The dust has now well and truly settled in the aftermath of Indiependence 2016. Having taken place over the August bank holiday weekend in Mitchelstown Co. Cork, this festival is only going from strength to strength, growing in both profile and capacity while managing to keep the feel of small, intimate gigs.
For the past few years the festival organisers have managed to attract some of the biggest names in music, while simultaneously launching lesser known Irish acts right into the thick of the summer music scene. This year was no different in terms of the talent on show. Names such as Bell X1, The Strypes, Walking on Cars, The Kooks, Ash and Editors packed the top of the bill. These acts could easily be considered the “must see act of the weekend”. Even The Blizzards, performing at their first festival in seven years created a massive draw. If you weren’t their early, you watched from outside the Big Top Stage.
I was at all of them, but none of them were the band that I regarded as the “must see act of the weekend”. That honour fell to a band from Longford (“Longford??” I hear you say. Yep, Longford.); Brave Giant. You may recognise the name from the Bob Marley/Daft Punk mashup which took over Irish web pages earlier in the year.
Taking to the Beer Hall stage just before 7 o’clock on Sunday evening, the lads started their set playing to around 30 people. It didn’t take long however for people in the general area of the Beer Hall, which, by the way, spends 51 weeks of the year as a hay barn, to stop in and take notice of what was going on. Well over 100 people were soon gathered to watch the lads play a mix of their own songs, and the mashups they have become known for.
With a very recognisable sound, helped in no small part by the prominent inclusion of catchy banjo and mandolin licks, they soon had the crowd eating out of the palms of their hands. You haven’t heard Jay Z’s “99 Problems” until you’ve heard it with a trad twist, and then seamlessly transitioned into the lad’s own song “Easy”.
Unfortunately, Brave Giant were limited to a regular festival time slot of just 30 minutes, but managed to achieve a lot in that small window, convincing a lot of people that this was a band to sit up and take notice of.
Having recently been picked by fan vote to play Electric Picnic, unlike the Longford footballers, Brave Giant’s summer isn’t quite finished yet. If you want to catch the band in action, you can try nab yourself a ticket to the sold out Stradbally event, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Here’s a few of their finest songs from their debut EP “The Lordy Lordy” to convince you that this band are set for much bigger than a hay barn in north Cork.