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Celtronic Festival

Derry, a city in the North Ireland, is a special place to many people and host to Celtronic (June 28-July 2, 2006), an annual festival of visual arts and music. Tom Middleton has said it’s his favourite city to play and local hospitality sets an example for all to follow. The promoters, Deep Fried Funk, are among the best in the business, keeping Celtronic ticket prices ridiculously low and always booking the best acts. Phil Keirons' band Alloy Mental was just that–and Silver City (2020 Recordings) produced an excellent live house set. Meanwhile, Tom Middleton and David Holmes blended with local DJs (Campbell, Pepsi, Mark, Hago). Most noteworthy were Derry trio Sirocco MCs, whose Beastie Boys-inspired beats kept it rocking all night long.

On this year's visit, mayor Lynn Fleming greeted me and my writer-companion upon our arrival. We were ushered into the civic building, despite our dishevelled state, and offered drinks from a cabinet that opened from within the wall's wood paneling... very James Bond. Following an afternoon whiskey, she was charming enough to welcome us with the gift of a "Derry City" pen.

By David Bowen

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All five nights were very good.

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Dave, the soundman, firmly exerts his point.

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Yes, yes... as things should be.

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Leaving one after party and heading for another.

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DJ Mag's Riter Ciara goes blonde after the third night of shenanigans.

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Fear the flash.

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Pepsi plays drums.

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It’s become a mission to photograph Jamie shouting at least once during the festival.

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By night five even Hago shows signs of wear.

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Brenda’s dress is cool.

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The range of artists at Celtronic alone makes it worth the journey to Derry.

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