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Cork, Ireland
An Irish based alternative music blog. Music news, gigs, live reviews, album reviews... You'll find them here. If you want anything featured or removed, please shout. I hope you'll discover something new to love on this little experiment of mine. Currently editing the Music Section of the UCC Express and contributing to Motley magazine on campus, as well as writing for PopCultureMonster and 4FortyFour. Always looking for new projects so please get in touch if interested. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Live Review: Electric Picnic (Sunday)

Amazed at how quickly the weekend flew by - it was Sunday morning before I knew. The sign of a good time though right?

James Vincent McMorrow put to rest any fears about his live shows early in the day. A 12:30 beginning didn't reduce the size of the crowd - absolutely packed. This man is getting bigger and bigger as the days go on, and this live performance was as good as his sublime album. Playing with his full band for the first time ever, McMorrow was at ease and enjoyed back-and-forths with the crowd, his recently married backing vocalist and the rather shy keyboard player. It was a joy to watch, while the songs sounded fantastic. Full and engaging, here's hoping of more to come of this sort from James.

Again, I'll hopefully have a video or two of his up on the blog over the week though the sound quality isn't the best - ah the perils of being in the front row!

Unfortunately, the next man on my planner (The Tallest Man on Earth) had cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances and was replaced by the abysmal Heathers, so Bonobo (Live) was next for me. A hugely enjoyable experience, I lay in the grass and simply let the instrumentation take me away. A really special moment.

Next up was Sunderland's Field Music who put on a very enjoyable show as day became evening. It was a mix of their new album and many older songs, while the band have an almost Grizzly Bear-style quality to their sound live. Their vocals in particular, while I rather enjoyed the drummer and vocalist swapping places on a number of songs.

This was followed by a rather jaunty affair at the Main Stage as Mumford & Sons played almost their entire debut album to a huge crowd. The hits (Little Lion Man in particular) inspired a huge singalong, though the show just lacked a little something for me. They are certainly better live than on record, but they just don't have the attraction that would draw me to another showing.

Perhaps, though, it was just that my mind was preoccupied with what was coming - the highlight of the weekend and the factor that sealed my ticket purchase...

The National.

And wow. Speechless. My expectations were high and the performance blew them totally out of the water. A full review of the show (as well as reviews of Janelle Monae, Villagers, Hot Chip and a few others) will be posted over the course of the week but it's safe to say I could not have been happier leaving. Matt Berninger has such incredible (and natural) stage presence that you can't help but notice. The grandeur of the show was sublime, while the intimacy of the slower numbers was spell-blinding. The band played with the excitement of an act onstage for the first time, but also the seasoned experience of veterans. Quite literally the best show I have ever seen live - though I may be a little biased from having been literally front and centre. Matt Berninger started his second crowd interaction in front of me, while I also happened to be the one to drag him in... Whoops.

Hopefully I'll get a few videos over the week, but at the moment all I can find is dodgy fan videos that actually drown out Matt Berninger.

The perfect live band with the perfect live performance. It was wonderful.

My weekend finished in the pouring rain. As the hurricane (well it bloody felt like one...) set in, Wolf Parade wound down the weekend with their off-beat indie-punk. A great showing that kept me sheltered from the storm outside. I bade farewell to Body & Soul on my way back from the tent and scarcely made it back alive...

A spectacular weekend. I've never come back from a festival feeling refreshed, revitalised... Roll on Electric Picnic 2011.

Weekend Highlight: The National, if you hadn't guessed it from my overuse of the word "perfect"... It's difficult to describe how good they were.

Weekend Lowlight: Aside from the hurricane that decimated the campsite on Sunday night (turns out my tent WAS water-proof! Huzzah!), I'm gonna point out the headline acts. Perfect for plenty of people, I had no real interest in any of the 3 and hope that POD take a different tact next year.


  1. Good review. Makes me want to check out "The National" more. Love, love, love their song "Fake Empire", but that's about all I know of them.

  2. The National are a fantastic band. I must admit it took me a few goes to really get into them but I genuinely struggle to think of a band I prefer right now, and any of the albums 'Boxer', 'Alligator' and 'High Violet' are worthy additions to any collection.