Electric Picnic Day 3

All the news, reviews and updates from the Picnic

Sorcha Pollak, Hugh Linehan Sat, Aug 30
LIVE: Electric Picnic Day 3

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  • This event has now ended
  • 12:12
    Hello and welcome to the third day of the Irish Times Electric Picnic liveblog - a sort of extreme sports version of journalism brought to you by Sorcha Pollak and me, Hugh Linehan.
  • 12:13
  • 12:15
    You can tweet me @hlinehan or mail to hlinehan@irishtimes.com if you have anything to get off your chest. We'll be looking back at the late night events from Saturday night (le Freak, c'est Chic) and forward to what lies in store on this beautifula last day of summer.
  • 12:25

    James Vincent McMorrow –Electric Arena - 4 Stars

    There aren’t many white singers in the pop tradition who have mastered the falsetto. There’s Barry Gibb, Jimmy Sommerville, Antony Hegarty and, now, James Vincent McMorrow. At the Electric Arena he moves effortlessly from a pleasant tenor to this most otherworldly of registers and stays up there for much of the gig. Luckily he’s grounded by an adaptable three piece band capable of lush harmonies and, at times, a rousing, seven piece brass-section. Depending on the arrangements McMorrow can evoke an earnest and church folk singer, a plausibly passionate power balladeer, or, when a bit of a swagger enters the rhythm section, an inventive soul divo. The audience sing along (particularly on his minimalist version of Higher Love) and sure why wouldn’t they? It’s rousing stuff. McMorrow, moved, takes a photo from the stage. “I never do this,” he says. He might get used to the adulation.

    In Three Words: True and Falsetto
    Like this? See: Sinead O'Connor, Main Stage


    - Patrick Freyne

  • 12:29
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  • 12:40


    Carlsberg is a “morning beer”: In my campsite a man in a long coat discusses the best beers to drink in the morning surrounded by awed acolytes. “Where’d you get the coat?” asks one of them. “I found it in a skip,” he says proudly.
    Don’t do blackface for a laugh: Robbie, here on his stag party, spent most of the first day dressed in “Moorish attire”. “It wasn’t very politically correct,” admits his friend Paul. “He’s washed his face twice since. Some people don’t like blackface.”
    Put children in a wheelbarrow. Being driven around in a wheelbarrow wearing ear-protectors seems to be the new “having a beard” Why a wheelbarrow? I ask. “It’s multifunctional,” says John, who is wise. “You can’t put all your shit in your pram, but you can put a baby in a wheelbarrow”
    Brand your children: Ryan Eli Powell is eight and has mobile phone numbers scrawled along his arms in marker. “Just in case he gets lost,” explains his mother Francesca.
    Grown-ups are mad: “What have you learned about adults?” I ask Ryan. He twirls his finger around in his circle beside his head. “One of them sat on me.”
    Electric Picnic is a fun prison: “They lock you into a field for three days and then they let you out at the end,” says Leabhras Gorman, who is trying to choose between Bonnie Tyler and London Grammar.
    Music transcends words. At Casa Bacardi an Indian chief is blowing a whistle. “Could I talk to you for a moment?” I ask. He prefers the universal language of whistling in my face.
    It’s hard to give a grown man a wedgie. Ross and Ultan wrestle near the comedy tent. Ross has blood on his teeth. “They’re in their thirties,” says their friend John. “They’re very close.” I leave when Ultan manages to rip Ross’s underpants.
    You can make your own wristbands: Paudie shows me the Electric Picnic wrist band he made himself (it looks like he made it himself) and with which he managed to fool security. “You must have a very trustworthy face,” I observe. “Or a very large ****,” he says, pleasantly.
    Hozier is extremely popular, but could be more so: “If I was a record executive I’d make him cut that pony tail off right now,” says John, who was previously very wise on the wheelbarrow/infant issue.
    Music festivals are a symbol of arrested development. At the Arts Council tent, the very entertaining Will Self complains about his generation’s obsession with popular music. “The youth of today are crushed under a big saggy denim middle-aged arse,” he says.
    Novels may not be the future: “This is a really cool English novelist and he’s really famous,” says a young man who has snuck into the Arts Council tent, pointing out Will Self to a female friend. She looks impressed. They leave without listening to a word Will Self has said.

  • 12:43
  • 12:47
    I'd just like to point out per that last, very ageist tweet that neither Jim Carroll nor I were at Croke Park for Simple Minds in 1986. However, we both saw them in the Phoenix Park in 1983.
  • 12:49
  • 12:51
  • 12:54
    A special video treat for Una Mullally.
  • 12:58


    Main Stage

    5 stars

    There’s something resoundingly old-fashioned about Portishead. They refuse to play the game – three albums in 20 years is not the usual stuff of the pop business – but yet they have the heft to warrant these positions at the sharp end of a festival bill.

    What they also have is a sound which has never gone out of fashion. As the witching hour approaches, their dramatic, emotional sounds of black and blue hues bewitch and entrance. Tracks from their debut album “Dummy”, 20 years old this week, still sound remarkably fresh and agile, while “Machine Gun” from their most recent album “Third” packs one hell of a punch, all grating noise and great blasts of menace.

    At the heart of this carefully orchestrated maelstorm is Beth Gibbons, the woman singing the torch songs at the deserted bar at the end of the world. Inbetween the snap and the hiss, the cackle and crackle, of the music, Gibbons turns sighs and laments into grace notes of magnificent, mighty import. Truly a band for all times.

    - Jim Carroll

  • 13:10
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  • 13:37
    The Irish Times editorial team is considering nominations for Best Toilet of the festival. We have a clear frontrunner (you don't want to see the picture for the Worst Toilet competition).
    The Irish Times editorial team is considering nominations for Best Toilet of the festival. We have a clear frontrunner (you don't want to see the picture for the Worst Toilet competition).
  • 14:09
    Among the highlights this afternoon are The Wailers, Sinead O'Connor and Simple Minds on the Main Stage, Ham Sandwich, Laura Mvula and The 1975 in the Electric Arena.and a pretty damn fine line-up of Jenny Lewis, Stephen Malkmus and Neneh Cherry in Rankins Wood. Choices, choices....
  • 14:12
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  • 14:38
    And here's a blast of the aforementioned Jenny Lewis
  • 14:44
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  • 14:50
    The Wailers are on stage... well, the Wailers 2.0, given that there are no members of the original lineup remaining. In any case, 'Stir It Up' a nice feelgood tune on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
  • 15:04

    Here are our critics' picks for the rest of the day.

    Rankins Wood, 6.45pm
    Don’t tell us we didn’t warn you, Jungle are one of the slickest live acts around. Their debut album has a slow-burning momentum, but live, they outdo expectations with perfectly smooth jams such as one of the tunes of the year, Busy Earning.
    Jim Carroll
    Electric Arena, 7pm
    Last time Annie hit Stradbally, she had David Byrne in tow for one of the best sets the Picnic has ever seen. Be there to bear digital witness to a brilliantly cool, clever and enigmatic performer who lights up the stage with her awesome and complex tunes.
    Jim Carroll
    Main Stage, 7pm
    Allen is a flawlessly fun performer, one of those acts that no matter how indifferent you might be to her music, you can’t help humming along to her catalogue of hits. Will she bring her giant baby bottle stage set with her?
    Jim Carroll
    Earthship Stage, Body & Soul, 4.30pm
    Maria is on the up. Check out her atmospheric downtempo tracks that have a moody, eerie depth, and brag about seeing her on a small stage as her reputation gets bigger.
    Una Mullally
    Electric Arena, 4.15pm
    The former teacher’s debut album Sing to the Moon was one joyous package of songs. Here’s someone with the voice, songs and gumption to cover all musical bases, from soul to pop to jazz and back again. Prepare to be wowed by her superb way with classical chants, gospel and jazzy inflections.
    Una Mullally
    Other Voices, 5.20pm
    Chances are this will be your first encounter with the Ethiopian-born, Finnish-raised Wagner but we think she’s going to be one of the stars of Sunday. Her latest album When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day is full of stark, striking, strangely beguiling folk blues.
    Una Mullally
    Word Stage, 3.45pm
    The young activist-poet Malcolm London has flown in from Chicago, via Ferguson, Missouri. Lyrical, and passionate, he’ll stir rage and love. Hopefully he’ll recite some of his poetry on kids’ experience of the Chicago education system where “oceans of adolescence” come to school “but never learn to swim”.
    Kitty Holland
    Theatre Tent, Mindfield 3pm
    Competing with music at Electric Picnic is a tricky proposition. This break-up-inreverse story from The Cup Theatre comes with its own live soundtrack, where two charismatic leads, Lennon and Nora, sing from the bitter end of love through to its origins, in harmony and discord.
    Peter Crawley
    Theatre Tent, Mindfield 4pm
    That pretty petite girl in the tent next to you? With a smile as intense as a grimace? Almost certainly a psychopath. Here is Genevieve Hulme-Beaman’s multi-award winning solo show, an anatomy of a style-conscious Irish farm girl and nutjob.
    Peter Crawley

    The mangle of Americana in Trailer Park is hit and miss but it has developed a relaxed amphitheatre with rollicking tunes and eccentric caravans: check out Science Gallery’s Make Shop and the wine (and pun) connoisseur, Car-au-vin.

    Peter Crawley

  • 15:07
  • 15:22
  • 15:27

    Le Galaxie DJs Present Laser Disco, Rankins Wood,

    The bass thump rumbles far beyond Rankins Wood, reverberating outwards
    in an impressive blast radius. Light surges out in flares and pulses.
    Inside the tent, it's heaving, the crowd stomping through endlessly
    rising oscillations and deeply unlikely musical pairings. Rhythm is a
    Dancer? Well, if you say so, Le Galaxie. To those more accustomed to
    the Dublin combo's live set, a cowbell-heavy conspiracy of sheeny
    synth and electronic dance music, this DJ appointment reflects
    something more selfless, a combination of good taste and fond
    anticipation. Le Galaxie are not out to dominate the night but to
    initiate it; to get it underway. They giddily erase the guitars from
    Beastie Boys' Sabotage and lay down a sky-ripping synth instead. They
    match the reliable party kindling of Kolsch's Der Alte with a live
    rendition of N-Trance's Set You Free (try it at home!) and then they
    urgently instruct us to see Chic: "You have three minutes." Great set,
    and an even better set up.

    - Peter Crawley

  • 15:32
  • 15:49
    Sorcha Pollak here taking over blog duty till this evening. Keep sending in your pics and stories of the final day at Electric Picnic 2014 to @sorchapollak and spollak@irishtimes.com.  
  • 15:54
  • 15:55
  • 16:05

    With only a few more hours of picnic fun to go, here's a reminder of the acts to catch before the day is up.

    Main Stage
    15.50 Sinead O'Connor
    17.25 Simple Minds
    19.00 Lily Allen
    20.30 Beck
    22.15 Outkast

    Electric Arena
    16.15 Laura Mvula
    17.30 The 1975
    19.00 St Vincent
    20.30 Hercules & Love Affair
    22.30 Mogwai

    Rankin's Wood Stage
    16.15 Stephen Malkmus
    17.30 Neneh Cherry
    18.45 Jungle
    20.00 Flume
    21.30 Kelis
    23.00 The Minutes

    Cosby Stage
    16.30 Unkown Mortal Orchestra
    17.45 Drenge
    19.00 Wolf Alice
    20.15 Asgeir
    21.30 The Horrors
    23.00 Slowdive

    Little Big Tent
    16.45 Glass Animals
    18.00 Vaults
    19.15 Sampha
    20.30 Duke Dumont
    21.45 Rustie
    23.00 Shit Robert

    Body & Soul Main Stage
    16.15 Join Me In The Pines
    17.00 Jon Gomm
    18.00 Dermot Byrne, Floriane Blancke & Brendan O'Regan
    19.15 I Have A Tribe
    20.15 Olof Arnalds
    21.30 Tommy KD
    22.30 Glass Animals
    00.00 Perfume Genius
    01.45 Francois and the Atlas Mountains
    03.15 Special Guests

  • 16:08

    Let's not forget the whole range of acitivties going on in the Mindfield area from literary debates, to irish language laughs and theatrical performances.  

    At 4pm you can catch Genevieve Hulm'Beaman's multi-award winning solo show Pondling, "an anatomy of a style-conscious Irish farm girl and nutjob", at the theatre tent.  

  • 16:09
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  • 16:45

    Sohn, Little Big Tent, Four Stars

    From a distance, he looks like a mother superior, deep in mourning; or  perhaps a nomadic Tuareg who's recently picked up a broody new outfit  in Shoreditch.

    Whatever the case, shrouded in a black cowl, the  electronic miserabilist Christopher Taylor makes for a lonely,
    introverted figure: even his two accomplices sit far apart, separated  on an archipelago of risers. But, brooding as his deep pulse  electronic laments are, it's nothing like a dirge. There is plenty of  fight in his minor key reflections.

    "I see you Batman," he tells a  crime-fighting punter halfway through a set. "Let's get this tent  moving." The fantastically padding beat and squelched synth of  Artifice kick in, followed by the arrestingly phased keys and click  clack percussion of Lights and then the lush, languid pulse of  Lessons. Both of them, at base, are beautifully bruised ballads and  when Taylor leaves us with the fluttering Say Something, you recognise  the value of contemplative souls staying wrapped up tight.

    In Three Words: Back to black.

    - Peter Crawley

  • 16:49
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  • 16:58
    Here's Jim Carroll's review of Laura Mvulawho played at the Electric Arena this afternoon.  

    3 stars

    So, who has the best voice at Electric Picnic? There are many contenders everywhere you turn and that’s before we come to the various amateur karaoke efforts around the various stages and the campsites.

    For our money, though, Laura Mvula gets the nod. Those who appreciate the sweeping juxtaposition between soul, jazz, gospel, pop and the blues will already have sought out her and her 2013 album “Sing to the Moon”. Here’s a singer with a magnificent voice who knows when to ramp up and turn down.

    Live, she’s got the musical poise to transform that material spot on. Her band, including her sister and brother, can add either subtlety or heft to her songs when the occasion demands it. There are neat flashes of Minnie Ripperton and Rotary Connection in there too, especially on “She” and “Green Garden”. A Sunday afternoon swoon-along.

    3 words: fab voice, big Afro

  • 17:06
  • 17:17

    Here's Una Mullally on Sinéad O'Connor's Main Stage performance this afternoon.  

    4 stars

    Three word review: Boss is back.

    Sinead O'Connor opened with John Grant's 'Queen of Denmark', but she was the Queen of Stradbally for an afternoon with a beautiful vocal performance and excellent musicianship from her band.

    The most touching moment was a duet with her backing singer - and daughter - Roisin. 'Take Me To Church', the breakout single from her latest number one album was rocking, '8 Good Reasons' another cut from that record was also a highlight. But no 'Mandinka' or 'Nothing Compares 2 U' was a bit of a let down. Still though, O'Connor can do what she wants.

  • 17:24
    Big news from Dublin - joe.ie is reporting that Outkast hit Copper Face Jacks for a night on the town before travelling to Stradbally for their mainstage gig. There's even a picture showing Big Boi and Andre 3000 in a queue on Harcourt Street. Who in Dublin recommended Coppers to these lads? Why would you do that?
  • 17:31
  • 17:52
  • 18:01

    Justeat.ie, who are at Electric Picnic for the first time this year, have done some research into whtat Irish people like eating at music festivals. Here's what they found out:

    It turns out that we love traditional festival food with 29% of people claiming burgers are their absolute favourite festival food, followed by chips at 22% and noodles at 21%.

    77% of those surveyed claimed they look for a good selection of meat options at a festival, while 8% of respondents opted for veggie options and 6% chose gluten free options.  

    In terms of festival recovery food, it seems that Chinese is the most favoured option with 33% opting for it as their favourite recovery food, while pizza and chipper food follow behind at 21% and 14% respectively.

    The survey also found that Irish people are fairly budget conscious when it comes to festival food. On average 78% of people aim to spend €10 - €20 daily on festival food with only 15% looking to spend a whopping €30 - €50 on their festival food.


  • 18:03
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  • 18:30
    Lily Allen just walked by the Irish Times shed in an impressive pair of platform heels. Fairplay negotiating these muddy fields in anything but wellies. She's up on the Main Stage at 7pm.  
  • 19:01

    Neneh Cherry, Rankin Wood’s Stage, 4 stars

    There’s a magic moment at the end of this wonderful show. It’s the last song, it’s “Buffalo Stance” and it’s been reworked, refurbished and reupholstered for Neneh Cherry’s 2014 version of wonky pop. She pauses mid-line, strikes a defiant pose with her hand on her hip and yells cheekily at the audience: “I’m fucking 50”.

    She may have hit that milestone, but Neneh Cherry is the great survivor because she’s never compromised. After “Buffalo Stance” and “Seven Seconds”, she could have gone down certain roads but instead, she stayed true to her heart and soul.

    These days, she’s working with the Rocketnumbernine’s Ben and Tom Page and they’ve added some striking energy, experimental guile and wicked bass to her lyrics.

    Concentrating mainly on tracks from this year’s “Blank Project” album, Cherry and the Page brothers play a set which is playful and full of purpose. Her nibs is in charge all the way through, the queenpin who is still aiming at the stars. The real special one

    3 words: cherry flavour rules OK

    - Jim Carroll

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  • 19:10
    We're really looking forwad to Francois and the Atlas Mountains here in the Irish Times festival shed. They're playing the Body & Soul Main Stage at 1.45am.  
  • 19:19
  • 19:30
    This is Hugh Linehan, taking over from Sorcha Pollak for the last leg of our Electric Picnic liveblog. It's quiet now in the Irish Times shed, with Arts Editor Laurence Mackin putting the finishing touches to tomorrow's reports in the paper, and our video team (hello Daniel) assembling a highlights package for the website tomorrow. Meanwhile Lily Allen's bass player is making our teeth quiver.
  • 19:35
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  • 19:38
    There was a Disturbance in the Force earlier while I was watching Laura Mvula. A Donegal-shaped Disturbance.
  • 20:06

    Rankin's Wood

    Well, there's always one awesome moment from a new band at the Picnic, and this was 2014's. Jungle's smooth and buoyant blend of disco and funk with a great contemporary delivery stole Sunday from any other pretenders.

    The tent was packed with people turning around to their mates exclaiming about how the band was translating their debut album so effortlessly to a live setting. 'Busy Earning' - one of the best tracks this year - nearly blew the roof off, but it was just one star in a galaxy of tunes that had everyone dancing from the get go.

    These guys are pros -you can feel it in every perfectly judged rhythm, harmony, finger snap, and drum beat. A different class.ry flavour rules OK

  • 20:22
  • 20:30

    Here's Tara Brady's review of the RTE coverage of Electric Picnic this weekend.

    Taking a conspicuous cue from BBC’s Glastonbury coverage, 2FM’s Jenny Green and The Voice’s Eoghan McDermott provided five hours of aggressive cheerleading from a faux rustic set in a hedge.
    Speaking in fluent, excitable CAPSLOCK and, occasionally, as Gaeilge, McDermott did his best to gloss over the truncation of a three-day bash into a solitary near-graveyard TV shift. (TV ossuaries don’t get much more gloomy than those positioned opposite the first night of the X-Factor and Match of the Day.) Even the Pet Shop Boys’ unsatisfactory performance was euphemistically marked up as “divisive”.
    All studio guests were introduced with superlatives attached: Ham Sandwich were trumpeted on to set with the words “I think I’m going to cry”.
    The anchors also hailed the “unbelievable” Hozier, introduced part of a Friday-night set featuring the “incredible” Foals, and chatted with the “unquestionably talented” Paolo Nutini.
    There was a double spread of Nutini; the programme featured the Glaswegian’s set and a fawning interview. The Strypes got the same double-up treatment, as did this century’s incarnation of The Stranglers.
    That seems odd given how the show struggled to accommodate a big fat programme of events.
    There were selections from smaller stages, including Benjamin Booker playing to a very merry audience and the otherworldly vocals of Eve Belle.
    But omission was the central theme of the evening. We saw Blondie (recorded) by daylight and plenty of Nile Rodgers and Chic, but no Portishead, who were on stage during the broadcast.
    We were introduced to two roving reporters, including comedian Al Porter, then didn’t see them do very much roving.
    Might it not have been sensible to schedule the TV coverage on the Sunday as a wrap up?
    If the team noticed the gaps, they didn’t let on. Instead they gamely made do with mandatory wellie banter, giddy plaudits (“I absolutely love Bombay Bicycle Club”) and gentle in-jokes about Laura Whitmore and Eoghan’s shorts, which were grey but (hilarious, apparently) looked white under the lights.
    tUnE-yArDs’ zany Water Fountain played over the final credits. Presumably The Lego Movie theme Everything Is Awesome was unavailable.

  • 20:35
  • 20:42
    Rain's coming down. Beck's on stage singing 'Devil's Haircut'. All is good.
  • 20:50
  • 20:53
  • 21:10
  • 21:15
    The time has come for us to wrap up our live coverage of Electric Picnic 2014. We hope you've enjoyed it. August is almost over, autumn is upon us and it seems right to end proceedings a song...