Sunday gets off to a cracking start with Le Boom over on the Bulmers Live Stage. The duo have been steadily building momentum over the past year or so and the confidence with which they command the stage is testament to a summer spent honing their craft on the festival circuit. ‘What We Do’, their sole release so far, draws the biggest cheers and here’s hoping we are treated to some new material sooner rather than later.
Over on the Warehouse Stage, Mount Kimbie are just getting started. Fresh off the release of their third album Love What Survives, the duo deliver a set that mixes their early post-dubstep head nodders from Crooks and Lovers with their more expansive later day tracks. The group have evolved greatly during the gap between these two records and their live shows reflects this with new tracks ‘Blue Train Lines’ and ‘Delta’ getting big reactions before reaching a crescendo with ‘Made to Stray’.
Now on its third edition, the festival organisers have certainly ironed out some of the kinks and the event feels less oppressively packed than previous years. The limited capacity of some of the stages means that a ‘one in, one out’ policy must be operated, but there are less of the unwieldy queues that had come to characterise previous editions of the festival.
Dublin native Bonzai draws a decent crowd at the Main Stage reflecting her burgeoning popularity. Backed by a four piece band, her genre bending mix of r’n’b, soul and electronica proves a hit with many of young attendees. Her Mura Masa collaboration ‘What If I Go?’ sparks excitement as soon as its dusty boom bap drums hit, but it’s her own ‘Where R U Now?’ that proves the biggest hit with its chopped up vocal sample sparking a stage invasion.
The Red Bull Academy boasts an impressive line-up but the temperature inside and seemingly strict tops off at the door policy mean it’s difficult to last too long within its balmy confines. Back on the Main Stage, Jungle are cooking up a storm. The London collective have been carving out a name for themselves as festival favourites and ‘Busy Earning’ in particular proves itself to be a juggernaut live. In the midst of a festival with such a focus on electronic music, Jungle’s big band soul is a welcome relief.
When the Metropolis line-up was initially announced back in June, there was much excitement regarding the much hyped appearance of nineties r’n’b group TLC. It had appeared that the festival had pulled off a genuine coup in securing Chilli and T-Boz, but there was to be no fond trip down memory lane as the now two-piece were pulled from the programme soon after. Filling these shoes was never going to be easy and Metropolis looked to call on perennial festival regular Todd Terje to work his magic. The Scandavian producer does his best, but there is still a sense of anti-climax considering he has been such an ever present at recent Irish festivals. His secret weapon, the ubiquitous ‘Inspector Norse’ leads the crowd into a mass shout along with its synthy bounce but it doesn’t quite stack up to the high bar the festival has previously set for itself.
All in all, Metropolis continues to prove itself to be an excellent addition to the Irish festival scene, offering one last hurrah before the grey evenings of winter close in. Here’s hoping it continues its growth and improvements again next year.
Metropolis 2017 photographed for State by Kieran Frost