FLAT LAKE FESTIVAL WEEKEND ONE TO REMEMBER

10 June 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

HOLLYWOOD stars played guitar and Ireland’s greatest writers talked about the state of the nation.
TV star comedians played Bingo and a variety club of madcap performers all did their unique Flat Lake Thing.
But the biggest roar of approval – even more heartfelt than the return of The Strypes or the arrival on stage of the Rubberbandits – came on Sunday night when founder Kevin Allen got up on the Butty Barn stage and declared: “We’ve just had the figures in for gate receipts and we’re pleased. We’re good to go again!”
So the Flat Lake will return with its special blend of creative brilliance and madness.
This year, there was a strong local flavour to the programme. On Saturday night The Strypes, a Beatles lookalike band from Cavan, turned the Inflatable Stage into the Cavern for an hour, right in the heart of Monaghan. Their playlist of golden oldies had everyone dancing and clamoring for more.
Kevin Allen duly obliged, giving them a Sunday night slot in the Butty Barn ahead of Rubberbandits. Other big names included Mundy and Jinx Lennon, who transfixed the Gonzo Theatre with his high-octane songs.
The brilliant poetry slam was a highlight with poets all rhyming about the Flat Lake’s theme of the year: the demise of the typewriter.
The literary programme was stronger than ever with large turnouts in the Butty Barn for John Banville, Ulick O’Connor, Anthony Cronin, Paul Murray and Ted McCarthy, as well as standing room only for political debate between Eamonn McCann and Robert Fisk.
Irish comedian David McSavage, from The Savage Eye, compered an afternoon bingo session in the Big Top. “We’re going to have some good Catholic fun,” announced McSavage before an irreverent hour of caustic fun that saw him taking pot shots at everyone, from the Flat Lake festival audience to Gaelic poets and Pat Kenny.
But for star watchers, the legendary American writer and actor Sam Shepard was the man to see.
He jammed with Drogheda-based outfit Slowfoot for several blues numbers and was seen enjoying himself in the crowded bar.
And just in case anyone was curious, the Rubberbandits did not arrive by horse… but in a shiny helicopter!

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