“Going to Picnic?”
There are a few things that really irritate me beyond believe. One of the annoyances at the top of my list is being asked in March whether or not I plan to polish off my wellies (that I don’t own) and head down to Electric Picnic. Shockingly, I’ve never been to the festival. Luckily, I don’t suffer from an incurable case of Fear Of Missing Out. Festivals are really strange, but equally wonderful, events. I have some amazing memories from attending a three day music extravaganza such as sampling Alligator on a stick at Bonnaroo and making waterproof dresses out of bin bags at Oxegen way back when Kings of Leon were Kings of the Irish Festival scene. With the good however there comes a bad, like witnessing more flesh than I wanted to at Forbidden Fruit.
I won’t be at Electric Picnic this year, not attending has become a personal tradition, but I will take a moment to listen to the bands that will be down at the country’s beloved arts and music festival while I go about my weekend and I’ll scroll through social media and be happy to know that All My Friends (there’s an LCD Soundsystem reference for you) are having a stupendous amount of filtered fun in the Stradbally sun.
Whitney – ‘No Woman’ (Secretly Canadian)
Whitney are the rebound band of Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich after the break-up of their band, Smith Westerns, and they have claimed the unofficial title of breakthrough indie band of 2016 that will be on everyone’s lips at and in the aftermath of Electric Picnic. They released their debut, Light Upon the Lake, which is a continuous flow of sweet guitar melodies and androgynous vocals at the start of the summer given festival goers ample time to learn the lyrics and rifts to sing along with the Chicago based band. The video for ‘No Woman’, couldn’t capture everyone’s projected image of the fun and antics to be enjoyed during the festival such as smashing cans of beer, a singalong with your pals, a campfire (despite the safety posters), oversized denim shirts, and candy floss coloured smoke.
Whitney will play in the Cosby Tent on Saturday
Broken Social Scene – ‘Sweetest Kill’ (City Slang)
Broken Social Scene have been the greatest temptation to me for Electric Picnic 2016. I’ve never seen them live and I have been desperate to see them perform their wonderfully dramatic, chaotic and layered songs since I became a fan of their when they released the seminal self titled album in 2005 which gave us ‘7/4 (Shoreline)’ and ‘Fire Eye’d Boy’, two of the most energetic songs of their catalogue. I shan’t be seeing them over the weekend which makes me very sad, very sad indeed. Take a moment, dear reader, to think of me if they play ‘Sweetest Kill’ for it has been my most played and treasured song of 2016.
Broken Social Scene will play in the Electric Arena on Friday
Bat For Lashes – ‘What’s A Girl To Do?’ (The Echo Label Limited)
This song and video is ten years old this year, and yet Natasha Khan’s styling is just as recognisable at festivals today as it was riding on her bicycle in the woods with her costumed woodland pals a decade ago. Bat For Lashes recently received a Mercury Prize nomination for The Bride, a concept album about a bride who’s husband-to-be is tragically killed before he makes it to the alter, and Khan has adopted the character of a bride for her live shows to bring the story to life for fans. I’d be really interested to see their set at the festival especially as Khan has had a tendency to include a cover of The Carpenters’ ‘We’ve Only Just Begun.’ I expect that Bat For Lashes will deliver a theatrical and memorable performance that will certainly be a highlight of the weekend’s festivities.
Bat For Lashes will play in the Electric Arena on Sunday
Animal Collective – ‘Bluish’ (Domino)
There are few songs that sound as fresh and stir my emotions quite like ‘Bluish.’ In the moments when I feel unimaginative about choosing something to listen to I tend to go straight to Merriweather Post Pavilion because it is experimental but completely manageable and exhilarating. I have heard very mixed reviews and stories about Animal Collective’s live shows, particularly at festivals, but the optimism in me would flock swiftly to see Panda Bear softly sing about getting “lost in your curls.” I’m blu(i)shing at the very thought.
Animal Collective will play in Rankin’s Wood on Sunday
Super Furry Animals – ‘Juxtaposed With U’ (SME Subsidiary BV)
From one pack of animals to another, Super Furry Animals will most likely be one of the most fun bands to see perform at the festival whether it’ll be your first or fifth time to see them live. Again, like ‘Bluish’, I have always had a soft spot for this song because of the crass honesty in the lyrics and the rhythmically possessive quality to the music. Prepare to run ring around the moon when the introduction to ‘Juxtaposed With U’ is introduced to the Stradbally dwelling crowd.
Super Furry Animas will play the Electric Arena on Friday
LCD Soundsystem – ‘Someone Great’ (Parlophone)
I feel there are no words necessary to entice or remind you to that LCD Soundsystem are not to be missed over the weekend. Essentially, Electric Picnic 2016 is kind of like Slane and James Murphy is the headline act and all of the other bands and artists playing over the three days are the support acts.
LCD Soundsystem will play on the Main Stage on Saturday
Wild Beasts – ‘Bed of Nails’ (Domino)
“I would lie anywhere with you.”
“I want my lips to blister when we kiss.”
“Our love, Frankenstein in nature and design.”
There you go, Hayden Thorpe the lustful lothario lyricist of Wild Beasts has provided you with all the one liners you’ll need to woo over the weekend. If you should be successful with any of these lines then you’d simply have to show your gratitude by going to see the quartet perform songs from their incredibly varied discography, and the exceptional new album, Boy King if you want to be the big cat of Electric Picnic.
Wild Beasts will play the Electric Arena on Sunday
Local Natives – ‘Who Knows Who Cares’ (Infectious Music)
A food fight amongst friends in a field that will end in you all joyfully dancing around a campfire (again, safety hazard) in your underwear? Pffft… That would never happen, especially when you’ve been forced to spend approximately €10 on a tray of overly salted chips for soakage and you’re feeling as bloated and swollen as Noel Gallagher’s ego. However, this unrealistic representation of merrymaking in the outdoors does not reflect on Local Natives as a live band. I remember seeing them live in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre when I was going through a seriously hardcore phase with the band and I still vividly recall how much I loved seeing them perform. I would highly recommend checking out their set over the weekend.
Local Natives will play on the Main Stage on Sunday
Dr. Dog – ‘The Truth’ (Anti, Inc)
If you overdo it ever so slightly on Friday and you require a band that you can enjoy that won’t demand a lot of you then I highly recommend a visit to Dr. Dog, the relaxed psychedelic quintet from Pennsylvania. I happened upon ‘The Truth’, by accident through a random playlist last year and instantly fell in love with it, and revisit it sporadically. This is will one of those bands that you can float in and out of and be assured to never be disappointed in what you hear.
Dr. Dog will play in the Other Voices tent on Saturday