State have been regulars at Electric Picnic since the beginning, and while we always hold out hope for the marquee acts, it’s often in far-flung corners of the festival that you’ll find the most interesting spectacles. As is usually the case too, the expansion of the site has allowed for a more jam-packed schedule of homegrown talent and international hype-recipients that seems to come ever closer to bursting year on year. With that in mind, and with a few of the big names included for good measure, here’s our top staff picks for the must-see acts this coming weekend at Stradbally. We’ve included as many of the stage times as possible for you to begin planning your festival stay, so read on through three pages of good, old-fashioned itinerary info.
As always, be safe, have a great time, and make sure to stop by the Oxjam tent on Sunday to say hello.
ABC – Friday, Main Stage; 18.15 – 19.00
Despite the fact that they’ve continued as a going concern, we all know what we want to hear from Martin Fry and whoever he brings with him. Thankfully those glorious ’80s singles are in safe hands and should provide a suitably feelgood moment.
Bananarama – Saturday, Electric Ireland; TBC
For some of us, the name Bananarama means the smart, left of centre pop music of their first two albums. However, we suspect that instead they’ll focus on the awful Stock Aiken Waterman years, although we live in hope.
Broken Social Scene – Friday, Electric Arena; 19.30 – 20.30
Back after a five year break, BSS may not be one of the biggest names on this year’s bill but are certainly one the ones we’re most looking forward to – especially as memories of their epic 2010 Oxegen show come flooding back.
Emma Lou & The Agenda – Friday, Trailer Park; 20.00 & Sunday, Salty Dog; 15.00
A new name on the circuit this year, Emma Lou’s classic sounding soul music is already garnering great interest and deservedly so.
Farah Elle – Sunday, Oxjam Tent; 19.00
A relatively new phenomenon, Farah Elle has people talking for a reason. The young singer is talented beyond her years, and given she’ll be at the Oxjam stage, you’ll be able to catch her before she goes astronomical. A must-see.
Girls Names – Saturday, Body & Soul Main; 00.30 – 01.15
Belfast post-punk art-rockers Girls Names are a force to be reckoned with on stage. Having said that, we’re not quite sure how they’ll translate in the festival setting, but if the reports from their recent European outdoor appearances are anything to go by, they’ll be as fierce as they are in darkened halls. Crank the reverb, lads.
Hare Squead – Saturday, Little Big Tent; 16.30 – 17.15
Hitting the festivals with a major label deal behind them, if no longer with their great live band, Hare Squead are reaping the rewards of a higher profile by turning in some memorable performances this summer. Join them for one last hurrah.
Hercules & Love Affair – Friday, Casa Bacardi; 20:00 – 22:00
Given the versatile approach of Hercules & Love Affair to their lineup, and despite the fact that they make incredibly bop-worthy disco and electronica, it’s anybody’s guess as to how their performance will pan out. But we can say this for sure, if they bring even half of the bangers they’ve put out since 08, there won’t be much to worry about.
Hilary Woods – Saturday, Body & Soul Main; 15.00 – 15.30
She’s come a long way since a tentative first live show at Castlepalooza as The River Cry in 2013 has Hilary Woods. Now operating under her own name, the increased confidence is fully evidant in her music.
Holly Macave – Friday, Other Voices; 19:00 – 19.40
Hailing from Yorkshire but with a voice and musical outlook straight out of Nashville, Macave draws on the dark side of country music to create an intimate sound that will suit this stage in the woods perfectly.
Kano – Sunday, Cosby Tent; 19.00 – 19.45
Not content with delivering one of the albums of the year, Kano has also found a way to bring his tales of the inner city to life on stage. A cut above your average hip-hop show.
Lana Del Rey – Sunday, Main Stage; 22.45 – 00.00
With the underwhelmimg Honeymoon album behind her, Del Rey has the opportunity to show the artist behind the facade and remind us why she can matter more than most. It could go either way.
LCD Soundsystem – Saturday, Main Stage; 00.05 – 01.45
When it was revealed that LCD Soundsystem were making their return after they were seemingly gone for good, the hype machine nearly went into overdrive. Of course, it’s with good reason that fans rejoiced, as James Murphy and co. have been behind some of the most forward-thinking, infectious dancefloor jams conceived in the 21st Century. See them on the main sage before they do a disappearing act for good.
Le Galaxie – Saturday, Other Voices; 21:45 – 22.45
It wouldn’t be EP without Le Galaxie and this year they’ve plumped for the small but perfectly formed Other Voices tent. You know the rest.
Mr Scruff – Saturday, Red Bull Tropical Garden
Known for his mammoth sets, Andy Carthy has been a festival favourite since he started making music under the Mr Sruff name many moons ago. Always one to bring a mixed record bag, you can expect a heady blend of party tunes, be it reggae, trip hop, house, jazz and beyond.
New Order – Sunday, Main Stage; 20.45 – 22.00
The New Order live show has famously been a little erratic but, when they hit their stride, they’re pretty untouchable. Happy to give the people what they want, there’ll be plenty here to see you through the final night.
Rusangano Family – Friday, Other Voices; 23:00 – 00.00
We’ve kept a close eye on the rise of Rusangano Family and it’s been fantastic to see them go from strength to strength. Latest album Let The Dead Bury The Dead was a masterpiece, and with a good few festival slots under their collective belt now, the lads shouldn’t prove a let down by any means.
The 1975 – Friday, Main Stage; 21.00 – 22.00
Dismissed by some as modern indie’s Simply Red, The 1975 might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but to overlook their melody-driven blend of alt-pop would be an error. In a festival setting, one can only imagine the soaring choruses and rhytmic, hook-laden singles making for a transcendental pop experience.
Thumper – Friday, Trailer Park; 20.00
One of our highlights of the recent Knockanstockan festival, Thumper make a wonderful racket that might be slightly at odds with the Trailer Park surroundings. Don’t let that put you off though, they’re unmissable.
Wolff – Friday, Oxjam; 00.00
What happens when Johnny Stewart swapped his acoustic guitar for an electric, Wolff wear black and play loud – which is sometimes all you need in life.
Head on over to the next page for those all important stage times…