Bands selected to play Red Bull festival circuit

Padraig Byrne

Corner Boy
Corner Boy

THE Wexford music scene received a glowing endorsement this week when two bands with ties to the county were among the top three in the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Festival Chart.

Wexford-based multi instrumentalists Corner Boy managed to finish on top while Touchwood, fronted by Gorey man Sam Ali, also earned their place on this year's festival circuit. The third band chosen was Dublin group, Aces Wild, and all three will now be given the opportunity to play at a number of summer festivals before competing in a live grand final in Whelans in Dublin on August 23. The goal of the chart was for each band to gain as much social media attention as possible, with more hits, likes and shares resulting in them rising in the chart.

Corner Boy, consisting of Michael D'Arcy on guitar and lead vocals, Michael Sutherland on drums, Matthew O'Brien on banjo, Cian McGovern on keys, Karen O'Connor on the fiddle and Leo Staples on the double bass, have been playing together for about nine months in one form or another.

Their unique folk/trad/rock style has been earning them a lot of attention in that relatively short period of time and comparisons have been made to bands such as Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers.

'We've been playing together for nine months,' said banjo player Matthew O'Brien. 'In that time members have come and gone. (Michael) D'Arcy would have started out on his own writing tunes and that when he was in Canada and when he got back a couple of us joined up with him.

'We're really busy at the moment,' Matthew added. 'We're in Dublin at least two nights a week playing and now we have all these festivals coming up over the summer.' Corner Boy had already been booked for a number of the summer festivals before winning the competition, however, Matthew says that sometimes they can be tough shows.

Touchwood, fronted by Gorey man Sam Ali, are no strangers to the festival scene either, having played a number of top festivals in recent years including Oxegen. Listing the likes of The Fray and Coldplay among their influences, it came as a massive boost to the band when their video for 'Elysian Plains' was posted on Coldplay's website meaning they had received a glowing endorsement from their idols.

While both bands will enjoy the experience of playing at summer festivals, they will also have one eye on the live final at Whelan's where the winner will take home a week of recording at the Grouse Lodge Recording Studios, €1,000 worth of equipment and the chance to support some major international artists.

Wexford People

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