This Saturday's Helium Festival in Co. Longford promises to be the biggest and best one yet, with a fine line-up of acts from within our borders scheduled to appear. The festival was first started five years ago as a means to raise money and awareness for Ataxia, a disorder of the central nervous system. Last year's festival attracted some 1,400 people to the small Longford town of Ballymahon and this year's incarnation is set to eclipse that.
We've trawled through the line-up to select five potential festival-stealers you might expect to hear on Saturday.
Fight Like Apes - Jenny Kelly
One of the most fun and raucous bands in Ireland. No one makes an impression on stage in the same way that Fight Like Apes do, as anyone who saw them last weekend on stage at Forbidden Fruit will attest. Now that they have successful crowd-sourced funds to help in the production of their third album, we can expect more of the same sonic madness from them very soon. In the meantime, check out the excellent 'Jenny Kelly' from their second album The Body of Christ and the Legs of Tina Turner.
Kila - Glanfaidh Me
Purveyors of some of the finest trad and folk fusion our country has to offer, Kila are an incredicly dynamic live act. A fixture on the live scene in Ireland for over 25 years, their style of music has taken in many different influences over the years (rock and Japanese folk are just two) but a love of traditional Irish music has always been the uniting thread. Highly recommended.
The Stunning - Brewing Up A Storm
'Brewing Up A Storm' is one of those songs that everyone knows. The Stunning achieved tremendous success with their Paradise in the Picturehouse album back in 1990 and this is probably the most memorable track of the collection. Nowadays The Stunning have effectively merged into The Walls but there's still a little wiggle-room to revisit some old classics. Should be a belter.
Wallis Bird - In Dictum
We're big fans of Ms. Bird here in entertainment.ie. The Wexford born songstress released her third album, the self-titled Wallis Bird, just over a year ago to huge acclaim resulting in her highest placing in the Irish charts to date. 'In Dictum' is one of our favourites from the album.
David Kitt - You Know What I Want To Know
It's very possible that Mr. Kitt won't play this on Saturday, but one can hope. 'You Know What I Want To Know' is one of the finest songs on his 2001 break-out album The Big Romance. Five albums have followed since, with 2009's The Nightsaver being the most recent, and despite all of them having their own charms we always end up back on this excellent tune.