Line-up and Artist Info
DJ Dolphin Boy
We are dead excited that the legendary beatboss Dolphin Boy will close up Saturday night in the hall. It’s close to 20 years that he’s been sexing up the dance hall floors around these parts, and it’s an honour to have him round-up what will be an amazing weekend of music.
Croft No. 5
One of Scotland’s most popular progressive folk acts as the 21st century dawned, Croft No. Five introduced a swathe of then-upstart talents, forging a highly influential fusion of trad, funk, world and EDM elements. Two decades after they formed these certified loons revisit their headily precocious youth, now with 20 years’ seasoning behind them. It’s unlikely Arisaig Hall will ever have been drenched in as much sweat and other bodily fluids as will be produced on the dance floor and stage during this momentous set.
Inyal craft boldly panoramic soundscapes, alternately epic and ethereal, fusing fiddles, uilleann pipes, whistle, guitar and transcendent vocals with synth, electronics and drums. Highlights for this contemporary young band so far have been at Celtic Connections, The HebCelt and Knockangorrach, where it’s said varous members of the audience actually levitated in a euphoric state above the crowd and didn’t make it back to earth for several hours.
Sharon Shannon & Alan Connor
It’s a real honour for Fèis na Mara to welcome these two outrageously talented individuals from across the Irish Sea. Sharon barely needs an introduction. She’s been a leading light in the diddly music scene since 1989 when she joined iconic band The Waterboys, and cemented her fame when she recorded the World No. 1 song Galway Girl with Steve Earle in 2000. Alan Connor is one of these guys who just needs to be seen to be believed – hold on to your pints and behold the brawsomeness.
The Ciaran Ryan Band
Ciaran Ryan is best known for his work with world-folk virtuosos, Dallahan, as well as being a highly sought-after Edinburgh sessioner and all-round relentless party animal. The multi-instrumentalist has just released his first few tracks on bandcamp, which has been jumped on and exalted by the media. He’ll be joined on stage here by his Dallahan bandmate Bev Morris, Greg Barry of Elephant Sessions, and massively in-demand session musicians Chris Waite and Sam Mabbett.
Swampfog are a 7 piece funk outfit from Edinburgh, spiritually via New Orleans. Mixing originals with their own heavy takes on classics both funky and unexpected, their sound is a true transatlantic gumbo of the battling horns and second line rhythms that epitomise New Orleans funk, along with a contemporary, aggressive twist.
The blisteringly hot trio of Graham MacKenzie, David Sheddon and Pablo Lafuente will be further augmented at Fèis na Mara by Charlie Stewart on double bass and Scott MacKay on drums, all world-class performers that rarely shy away from a good bit of West Coast mayhem. Winners of ‘Best Up and Coming Artist of the Year’ in 2018 and with a plethora of individual awards these guys are the real deal and their debut album, ‘Road to the North’, is a masterpiece.
Himmerland are Fèis na Mara’s most multi-cultural visiting band yet, performing new music rooted in the different styles, cultures and traditions of five outstanding composers and musicians. They are a bewitching band to watch, spreading warmth and happiness with their unique blend of old Danish ballads, whirling fiddle tunes, equilibristic improvisations, and genre-defying new music composed and arranged by the band members.
The Dance Bandits
The Dance Bandits take you on a trip, playing tunes for folk to swing and jump and skip around the floor to, and touching hearts and feet of all ages. You can expect all the traditional ceilidh dances plus the odd pop song and other random surprises. The band may be new to you, and being bandits they’d probably like to keep their identity a mystery, but you’ve no doubt seen them playing as members of The Poozies, The Peatbog Fairies, Eliza Carthy Band, Aberfeldy, Callanish, Homecoming String Band, Sandy Wright and the Toxic Cowboys, Orkestra Del Sol, Cera Impala and the New Prohibition, and Bombskare.
Turn Up the Heat
Quite simply the best band ever to come from anywhere near here. They rock up, plug in and smash the place. Every time. That’s all that’s needs to be said. And there’s no point in trying your own Google search for more info. You won’t find anything. They’re off-grid.