Young Fathers: ‘Winning the Mercury doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know’
Guardian sessions: Damien Rice performs Colour Me In live – video

Before I fly to the Other Voices festival, I receive a call from its founder, Philip King, the musician, film-maker and broadcaster who began the annual event in 2002 and has seen it grown into an extraordinary international music series. King tells me about the rain in County Kerry and the nature of the festival. Then he quotes from Seamus Heaney’s The Given Note, a poem about a fiddler on the Blasket Islands who catches a fairies’ tune floating across the air and learns to play it: “He got this air out of the night/ Strange noises were heard/ By others who followed, bits of a tune/ Coming in on loud weather.”

It’s rare that a poem precedes a music festival, but Other Voices is a particularly special event: a three-day musical celebration around the streets of Dingle, where a dolphin lives in the harbour and the hills of the peninsula give a greenish, embered glow. The main performances take place in St James’s Church and are broadcast live online, but throughout the day music spills from pubs and impromptu venues around the town, rolling on until the early hours.

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Other Voices festival

Various venues, Dingle
King Creosote captivates and Damien Rice is full of wit and passion, but the Mercury prize-winners are downright astonishing

Young Fathers: ‘Winning the Mercury doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know’
Guardian sessions: Damien Rice performs Colour Me In live — video

Before I fly to the Other Voices festival, I receive a call from its founder, Philip King, the musician, film-maker and broadcaster who began the annual event in 2002 and has seen it grown into an extraordinary international music series. King tells me about the rain in County Kerry and the nature of the festival. Then he quotes from Seamus Heaney’s The Given Note, a poem about a fiddler on the Blasket Islands who catches a fairies’ tune floating across the air and learns to play it: “He got this air out of the night/ Strange noises were heard/ By others who followed, bits of a tune/ Coming in on loud weather.”

It’s rare that a poem precedes a music festival, but Other Voices is a particularly special event: a three-day musical celebration around the streets of Dingle, where a dolphin lives in the harbour and the hills of the peninsula give a greenish, embered glow. The main performances take place in St James’s Church and are broadcast live online, but throughout the day music spills from pubs and impromptu venues around the town, rolling on until the early hours.

Continue reading…

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