Interpol, Main Stage
They have been on the circuit for an age now and on their third guitarist in two years but as darkness fell the New York boys dug into the bag and with pulled out a bombastic set. Paul Banks still keeps his presence quite plain and simple, letting the show itself add the personality and with the help of darkness, superb lighting which was as tight as the band themselves, and a Friday night crowd very eager to start the party Interpol just shone. Their back catalogue is now festival sing-along perfection and Saturday morning’s loss of voice can be traced back to ‘Not Even Jail’ for one. An ideal main-stage closer to day one.
The Rapture, Electric Arena
The last time The Rapture showed up at the Electric Picnic the were the Next Big Thing™ and Paul McGuinness and Karen O stood side-stage admiring the rammed tent partying to the most dancable and partyable of their boys-with-guitars sound. With the third album just out and though the star has waned there are still a sizable bunch of punters out to see them. The newer tracks seem devoid of the punchy enthusiasm of the past and it all seems a bit going-through-the-motions until the big guns from the past come out. The change in crowd participation is seismic when ‘House Of Jealous Lovers’ and its ilk get played, and the band seem more energised by the older stuff (and possibly the crowd’s response) too.
Cry Before Dawn, Crawdaddy Stage
The Wexford boys are loving every moment of their return and they play and look like it might end at any minute. There’s a lot of people circling their 40th birthday present, politely listening, reminiscing and infrequently punching the air to ‘Witness For The World’, ‘Gone Forever’ and every tune you’d expect. As a band that were courted internationally as The Next U2 they had a steep, brief rise in the early ’90s and then a just as brief fall but it’s a fuzzy pleasure to see them now relaxed and able to enjoy being on the bill this year as much as anyone. We get no Arcade Fire covers, just note-perfect nostalgic meat-and-veg Irish rock from a certain seminal time in the musical lives of the mainly balding lads gathered this afternoon.