Talented local acts set to play Galway Arts Festival big top

Galway Arts Festival will showcase a wealth of local talent this year with several young and emerging bands, all with strong Galway links, supporting major headline acts Blondie, De La Soul, Bell X1, and AfroCubism at the Festival Big Top.

Galway trio The Kanyu Tree are brothers Daniel, Shane, and Oisín Cluskey from Salthill. Their single ‘Radio’, released by Sony Music Ireland recently, was a massive radio hit and is the first track to be taken from their debut album due for release later this year. Musically the group sound both surprisingly familiar and refreshingly new. They are a band in pursuit of the perfect pop song.

Avant garde violinist Daithí uses everything from synthesizers to effects pedals and drum machines to create a unique and exceptional sound. A great raw talent from Ballyvaughan, Co Clare, Daithí is an experimental musician, best known for his electronic synthesized fiddle work. He has performed at festivals across the country including Electric Picnic and Castlepalooza, and came to prominence outside Ireland recently with two Top 50 hits in the UK download charts following his recent success on the Sky TV show Must Be The Music.

The Kanyu Tree and Daithí will support De La Soul and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble on Saturday July 23 at the Festival Big Top.

Based in the west of Ireland, The Bahh Band are a diverse and exciting group of international musicians whose music has been described as resembling everything from Dead Can Dance to Sigur Ros and James Brown to Shakti. Founded by Australian born Mattu, who plays the sarode (a 25 stringed Indian lute ), the band comprises Italian tabla player Ciro Montanari, Galway bluesman Tom Portman on the dobro (slide resonator guitar ), Pauli Smalls (double bass ), sean nós singer Ceara Conway, and Polish born Goishka on vocals, and bodhrán and percussionist virtuoso Brian Fleming who is well known to Galway audiences from various percussion and world music ensembles over the years. With their unique blending of such diverse influences as Indian classical music, bluegrass, Irish trad, vocal improvisation, and groove laden rhythms winning them many fans, The Bahh Band are the perfect fit to play support to AfroCubism on Monday July 18 at the Festival Big Top.

Well known for drawing huge crowds while busking on Shop Street over the past year, Dublin five-piece rock/pop group Keywest have attracted a legion of Galway fans who have the taken this band to their hearts. A busy 12 months have seen the band travel to the US and UK recording their debut album, The Message, with Grammy nominated Mark Needham (The Killers/Neon Trees ) and London based Tim Young (Elbow, The Beatles ). With numerous appearances on TV and radio and performances at Austin Texas SXSW Festival and Oxegen, Keywest, who formed just over three years ago, are on the cusp of a big breakthrough with their forthcoming album.

“We are delighted to offer locally based bands the opportunity to perform at the Festival Big Top,” said Galway Arts Festival’s artistic director, Paul Fahy. “It has been great to see such hardworking acts like The Kanyu Tree make such a big impact nationally over the past few months, and great too watching such a raw and unique talent like Daithí burst on to the music scene over the past year. And who could have walked passed Keywest in recent months as they busked on Shop Street and not be wowed by such talent, while The Bahh Band, who are a real international melting pot of world music influences, are certain to lift the roof of the Big Top this July. We look forward to all of their Big Top performances this summer.”

Galway Arts Festival’s 2011 Programme will be announced on Thursday June 2. For further festival information visit www.galwayartsfestival.com

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