Tanya Sweeney has handpicked some must-sees so that your weekend at Electric Picnic in Stradbally goes with a bang.
When it comes to musical, comic and artistic talent, Electric Picnic has always boasted an embarrassment of riches. But how best to avoid a case of ‘reveller’s remorse’ and make sure you see the stuff worth seeing?
1. GRACE JONES
It goes without saying that a Grace Jones gig is worth watching if only for the sheer spectacle. She’s on a roll, too, after appearing on the soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Despite a career that spans five decades, the LA Times have declared that ‘in a Gaga world, she sounds more relevant than ever’. As might befit a one-time muse to Andy Warhol, expect flat-out flamboyance and costume changes aplenty.
Roisin Murphy’s arsenal of floorfillers have kept festival fans and club-goers on their toes for well over a decade. She’s not called the high priestess of cool (in this office, anyway) for nothing: anthems as infectious as ‘Invisions’ and ‘Alternate State’ mean that we will be front and centre stage for this one. It’s the homecoming you won’t want to miss.
How do we love thee Bridie Monds-Watson? Let us count the ways. Not only is her atmospheric and intimate music making serious waves in the US and Australia, we also love how the Derry youngster addresses themes of isolation and uncertainty with a deft touch.
4. SAM SMITH
One of the biggest names in pop right now, and with good reason. MOBOs, Brit Awards, Grammys… Sam has swept the board everywhere thanks to his epic balladry. No better opportunity to see the man of the moment and hear those soaring vocals for yourself.
Still only 21, Herford-born Ezra has a keen ear for a pop ditty, and has been a UK album top ten fixture since the release of his debut Wanted On Voyage. His debut festival performance at last year’s Glastonbury is already the stuff of legend. Now you can find out why.
Dubliner Conor O’Brien needs little introduction, and his third album Darling Arithmetic sees him really hit his stride as a songwriter. By turns stripped back and melodic, the album is nothing short of exquisite. Add this to his heaving back catalogue of gems, and a good time is guaranteed.
This indie-folk trio received quite the leg-up when Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon took over the production duties in their second album If I Was. They’ve spent much of the last few years on the road, meaning their lilting, harmony-heavy live show is drumskin-tight.
The future of Irish music is safe as houses once bands like this Bray trio are around. Mixing up folk, gospel and R&B into a heady brew, Wyvern Lingo are perfect festival fare.
A regular DJ at Mother, Jape’s Richie Egan divides his time between Dublin and Sweden, and recently released the blissful album The Chemical Sea.Musically, Jape are hitting their stride and provide seriously value for money in a gig setting.
10. LE GALAXIE
There ain’t no party like a Le Galaxie party, and Le Galaxie have more than proved their worth on the festival stage. Think synth, arms-aloft beats and more clubby hooks than you can shake a glowstick at.
You’ll notice the Prince influence right off the bat with this trio; added to a stew of electro, hip-hop and post-punk, it’s little wonder that CHVRCHES have been lauded as the new, the next and the now.
12. MOTHER DJS
If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of a Saturday night in Mother… well, what exactly have you been doing with your weekends? Cormac and Conor (yes, our Conor) have handpicked the best in the business to make sure this club night in a field is fun for all involved.
New to the Picnic this year, 3 is inviting revellers to come hang out in their custom built five-area penthouse, designed by Irish artist, Maser. Do yoga in the garden, get your creative juices flowing in The Kitchen or say ‘Cheese!’ in The Bedroom for the in-ceiling cameras. If that’s not enough, you can get the best view of your favourite acts on The Balcony, which overlooks the mainstage. Members can book their space via the 3Plus app, downloadable at Three.ie/Plus.
ELECTRIC PICNIC TAKES PLACE IN STRADBALLY, CO. LAOIS, SEPTEMBER 4 – 6.
MORE INFO ON ELECTRIC PICNIC.
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