The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Glasgowbury 2009, live in Derry

Review snapshot: Two thousand five hundred music fans with a liking for mountainous flora and fauna descend upon Eagles Rock for another feast of ceol agus craic.

Full review:
Mud, sticky mud, deep mud, all very brown, and, well, everywhere. Well, it's Ireland, it's summertime, what you gonna do? Put the head down and stick two wet fingers up to it. Early Saturday, the sky's blue, the birds chirping, signs for a dry day were good. Fast forward a few hours, tents erected, first beer started and Zeus decided to fart on us. Well, macks and wellies packed, up yours Zeus

As the festival site dried out on Sunday morning, the 2500 (the first sell out) weary troopers left Eagles Rock a bit battered and the worse for wear, but happy of heart. Glasgowbury 09, the tenth festival was again, an unmitigated success.

Over 60 bands played throughout the Saturday on 4 stages. The best of the North’s burgeoning talent, along with some new pretenders, mixed with a smidgen of oldin’ goldies, including the only Irishman to play the original Woodstock, 'Sir' Henry McCullough (take a bow sir) wowed the muddy masses. And lest we forget, local dance heroes, the Deep Fried Funk ensemble provided a few late night beats and the Innishowen Gospel choir along side The Beat Initiative, the North’s carnival arts collective bringing a bit of culture to the proceedings.

As with most folk and festivals, the best laid plans and itinerarys often get slightly altered, or in this case completely reworked as a few sociable beers were shared with old and new acquaintances in the very picturesque campsite.

We eventually did make it into the festival proper; we were greeted with the dirty rock tones of Derry's Skruff. A whirlwind set of fine riffs and sky punching rock beats got the day off to a good start.

Skruff stable-mates, Here Comes the Landed Gentry took on the baton with an hour of wondrous grunt fueled rock and hillbilly blues. HCTLG have been become a bit of an institution in the north of the island and it isn’t hard to see why, the tunes, the energy, the peerless front man, Marty Doherty, aka Mort Van Cleef Dortenson and their inimitable rapport with the crowd. HCTLG will be playing Dublin's 'Hard Working Class Heroes' festival in October, go check, you won’t be disappointed.

General Fiasco have been touring extensively of late and on the back of a storming set at Oxegen, took to the main stage and showed the masses just why they have been touted for great things. They are as tight as they are confident and assured with a set of blistering pop infused rock in their youthful armoury.

And So I Watch You From Afar as this year’s headliners finished off the night, and the festival, in style. As the night sky embraced Eagles Rock, Ireland's answer to Explosions in the Sky took to the main stage with a sonic array of building instrumental rock tunes.

Nobody does loud-quiet-loud quite like these guys, and the crowd react, oh how the crowd react. This gig had everything, the tunes, a stage invasion, even some vocals (!), all lapped up by a few thousand smiling, and spoiled Irish folk... Legendary.

Roll on 2010.

Sig Doherty

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