SAI / Leechrum 2007

The Sliabh an Iarainn Music & Arts Festival, or Leechrum as it’s other wise known, took place last weekend in the beautiful location of Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim overlooking Lough Allen and it certainly took place. It took its place as one of the best festivals I have ever been to in this country and probably the best independently run festival here so far.

see these photos on flickr here (hint: use slideshow)

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The music was excellent with a wide variety to suit all tastes, including the World / Folk tent, the Dance tent, the Reggae tent and the Punk / Ska tent. I went along to do some VJ sets in the Dance tent along with Feargal Nealon of iSpyvisuals. We arrived Friday night and it rained, rained, rained! I was dressed for summer with shorts and shades and I hoping for the best. The best did come when the sky cleared up in the early a.m. of Saturday and it really put a smile on everyone’s face to see the sunshine make a very special guest appearance! The mud didn’t go away though, but that wasn’t a problem. I did surprise myself however by not falling in it even once all weekend!

So on Friday I kickstarted my weekend with some sounds courtesy of Prison Love in the World / Folk tent. They played a fantastic set of their deep south soggy bottom inspired convict on the run music. Tom Waits would have cried, probably! The were all equipped with the proper attire, washboard and all wailing and jigging the crowd into a barn dance frenzy. Their own tracks were great and they played cover versions of Ace Of Spaces and Thunderstruck which brought nostalgic smiles to the heads of many a few! I also caught a bit of the North Strand Klezmer Band who I heard from the first time, same tent last year. They finished up that tent for the night and I’m quite sure they played another set over the weekend. Their music is addictive stuff indeed. How to describe it? Well, I’d say it’s a blend of Jewish, gypsy, ska from the northside of Dublin which would blow the roof off any barmisva and equally knock the socks off anyone on a floor in front of them. They are pure high energy and once you get caught in their groove trap, you just cant stop! Also on Friday night i spent a bit of time of course in the Dance tent where D1 records were doin the honours with sets from Eamonn Doyle and Mark Broom. The visuals we got goin on Friday were but a bit of branding for the most part and we played around with some moving image towards the end of the night.

Saturday was a good day. The weather was better and I enjoyed the offerings of the Dance tent for most of the day and night. Early highlights were beats blasted from Boxcutter and µ-ziq. Wolfgang Flür aka Yamo, a former Kraftwerk member (he used to be a robot) played a pretty good selection of accessible techno. 808 State were great, ’nuff said! My highlight of the night was the turtablism genius, the one and only, Dj-Qbert. He played a blinder, a nice party set with plenty of tricks and bits and all on the big screens by ispyvisuals so all could see his skills.

The last night of this years SAI / Leechrum was Sunday and I had a bit of a slow start to the day. I needed a few powernaps before I could really motor on. I hung around the Dance tent again and enjoyed the sights and sounds during the day. Then I took a wander round to meet friends and got myself sorted. Back again to the tent where my most time was spent, I had to see Mouse On Mars and they certainly did not disappoint. I’ve been a big fan since 1994’s Vulvaland and seen them play live on Partyzone, so I was really looking forward to this. I only managed to catch the last half hour or so, but I was impressed. Then it was time to set up the visuals again and welcome the night. The Animals On Wheels performance was great and had some cool etch-a-sketch type visuals done by video artist, Michelle with a Korg pad and some old analogue video affecters. Dj Rupture, well, ruptured the place, popping glitchin’ and shakin’ the tent up. Quality stuff indeed. Neil Landstrumm followed suit with his carefully prepared notes and made a point of being, well, brilliant! He led up to Altern8 and so had some nice old school sounds emanating from the machines. I was a bit wrecked by the time Altern8 came on so I hung around for a bit before headin’ over the the World / Folk tent to sit on a haystack for a few hours! Check out Feargal’s Youtube page for the sets from Mr. Landstrumm and Altern8.

There was so much more but I’m not writing a book here! Check out my photos which tell the story much better and of course the videos here and on the tube of you.

One of the nicest things about this festival were the humans! It was refreshing to have so many people enjoying themselves and having fun. I met a lot of really nice and good people at this festival.
In no particular order I would like to say hello to; Stef, Liam, Ben, Dave, Daniel, Rosie, Alex, Angie, Tara, Brynie, Chantelle, Camile, Stig, Joseph, Rosanna, Keith, Graham, Brendan, Sebastian & Anne.

all those who i’ve met there and before and possibly don’t remember your name…. remind me! there isn’t enough room in my head to remember all the important things!
to those who i’ve met before and again and many times, hello again. I can’t list ye all!

and to those I know and my good friends always; Ian, Seamus, Niall, Aoife, Jenny, Dee, Alison, Dermot, Karen, Les, Feargal, Carlos, Carol, Fran & Fran, Baz, Sarah-Jane, Mick, Feargal & Dave.