In many ways a music festival is very much like visiting a theme park. You pack heavily for the day, sickness rise at ungodly hours to beat the queues, get your prohibited items successfully smuggled passed the entrance, invariably lose members of your group only for them to show up right before you leave, and pray for the rain to hold off. But perhaps biggest connect that a music festival has with a theme park is the planning. Specifically when it comes on deciding who to see or who to miss, and factoring in sleeping and eating (which to be honest, you can do without for a few days). Here’s our guide to the must see acts at electric picnic.
Blending modern dance sounds with trippy 60s psychedelia, Metronomy are one of the most gleefully enjoyable acts playing at electric picnic. Live, Dance music can seem quite cold and impersonal live, but Metronomy’s kitschy retro aesthetic help them avoid this cliché. The bridging point between rock and straight up dance music, it’ll be enjoyable regardless of the weather.
Supporting Rave Tapes, one of their best ever albums, Mogwai are set to provide one of the most powerful sets at electric picnic. While the heavily textured instrumental music might not be for everybody, it’s hard not to be stunned by the musical odyssey, be it the dramatic shifts in tempo or the experiments in melody, that Mogwai offer.
Coming into his own in recent years, Omar Souleyman is fast becoming a must see act. Mixing electronic music with traditional Syrian music sounds isn’t an obvious thing to do, and it sounds like a bad idea. In practice however its incredible. Mad enough to actually attempt it, Omar Souleyman sounds completely bizarre, in an amazing way.
Of all the headliners, trip hop creators Portishead are perhaps the most bizarre. With only three albums to their name, and no hits, they certainly are strange way to end the night. With a sound that’s like the music for a James Bond film that’s to cool to actually exist, they promise to deliver a tense, edgy set, anchored by Adrian Utley’s jazzy guitar and Beth Gibbons lounge singer wail.
Despite their name, the Orwell’s don’t provide a commentary on the spiritual and political ails of society. Instead they play gloriously irreverent garage rock in the vein of the Stooges and the White Stripes. One of the freshest bands to break through in recent years, it should be one of the most energetic sets of the weekend.
Be it as the gothic garage rock band that they started out as, or the shoegaze/psychedelic act they’ve recently morphed into, the Horror’s are one of the best British bands of recent years. They haven’t played in Ireland for a while, so this is not to be missed.
As the leader of LCD Soundsystem, James Murphy had an ear for things that got people dancing. Since the demise of LCD Murphy’s acted largely as a producer, helping the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and Arcade Fire to learn how to move. However his return to DJ’ing is by far his most exciting project. Given that he started out as a DJ, his late night set promises to be one of the best at Electric Picnic.
Coming back after a five year absence, Nutini’s most recent album, Caustic Love embraced the soul that was hinted at on his previous records. He also dabbled in some arty psychedelic sounds. While it might not be as sharp a transformation as Scott Walker, say, he’s definitely one of the more interesting pop stars out there.
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks.
With this year’s Wig out the Jigbags, Stephen Malkmus, and his backing band the Jicks, have surpassed Pavement in terms of output. They’ve also (whisper it) surpassed Pavement in terms of quality. Although his song writing has matured a lot recently, expect the laidback slacker vibe that he perfected during the 90s with Pavement.
Electro has gone down a decidedly minimalist route over the past few years, and nobody embodies this more then SBTRKT. The masked producer plays one of the latest sets at the festival, and its hard imagine a better artist, or a better time slot for him.
A supergroup of sorts, Tvvins is made up of Conor Adams, from the Cast of Cheers, and Lar Kaye from Adebsi Shank, the otherworldly sounding Tvvins are only a couple months old, but already they’re able to draw huge crowds. Sounding like the type of music that aliens would listen to when they want to relax, Tvvins should provide a (inter)stellar show.
There are two types Beck that could appear at electric picnic. Their could be idiosyncratic and iconoclastic hip hop/funk Beck, who’d bring irreverent samples, tongue in cheek lyrics and postmodern cool to Electric Picnic. Or it could be the Beck that we see on albums like Sea Change, or this year’s Morning Phase, sad folky Beck who bears himself on stage. Either one is good.
A lot of reviews from last years Electric Picnic described St Vincent and David Byrne as having more fun then anybody else at the festival. She’s back this year, supporting what is surely one of the best records this year. Equal parts performance art, art rock virtuosity and guitar hero freak outs, Annie Clarke is an absolute must see.
Even though they only have two ep’s to their name, Wolf Alice are being billed as the next big thing for British guitar music, Wolf Alice are an “alternative rock” band that actually sound alternative. Heavy, but not to heavy, and soft when they need to be, Wolf Alice could very well cut through the hype.
It’s been a big year for Dublin’s Girl band, and with a record coming out in September, its set to get even bigger for them. Mixing the abrasion of Dinosaur Jr with the hypnosis of the Chemical Brothers, its not hyperbole to say they could be one of the best groups to emerge from Ireland. This might be the last time they play a smaller stage.