This year’s Electric Picnic kicks off in a matter of hours so, as you make your final preparations, here’s our choice of just some of the names to check out over the weekend….
Alice Boman – 6.30pm, Body & Soul Stage, Friday
Swedish pop but from the gossamer-delicate part of the spectrum, music that is mostly a multi-instrumental textural blend. All bell curves and no sharp edges, it can be either dawn or dusk depending on your mood. It should be fascinating to see what she creates in a live setting.
Blondie – 7.15pm, Main Stage, Friday
Not the tightest live experience around, Blondie have nonetheless earned the right to trot out their sublime back catalogue. Trimmed to a handy hour set, this’ll be a hit ridden way to kick off your festival.
Booka Brass Band – 1.30pm, Rankin Woods, Saturday
Finally starting to get the recognition they deserve, this most unique of Irish bands were designed for this sort of environment – as they demonstrated at their recent Nialler9 / Happenings outdoor show. The sound of pure joy.
Conor Walsh – 11pm Friday / 10pm Saturday, Body & Soul Bandstand Stage
The breathtakingly gentle piano of Walsh echoes some ebony-and-ivory contemporaries such as Nils Frahm and Dustin O’Halloran. The Mayo man’s fresh approach to the piano is a welcome addition to wonderful year of new Irish music we are having, and he’ll be playing two ever-so-intimate gigs over the weekend – on the Bandstand stage in the Body & Soul area on Friday at 11pm and Saturday at 10pm.
Two years ago, Ham Sandwich launched a guerrilla raid on the Picnic, playing three shows. In 2014 they can choose to be more selective, safe in the knowledge that they arrive with the wind in their sails following a triumphant Olympia show and their reputation as one of our best live acts secure. The third album work has to start soon but this is their moment, this is their perfect moment.
Having landed with an almighty wallop this year with their breakthrough single ‘Busy Earnin”, Jungle (pictured) were practically unavoidable for most of the summer. So with one eye on what’s left of it (the summer, not the song) the west London soul revivalists will either be the perfect accompaniment to a sunny day or warm us up while the heavens open.
There are more right angles in a Kate Boy track than in the leaving cert maths syllabus. Upbeat year mysterious, Swedish pop in every colour of dark grey and silver, dance music for people who know you can’t dance in heels and a stage show of back-lit silhouetted mastery. A perfect parcel.
London Grammar – 9.30pm, Electric Arena, Saturday
It’s been a short whirlwind ride around the world a few times in the last year for these guys, growing in stature as a live entity each time they pass us. Their simple set-up belies the multi-layered feel of a bigger band, and it’s Hannah Reid’s annunciated vocals that you’ll want to wash over you in Stradbally. A tender wave of heart-rending torch songs for the modern age.
Outkast – 10.15pm, Main Stage, Sunday
Having recently reformed and fresh from bestowing plaudits upon Kate Bush, Big Boi and his OutKast compatriot Andre 3000 bring their unique sound to Stradbally for what is surely going to be one of the gigs of the year. Their jazzy, funky and altogether unique take on hip-hop has had people shaking it like a Polaroid picture for years now and finally an Irish crowd will have the pleasure of doing it for real.
Oxjam Stage – Friday, Saturday, Sunday
In previous years, the Oxjam Stage has simply been an open mic affair but this weekend will see ourselves, Homebeat and Abner Browns take the programming reigns. See the full run down here.