The Fleadh is not only London's best organised and largest outdoor music festival, but is also significant of the alarmingly expanding Guinness empire - the promoters have been instructed to call it 'The Guinness Fleadh' this year. Amid their profusion of curious statistics, Guinness claim that five per cent of all the stout consumed in Britain on the day of last year's festival was drunk at the Fleadh.
The festival's line-up is not strictly Irish these days and, in recent years, has specialised in rejuvenating clapped-out careers. This year's programme sees Manchester's revivified James topping the bill (a last minute addition after the thankful departure of Simple Minds), showcasing receding hairlines and a clutch of new songs. A cooler, calmer, and far less tortured Sinead O'Connor - last seen as a celestial being in Neil Jordan's The Butcher Boy - will be headlining on the second stage followed by some tender moments with Ron Sexsmith. Spicing up the action on the main stage is the ever irreverent former Pogues frontman, Shane MacGowan, performing with his sprightly band of Popes. He was last heard making a delightful dog's breakfast of Johnny Logan's dirge "What's Another Year?" on A Song For Eurotrash, a compilation album of Eurovision entrys.
Other acts include Billy Bragg, Dr John, World Party, The Corrs, The Bootleg Beatles and Eddie Reader. This might be the one to bring your kids to as there are particularly good creche facilities.
Finsbury Park, London N4
Tickets pounds 28 (subject to booking fee)
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