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star lineup Late Late Toy Show hero Michael Moloney to get first major festival gig

The sensation says Dermot Kennedy changed his life after making a surprise appearance with him on the Toy Show

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Michael and Dermot on their famous Late Late Toy Show appearance

Michael and Dermot on their famous Late Late Toy Show appearance

Michael and Dermot on their famous Late Late Toy Show appearance

Late Late Toy Show sensation Michael Moloney has landed his first major festival gig – and says Irish superstar Dermot Kennedy “changed my life.”

The Junior Cert student from Ballina, Co Mayo, is to perform at the September Sessions in Bundoran on a bill that includes, Gavin James, The Coronas, Bell X1, Lyra and Moncrieff.

But there’ll be no time for Michael - who now has nearly 40,000 Instagram followers - to party with the stars after the show on September 15, as he’ll be back in school the following morning.

Michael won the hearts of the nation before Christmas when he performed Dermot Kennedy’s song, Giants, on the Toy Show – and was astonished when the Irish superstar joined him for a surprise duet.

Rising star Michael (15), an only child who lost his father to cancer four years ago, then landed the support of Universal Music and has been working with some of Ireland’s top songwriters this summer.

“Dermot Kennedy really has changed my life,” Michael yesterday told the Sunday World. “I’ll be so thankful to him forever for that. Dermot is so kind and so down to earth as well for somebody of that calibre. He’s a famous celebrity, but he’s a normal human.”

Michael believes that his late father, Emmet, who ran a live music venue in Ballina, also has a hand in his budding career. “I talk to my dad all the time, chatting to him, telling him the news. I know he’s up there orchestrating all of this,” he says.

“So many unexplained things have happened. The Toy Show is just one of them, getting to perform on it with Dermot Kennedy and now getting this festival run by Sea Sessions.

“Dad loved music and he saw Bob Dylan about 30 times in concert. He had a live music venue in Ballina and put on up and coming musicians. He’d always give a the little guy a chance.

“He would have been ecstatic over me doing this festival. He would have been telling everybody. I know a hundred per cent that he has a hand in what is happening for me now. He is the reason I am here talking to you today. There is no doubt about that in my mind.”

Michael has been learning the craft of songwriting over the summer months and will be releasing new songs after he finishes the Junior Cert.

“It was a very eventful summer and I had a brilliant time learning about writing songs and how they are put together,” he says. “There’s a whole art to it and I’ve learned so much from working with various songwriters in the business. It’s been a blast.”

However, school work will be his priority, he says, in the year ahead. “I’m looking forward to going back to school, seeing my friends and teachers again and getting back to normality. With the Junior Cert this year, I’ll have to be doing a lot of studying. The Junior Cert School comes first, no matter what. I’ll be back at my school desk the morning after I play at the festival in Bundoran,” he adds.

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