The Un-‘Sung’ Heroes of Pigstock ’11

Once again Festival season is upon us and the NI circuit is getting better. This weekend it was the turn of Killinchy, Co. Down which was hosting it’s relatively new Pigstock Festival. It is a Festival still in it’s infancy but to attend you would never know. A fantastic line up of the best in local music, Pigstock does a wonderful job giving the chance for unsigned acts to play to the people.

Like the now legendary Glasgowbury Festival, Pigstock is an amazing up and coming festival which is fast becoming a must attend. Headlined this year by ASIWYFA and LaFaro as well as showcasing a wealth of talent by some of the most hardworking and often ignored bands on the scene.

Now anyone interested in reading about Pigstock have no doubt read counless reviews about Mojo Fury, LaFaro and ASIWYFA mainly because all those pretentious Musos generally write about little else. Always looking to review the big names so they can look back from behind the McDonalds counter and think, ‘I wrote about them, once’.

Even BBC Radio Ulster’s Across The Line, who claim to bring us the ‘best new music from Northern Ireland’ have fallen into a similar trap. In fact the very people who use our money, as licence payers, to review new music on our behalf, and how do they pick which band to review?It seems if you are mates with those who work for ATL then you are guaranteed a review and that’s from their own mouth.

And now for what’s really important – the music. I am going to take a look at, in my opinion, some of the best ‘NEW’ music from Northern Ireland at 2011 Pigstock Fest.

First on my list – Matt McGinn.

Matt McGinn is no stranger to the big stage. He has performed with the ever modest Joe Echo, supporting Sir. Paul McCartney in Hyde Park and has also appeared at Oxegen and Electric Picnic with his seamless blend of folk and soul. It’s late Saturday Night/Early Sunday morning music at it’s best with tunes to relax even the most tight shouldered rat racer.

Matt combines his sublime Guitar skills with a voice smoother than an ageing scotch and contemporary folk tunes sweet enough to give Paul Simon diabetes. A spectacularly accomplished musician/singer/songwriter, Matt McGinn is bursting with fresh talent and has the most awesome beard I think I have ever seen. This country boy is destined for the big time.

If you don’t believe me you can check him out for yourself:

Next up – Black Mambas.

Black Mambas hit the Main Stage early on in proceedings throwing everybody into the festival mood. The boys have created a beautiful sound  combining Indie Rock with a hint of Funk. The epitome of catchy, their music is attractive and full of body causing many to gravitate towards the stage, Friday Night hangovers in tow.

No doubt a band that need some work, gig experience and a bit of an image tweek but with music like this it is only a matter of time.

The third and final act – Annapurna

Annapurna are an interesting 5 piece who specialise in Ambient Experimental Rock. With long, winding and largely instrumental tracks the band produce a sound with more ups and downs than a drunken camel. Fuelled by a rollercoaster of emotional soundings it borders on performance art as the band take the audience on a musical journey. It is hard to watch and not be mystified and engrossed in such a fresh and fascinating sound.

Now there is one more act that I feel I must mention but the immensity of my excitement has lead me to give them a whole Blog of their own. Click here to see my No 1 recommendation…

There you go, a couple of acts I think you should keep an eye on, not the acts to be seen to be keeping an eye on.

I leave you with some Photos of Pigstock 2011. Be there next year.

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