Electric Picnic 2015 Festival Review. Ireland 4th – 6th September.

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Sunday 30th August

So as per usual with a serious lack of sleep due to excitement and making sure I packed everything I hopped on the 10 o’clock Galway to Dublin Citylink commuter service bound for Kinnegad and was picked up by Lisa Lawless for the drive to Stradbally.  When we arrived we met Catherine Kehoe who wristbanded us with the pink temporary pre-event wristband.  I was going to be on the early shifts this time from 8 am – 2 pm working the crossroads for Monday and Tuesday and crew for Wednesday and Thursday.  I was thinking I maybe hit the festivities too hard as we had a feed of pints and a Chinese in Stradbally and I made the silly mistake of thinking it was still summer walking about in a tee shirt only to find it baltic when the sun slipped away.  I also woke during the night and had a good boke outside my tent which is probably not the best start to the event and probably down to lying on the inflatable mattress which made my stomach queasy.  The good thing being that most of the team last year was back, Sean, Dave, Anne Marie, campervan John (John Dooley), Lisa, Jan, Dave Curran, Cathal Johnson (Sorry I never made it to your gig), Ross (Weekend team leader) the Cork lads, Dermott, Shane and others and a few new faces such as Derek (Lisa’s husband) Anastasia, Ross, Corina (John’s friend), Jan who I met at Body & Soul festival and the like.

Monday 31st August and Tuesday 1st September.

Crossroads duty, there are numerous crossroads encircling the festival site and our main duty is to make sure that traffic adheres to the one way system, but we really are just eyes and ears looking at the four roads on each side and making sure there is no crashes and that vehicles are not driving too fast.  I think Anastasia and Ross enjoyed working with me as I had my ipod and speaker and was blasting out sounds, some of which was on the festival bill and some of which we would be hoping to see on the bill next year.  Its my firm belief that if you are listening to sounds in the background whilst working away, it is much more enjoyable experience and the time flies in better, I think the other volunteers agreed too.  On Tuesday I got stung on the face by a wasp while talking to Anastasia so off to Catherine I go to get some ointment, thankfully there wasn’t as much wasps as in the 2012 edition.

Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd September.

On Wednesday I was given work in crew camp so I was supervised by Cork man Dan.  My job today was to sit at the staff campervan entrance to basically point the campervans onto the correct route and point cars up the track to the car park.  This was a very quiet job so it was a godsend that I still had juice in the old ipod and was blaring out a few Blur albums in anticipation for their Saturday night headline.  My good mate Kevin Keehan arrived today, he was due to start work at 10 am with the Soul Kids crew.  We also got wristbanded properly today which was a good feeling and that the staff trusted us to not do a disappearing act on the Thursday shift.  Thursday was a bit more busier as I was stationed at the exit road for crew camp going onto the main road and luckily I still had juice in my ipod for sounds, the security guard working across from me (At hole in the wall staff entrance) was doing this line of work for the first time and was hoping the next volunteer would also have a stereo speaker as he had another six hours to do after I finished.

John had a nice set up at his campervan, not only did he provide free tea and coffee and the use of his electricity to recharge stuff and to inflate mattresses, he brought along a projector screen, DVD player and projector too.  So we had outdoor movies too which was fantastic, The Commitments on Monday night, The Shawshank Redemption on Tuesday night and St Vincent on the Wednesday night and a ready audience of volunteers sitting in rows in front of the screen.  It was breezy the odd night so I loved how the wind sometimes would change the aspect ratio of the screen giving it a look of an upturned page of a book, it was quite cool and really added to our festivities.

Now think of the worse thing that can happen when you finish all your shifts and you are wristbanded for proper festival fun, through the duration of the night before possibly because of using my jacket as a pillow I some how broke my bank card and only discovered when using it in the Supervalu atm after my final shift that it was defective.  It was a bit awkward with my filled roll, milk and various other groceries when I had my card checked in another machine with the same results.  Thankfully another  member of festival staff who knew I had been working for the day stepped in and offered to pay for my filled roll for which I am absolutely grateful for.  When I got back to crew camp I explained my dilemma to other folk and another crew member Canadian, Jenny the Pink Lady googled my bank on her phone and discovered that a branch was open for another 45 minutes in Portlaoise and she drove me out to there, so Jenny thank you a million times again for helping me out, I was able to make a manual transaction and get an emergency payment the following day.  I took some photos over the pre-event, I was hoping to get a video of one of the marquees getting raised, but it was taking a while even though I was told that the Electric Arena marquee was raised within an hour so just took some photos instead.

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The raising of the Despacio marquee.

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Friday 4th September

Woke up at 10.30 am fairly fresh, probably helped by getting the early shifts previously, It was off to the Hendrix campsite to find the nearest merchandise vendor to pick up a lanyard and programme as I had no real idea of the stage times or what tents certain artists were in.

So off to Stradbally to get the emergency payment from Ulster Bank, a coffee and a breakfast roll from the Gala shop and a walk back to crew camp to sit at John’s campervan. This is where I got to meet Corina proper for the first time, a friend of John’s from Naas in County Kildare and where she introduced to me Orchard Thieves cider with ice in a glass, simply delicious.  She noticed that I got the festival programme and she wanted to see a particular chef in the Theatre of Food programme only to discover that he had already done his stint an hour or so earlier.

I was supposed to go to a Boards.ie meet up with folk from the Electric Picnic thread at five o’clock but was trying to locate Geoff Ward who was looking for artist accreditation area but I then realised I couldn’t do anything as it was a restricted area to me.  I was also asked by Kevin to hang around the Body & Soul area to catch his mates band, The Mud Bubble who were playing about 7 – 7.30 on the Body & Soul Bandstand stage.

Joni – Body & Soul Main Stage  5.15 – 5.45 pm

I caught a bit of this soul singer Joni resplendent in her pink jumpsuit wooing a gathering audience at the Body & Soul main stage, she has a wonderful voice and another girl on the decks providing funky beats, great uplifting music to get the party spirit going.

https://www.facebook.com/joniiiiiiiiimusic?fref=ts

Sean Sheil and friend grooving to Joni.

Sean Sheil and friend grooving to Joni.

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Thank Funk on the B&S Bandstand stage.

The Mud Bubble – Body & Soul Bandstand Stage 7 – 7.30 pm

The Mud Bubble are a live Drum N’ Bass act from County Clare who came from the ashes of another act called The Conectors which also used hip hop, reggae and drum n bass styles.  Debbie Ellen Higgins has a great voice and a very unique rapping style, she appeared a little nervous when doing the sound check but warmed to the reaction from people milling around who appreciated the sound.  Now they didn’t pull crowds in their droves but you have to take into consideration that they are a new act and the people hanging around you could tell enjoyed it, hopefully they will stay at it and build up a nice fan base.  Check out the little kid breaking out the moves to their music.  The drummer has a tremendous sense of the drum N bass technique, his drumming reminding me of the drummer with Engine Earz back at Life Festival in 2012.

https://www.facebook.com/themudbubble?fref=ts

Mud Bubble on the Body & Soul Bandstand Stage.

The Mud Bubble on the Body & Soul Bandstand Stage.

Daithi – Body & Soul Main Stage   7.30 – 8.15 pm

A short distance away at the Body & Soul main stage a rather wacky electronica was emerging, this was the first time I actually caught some music from rising DJ and traditional musician Daithi who had the natural amphitheatre filling up with eager party goers mad for some action.

https://www.facebook.com/daithimusic?fref=ts

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcaTOKmJX7WJSqj9oj5jXkQ

I figure at this point vaguely that I went to the Charcoal Grill for a steak burger to set me up for the evening, before going to check out activity at the main stage.

Late Edit: I see this constantly crop up on the forums about Electric Picnic, the infiltration of brand name tents and a younger crowd, some who were termed dickheads.  As far as I concerned this is probably coming from people who attended the old Picnics of 2005, 06,07 etc.  Do you not realise that you are just getting older, loads of young people will be turning eighteen this year, why shouldn’t they have a slice of the EP pie.  As far a brand name tents go they didn’t really bother me that much, we are all human after all and we all have sets of legs to walk away from them.  I would just give places like the tacky carnival, Cocktail Cocktail bar, the 3 mobile place, E-Lite area the swerve and walk to the areas I liked anyway.  In fact I think they should add more next year as it acts like a magnet for the youngsters happy to hang about the areas with shit dance music.  It means that areas like Body & Soul, Electric Arena, Rankins, Cosby, Despacio and Salty Dog will be potentially dickhead free because they will want to hang about the tacky brand areas.  Bar the Bacardi Bar as that does get some reasonable line ups of good DJs.

Grace Jones – Main Stage  8.45 – 10 pm

Having caught some of the Grace Jones set at the Electric Arena in 2008 I was intrigued to how she would go down on the main stage this year.  I forgot that she has a mountain of hits from the 1980s and was the perfect recipe for the Friday night partying.  A sizeable number had gathered to hear the classic hits of Pull up to the Bumper, Walking in the Rain, Night Clubbing.  Intoxicating reggae inspired funk and pop with a few costume changes and some really cool classy lights and effects.   My videos don’t really do the show any justice as I was too far away to properly take in the spectacle with my smaller camera, I should have taken it with the Nikon where I could’ve focused it at bit more clearly.

https://www.facebook.com/GraceJonesOfficial?fref=ts

Myself and Kevin just stuck around for the oncoming Underworld set to follow, also in attendance was John Dooley, Anne Marie, Catherine Kehoe, Ross and various others.

Underworld – Main Stage  10.30 pm – 12 am

This was my third time catching this act and all at previous Picnics too, They were a perfect main stage closer with their pulsating electronica, reeling out the classics such as Rez, Born Slippy, Into the Blood and loads of other classics.  I always thought they would be more suited to closing the main stage for Saturday night where tradition used to dictate a late night rave act for the Saturday closer but nothing wrong with a bit of change either. There was a few notable causalities during the gig with some seriously inebriated people which is bound to happen out of the 50,000 attending.  The most likely scenario being that some of these folk tried to smuggle their booze into the main arena but failed and drunk it there and then rather than trek all the way back to their tent.  A girl was dragged from the front into the mixing desk area by security who was lapsing into unconsciousness and required medical aid, luckily she came around and was helped up to the medical tent.  My one regret about Friday night was completely forgetting about Belle & Sebastian’s set in the Electric Arena which clashed with Underworld and this coming from an exiled Scot.

http://www.underworldlive.com/

Myself and Kevin headed into the Body & Soul area for a while but it had grown increasingly chilly with a cool breeze blowing so we set for Trenchtown which provided a bit more shelter and stayed there until close, soaking up the various stages the Live Inna Yard stage with Karma Parking, Colonial FX and Braintheft with Oisin Daly providing the live stuff and the Treasure Beach stage with Will Softly and DJ Dodgy.  I managed to get some video clip and nice photos of Trenchtown with my small camera.

https://www.facebook.com/TrenchtownIrieLand?fref=ts

Trenchtown.

Trenchtown.

Trenchtown.

Trenchtown.

Trenchtown.

Trenchtown.

Trenchtown.

Trenchtown.

We retreated to the confines of Kevin’s tent for the final few cans for the night and a few smokes, quite a content first night of EP 2015.

Saturday 5th September

Had a bit more of a lie in this morning and took a trip to the Gala in Stradbally for a pick me up cup of coffee.

Miriam Donohue – Oxjam Tent  2 – 2.30 pm

I wanted to get into the arena a bit earlier today as I endeavoured to catch an old Galway flatmate of mine, Miriam Donohue who was playing a half hour set at the Oxjam stage in the main arena.  Unfortunately my Nikon camera was playing up and didn’t record the clip properly so I whipped out the smaller one to film the rest of the track.  I would have recorded more of the set but was held up at the Hendrix phone queue waiting to drop the ipod in for a recharge.  Miriam’s style would be s soft unplugged acoustic style in a similar vein to Natalie Prass, Joni Mitchell but strong in her own originality.

http://www.breakingtunes.com/miriamdonohue

I was a little excited today which was understandable, my friends GIRO were going to be performing on the Body & Soul main stage and they wanted me to guest with them for two sets of tunes with my tambourine bodhran, so this would be my first time performing on a stage at Electric Picnic, so how could I not be excited.

GIRO – Body & Soul Main Stage   4 – 4.30 pm

GIRO: Galway International Retro Orchestra are a band with a flair for Irish traditional music, Klezmer and wild gypsy music.  They struck upon an original idea that stretches far back to the migrant 1920s/30s in New York, the cultures that were attracted to the Big Apple, its burgeoning Jewish population and settled gypsy population and the Irish diaspora that also travelled to New York.  GIRO take all the musical influences from this period and make it into their own original sound.  The band had a nice number of spectators who soaked up the sounds at Electric Picnic and a few breaking into a step.

https://www.facebook.com/girogalway?fref=ts

I went along for a wander around Body & Soul and the main arena with GIRO, GIRO are Anders Trabjerg (box), Kyle Borley (Vocals, flute, piccolo and whistle), Geoff Ward (Banjolin, sax and clarinet) and Mayo Yanachi (Fiddle).  We took in the sights and sounds of the festival, a wandering drum troupe, yummy food stalls, the shenanigans at the Jerry Fish tent and meeting all sorts of crazy characters wandering about the festival.

In the course of wandering about with my buddies I missed a few acts on the main stage such as Future Islands and War on Drugs, but I’m sure these bands will come around some time again, I think Picnic time is more important sometimes to spend with good friends as well as catching the odd act.  When Anders and Mayo had to leave as they had to get back to Galway to pay the babysitter, I took a trip back to the crew camp for a wee rest and to resupply myself with more Guinness goodness, a much needed break before the madness with Jon Hopkins and all that followed.

We wandered back into the main arena about 9.15 to try and catch a bit of the Chvrches set, in through the iron gate and up one of the short cut paths near the volunteers office and right down to the Cosby Tent which is so handy, it would take the best part of 20 – 25 minutes to reach the Electric Arena the usual way through the throng of people, so these volunteer short cuts are invaluable sometimes to actually make a set or to just catch a set.

Chvrches – Electric Arena    9 – 10 pm.

Chvrches were about half way through their set when we arrived, they had quite a quirky electronic and rocky sound about them, Lauren Mayberry at times reminded me of a young Madonna or even Cyndi Lauper, she had a sweet shrill voice and I’m glad to say I did catch one Scottish band from Glasgow at the festival (Sorry again Belle & Sebastian). Chvrches had a nice draw of an audience and a nice clean electronic sound, a solid pop but with rocky edges.  This was my first time catching them live and it won’t be my last time either.

http://www.chvrch.es/

It was handy that Rankin Woods was the next tent as this left us with fifteen minutes of Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) who was finishing his set next door, my appetite for rap and hip hop had grown since Outkast last year and Nas at Life festival this year.

Yasiin Bey  – Rankin Woods Stage   9.30 – 10.15 pm.

I don’t have much to go on here as I have none of this artists albums but the crowd packed into the tent suggests that this guy has a fairly legendary status.  His music anyway came across as more of old school than modern hip hop and the particular track I caught a clip of had a nice old time jazz fusion feel to it.  He also came across as fairly articulate in his wordspeak and his backer on the beats had a classy sound.  This gig was also getting me in the mood for tomorrow when Jurassic 5 will be belting it out on the main stage. I was so glad anyway to have caught at bit of Yasiin Bey’s set.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mos_Def

I don’t know about you the reader but I always find when you are in the area of a must see artist its always advisable to hang around the front after the previous artist, in this case it was Jon Hopkins who is one of my top listening pleasures, so, I was in the right place at the right time, bring it on.

Jon Hopkins – Rankin Woods   11 pm – 12 am

Hopkins just keeps getting better and better, ever since I saw the Glastonbury set on the iplayer I’ve even been more hooked and have obsessed over this guy since, the performance tonight did not let me down, the sound was absolutely perfect, you could have built a house on top of the bass, it was that good.  I simply can’t wait to this new album he is working on which he is hoping to release at the end of February next year, so hint hint to family and friends my birthday is on the 18th February.  Open Eye Signal never gets tiring in fact it has become more fired the more I hear it, some of the new material is really nice too, Halo seems to be inspired and realised from the slower Collider, great scrunchy and glitchy tracks like Two Dancers (Jon Hopkins Remix) (Wild Beasts Cover) just power on like nothing else.  Yep! Hopkins is my absolute highlight of EP 2015 and he probably had the best sound of the festival too, much to the detriment of the headliners in the Cosby Tent, Low or so I read about anyway and isn’t it bloody typical that not one second of his performance is featured in the RTE broadcast of the festival.

http://www.jonhopkins.co.uk/

Blur – Main Stage   11.30 pm – 1.30 am.

Myself and Kevin tried to take the short cut from the Cosby Tent to the main stage for Blur but we got chased away with another crew member by a security guard, so we just walked by the merchandise stand direction which is not actually that far and entered the main stage throng to the left of the main stage, so left but slightly centre to get a good view, the screens really help in this respect.  Blur were about halfway through the Beetlebum track when we showed up, there was a nice smattering of tracks and classics from their well known albums and some of the tracks from the new album The Magic Whip blended in nicely too.  There was a stage invasion for Parklife, well, Damon invited everyone onto the stage but it created a great party atmosphere.  Hit after hit reeled through the night Song 2 had us headbanging madly (reminds me of the energy of the Butthole Surfers or Sonic Youth), Tender created about a few thousand sore throats singing along in unison to Damon, Girls & Boys (like Blur’s take on a Bowie style track), She’s so High mixed in with Whip numbers like Thought I was a Spaceman, Ong Ong and There are too many of us.  I thought they put on a really amazing show and I’m glad to have caught Blur for the first time live, brilliant stuff.  I’m also chuffed that RTE filmed the first seven tracks so I got to see the first part of the concert I missed in Favour of Jon Hopkins, so I get the best of both worlds.

http://www.blur.co.uk/

We repaired to the Body & Soul arena for a while in search of some ambient techno from Donal Dineen, its become tradition now for us to catch a bit of his set during the weekend, but man, once we came out of the main stage throng you could feel the cold big time, a fairly cold breeze blowing over wide open spaces that would freeze the balls off you.  Donal Dineen had a great crowd gathered and as usual his music was infectious, he really knows how to put the sounds into a party momentum.  The DJ that followed Donal, Neil Finn also put on a great set of ambient techno, but we split about 3.30 am as I thought I was going to turn into an iceberg with the cold, so back to the confines of Kevin’s tent for some more beers and a good smoke.  My disaster for Saturday night was leaving down my beautiful Body & Soul water flask which happened to be full of Captain Morgans and Coke to put on my ipod and speaker walking back to crew camp and forgetting to pick up the flask again, only realising when I was sitting in Kevin’s tent, so that was a small pisser for a mostly enjoyable night.  I suppose people loose things all the time at festivals but I wish it wasn’t the Body and Soul water flask that Mikey Joyride Soro gave me at Body & Soul festival.

https://www.facebook.com/DonalDineen

Gorgeous decorations over the Earthship Stage.

Gorgeous decorations over the Earthship Stage.

Donal Dineen giving it the ambient unz at Earthship Stage.

Donal Dineen giving it the ambient unz at Earthship Stage.

Sunday 6th September

Woke about 11 am and headed up to the Gala shop in Stradbally to get a coffee, I find it strange that the main camp sites are full of food stalls and cafes yet no one thinks of setting up one at the crew camp which doesn’t make sense, You’d think Mocca Bean with their franchise would have one there, as there would be extra bucks to be made.  I met various folks from Galway during the weekend, Doran and his girlfriend, Ciaran and Jackie and loads of folk from my working festival past like Micheal, Michelle who landed a nice cushy number working with Body & Soul on the Bandstand Stage and various other folk who I’ve forgot the name of again ha ha.

Legend – Main Stage 2.30 – 3.15 pm.

Now Legend were a colourful Rastafari lot with concert lights to match the Jamaican colours, they were basically a Bob Marley covers band and good tight versions of the classics too but I couldn’t help thinking that it was almost a replica of the Wailers set from last year so a bit of a lazy booking there by Electric Picnic.  Especially when One Love festival in the UK was on, on the same weekend, why not Steel Pulse who played Glastonbury this year or Dawn Penn, both playing One Love festival.  Saying that Legend were entertaining enough.

http://www.legendlive.co.uk/leonie.html

Legend on the Main Stage, Sunday.

Legend on the Main Stage, Sunday.

Legend.

Legend.

We went to the Mindfield area to source a place showing the Galway/Kilkenny game, we settled for the News talk tent which had a reasonable size screen but there was too many people there already and could hardly see any of the action.  Galway played great for the first half and showed promise, but come the second half and they lost their power, also the people watching it swelled so we decided to go to the main stage to catch some of Jurassic 5’s set.

Jurassic 5 – Main Stage   3.45 – 4.45 pm.

Jurassic 5 is another lot I know very little about but they were hugely entertaining with their lively hip hop, I actually thought they were much more entertaining than the Wu Tang Clan from two years ago.  And of course they had DJ Nu-Mark in the ranks who I saw at Life festival this year and who is a turntablist legend, so a good time party hip hop group to crank your hangover away to, worth checking out if you get a chance.

http://jurassic5.com/

We headed back to the crew camp for a rest, well I couldn’t sleep as I could hear about three stages in the main arena where I was, in fact I enjoyed Django Django’s set from my tent which I could hear crystal clear from the Electric Arena and they seemed to of cracked it too with the audience’s reactions, having seen them at Body & Soul festival in 2012, I didn’t mind missing them for the sake of my feet anyway.   I forgot I still had a quarter bottle of Morgans and some coke left so I indulged in some of that.  I gave Kevin a shout about 8 pm and it didn’t look like he was going to wake up proper for a while so I just headed off into the arena myself, stopping off at the Hendrix Londis shop to get an emergency pack of Amber Leaf tobacco just in case I ran out.

Late Edit: I nearly forgot to mention this, I checked out the Despacio tent a few times during the weekend, the first time I took a gander in was on the Friday.  It was a nice unusual tent for Electric Picnic, darker inside and very subtly lit, I walked around having a look at the gigantic speaker racks and went up to the window booth to have a wee stare at James Murphy and the lads from 2ManyDJs, I reckon Murphy was staring back at me wondering who this guy was wandering about the dance floor with a circular instrument (My bodhran) hanging from my back.  The second time was Sunday evening before I met Kevin after his power nap in the camp site, I whipped out my Nikon camera to take a few minutes clip of the dance floor and speaker cabinets.  The music was certainly different from all the other places of entertainment at the festival, both times I was there you could say it was dance music, a bit more downbeat and I seem to get an impression that Murphy and 2ManyDJs are big David Byrne and Talking Heads fans, the music reminded me to an extent of David Byrne’s and Brian Eno’s album My Life in a Bush of Ghosts at times it came across as a post industrial funk with a slow timely dance beat.

https://www.facebook.com/despaciosoundsystem

About half an hour later I ran into Kevin again so he got up quicker than I thought, we decided to take the crew short cut again to make the start of FKA twigs set at the Electric Arena.

FKA twigs – Electric Arena    9 – 10 pm.

FKA twigs were a different kind of sound, sometimes quite a downbeat trip hop sound and at other times incredibly mesmeric trippy mad electronica.  I was initially put off by her first three numbers being too downbeat but that quickly changed through the set. Tahliah Debrett Barnett has a beautiful voice that can reach amazing heights, I would put her up there with Liz Fraser from the Cocteau Twins and Alison Goldfrapp.  She is also the most amazing dancer and choreographer I’ve seen in a long time, in fact in one track she was incredibly sexy in her moves turning it into an art form.  For someone I virtually know nothing about but loads of people telling me to go and see her, she is without doubt my new discovery of the festival this year even though I was vaguely aware of her from some Glastonbury footage.  So a FKA twigs CD will be working its way into my music collection very soon.

http://fkatwi.gs/

Paul Kalkbrenner – Rankin Woods   9 – 10.30 pm.

We nipped over next door to Rankin Woods to catch the last half hour of Paul Kalkbrenner’s set, I always wanted to see Paul Kalkbrenner ever since I saw the video clips from the last time he played the Picnic and seeing what I was missing which looked amazing.  He played good hard hitting techno which I had not really experienced this weekend as such unless you count Underworld who had a good hard hitting sound and Jon Hopkins who is his own thing completely, although still good crunchy techno too.  I couldn’t help thinking, how come Kalkbrenner has never played Rave in the Woods, his music is just as good as Klock’s, Sharpe’s and Joy Orbison’s.  Anyway I was glad to catch a bit of Kalkbrenner’s set.

http://paulkalkbrenner.net/home/

Florence and the Machine – Main Stage   10.30 pm – 12 am.

I enjoyed the four or five songs I saw of Florence while wandering about the main stage area and I can see why she is so popular.  A fiery red head who could probably play a good version of Granuaille if they ever made a movie about the Irish sea pirate.  She has a nice folk quality to her voice, in her softer moments she does remind me of the singing of the Late Sandy Denny from Fairport Convention.  If Robert Plant ever decided to do The Battle of Evermore again, I would choose Florence to sing the female part.  Florence had the audience eating from her hand and she is a great entertainer, but for me I still prefer the lushness of Natasha Khan myself and the beautiful sound of Bat for Lashes.  I would include the video clip I took but have just spotted that Florence is on the UMG roster so I don’t want to risk another copyright strike in my Youtube account after what happened with the Crystal Castles clip from EP 2012.

http://florenceandthemachine.net/

Tame Impala – Electric Arena   10.45 pm – 12 am.

Tame Impala were another sort of new discovery for me although I did watch their full set on the Lollapalooza video stream, they looked pretty interesting with trippy colours in their back screen projections.  The Australian group has three albums behind them now with Currents the third one getting the showcasing on this tour.  They seem to have a lot of influences in their music like the Beatles, Kinks and Small Faces.  There was one track in particular The Moment I think its called that reminds me of the phasing tricks in the Small Faces Itchycoo Park.  Some of their tracks have a good solid 1970s hard rock sound that you don’t really hear any more, another thing that Tame Impala is bringing back to rock music is the singing in harmonies like the style Pink Floyd used to do.  And the colours, the back projections had some of the most shimmering psychedelic colours.  A thoroughly amazing show and another great discovery, thank you Electric Picnic and Tame Impala, so possibly another 3 Tame Impala CDs will be following FKA twigs into my music collection.

http://www.tameimpala.com/

Kevin split for the Body & Soul area and I decided to check out the Rave in the Woods as I hadn’t being up there this weekend yet, if the craic was good I would stay on there, but I also had plans to take in a bit of King Kong Company’s set at Salty Dog and maybe saunter in to Trenchtown too as I had friends from Galway closing a stage there too.  I bumped into a Galway friend Anna on the way so done a little detour in the Oscar Wilde camp site to her tent for a few doobies and met some Derry folk who were her nearby tent neighbours.  Twas good craic and it was great to get a seat with a back for half an hour or so.  They had a nice wee camp fire going which didn’t have camping chairs or tents in it, like I heard of reports about happening in the Hendrix camp site.  I never seen that shit happening in the Hendrix before when I was last staying there in 2013 so that wasn’t a pleasant report to hear about.

I eventually made my way to the Rave in the Woods and it was more like funky cheesy stuff that was emitting from the Red Bull speakers, I forgot that Red Bull had changed direction this year to a sort of deep house, it just didn’t feel the same.  No familiar lasers etching the trees nor that familiar thump! thump! that I’ve got so used to for the last two years at Rave in the Woods.  Ah well I thought, King Kong Company it is then.  Hopefully they will bring back some techno for next year or even some dubstep and drum N Bass as well.

King Kong Company – Salty Dog    1.35 – 3 am.

King Kong Company had a great crowd who was mad to party the whole night through, only catching a bit of their set they had a glorious set of wild riffs and ravey beats on the go.  Mark Graham was in such a good buzz and thanked the audience and Salty Dog avidly for a great end to their summer.  I’m looking forward to reading his crazy adventures into festival land sometime.  But King Kong Company is a great way to end part of the festival off in the Salty Dog, they do Waterford proud to have such a rocking good fun band and are always the life and soul of festivals that they play.

Kevin gave me a text to say he was in Trenchtown so I made my way there to catch the last hour of live entertainment the festival had to offer.

The Dub Doctor & MC Rungus – Live Inna Yard Stage Trenchtown  1.15 – 3 am.

Caught a bit of Donal Dubdoctor and his Galway friends, Geoff Ward on sax and various other things and Brendan Rungus on vocals and another fellah on congos.  A great live dubby sound with Brendan singing and MCing  to close proceedings on the Trenchtown live stage.  A nice sound to skank away to in the early hours.  I also managed to work out a lift from Geoff in the afternoon tomorrow back to Galway so all good.

It was back to Kevin’s for our final night cap before hitting the hay in my own tent.

Monday 7th September.

I awoke late enough at about 11.50 am to find a missed call and text from Geoff asking where I was, this got me a little worried as I thought he may have just left as he couldn’t get in touch, what was worse was that my phone was nearly dying and I had about 25 cent credit left, I tried ringing him a few times but no joy.  He eventually got in touch about half an hour later (phew!) to say he was still onsite so we agreed to meet at Supervalu in Stradbally.  I just had too much to carry to make that trek so I left my camping chair and inflatable mattress in Kevin’s tent as he was working the breakdown for Soul Kids for Monday and his mattress was punctured, mine was in fairly good condition so I thought he would make better use of it.

Oddly enough, back in Galway Kevin messaged me on Facebook the following day, it turns out that when he knocked off his shift at 5 pm on Monday he discovered that someone had nicked his entire tent and mattresses.  Now that is a weird shit thing to happen at the end of your festival especially in the most guarded camp site of the festival, I felt so bad for Kevin.

Anyway until next year, thank you Electric Picnic for another fabulous edition, until next year roll on Electric Picnic 2016.

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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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4 Responses to Electric Picnic 2015 Festival Review. Ireland 4th – 6th September.

  1. kevinkeehan says:

    If I ever got to find out who stole my stuff God help them they will never volunteer at another festival if by chance you are reading this can I have my stuff back please. Good report Niall

    • niallmcquaid says:

      Kevin contact Louise Borre on Facebook she stayed on Monday night, she saw security, apparently Eventsec – Event Security in blue dayglow or uniform taking down tents, she went and spoke to the yellow day glow eventsec security guard to say that there was still some people onsite working the breakdown on Monday. The guard apparently replied that if the the tents were actually empty they would be taken down. Its obvious yours wasn’t empty, so maybe you should get in contact with Eventsec and report that guard, he or she was working from 8 am to 8 pm at the staff camp and car park exit, so Louise tells me anyway, perhaps they may still have the tent and belongings and that its not down in a landfill somewhere.

  2. Great bit of reading once again Niall,… time tp get the Journalist Pass!!

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