It only feels like a couple of months since we were at Punchestown for Oxegen and with the July rain threatening to turn the green to a brown hue we feel right at home. It also doesn’t feel that long since we first saw CASHIER NO.9. It’s actually only been four months but the band are showing promise on top of the initial promise they showed upstairs in Whelans at that show in February. The Belfast band led by Daniel Todd have that which is most important – tunes. Proper songs with no generic bits. In ‘Goodbye Friend’ they have a wigout worthy of a Super Furry Animals set.
In the same IMRO New Sounds Stage later on that evening, Deansgrange twins Louise and Ellie McNamara aka HEATHERS and their exuberant crowd are injecting the tent with some youthful enthusiasm. Their songs may be brittle for a festival and the cavernous sound does little for their two voices, a guitar and nothing else aesthetic but we know talent when we see it. Here Not There is their superb debut but State would certainly like to see how they would cope with more instrumentation. Having produced the superior ‘Comets’ with Super Extra Bonus Party on these terms already, we know they have the chops. Heathers are a band we will continue to watch over the next year..
Over at the Bacardi B-Live tent, BEARDYMAN is doing for beatboxing what Grandmaster Flash did for hip-hop. The acclaimed beatboxer is pioneering a new art of performance where beatbox loops, A Kaos pad and decks combine into one exhilarating speed-techno/pop mashup. Over the course of fifteen minutes he lays down the bassline of ‘Seven Nation Army’ provoking a singalong hands in the air – ‘Der Der Der Der Der Der Derrrr’, quickly followed by a nod to today’s headliners Blur with a frenzied loop-assisted version of ‘Song 2’ with ‘Blue Monday’ and ‘I Feel Love’ given the proper festival treatment. That man’s got talent.
Though the surprise factor that made PENDULUM’s set last year such a riotous occasion has long since past, no one does a heavy metal riffage/drum and bass hybrid better than this lot. Someone remarks that what this Aussie lot have done is take the best of the Prodigy’s beats (sure they do cover ‘Voodoo People’) and stretch it out into a 90 minute set but that’s the cynical version. From a punter’s point of view, Pendulum are a non-stop party machine where drum and bass breaks collide with shredding guitars with at least 160 beats per minute. Pendulum have progressed from their DJ days to the point now where they are playing a their DJ set but live such is the nature of their booming set tonight. The outdoor stage, the strobe lights, the non-stop pounding of low-end, a sometimes annoying but necessary hypeman MC – drum and bass has reached a new plateau and in the mariachi-assisted ‘Propane Nightmares‘ also a new anthem for a younger generation.