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Top names confirm for festival 25th anniversary

You can’t Beat this for a Féile line-up

By Ciara Quinn

THE cream of Irish traditional and international music acts are signing on the dotted line for Féile an Phobail’s massive 25th birthday.

Every week more and more bands and musicians are confirming they’ll be in West Belfast in August with the festival shaping up to be the biggest party ever in West Belfast.

Last week we revealed that Damien Demspey will be playing here this summer. Now festival-goers are in for another treat as LAPD take to the Falls Park Marquee on Saturday, August 3. The band is made up of  three-quarters Planxty, plus the original Bothy Band fiddler Dónal Lunny. After lighting up the Electric Picnic stage and mesmerising Vicar Street at a string of gigs last year, this is one gig that trad fans will not want to miss.

For the uninitiated, what can you expect? Well, Liam O’Flynn, Andy Irvine and Paddy Glackin have nurtured Irish music for many decades and are widely considered living national treasures. Ancient tunes, old songs, funny stories, brand new arrangements and – most importantly for any festival – mighty craic are all guaranteed for a night that will have families on their feet.

And that’s not all. The world’s most popular folk and ballad troubadours, The Wolfe Tones, will return to the festival marquee on Thursday, August 8.

The special concert will celebrate their 50th anniversary. The band recently announced that they will retire from touring in November 2014 – so this could be your last chance to see the Irish musical heroes on a stage so close to home.

Iconic ska idols The Beat,above, will close the Féile celebrations on August 11.

No strangers to West Belfast, The Beat’s background and ideologies resonate with Belfast audiences. Formed in the working class suburbs of industrial Birmingham in 1978 they rose to fame at a time of high unemployment and social upheaval. From the outset the band offered messages of hope and peace with an insight into sociopolitical topics which would later, alongside The Specials, see them heralded as forerunners of the 2-Tone/ Ska movement.

Hit singles from the first album included ‘Mirror In The Bathroom’, ‘Can’t Get Used to Losing You’, ‘Hands Off… She’s Mine’ and ‘Best Friend’. With a catalogue such as this it was easy to see why the The Beat would become one of the most popular recording and live acts in Ireland and the UK.

Féile is gearing up for its biggest and best festival yet and each week up to August  announcements will be made through the Andersonstown News on more concert gigs.

West Belfast and the Gaeltacht Quarter is the heart of the festival’s stomping ground, with this year’s 25th birthday celebration seeing eleven nights of major music concerts and events at the festival marquee each evening in Falls Park.

Concert tickets go on sale on Thursday, April 25 from www.feilebelfast.com or by phone on 028 90313 440.

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