Electric Picnic takes place in Stradbally this weekend (September 2 – 5) and there are no shortage of reasons to be excited. Tasty propositions abound, especially among the bigger names – Super Furry Animals, LCD Soundsystem, Daniel Avery, The Chemical Brothers to name but a few.
Aside from the attention grabbing bigger names, there’s plenty of quality among the smaller, perhaps lesser known acts. There really are some absolute gems amongst this year’s line-up so here are 8 highly recommended acts worthy of your attention this weekend.
Nialler9 has the full line-up here, if you haven’t seen it yet and there is a very handy, printable Clashfinder here too. Dead handy & does not require batteries.
New Pope (Friday, 17.30-18.00 @ Earthship Stage)
New Pope is the Galway-based project fronted by Dave Boland who deal in truly beautiful, timeless and carefully crafted acoustic folk sounds. Passing with a whisper rather than a roar, New Pope’s songs are delivered with warmth and tenderness, as Boland’s distinctive vocal creates warm and lush atmosphere – and an overwhelming sense of sense of nostalgia. Yet to see them in the flesh but, on the evidence of last year’s splendid YOUTH EP & LP, they should be quite the proposition. Check out the layered, lush and beguiling beauty of ‘Love’ below:
The Altered Hours (Friday, 22:00 – 23:00, Body & Soul Main Stage)
For some time now, The Altered Hours have been eliciting much, and well deserved, praise for their frenetic and freewheeling psych/post-punk heroics. Everything they have done thus far has been gold – including debut album In Heat Not Sorry – and are reliable reputed to be one of Ireland most exciting live acts. For a glimpse of what mind-melting stuff Altered Hours are capable of, check out ‘Way of Sorrow'; a thrilling two-and-a-half-minute blast of turbulent post-punk influenced, driven, menacing and hazy swirl of psych-rock goodness.
No Monster Club (Saturday 18:00 @ Trailer Park: My Lovely Ranch Stage)
Easily one of the most reliable, inventive and brilliant bands in Ireland, No Monster Club bring their utterly lovable, rough-around the edges, lo-fi indie-pop hi-jinks to Stadbally. Live or on record, NMC never disappoint, there is just a infectious about everything they turn their hands. These fun-filled indie-pop adventures are just so damn endearing and guaranteed to brighten up your day.
Phare (Saturday, 01:00 – 02:00 am @ Oxjam)
Known for his work as one half of atmospheric duo Lyttet, Phare is the new solo-project from Peadar Kearney. On the clubbier side of things, Phare gracefully floats in an ambiguous hinterland between subtly euphoric and vaguely ambient, sustaining the rhythm and protracting the promise of a euphoric climax, while captivating through repeated propulsive beats and swirls. Check the hypnotic, twinkling crystalline grandeur of Kearney’s debut single, ‘UP’.
Slow Place Like Home (Sunday, 18.00 – 18.45 @ Body & Soul Main Stage)
Slow Place Like Home – the musical moniker of producer/musician Keith Mannion – has been treating us (and our ears) treating us to rich electronic sounds, crafted carefully from his Donegal base in the North-West of Ireland. Always inventive, imaginative and seductive compositions, Slow Place Like Home has already released a series of EPs and debut album Romola, to date. Now with a full band, 2016 saw the release brand new double A-sided singles ‘Tiger Lilly / Friday’, as they gear up for album number two next year. Another act who’s live shows have remained elusive, until this weekend hopefully.
The Dead Heavys (Sunday, 21:30-22:00 @ Body & Soul Main Stage)
The Dead Heavys are no strangers to receiving praise around these parts. Longstanding favourites, the Waterford five-piece are a great, great band, and an especially exciting live proposition. Their psych-tinged indie-rock is tempered with a catchy pop sensibility, rendering it utterly infectious for all and sundry. You can sample some of The Dead Heavys now characteristic combo of keys, guitars and vocals, anthemic surges and infectious sing-a-long moments, in ‘Liquidator’ – a bright, upbeat and rocking-groover that is very easy on the ears indeed.
ADULTROCK (Sunday, 21:25 – 22:10 Earthship Stage)
Under his ADULTROCK guise, Gavin Elsted (Super Extra Bonus Party & fellow Newbridge compañero) uses it as a vehicle to flex his dance music muscles, crafting magnificent dancefloor-ready, hypnotic and melodic electronic jams. His most recent EP Push and Pull came out in June through Bodytonic Music, and it is excellent. For a taste of it and Sunday’s service, check out the EP’s title track below. An enticing proposition.
Exmagician (Sunday, 22:00 – 22:45 Jerry Fish Side Show)
Exmagician is the latest musical adventure from long-time collaborators Danny Todd and James Smith; the musical partnership behind Cashier No.9. More urgent and rockier than their previous incarnation, still present, is their preference for shimmering psychedelics, echoed instrumentation and melodiousness. Falling somewhere between BRMC, Supergrass and yes, their previous band Cashier No. 9, ‘Kiss That Wealth Goodbye’ finds a band in fine form with its anthemic and quite cool vibe, amid a whirlwind of swirling melodies and catchy groove – as good a reason as any to catch them this weekend.