by / September 8th, 2011 /

Electric Picnic 2011: James Vincent McMorrow, Best Coast, The Danger Is

James Vincent McMorrow, Crawdaddy Stage

The Crawdaddy Stage is at capacity long before James Vincent McMorrow makes his appearance – what a difference a year makes, as a man who had an opening slot on the same stage in Stradbally last year is now one of Electric Picnic’s most anticipated acts. McMorrow is a captivating performer; his voice, quite simply, stunning. There are a few unfortunate technical problems – most notably for ‘Red Dust’, which means McMorrow has to perform a stripped back version with a lone piano for accompaniment. Sound issues aside, it’s a brilliant set from start to finish – the quieter songs mesmerising, the more up-tempo ones enthralling, and culminating with the epic gradual build of formidable set closer ‘We Don’t Eat’.

Best Coast, Cosby Stage

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Whilst the raving along to Underworld is in full swing on the Main Stage, fans of laid back lo-fi garage-rock are making their way to the Cosby Stage to catch Best Coast’s first ever performance in Ireland. It’s been a long time coming for fans who fell head over heels with Bethany Cosentino & Co. upon the release of debut album Crazy For You last year. Bizarrely, the blaring of ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’ (of Grease fame) precedes their arrival on stage – but it’s soon forgotten about as the band launch into their arsenal of impossibly catchy bop-along tunes. ‘When I’m With You’, ‘Boyfriend’ and ‘Crazy For You’ all garner the huge cheers, but overall the set keeps its momentum throughout and there’s a whole lot of swooning for charismatic front-woman Cosentino – her banter with the audience between songs is endearing, in spite of the fact that she mentions cats a little more than would be considered normal. Best Coast depart Electric Picnic with a promise that they’ll be back to Ireland soon – we look forward to it already.

The Danger Is, Cosby Stage

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The wealth of Irish talent on this year’s Electric Picnic bill is outstanding – it’s always great to see our home-grown acts holding their own on a programme jammed full of international draws. Unfortunatly, it also means that the Irish acts tend to occupy stage opening slots – and as such, you have to be up and out of the campsite early to catch The Danger Is on Sunday. The heavy shower which preceded the set worked in her favour, as many revellers veered towards the Cosby Stage seeking shelter – and in the process finding one of Ireland’s most promising acts belting out her collection of quality pop-rock tunes. With such instantly likeable and catchy songs as ‘All For Gold’ and ‘Rub Who You Love’, a quirky and charismatic on-stage presence, and that uniquely brilliant voice – Niamh Farrell definitely won over a few new fans in Stradbally this weekend.

See Sunday’s full gallery of photos by Damien McGlynn here.