With the good weather looking set to stay with us through the weekend, Longitude couldn’t have asked for a better way to make its debut. Muscling in on an already crowded market, it remains to be seen whether it can knock the Electric Picnic off its perch (although the lack of camping might lose it points with some). As debut line-ups go, however, Marlay Park has got plenty to offer. Here’s our stand-out ten:
Drenge – Sunday 6.30pm, Woodlands Stage
Given a surreal publicity boost via a mention in Labour MP Tom Watson’s resignation letter, UK duo Drenge are still probably an unfamiliar name around these parts. Touting a garage rock sound on guitar and drums, they’re a Sheffield band who just happen to come from the Peak District and win our vote purely for having a song called this…
Frightened Rabbit – Sunday 3.15pm, Main Stage
Quite why FR are not higher up the Longitude bill is a mystery, their latest album yet more proof of a band continuing to push forward. While a headline slot under a tented roof would surely have been preferable, a sunny Sunday afternoon still might suit them nicely.
Funeral Suits – Saturday 3pm, Woodlands Stage
It was at the recent Westport Festival that we made our re-acquaintance with Funeral Suits, catching them for the first time in a long while. The transformation was startling, no doubt bolstered by the positive reaction to their long time coming debut album. Making up for lost time possibly, this is noise rock par excellence.
Jessie Ware – Friday 8pm, Heineken Live Project Stage
Her album left us drifting dangerously close to the middle of the road but we’ll certainly make sure we’re in the region of the Heineken tent come Friday evening. Ware is a live performer who balances cool with a real human warmth and a stunning voice, we’re just hoping she can transfer it to the studio next time around.
Kraftwerk – Main Stage 9.15pm, Sunday
Of all the headliners playing Irish festivals over the summer, this is probably the biggest coup. Finding a new way to present four middle aged blokes standing still behind keyboards via the medium of 3D, Kraftwerk have managed to extend their influence across another generation. State was very impressed by their show at Tate Modern earlier in the year so make sure you don’t lose your funny specs.
Mmoths – Friday 5.30pm, Heineken Live Project Stage
Where once the Mmoths live experience was a little on the dull side to say the least, the addition of live drums and guitar plus Brendan Canty’s visuals have upped his game dramatically. The experience of supporting the XX hasn’t done any harm either. One of the highlights of Body & Soul, expect more of the same on day one.
Soak – Friday 2.30pm, Woodlands Stage
Having had a good run of it this year, the time has perhaps come for Bridie Monds-Watson to face some stiffer challenges. The hushed surroundings of Other Voices is one thing but holding a festival audience early on the first day is another. Such is the potent combination of her songwriting and easy going charm that we predict few problems.
Stealing Sheep – Friday 4.15pm, Woodlands Stage
An acoustic trio from Liverpool with hints of, what else, psychedelia, Stealing Sheep come across like a more messed up version of The Staves. We’re hoping they add a bit of their brass alter ego, The Harlequin Dynamite Marching Band.
Vampire Weekend – Main Stage 9.15pm, Saturday
State has fond festival memories of Vampire Weekend from an Oxegen some years back and here are again, having performed the tricky task of not only surviving extreme early hype but also getting better with each record. There’s a sense that this is a band who are in it for the long haul, although don’t let that convince you to give them a miss on Saturday. It could just be one of those nights.
Young Wonder – Saturday 4.15pm, Heineken Live Project Stage
With every step they take, so grows the feeling that Young Wonder are on their way to an incredible career. For any band to have so many elements in place at this stage is rare and the addition of guitarist has given them a musical balance live. Throw in the studio skill of Ian Ring and Rachel Koeman’s startling vocal presence and it’s not hard to see why they’re making so many friends.
Weekend tickets (Fri, Sat, Sun) are priced €149.50 inclusive of booking fee
Day tickets are priced €54.50 inclusive of booking fee
Children 4 and under accompanied by a parent may attend free