The John Martyn Tribute Festival took place last weekend in Kilkenny. A stellar line up of acts descended on Thomastown for the second year of the festival, with artists including Iarla O Lionaird, James Yorkston, Leslie Dowdall, Mik Pyro, Mundy, The Man Whom, Chris Campbell, Ultan Conlon, Deetrich, Jacqui McShee, Rob Doherty, Doug Morter and Kevin Power all performing with Martyn’s original band.
“The atmosphere over the weekend was truly electric. To see the artists performing with John’s band was very special. Folk legend’s, such as Pentangles Jacqui McShee travelling from the UK is a testament to how influential John was an artist. We also featured musicians from Denmark, Scotland, Wales & Belfast this year. Whilst Moya Brennan & Hank Wadel made up part of an audience heavily endowed with musicians” said Eva Lynch, Festival Organiser.
The atmosphere was indeed electric as artists took to the stage with John Martyn’s band to perform over the weekend, many of whom reminisced about their time with John. “The last time I played with John was right here in Carroll’s bar. I lost my voice and John took over the gig, he played acoustic guitar and I played electric. This one’s for you John, i’ll meet you at the bar” said Doug Morter(Denmark) as he closed his set on Saturday night.
MC Martin Bridgeman of KCLR 96 FM welcomed the crowd and artists on stage throughout the weekend. Martin is an avid fan of John Martyn and all the artists involved. “It was an honour to be part of the festival, to be in the company of Jacqui McShee and to see her perform live was something very special” said Bridgeman.
In Tua Nua’s front woman, Leslie Dowdall is already looking forward to next year. “I was thrilled and honoured to be part of it, the band were amazing and the sound was supreme, a rare thing in an outside venue. Warm wishes to all involved and if you’re doing it again next year. I would love to be part of this wonderful event” Leslie Dowdall, In Tua Nua.
Organisers would like to thank everyone who supported the festival, to all the acts who gave up their time to perform and a very special thanks to the John Martyn band.