As the weekend draws closer and Longitude 2016 returns once more to Marlay Park, we got thinking about some of the top acts that State are looking forward to catching over the course of the festival. It seems strange to think that, now, Longitude itself has grown exponentially over the years and that 2016 sees arguably its biggest programme of artists and stages yet. The Whelan’s Stage is making its return with a treasure trove of homegrown and international acts like Lucius, Saint Sister, Pleasure Beach, Daithi, We Cut Corners, Perfume Genius, and many more; a wave of new acts have been confirmed for the festival, including Ham Sandwich, Wyvern Lingo, Rusangano Family, and others joining headliners Kendrick Lamar, Major Lazer and The National; and all that’s really left for the organisers to do is include a bloody big campsite – but we’re not that fussy.
With so many acts to see, here’s our recommendations for the weekend, along with a handy playlist for your travels. See the site map below too, in case you’re into itineraries and that. Happy planning, folks.
Kendrick Lamar – 21.15-22.45; Main Stage
Kendrick seems unstoppable at the minute, and it’s well deserved. The sharp-tongued lyricist is arguably the most creative force in hip hop right now, and his grasp of the complexities and nuances of jazz have allowed his brand of social commentary to flourish in the most accessible fashion. There are no airs or graces about his crossover appeal, and that continues to allow his repertoire to grow. An essential performance to witness come Friday night.
Action Bronson – 18.45-19.45; Heineken Stage
Not shy to controversy, or of a killer track, Action Bronson is certainly one of the more unusual bookings for a festival that boats one of the most widely appealing lineups around. Love him or hate him, his divisive brand of raspy hip hop will draw a crowd. You should be there too.
Otherkin – 19.15-20.00; Whelans Stage
One of our favourite homegrown acts, Otherkin provide just the right kind of high-energy, anarchic rock to fit the festival format – anthemic choruses, bludgeoning percussion, and growling guitars are more than enough to get a crowd going. Expect ‘Yeah, I Know’ to deal some damage.
Hare Squead – 14.45-15.30; Heineken Stage
Another absolute must see is Hare Squead, who having switched up their sound as of late into a kind of Wiley-esque, EDM-tinged hip hop, are doing so with intelligence and, more imprtantly, the lyrical skill to back it up. There’s no track-by-numbers foolery going on with these guys.
We Cut Corners – 20.30-21.15; Whelans Stage
Melodic indie-pop isn’t done much better than by We Cut Corners. The Dublin two-piece make writing short, jangling hits seem easy, and it’s great to see them on the up and playing big festivals. Catch ’em while you can.
Adultrock – 17.30-18.30; Redbull Stage
Gavin Elsted’s Adultrock project is a pretty perfect combination of beats and atmospherics that make dancefloors welcoming hubs of community. His latest EP, Push and Pull, further compunds the fact that Elsted is one of the finest producers operating in Ireland today. Unmissable.
CHVRCHES – 18.15-19.15; Main Stage
CHVRCHES can’t seem to put a foot wrong. They’ve consistently impressed with a series of infectious singles and timeless LP’s, and even latest venture with Paramore’s Hayley Williams hasn’t rocked their status as cult favourites. Whether Williams will make an appearance on Friday is debatable, but be sure to catch ‘Bury It’ live.
Run The Jewels – 20.00-21.00; Main Stage
Having released one of our favourite albums of 2015, the mighty Run the Jewels are a vociferous act to behold. Given the festival atmosphere at play, it’s hard to tell whether their forthcoming new LP will get any sort of outing, but a recent collaboration with the mighty DJ Shadow should sate those angling for new material.
Diplo – 17.30-18.30; Heineken Stage
Not everybody’s cup of buckfast, but it’s undeniable that Diplo’s music (especially under his Major Lazer guise) is made for big soundsystems in big fields with lots of wide-eyed body-shakers around. Okay, we may think latest track ‘Where are U Now’ with JB is tolerable, but he’s much more than that, right?
Stormzy – 17.15-18.00; Main Stage
The renaissance surrounding Stormzy and his off-kilter grime has been pleasant to witness. A truly unique performer in a sea of imitators, Stormzy’s sets are the real deal. Miss at your peril.
Wyvern Lingo – 14.30-15.15; Main Stage
Bray trio Wyvern Lingo have continually impressed with the singles taken from their Letter to Willow EP and it’s no surprise to see them on the up. Having grown from strength to strength on bigger and bigger stages, we’re looking forward to seeing them dominate at Longtiude on Saturday.
Daithi – 20.15-21.00; Whelans Stage
Daithi’s very niche yet highly enjoyable live show is a sight to behold. With one hand firmly twiddling knobs and pushing sliders, and the other wrapped around his fiddle, this young crossover virtuoso is going to be massive. Not that he’s not making waves right now, but you get the idea. Dance music has never been so strangely traditional.
Pleasure Beach – 15.15-16.00; Whelans Stage
Belfast’s Pleasure Beach kind of came out of nowhere to fairly immediate critical acclaim and it’s understandable why. Their idiosyncratic alt-pop interspersed with shoegaze sensibilities is both commanding and kaleidoscopic. Definitely one to look out for this weekend.
Saint Sister – 16.30-17.15; Whelans Stage
‘Madrid’, ‘Blood Moon’, and more, Saint Sister have mesmerised most of us here at State since their quiet beginnings last year. Traditional, yet wholly enraptured in modern compositional flair, the duo of Gemma Doherty & Morgan MacIntyre are a concrete proposition for a compelling set.
The National – 21.00-22.30; Main Stage
What can we possibly say about The National that hasn’t been said before. A live music behemoth, these Brooklynites and seasoned pros don’t disappoint. With six full-lengths under their collective belt, and with a string of hugely influential solo projects and collaborations dotted throughout their career so far, The National are an absolute must.
Roisin Murphy – 21.15-22.30; Heineken Stage
Deliciously eccentric, never boring, and with a back catalogue so eclectic Grace Jones could only match its scope, Roisin Murphy is a national treasure. Seeing Take Her Up To Monto on the live stage can only be a good thing, we reckon.
Father John Misty – 18.00-19.00; Main Stage
Ah, the Fr. The Rt Rev. Josh Tillman. Some say he’s a cult leader, others the son of a 50s Portuguese film star and a voodoo master, but, these unfounded claims mean nothing in comparison to Tillman’s acerbic wit and supreme stage presence. A hugely gifted songwriter and debonair performer, Father John Misty’s set will be utterly necessary.
Kurt Vile – 19.45-20.45; Heineken Stage
With the Violators in tow, Kurt Vile’s exposed and ethereal style of modern Americana is head-turning stuff. Last year’s ‘b’lieve I’m goin down…’ was one of the LPs of the year, and we expect to see much more offered come the weekend.
Rusangano Family – 14.45-15.30; Heineken Stage
In Let the Dead Bury the Dead, Rusangano Family’s full-length debut, they gave us “a record that speaks with authority, empathy, passion and sense.” Live, they’re a force to be reckoned with, and having amassed a sizeable fanbase, their performance at Longitude should be nothing short of brilliance. Seriously looking forward to this one.
Courtney Barnett – 16.30-17.30; Main Stage
Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett marries a socially conscious dialogue with wit and dry humour to a lofty degree. Recently, Barnett has been unmatched in hype and though her music mightn’t exactly be the loudest or the most frenetic, seeing her perform in an outdoor forum will be quite the spectacle. Ears set to ‘perked’.
Ham Sandwich – 15.15-16.00; Main Stage
Tremendous. No other word really describes the impact that Ham Sandwich have had on the Irish indie scene of the last decade. Currently lighting up stages across the UK, the Kells outfit have new material in the pipeline, and given that we’re longtime fans of Niamh, Podge, and co., State won’t be anywhere else when they take to the stage on Sunday.