The Strypes, a 4-piece rhythm and blues outfit with an average age of 15, were the absolute highlight of the festival. Upon hearing of the upcoming gig by a teenage band from Cavan many punters may have rolled their eyes in disbelief but after the first couple of minutes it
becomes clear that these are no ordinary adolescents. The level of skill offered up by the band is unprecedented, and not just in terms of their age. The Strypes aren’t just good for a bunch of teens, they categorically destroyed pretty much every band at Knockanstockan. Difficult classics like ‘Rollin’ and Tumblin’ and ‘Come Back Baby’ were tackled with a new kind of venom. Where some bands look jaded at strumming out the same old tunes, these guys attack the old era with passion. How 14 and 15 year olds have managed to gain that much soul is a mystery but it’s clear as daylight, those kids have the blues inside them. Not that they have much strife to be moaning about, we are talking about a bunch of suited white-boys here. That fact seems to be lost however amidst the wailing technical solos of guitarist Josh McClorey and bassist Pete O’ Hanlon’s unquenchable enthusiasm. The Strypes are much more than a gimmick, they’re raw bluesy talent, a new kind of old. If these guys don’t make it big then there’s definitely something wrong.