Festival Special: Irish bands in tents & interview w/ LOWmountain

LOWmountain - playing Liss Ard this weekend
"Being local with the festival on our doorstep, makes Liss Ard special for us."

The coming bank holiday festival weekend is, besides the rain, awash with a staggering line-up of original Irish bands and singers. The G-Man caught up with alt-country trio LOWmountain's Niall O'Driscoll ahead of his band's appearance at Skibbereen's Liss Ard Festival on Saturday afternoon.

What memories have you of previous Liss Ard/Cork X Southwests?
I can remember being at a couple of the Liss Ard festivals in the late 90s...such a cool vibe with the likes of Patti Smith (who played CXSW at the same venue last year), The Frames, John Martyn, Nick Cave, Lou Reed, Pulp to name just a few; It really felt like west Cork - and Skibbereen in particular - had become the centre of the world in terms of music for those days and weeks. Now it's happening all over again in 2012.

What do you make of the line-up for this years festival?
The line-up this year is fantastic, very diverse and with a little something for everybody. The great thing about festivals like this is that you go to see the acts you know and like, but end up having your eyes and ears opened to all these other amazing artists that you might never normally go to see. I always come away from festivals better educated and with my faith in music reinvigorated!

The bill is low in quantity/high in quality. What does it feel like to be part of such a bill?
What's it like to be part of such a bill? One word: privilege.

There is healthy Irish representation too. Is there anything more special about being one of the few Cork acts on the line-up?
It really is fantastic to see that there is such a strong contingent of Irish acts on the bill. For us, being one of those Irish acts but more particularly being local with the festival on our doorstep, makes it a little bit more special for us.

We've always been proud of the fact that what we do is very much of West Cork; The musical influences might be a bit more wide-ranging but nevertheless the songs are written and recorded in this beautiful environment, not to mention the fact that many of the stories that inspire the songs, and the characters that inhabit them, are very much of the area. To take this even further, in my own family history, there is a link to Liss Ard estate itself, so for me personally I find there's a sense of connection or belonging, especially in terms of playing music there, that's very special.

For more on LOWmountain see breakingtunes.com/lowmountain or www.facebook.com/LOWmountainmusic.

Some of the best Irish bands frolicking in a field this weekend include:

Liss Ard Festival, Skibbereen (Co.Cork), Saturday 4th August

The Altered Hours
- Castlepalooza, Tullamore (Co. Offaly), Friday 3rd August

- Indiependence, Mitchelstown (Co. Cork), Saturday 4th August

Castlepalooza, Tullamore (Co. Offaly), Saturday 3rd August

Read recent interview with Jape here.

Le Galaxie
Castlepalooza, Tullamore (Co. Offaly), Saturday 3rd August
Indiependence, Mitchelstown (Co. Cork), Sunday 5th August

Casanova Wave
- Castlepalooza, Tullamore (Co. Offaly), Sunday 5th August

Liss Ard Festival, Skibbereen (Co.Cork), Saturday 4th August

- Indiependence, Mitchelstown (Co. Cork), Sunday 5th August

  • Castlepalooza takes place in Charleville Castle, Tullamore (Co. Offaly) Friday 3rd August-Sunday 5th August
  • Liss Ard takes place in Liss Ard Estate, Skibbereen (Co.Cork) Saturday 4th August-Sunday 5th August
  • Indiependence takes place on Deer Farm, Mitchelstown (Co. Cork) Friday 3rd August-Sunday 5th August

- LOWmountain play Liss Ard 2012 on Liss Ard Estate, Skibbereen (Co. Cork) on 4th & 5th August
- Tickets are priced at €89.50 for weekend camping, €39.50 for day
- Visit www.lissardfestival.com for more details