co Londonderry, the organisers have announced.

Announcing the first part of their musical line-up today, Stendhal Festival organisers declared themselves delighted to be welcoming Ash to this year’s festival.

Named after a psychosomatic disorder that causes dizziness when people view great works of art, the Stendhal Festival is a two-day celebration of music and art, set in the hills of Drumsurn just outside the town of Limavady in Co Londonderry. The festival has become an annual event after its inception in 2011 and has grown exponentially from its humble beginnings.

A spokesperson for Stendhal Festival said: “The eclectic mix of genres and styles showcased at Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady, will be headlined by Northern Irish Legends ASH on Friday August 11.

“The Downpatrick rockers are one of the most popular and successful acts to ever hail from Northern Ireland, bursting onto the scene with their seminal debut album ‘1977’, an album which contained classics such as ‘Girl from Mars,’ ‘Goldfinger’, ‘Angel Interceptor’ and ‘Oh Yeah’.

The album hit number one in the British Album Charts and spawned four top 20 hits for the fledgling outfit.

Ciaran Lavery was another of the acts announced by the team at Stendhal

Ciaran Lavery was another of the acts announced by the team at Stendhal

“Since then their career has spanned over 20 years and ASH have produced 18 top 40 singles, 2 UK Number 1 Albums (‘1977’ and ‘Free All Angels’) and a further 3 albums which all charted in the top 10.”

The spokesperson continued: “From one legendary act to another, Irish folk hero Sharon Shannon will also be taking to the Stendhal stage this summer.

“Sharon has quite literally seen and done it all in the Irish Folk Scene. She has played on stage with the likes of the Waterboys and Christy Moore, while her 1991 self-titled debut album remains the highest selling folk album in Irish history.

“Granted a lifetime achievement award at the 2009 Meteor Awards, Sharon has attained legendary status and everyone involved with Stendhal is very proud to welcome her to Limavady in the summer.

Sharon Shannon will play at the music festival at Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady

Sharon Shannon will play at the music festival at Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady

“Adding a stylish International flair to proceedings will be both Ginkgoa and Ulrich Schnauss featuring Nat Urazmetova.

Parisian/Manhattan Electro swing act Ginkgoa has been garnering rave reviews thanks to their electrifying recent appearances in festivals across Europe and North America.

“German electronica icon Ulrich Schnauss is at once uplifting and otherworldly, combining multi-layered synthesizers with beats and ethereal vocals, serving as an aural escape route from the trappings of reality.”

The Stendhal organisers continued: “Showcasing the very best of Northern Irish talent has always been a key component of the Stendhal experience and this year some of our very brightest home-grown stars will be shining on the Stendhal stage.

The 4 of Us are another of the acts announced in the first part of the Stendhal lineup

The 4 of Us are another of the acts announced in the first part of the Stendhal lineup

“Ciaran Lavery is making a welcome return to Stendhal. This fast rising home-grown star has been making huge strides in recent months and is recognised by the entire Northern Irish Music Industry as perhaps the one to watch from these shores.

“Jealous of the Birds is another hotly tipped talent making waves in the Irish music scene, equal parts light and shade, her songs are poignant and vulnerable, bursting with honesty and raw passion.

“Ryan McMullan may be the Northern Irish breakout star of the year thanks to being chosen to open for Ed Sheeran in the superstars’ summer European dates.

Ryan is no stranger to Stendhal having made his Limavady debut in 2014 he hasn’t looked back. He has supported the likes of Foy Vance and is looking forward to his first headline show in Belfast this coming September.”

Stendhal Festival also highlighted other local acts, saying: “Other local standouts include the brooding intensity of Hiva Oa, the always outstanding and original Joshua Burnside, the excellent Susie Blue, Derry electropop/rock purveyor ROE, the soaring vocal magnificence of Rosborough and with many more to be announced, expect only excellence from the Northern Irish contingent this year.

“Brothers Declan and Brendan Murphy have been better known as The 4 of Us for over 25 years now. Propelled by hit single ‘Mary’ the band’s first album ‘Songs for the tempted’ shot them to Number 1 in the Irish album charts, going double platinum and winning them Best Album of the Year at the Irish Music Awards.

“Anthony Toner has been described as ‘John Prine meets James Taylor – in a second hand book shop’.

The Coleraine-born singer-songwriter is a masterful composer whose songs are meticulously crafted, poetic and suffused with compassion, warmth and wisdom.”

The Festival organisers went on: “As usual a multitude of different genres and styles of music will be on show, there will be bluegrass courtesy of Rackhouse Pilfer, Gypsy Orchestral from Basork, Reggae from the John Street Band, folk from Emma Lusby and with further announcements to come, Stendhal will ensure that there is something for everyone to enjoy.”

Stendhal Organiser Ross Parkhill added: “We are really pleased to be welcoming so many top acts to Stendhal again this year. Last year was by far and away our best year ever so we have been working incredibly hard in the knowledge that we have to top it.

“The first part of the music line-up I think shows that we are on our way to doing that and that Stendhal is once again going to be the most unmissable music event in Northern Ireland this summer.”

Tickets for the event on August 11 and 12 are on sale now at Stendhalfestival.com and from local ticket outlets next week. For more info check out the Stendhal Festival Facebook page.

Stendhal Musical Line-up Part 1:

ASH, Sharon Shannon, Ulrich Schnauss ft. Nat Urazmetova, Ginkgoa, Ciaran Lavery, The Four of Us, Anthony Toner, Jealous of the Birds, Ryan Vail, Ryan McMullan, Paddy Nash, Joshua Burnside, Rosborough, Susie Blue, No Oil Paintings, Roe, Hiva Oa, John Street Band, Emma Lusby, Bror, Chloe McAllister, Basork, Conor Mason, Isobel Anderson, Rackhouse Pilfer. The Burning Glass