Not Over Yet: Sam Amidon at Galway Arts Festival

It is hard to believe after all the energy and triumphs of the past few weeks that Sunday, July 29th is finally here but while the end maybe near GAF 2012 is a long way from winding down. Tonight, folk star Sam Amidon plays the Róisín Dubh at 9.30pm. Sam’s live shows are very special events, mixing video, stories and reworkings of old and not so old music to create a unique audio visual experience. The Guardian has described Sam’s performances as ‘startling, moving stuff’, so don’t waste your Sunday night, get down to the Róisín Dubh. Sam’s support acts come in the shape of Dublin’s Spook of the Thirteenth Lock whose critically acclaimed album The Brutal Here and Now was released last April, plus RM Hubbert. For more info, check out:

Sam’s brand of folk is the perfect accompaniment to your Sunday morning coffee, so why not take a moment to savour his track, Saro:



GAF 2012: Keywest in Monroes on July 28th

Live music has always been a key part of the Galway Arts Festival line up and this year is no different. Next Saturday, 28th July, Dublin band Keywest play Monroes. After forming in a shed in Artane just a few years ago, the lads have completed the critically acclaimed album The Message, played on national TV and radio and on stage for the likes of Oxegen and Arthur’s Day, plus they were nominated for a 2010 Meteor Award for Most Promising Act. Fans of rocky pop will not want to miss this one nor should anyone who likes good live tunes with their pint. We’ve got a few clips of the Keywest lads in action below and don’t forget to check out for more info.

This Charming Band: West Cork Ukulele Orchestra

Uke, I am your father… West Cork Ukulele Orchestra in session at 2FM

If the Smiths had written This Charming Man about the West Cork Ukulele Orchestra, they would’ve called it the This Charming Band because charisma, talent and the feel-good-factor is something these West Cork guys and gals have in spades. Since their surprise appearance in the Slow Food corner of last year’s Electric Picnic, word-of-mouth buzz has seen the group pop up everywhere from Clonakilty to 2FM’s Breakfast with Hector, winning new fans by the bucket load. If you love savvy covers (think A-Ha, Cyndi Lauper and even Jessie J) beautiful harmonies and great craic, you can’t afford to miss the West Cork Ukulele Orchestra. They’ll charm the pants off you – so maybe bring a spare pair. The gang play the Roisin Dubh on July 16th. For booking details and more, click here:

Big Top Big 3: The Kanyu Tree

Every year, Galway Arts Festival prides itself on bringing the world’s best, most creative acts and artists to the West of Ireland so it is really special to be welcoming local lads the Kanyu Tree to the Big Top on July 27th where they’ll perform with the Coronas and Bressie, a testament to how far the Kanyu Tree have come in the past twelve months. With sunny songs just built for the radio and an ever-growing fan base, these Salthill brothers are definitely ones to watch and to wet your appetite, here are the lads doing what they do best:

It isn’t often that you get some of the biggest, most popular Irish acts of the moment playing on the same bill so tickets for July 27th are hot-hot-hot. For more info and purchasing details, check out

Big Top Big 3: Bressie

For anyone thinking of dismissing Niall Breslin aka Bressie as yet another good looking pop minstrel, think again. Fresh from his stint as the winning judge on RTE’s The Voice, Bressie will be rocking the Big Top along with the Coronas and the Kanyu Tree on July 27th. If you’ve seen Bressie in his former incarnation as the lead singer of the Blizzards you’ll know what a helluva show man he is.

We’ve been taking a look at 3 things you might not know about our Big Top acts this year or 3 things they’ve done spectacularly well but for Bressie, we’re going to do a bit of both. Oh and ladies ( gentlemen too, of course), those tickets aren’t going to buy themselves. Check out for more Bressie-related info:

  • Not content with making insanely radio-friendly music with the Blizzards, Bressie relocated to London to work with 19 Entertainment as a co-writer and producer. In case you didn’t know, 19 Entertainment is the brain child of Simon ‘did I mention I managed the Spice Girls?’ Fuller. Not bad for a young man from Westmeath!
  • Aged 6, Bressie appeared on the Late Late Toy Show dressed as Johnny Logan to sing ‘Hold Me Now’ – everyone say ‘aww!’
  • He has quite a strong female following (bit of an understatement, that). This might help explain why: 

Big Top Big 3: The Coronas

Danny, Dave, Graham and Conor, collectively known as the (all-conquering) Coronas are regarded as some of the nicest, most hardworking young men on the Irish music scene. GAF are delighted to be welcoming the lads along with Bressie and the Kanyu Tree to the Big Top on July 27th for a gig that will delight their legions of devoted fans and show why the Coronas are among the most- loved, most-played and best selling Irish acts around. Tickets, as your Mammy might say, are sure to fly out the door for this one so don’t miss out. For details, click

For the Coronas fans and for those soon to be fans of the Coronas, here are the lads doing what they do so very well. Enjoy.

Big Top Big Announcement!

The word ‘legend’ is bandied about a lot these days but there are some individuals who are truly deserving of the title. Here at GAF we are honoured and delighted to be bringing a true Irish legend to our beautiful city this summer on July 20th. Christy Moore, the man, the artist, needs no introduction. He has written and performed songs that have defined generations, songs that Irish people of all ages, at home and abroad hold deep within their hearts.

Tickets for this Big Top event are sure to be among the hottest in town and to make sure you don’t miss out on what will be a fantastic evening, check out as soon as you can.

As a little taster of the treat that lies ahead, here’s the great man in action at Oxygen with Coldplay, of all people…

Big Top Big 3: CHIC

If you haven’t already got  a pair of dancing shoes (for shame!), you better snap some up real quick because one of the greatest names in disco and all-round stormer of an act, CHIC will be playing the Big Top on July 19th. CHIC-founding members Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards are responsible for some of the best loved and best known party anthems of all time including Le Freak, We Are Family, I’m Coming Out, Upside Down and many, many more. So this summer, let GAF channel your inner glitter ball and get ready to party Studio 54 style because CHIC are simply unmissable. Here’s 3 of their classic tunes (set phasers to ‘boogie wonderland’)…

For booking information, check out

GAF Big Top Big 3: Lisa Hannigan

With her pure voice and lush, intricate songs Lisa Hannigan has had huge success in Ireland and internationally. We’re delighted to be welcoming her to the Big Top along with James Vincent McMorrow on on July 26th. Lisa is the queen of understated loveliness whose songs work as beautifully in a live setting as they do lighting up your radio. No wonder then that her albums Sea Sew (her debut) and Passenger have found such a wide audience. For Lisa’s Big 3 we’re taking a looking at 3 of her videos, which are always quirky gems. Enjoy.

For booking information, check out

GAF Big Top Big 3: James Vincent McMorrow

Here on the GAF blog, we’re very excited about the bevvy of fantastic Irish talent playing this year’s Big Top. We’ll be bringing you some lesser known facts about the performers (their Big 3) and clips of them in action. First off, after the huge success of his debut album Early in the Morning, GAF is delighted to be welcoming James Vincent McMorrow to the Big Top, along with Lisa Hannigan, on July 26th. Some interesting facts about Mr McMorrow:

  • Before becoming a full-time musician and playing venues like the Electric Picnic, you might have spotted James Vincent stacking trolleys in Dublin airport, where he used to work.
  • Though he is a dab hand at the acoustic guitar and has a lovely folk edge to his tunes, James Vincent is a big hop hop fan.
  • His beautiful song ‘Follow You Down To The Red Oak Tree’ was used in a Barnados television ad.

You can check out James Vincent McMorrow in conversation with GAF TV here or check out for more info and booking details.

  • Click to follow the GAF blog and receive notifications of new posts and exclusive content by email.

  • Categories

  • Join the conversation on GAF Twitter

    Error: Please make sure the Twitter account is public.

  • GAF Facebook

  • Advertisements