Top Acts To See At KnockanStockan 2016
KnockanStockan is ten years old this year. The organisers have gone all out with a massive line-up for the three-day festival that takes place on a mystical site on the shores of Blessington Lakes. KnockanStockan celebrates the best in new music in Ireland. This year there’s over 160 bands covering every genre of music from synth pop to heavy metal. The stages are contemporary, intimate and colourful. Interesting arty sculptures are scattered all over the site, with circus tents, jugglers, acrobats and entertainers randomly appearing.
Here’s our top twenty acts to see whist wandering through these mysterious fields.
David Keenan. This Dundalk born solo singer will charm you with his earnest lyrics and gravelly tones. He sings from his soul, his songs have the resonance of Glen Hansard with the integrity of early Paolo Nutini.
Aine Cahill. Fresh from Glastonbury, Cavan girl Aine played live on BBC2 singing her song ‘Black Dahlia’. Jo Whiley said she was discovered ‘like Adele was’. Catch her while you can on Sunday at 12.30.
Lisa O’Neill. Another Cavan lass, Lisa has just released her third album ‘Pothole In The Sky’. Her Cavan twang and finely crafted songs are riddled with clever observations, are haunting and compelling. She will be fabulous.
SlowPlaceLikeHome. Keith Mannion is the Donegal synth wizard whipping up an art pop frenzy with his latest release ‘Tiger Lilly’. Dark, ethereal, nods to Gary Numan with a pinch of Zoot Woman in the mix. He will totally fizz it up onstage.
The Hot Sprockets. KnockanStockan stalwarts these funky rocking’ soul groovers would lift the roof off, if there was a roof. They’re party animals who ignite a high octane show with classics like ‘Shake It Off’, ‘Soul Brother’ ‘Bad Jim ‘and the adorable ‘Homeslice’.
Ding Dong Denny O’Reilly. This man could be described as the finest wordsmith in modern Ireland. His unique style as a republican balladeer is hilarious, his collection of ditties is totally politically incorrect. With titles ranging from ‘Women Are The Divil’ to ‘A Mary Should Be Hairy’ Ding Dong is a comic sonic tonic.
Raglans. Dublin boys Raglans are rising through the ranks towards the status of Irish indie idols. Their addictive pop tunes have jingle jangle charm with serious commercial staying power. Initially formed after a session at KnockanStockan in 2010, Raglans are yet another diamond formed in the rough of this festival.
Miriam Donohue. Galway girl Miriam Donohue is a folk inspired singer songwriter. She’s been on the gig scene for a few years now charming audiences with her finely crafted songs. Her vocals are pure and alluring, almost delicate.
Mongoose. Mongoose are a female quartet of quirky folky, jazz infused joy. They have an expanse of musical diversity, from strings to acoustic vocals. Full of surprises, they over deliver on every level every time I see them.
Travis Oaks. Dublin based indie rockers Travis Oaks are high energy, heavy guitar hitters who’ve earned a solid reputation for intense guitar gigs in every venue in Ireland. Their explosive performance will probably blow a hole in the Ballyknockan quarry.
Mutefish. KnockanStockan veterans Mutefish are the mother of all rock metal based bands this weekend. Notorious for their riotous energy and genre defying set list they are likely to concoct a Molotov cocktail of punk, metal, trad, rock ‘n roll.
ZASKA. Funky soul, jazz master frontman Max Zaska and his talented band ZASKA have a selection box of various groovy tunes to tempt you. Their sonic offerings range from hip hop, to swanky jazz with Niall Rogers guitar licks, luxury vocals, layers of shiny brass arrangements and injections of rap.
Come On Live Long. Dublin band Come on Live Long make lush, rich melodies swell into huge soundscapes infused with quirky hooks and clever lyrics. This highly accomplished polished band will steal the skyline when they hit the stage.
New Secret Weapon. It would be impolite not to list New Secret Weapon. They formed at KnockanStockan back in 2007 jamming on the camp site. Their colossal trademark sound of metal, blues punk and prog rock with a lash of psychedelia has propelled their success and recruited thousands of fans. This is their only festival appearance this year so don’t miss it.
Anderson. Finglas man Daniel Anderson might sound familiar. His first album ‘Patterns’ got rave reviews and plenty of radio play. His melodic, pop kitsch style is infectious and addictive.
No Monster Club. Indie pop bubble gum band No Monster Club are eclectic, interesting and different. Their refreshing songs are hook laden earworms laced with pretty percussion. Charming and funny, ‘they’re just trying to get their songs to the world’.
The New Social. Four Mayo boys, now based in Dublin The New Social are indie kids writing serious material that could rival mainstream masters like Walking On Cars and The Coronas. Very radio friendly tunes, a strong commercial offering in its infancy.
Paddy Dennehy and The Red Herring. Paddy Dennehy and his band are phenomenal. Their sound is a modern remoulding of Louis Armstrong with Tom Waits leanings. They have that massive soulful Hozier potential with the deep South sentiment of ‘Once Upon A Night’. I’m in shock and awe. You will be too.
Naoise Roo. A future female rock icon permeates the persona of Naoise Roo. She carries the resonance of PJ Harvey. She possesses the dark demon quality of a tortured soul delivering verdicts through her songs via her deep and dramatic vocal. The will conquer KnockanStockan and claim it for herself. And good luck to her. She rocks.
Crow Black Chicken. Well known, well liked and well-travelled Crow Black Chicken are a proven crowd pleaser at festivals. Their full throttle, electric blues rock never fails to impress. Expect guitar shredding, massive beats and powerhouse vocals.