Electric Picnic 2012 Review

31st August – 2nd September

Pre-Festival and Festival Review.

I came up to Stradbally on Monday 27th August, I was hoping to make the 2pm shift and get it out of the way but due to the odd nature of public transport I arrived at Portlaoise 35 minutes later than the actual arrival time.  By the time I was at the volunteers office it was 3.30, so I would be starting tomorrow afternoon instead.
Met loads of advanced volunteers at crew camp who were in great spirits and excitement for the prefest, a Galway man, Martin offered me shelter in his tent when there was a tremendous cloud burst of rain and me stuck with my rucksack still on my back, once the shower had dispersed he gave me a hand to put up my tent.  I eventually met Kevin who had just came off a twelve hour shift helping to put together the bamboo stage in the Body & Soul village, we cracked a few cans and enjoyed the mighty sing song craic that carried on to the small hours.

On Tuesday myself and a few lads were put working with Frank, Frank seemed to have something to do with health and safety at EP, most of the day was spent erecting small fencing that went around the main marquees in the arena, this included parts where the guidelines of the tent were secured to the ground by wooden pegs, fencing had to be placed round this in case someone, be they stoned or drunk could injure their foot walking into a dimly lit peg.  While working around the marquees I marvelled at the size of them, the Electric Arena reminding me of a scaled down Blue Mosque with its six minarets.

The Cosby Tent.

At night myself, Kevin and a few of the other B&S volunteers headed up to the Body & Soul crew canteen to chill and sip a few cans, the weather at the time was sunny spells and scattered showers, some of the showers incredibly heavy.  This particular night there was a heavy squall of showers and strong winds, leaving us thinking, god almighty what is the the ground going to be like come the weekend.  When returning to crew camp we discovered we were locked in and that we had to scale a high wall, there must have been CCTV there as a security van showed up out of no where.  We showed them our wrist bands and I remarked to one of them, that it must be a first catching folk trying to break out of a festival site.

Through the rest of the days I was working at Junction 3 with Shane from Cork near the Camper van entrance and  just beyond the Andy Warhol camp site.  Our job to give traffic direction to production, trades and to the exits, although they did have people in pink day glo vests in buggies who guided vehicles anyway, so perhaps it was just for a visible presence.  On Thursday I was sent with Tess to guard the grassy area in part of the main arena, no vehicles were supposed to drive across the grass yet, we quickly discovered that it was the only means to supply certain areas with tools and that anyone who was actually driving on the grass was a supervisor, boss or a supplier to one of the installation areas.  I was taken away from there then to work with Ann Marie at the camper van field, we were working with some of the lads from the English firm DC who were absolute pros at their jobs and great craic, they had many funny stories about working some of the UK festivals such as Green Man and Glastonbury.

The final day Friday morning I was sent with Dave to watch the Green Crafts area, our job to protect fragile works of art.  It was such an easy going day, the crafts people buzzing with the start of this years edition of Electric Picnic, wood crafts, organic crafts, pottery and stone craft was the feature of this area with people travelling from all corners of Ireland and beyond to take part in it.  Green Crafts takes in many festivals in Ireland and the UK over the summer.

Finally at 2pm my shift is over and I was free to enjoy the festival, but first I had to get that all important wrist band.

I forgot to mention that seeing as we earned our wristband we were no longer volunteers, it would have been nice to just remain at the crew camp but it was the thought of the 25 minute walk to the arena that made me and Kevin decide to move our stuff and tents to the Jimi Hendrix Camp site in the early noon.  Oh god, it was like entering the festival for the first time again.  Because we lost our volunteer and staff privileges we could not enter EP by gate 5, so we were told by security to go to gate 4, this was also a no, no so we had to go all the way back to the crew entrance which was the muckiest path at the festival overladen with all our stuff, lots of fun there.  Take into account the incredible heat like EP 2005, by the the time we got to Hendrix I had no time to put up my tent as I had to sign in for my shift, so I stashed it in Kevins tent till I finished my shift at 8pm (Thursday night).

The Festival: Friday 31st August

After getting a bite to eat I bumped into Dave from Cork who I met at Liss Ard festival down there, he was all set up with his cocktails and beer and his trusty ghetto blaster with a fine selection of CDs and compilations such as a few volumes of class Later with Jools (Holland) audios.  So I sat a while talking to the neighbours until at some point I realised there is music to be seeing.  Now that I have a giant tent and a camping chair its easy to relax and forget about what is happening in the arena,so I decided to investigate at 7pm.

Willis Earl Beal – Cosby Tent.  7.10pm – 7.50pm

Willis is basically on his own, he uses theatrics and vocal prowess as his strengths and a bunch of backing tapes of old style rock n roll, soul, gospel and at times hip hop, Chicago inspired blues rock.  Comparisons came up in my head to the likes of Screamin Jay Hawkins (I put a Spell on You) and possibly Tom Waits and the like.  Willis is very intense and puts an interesting slant on what would be normally perceived as karaoke and he is far too good to be considered a mere karaoke singer.  Check him out the next time he tours he has a very refreshing approach to the blues and gospel thing and he succeeded in pulling a reasonably curious crowd.

Roots Manuva – Cosby Tent.  8.15pm – 9.15pm

Roots Manuva positively kicked ass from the word go at the Cosby stage, their music taking in elements of hip hop, funk, dub reggae and ragga and filling the tent from a mere few hundred to about three quarters full.  I missed this band the last time they played the Picnic in 2009 and when I heard the subsequent podcast of the gig I swore I would try and catch them this time which I did.  I was right down the front for the first few numbers and filmed the opening track.

I also wanted to take as many expansive shots of the EP arena so that you could get a feel for the festival.

The xx – Main Stage.  9pm – 10pm

Myself and Kevin watched a bit of the xx show although we were too far back really to see any of the action, the xx had a quirky indie sound which I think would have appealed to the gothy Cure fan base that had assembled for the weekend.  Some of their music had jangly elements similar to Django, Django.  I do not know too much about this band but they seemed to have a fair crowd there and a good warming up for the headline act Sigur Ros.  At the time I was more taken by the scenery to the left of me, wonderful glowing red lights that illuminated the trees and area around it, so I could not help filming this plus you get a little of the xx soundtrack from the stage.

We decided to go a check a bit of the Mark Lanegan set in the Crawdaddy Stage, Mark has a lovely raw voice that works with his coarse rock, folk and blues sound, a kinda dark and grungey John Forgerty sound.  It was then I decided to split for the main stage to catch a bit of Sigur Ros while Kevin stayed to catch the Christy Moore set following Mark Lanegan in the Crawdaddy.

Sigur Ros – Main Stage.  10.30 pm – 12 am.

The Icelandic post rock group had a sizeable portion of the audience in the palm of their hand, here is another band I have not really done any research on, but they have a different approach to the music than Bjork.  Long sprawling ambient pieces with choir like vocals, horns, fiddles as well as the band swelling out the sound.  But that is the reason I like the Picnic, I like to throw myself out there and take in new sounds.  I missed Sigur Ros in 2008 as I was unwell at the time in my tent and missed most of the Friday.  Its odd that EP booked them again four years later to appear on the exact same night and time, you would think they would switch it around a bit.

Richie Hawtin – Little Big Tent.  11pm – 1am.

I caught a little bit of the Richie Hawtin set at the Little Big Tent, its obvious that his fan base was too big for the confines of the venue as the tent was absolutely rammed with quite a few milling outside.  At one point it was like a game of cat and mouse between the audience and the security, because there was such a turn out for Hawtin, security was forced to implicate health and safety measures when the tent becomes dangerously packed.  In other words the tent entrance is fenced off and the procedure of two out two in is brought in.  But some people got frustrated and jumped the side fence and in under the tent wall, when security rushed to stem this a whole load would rush the entrance when they were distracted.  About the music, Hawtins style is fairly similar to Ben Klocks, minimal techno that becomes a hypnotic bass pulse and tight enough to not induce boredom.  I took some clips from just outside the entrance with the camera trained on the light show through the tent hole.

About 12am I had arranged to meet Kevin outside the Cosby tent, but Christy Moore played for another 10 minutes with encores so I managed to catch a bit of Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette and Lisdoonvarna.  Eventually Kevin showed up and by then security had given up closing the Little Big tent entrance so we got into the back of the tent to catch the last half hour of Hawtin.

Donal Dineen & Parish – Body & Soul Main Stage.  11pm – 3.30am.

I caught a little bit of this set, as my friend Aminah Dastan was singing vocals with Donal Dineens Parish, the Body & Soul main stage and amphitheatre was completely wedged, so myself and Kevin had to move around a bit to actually be able to see the performers over everyone else.  Parish have a nice ambient downbeat pulse, with elements of world music, gospel, soul and blues integrated into Dineens techno sound, Aminah providing some lovely soulful vocals to the mix.

We went over to check out the stage that Kevin had been helping to build in the pre fest, the Bamboo Stage, TR One was playing some nice electro dance sounds there that was keeping more than a few occupied.

On a whim it was decided to go back to the Little Big Tent to catch the last bit of the Matador set, he had a wicked techno sound thumping the rafters with a still fairly wedged crowd, but alas it was his last number so we got a few minutes before it came to an end.  The next best thing was to go back to the Body & Soul main stage to catch Donal Dineen on his own, this time round he was also playing some nice thumping ambient techno.  I filmed a bit and caught a speech he made about becoming part of the EP furniture and how he enjoyed being asked back over the years to perform.

For the final half an hour of entertainment we trudged off to the Trenchtown venue (my only visit there this year) to catch a bit of the Revelation Sound System with Cian Finn (Intinn) guesting, another guy playing a melodica and another toaster.  The dub sounds bringing a nice close to the Friday night.

Now I have not really mentioned the weather as such, but Friday started with some heavy showers, but petered out into drizzle by mid afternoon, its been cloudy today but nonetheless dry since, but it is autumn cold at night requiring a least a hoodie to keep warm.  The night finally panned out back at my tent, where some suitable chilling, sounds and cans with Kevin finished off the night.

Saturday 1st September.

I awoke to that familiar heat from Life Festival this year, the sun was blazing and the heat was stupendous in my tent, in a flurry I unzipped the tent to let a little cool breeze into the sweat house.  I peered at Kevins tent next me, he was sitting at the front awoke by the heat too it was about 11pm, Kevin said the welcoming words do you fancy a coffee, oh god! yes please, so off he went to the Mocca Bean van.  Dave was about again blasting out Deep Purple and Jimmy Cliff, I asked him where he disappeared too last night and he replied that he partied too much during early Friday and was worn out by 10pm, like myself in Friday 2008 and 2010 at EP.

Trinity Orchestra Play Dark Side of the Moon – Main Stage.  12.30pm – 1.45pm.

Preparations was made this time to try and catch a bit of the opening main stage act Trinity Orchestra playing Dark Side of the Moon, well we made it for the second half anyway.  Eavan one of the flute players in Trinity is also one of my bodhran students so I said I would try and make it to the gig.  Their sound is very impressive and the vocalists do a very credible job of Gilmour and Waters voices, it has to be said, the guitarist was exceptional in capturing that Gilmour essence too.  Not only did we get Dark Side but some selections from Wish You Were Here and the Wall, as well as some classic Stevie Wonder too.  This was the closest that EP would get to Bestivals headliner Stevie Wonder, in fact Trinity played a blinder covering Wonders Superstition.

Trinity Orchestra on the Main Stage.

Me and Kevin at the Main Stage.

God Is An Astronaut – Electric Arena.  2.30pm – 3.30pm.

Kevin talked me into going to see God is an Astronaut after he saw them a few times at Roisin Dubh in Galway, the Wicklow based band have a great energy and were probably the heaviest rocking band of the weekend so far.  Their style had touches of Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor about them, the music being in a post rock style but contrasting quite differently from last nights main stage headliners Sigur Ros.  I filmed a little clip of them in action, perhaps we will see them further up the bill next year considering the crowd they pulled into the biggest marquee at EP.

At this point we headed off to the merchandise stall to see what t shirts they had, Kevin bought an EP hoodie while I settled for one of the EP t shirts, the choice being better this year with an array of event designs.  Off to Charcoal Grill next for a large steak burger as I was dying with the hunger, absolutely delish.

Dexys – Electric Arena.  4pm – 5pm.

Back to the Electric Arena to see Dexys, formerly known as Dexys Midnight Runners.  Kevin Rowland still has a great voice and I know they were pushing new material but for a festival set Come On Eileen is not the sum total of Dexys greatest hits.  Some of the new material was alright but it didnt have that Searching for the Young Soul Rebels vibe about it and I felt their set became a bit of a plod because of it.  I could not believe they did not do Geno, probably their most famous hit which is a pity.  Another thing I found was that a lot of families were at this gig with their kids as you can imagine growing up with Dexys in the 1980s, yet Rowland was cursing like nothing else on stage and it just seemed inappropriate.   That said, they are still quite interesting in a quirky way and I am glad they did Eileen all though over long it was.

Crystal Castles – Main Stage.  6pm – 7pm.

I think we ventured to the main stage while the band was going through their second number, having heard Baptism in the distance.  We were some distance from the stage so could not really see clearly the action which contrasts with their main stage appearance at RockNess festival in 2010, the difference being that the Scottish audience could see the action because the main stage was flanked by a plasma screen on each side.  The band done some numbers from both albums such as Celestia and Alice Practise and some new numbers from their forthcoming album such as Plague and Wrath of God.  I took a video clip of them performing Wrath of God, I upped it into Youtube on the 4th September, I was hit with a copyright mark on the 5th with the video subsequently removed.  Of course they dont get everyone, so I will enclose the clip of Wrath of God shot at Reading festival a few weeks ago.  Of course the Crystal Castles set was cut short by twenty minutes like RockNess it seems that they are not suited to the main stage, security tends to get stroppy with health and safety if Glass jumps into the audience too many times, so I suspect the EP powers that be, switched off the power like the security at RockNess did.

Seeing that there was a lull for a while in main stage and marquee activity, myself and Kevin headed back to the camp site for a while and met up with Dave.  At some point I am in my tent with Kevin and to conserve my batteries I switch from my Ipod to the radio and decide to tune into 2FM to see what they are broadcasting from EP, so we catch a bit of Richard Hawleys set at the Electric Arena while relaxing in the tent.

Kevin and Dave at the Hendrix Camp Site.

On the way back into the arena we decided to check out the evening buzz in the Body & Soul Village, I had a mad idea I would just start filming the randomness of it and see what was caught on film, the first thing you hear is sound systems bouncing of each other and then the audio changes to tribal drumming, they are a sort of tribal marching band and not too far of a kinda Macnas buzz to them, anyway I chase them for a bit while filming.

Denim Moose (1)

Denim Moose (2)

Tribal marching band in the Body & Soul Village.

Psychedelic Teepee.

Back to Hendrix to laze for another while and drink some beers and prepare to catch a bit of the Cures set at 9pm.

The Cure – Main Stage.  9pm – 12am.

Robert Smith still has an amazing voice after all these years, but I was at a total loss in knowing zilch about the Cures vast back catalogue of albums, my entire knowledge of the group was their compilation greatest hit album Standing On the Beach and that was about it.  But they still sound remarkably tight and the main stage area was packed out with every conceivable Cure addict imaginable.  I did recognise Friday Im in Love, Pictures of You and Just Like Heaven, but after two and a quarter hours standing there I had to sit down somewhere as my back was acting up, there is just so much standing still that you can do before you have to move.

The Cure on Main Stage.

The Cure – Main Stage

So back to the camp site for refreshments, a rest and to get cans to bring into the arena as the bars had now shut, each punter is allowed an allotted four cans to bring into the main arena after 11pm.

Squarepusher – Electric Arena.  12.30am – 1.30am.

After seeing Aphex Twin twice now, I was champing for the first time seeing the Squarepusher experience, I thought the Electric Arena was going to be rammed for this, but it was the opposite, just over one quarter of the arenas capacity was there for the gig.  Mind you, Squarepusher would not be as well known as Aphex Twin and would be even more for a niche market for extreme drum n bass, braindance and breakcore music plus he was up against Orbital on the main stage and Jesse Boykins III on the Body & Soul main stage.  Squarepusher done the Ufabulum album in its entirety, he was already going through the first number 4001 when we walked in, wearing a helmet with an led screen lit up in brilliant white, a small screen in front with his mixing equipment on top of this and a gigantic screen behind him with brilliantly etched LED graphics that were stunning and sometimes blinding to look at.  Many people came and left again as they did not really understand the music, probably too edgy and mental for them, but there was a solid core of Squarepusher, Warp and braindance nutcases who were lapping up the visuals, extreme bass and warped rhythms.  I took three video clips of his show just short ones as I never know when the battery is about to go. One is of the opening track 4001, another is of the track Unreal Square and the final clip is of his bass guitar improvisation, which I have to add featured some of the most heaviest bass sounds I have ever heard matched with succinct visuals.

Orbital – Main Stage.  12.45am – 2.15am.

And so onto the main stage to catch the second half of the Orbital show which as you have guessed is packed with ravers giving it serious moves with the sounds.  It seems that we caught the greatest hits part of the show, lots of familiar old skool tunes although I could not name any of them at the moment anyway.  They had better visuals than their 2009 set with a nice hefty backdrop screen showing really cool graphics, but after my Squarepusher experience Orbitals show comes across as quite normal, even though it is still quite cool.

I am not too sure what we tuned into after this but I think it was just slowly moving through the Body & Soul village taking in the visuals at night, but not really tuning into any more gigs and occasionally high fiving happy randomers.

Finally back to the camp site for a chill night cap, some sounds and chat, Dave came to join us for a while, having went off to do his own thing for the evening.

Sunday 2nd September

Kevin and me at the Hendrix Campsite.

Me and Dave at the Hendrix Campsite.

Woke up with an exceptional hangover and the blinding heat, found my Panadol Extra, some water and then off to the nearest espresso van for an Americano.  It was my round today so Kevin asked for a latte with some vanilla sprinkled.  While being about eighth in the queue the Mocca Bean machine broke down as will happen sometimes at festivals, so off to the Gala shop which done a reasonable rescue job for the coffees.

It must have been quite late when I woke up, as one minute I was relaxing with Dave and Kevin enjoying the ambience around the camp site and Daves incredible CD collections and the next rushing off to catch a bit of the Lee Scratch Perry and Max Romeo set on the main stage.  While sitting there all smug and relaxed, Dave turned around to me and asked did I not like Max Romeo and Lee Scratch Perry, to which I replied, “Of course.”  Well he replied,   ” I do not understand, they are about half way through their set.”  As I said earlier you can loose all concept of time when relaxing with mates, so off I fled in a slight panic.

Max Romeo / Lee Scratch Perry – Main Stage.  2.45pm – 4pm. 

Romeo could be heard in the distance singing Chasing The Devil and knowing the song so well I made a beeline in haste for the Electric Dreams sign, the highest and farthest back point of the main stage area.  By the time I got to the left side of the main stage, Lee Scratch Perry had taken over on vocals, so I missed the Max Romeo bit.  Not that I was bothered as I had the privilege of seeing Max Romeo four years ago at Life Festival in 2008.  So it seems my timing was perfect as I have never seen Lee Scratch Perry before live.  Perry was brilliantly mad, talking in his classic Jamaican gibberish the man is an absolute legend and like tradition for EP on Sunday afternoon, the main stage rocked again with a cool reggae vibe.  Perry had a class backing band and the same band for Max Romeo too.  The bassist definitely had that Dread I and was hitting the stomach gut just right, the backing female singers minimal in their involvement but just perfect in their crooning soulful voices, the brass section of trumpet and sax adding a classic Jamaican feel and tasteful picking from the guitarist.  I got talking to a randomer in the audience who was amazed that you could get a live dub reggae band playing on the main stage at a fairly major festival.

Special mention too, to the keyboardist and the drummer who created that spacious dubby drum sound.  It was really nice to see the dub reggae dynamics in a live setting as it is usually essentially a studio made up thing.  Dont ask me what Perry was singing although I did recognise Roast Fish & Cornbread and some tracks from the 1990s album From My Secret Laboratory, he has a collection of tracks and albums as vast, if not more than the Cure catalogue and he is constantly always changing it around, most of it probably more of a vocal improvisation than actual album tracks.  But, one of my EP highlights of this year.

Lee Scratch Perry – Main Stage.

Lee Scratch Perry – Main Stage

At some point me and Kevin met up with some of the other Body & Soul advanced team, where we sat down somewhere in the main arena and had a blether and a drink.

Kevin and some of the advanced Body & Soul Team.

After this, Sunday was a particularly slack day gig wise although a mental note was kept for Bat For lashes who was due on at 9.30pm in the Electric Arena.  I still had a bit of a hangover and was starting to feel the pinch money wise.  Myself, Kevin and Dave eventually headed into the arena and on in to the Body & Soul Village for a bit if a saunter.  Dave bought me a pint of Tiger lager which I must say is better than the Paulaner  beer from the last few years and convinced me to go to the Pancake Palace for a ham and cheese omelette and at only four euros it was extremely good value and feckin delicious, this sorted me right out for the day.

Sometime was spent at the Radio Shack which had the most seating around it and we sat there soaking up some of the classic hits, watching the general tomfoolery while people and large bunnies danced on top of the tables.  One minute it could be classic Doors playing and the next Pass the Dutchie.

It was the general consensus next that we would all make our way to the main stage to see a bit of Elbow, which we were sort of listening too from the ATM queue, as Dave needed to get cash, the average waiting time being about 55 minutes.  While we were hanging about there Dave reminded us that Donal Lunny and gang were starting on the Body & Soul main stage, so myself and Kevin rushed off to B&S agreeing to meet Dave there.

Liam O Flynn, Andy Irvine, Paddy Glackin & Donal Lunny.

               Body & Soul Main Stage.  8pm – 9pm.

The Body & Soul main stage arena was absolutely packed, all I could see of the band was the tops of their foreheads over the throng, as they were seated on stage.  Kevin was off trying to get a pint, so sometimes he misses sets because half the time is spent queuing for a beer.  It seems the band was exploring the Planxty repertoire but from Andy Irvines selections rather than the Christy Moore side.  They were more than halfway through the set when I arrived but I caught the tail end of one of Andys songs.  I am sure the next selection was a set of reels from the Planxty album After the Break: Lady On the Island, The Gatehouse Maid, Callaghans.  The band eventually closed with Arthur McBride to a rapturous audience.   Kevin showed up for the last track and wished he had caught more, but sometimes that happens when traversing the length and breadth of the Picnic trying to catch one act from another.

We made our way back to the ATM queue where Dave had only progressed slightly down the queue, so the poor guy had missed the LAPD gig and he was about to miss the Elbow set too.  It turns out that the ATM had run out of cash and they were in the process of filling it up again.

Myself and Kevin watched the final few tracks from Elbow from the very back, I have to admit there was a great sound from the main stage pa system so there has been improvements in general for most of the sound systems this year although Roots Manuvas sound was not great to start with, but this was sorted out later.  I was not that pushed about seeing Elbow, the only track I really liked by them was Grounds for Divorce as I do love that riff and we sort of heard it too from the ATM queue.  They of course closed with One Day Like This, which got the best crowd reaction and singalong and was itself a very powerful moment in their gig.

By now it seemed that the crowds had swelled in the arena, probably due to the day ticketers who arrived for the Sunday.  I wanted to rush off to the Electric Arena to catch Bat For Lashes, but Kevin wanted to get more pints, by then there was an enormous queue at the Heneiken bar there and I lost sight of Kevin so I just headed straight for the arena, sending him a text to look out for me at left side of the stage near the entrance.

Bat For Lashes – Electric Arena – 9.30pm – 10.30pm.

Natasha was already about 15 minutes into her set when I arrived so I missed her first three songs, she was just starting Travelling Woman from her Two Suns album which I could hear lovely and clear, but why oh why are people gabbing at the back during this, you come to a gig to watch and listen not to gossip, especially during the quieter tracks.  She played a nice selection from both her albums and some new tracks from her forthcoming album The Haunted Man due out in October 9th such as Laura, Oh Yeah and Rest Your Head.  Natasha is an absolute pro who worked the audience into the palm of her hand, making up for her absence in 2009.

We eventually met Dave again at the Electric Arena and he had another pint for me which was very nice, as I only had a few cans left in the tent, so he was keeping me going.  Kevin wanted to stroll up to the main stage again to catch a bit of the Killers whilst Dave wanted to catch Hot Chip in the present arena.  Having seen Hot Chip a few times now, I opted for a glimpse at the Killers too, even though I am not that overtly keen on their music.  So we trooped up to the very back of the main stage area to watch a bit of the show.  They had a very impressive lighting rig and some super back drop screen visuals, oh and some green lasers too.  Their sound was very tight but I just cannot hack the lead singers voice.  My back was giving serious pain at this stage as I had been standing for a number of hours plus all the walking through the entire EP arena area.  So I opted to go back to the tent for an hour to rest up.

I set my alarm for 1am as I did not want to miss the rest of the night and believe it or not, that little rest worked wonders, Dave and Kevin came up, I got the last of my cans and we set forth at about 2am for the Salty Dog Stage as I have never seen a gig there in all my Picnics.

The Mighty Stef – Salty Dog Stage.  2am – 3am.

Dublin band the Mighty Stef were the closing act for the Salty Dog stage, some nice heavy rock and roll to finish off the night.  The Mighty Stef come across as a cross between Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Jack L and the Mark Lanegan Band, Stefan Murphy is a great front man and knows how to work a crowd.  I am not too familiar with the Stefs back catalogue, but then this is also a new discovery for me too.  The Salty Dog stage is rather strange as well as a gorgeous spectacle of the old ship, part of the stage opens up at the back which also had an audience there, swinging on a large wheel at the side of the stage, it was strange not to see security manning the stage.  Murphy during the end of the set played a deranged pirate who scowled over the microphone during the last closing number.  An impressive set from an impressive band, will be looking out for them in the future.

The Mighty Stef – Salty Dog Stage.

The Mighty Stef – Salty Dog stage.

The Salty Dog Stage.

And so in the final few hours we repaired to the camp site, music could still be heard around a number of locations, namely the Body & Soul main stage and the Algorythm stage (the new forest one) which I never made it to this year, the fact being that we were so shattered that we did not want to walk anywhere no more.  While making our way back to Hendrix, vast sections of the forest lights had been switched off so it was just as well that I had my torch and various other folk too, When we came to the Hendrix entrance there was lights on there.  So the last hour was spent drinking the last of the carry out and listening to sounds and recalling the highlights.

Thanks to Kevin he drove all the way back to Galway the next day, I was glad I was not hitching, what a splendid festival and one of the very best Electric Picnics so far, roll on 2013.

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About niallmcquaid

Music lover and musician. Love writing about music and events, I am a keen writer.
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2 Responses to Electric Picnic 2012 Review

  1. Kevin Keehan says:

    Good review! Roll on 2013

  2. jim lawless says:

    great to read about it all over again, was a super event and well organised and with the fine weather everyone had a good time and patty smith was the highlight for me, followed by a terrific cure set
    thanks niall and co, xxx jim lawless

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