Electric Picnic 2010 Review: Saturday

Saturday was busier than Friday, up early and refreshed after some well needed kip and it was straight into the arena once the showers of rain subsided – so much music, I’ll try keep it short and to the point.

First up was Channel One a band who’ve proved elusive for one reason or another over the years. Their set was filled will electro tinged prog-rock which proved to be a nice way to start the day, they certainly would have benefited from a more suitable time slot.

Next up was Belfast’s And So I Watch You From Afar another new one, for me anyways, I’d been hearing great things about these guys so I was eager to see what all the fuss was about. As they exploded on to the stage it was pretty easy to see what the buzz is, massive sound, energy and stage presence – their raucous post-rock well truly battered whatever cobwebs were lying around from the previous nights antics – a new album recorded and on the way apparently.

A change of tact but not quality with the arrival of Dublin troubadour The Mighty Stef and his band to the Cosby Stage. He was in flying form as usual, exchanging banter with the crowd as the set unfolded with ‘Downtown’, ‘Death Threats’ and ‘Thank Christ For The Kids’, all doused in a new rockier edge. A triumphant set was brought to a close with ‘Magazine’ before lashing into ‘Waiting for my Man’ by The Velvet Underground – very Ian McCulloch.

These New Puritans arrived late to the stage but they turned out to be one of the surprise highlights of the weekend as they set about tearing the Cosby Stage apart. From the off ‘Numerology aka Numbers’, the bass was outrageous, you could feel it rattling and reverberating through your body, and causing pints to wabble in an uncanny Jurassic Park/T-Rex moment. It did however, subdue the vocals from lead singer Jack Barnett somewhat, who gave off a real Ian Curtis vibe – one of the most intense but memorable gigs.

I managed to miss Villagers (tent was heaving) and Steve Mason (got distracted elsewhere) but things were shaping up nicely with Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip getting a packed Little Big Tent bouncing with their political tinged electro/grime combo. ‘Get Better’ and ‘Great Britain’ sent the crowd into a frenzy, with just enough time to slag off Bono and add a real Alan Partridge moment. The Japanese Popstars were next on stage and dully obliged in keeping the place hopping but couldn’t stay for the whole set, more pressing issues where ahead.

It was the last (and first) chance to see LCD Soundsystem before the curtain is brought down on the project, so to avoid any disappointment it was full steam ahead to the Electric Arena. The atmosphere was absolutely electric, well worth getting in 40 minutes before the start as Murphy & Co. opened with ‘Drunk Girls’ sending the whole place absolutely nuts. This trend continued with ‘Daft Punk is Playing at My House’, ‘All My Friends’ ‘Can Change’ and ‘Losing My Edge’ before an emotional finale with ‘New York I Love You But Your Bringing Me Down’. Fear not Murphy announced he intends on return to make amends for missing Dublin gigs earlier in the year – fingers crossed.

Leftfield were gonna have to do the business to live up to that but unfortunately fell short somewhat. For one they would have been better suited to an indoor venue with much of the atmospher being lost in the cold night air, some of the tunes seemed a bit lacklustre and lacking theie renowned punch – ‘Afrika Shox’, ‘Space Shanty’ and ‘Release The Pressure’ were superb.

Just like that, another day was done, oh the joys of doing it all again on Sunday.

Photos from BBC NI show Across The Line

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