Festival Preview: Home-Grown Talent Worthy of Your Attention @ Electric Picnic 2010

Posted: 02/11/2010 in Uncategorized

***As published on Culch.ie on August 19th 2010***

Widely considered to be the highlight of Ireland’s heavily-populated summer festival calendar, the 7th annual ELECTRIC PICNIC Music & Arts Festival kicks off in Stradbally on Friday 3rd September.

Since the inaugural event in 2004, Electric Picnic has garnered well-deserved status as Ireland’s premiere boutique festival weekender. Incorporating music, comedy, spoken word, film, circus, art, (and whatever you’re havin’ yourself!) – Electric Picnic consistently offers music fans an extravagantly eclectic programme of events from which to fill their three days in the picturesque setting of Stradbally Hall. And of course, the programme for this September’s festival is no different.

One of the most exciting aspects of the 2010 festival line-up is the calibre of the Irish acts who will be holding their own amongst such international heavyweight headliners as THE NATIONAL, MASSIVE ATTACK, ROXY MUSIC, MUMFORD & SONS and LCD SOUNDSYSTEM. To this end, I present to you (in no particular order) five home-grown acts gracing the stages of this year’s Electric Picnic who you should definitely try and squeeze into your busy Stradbally schedule…


With their sophomore album The Body Of Christ And The Legs Of Tina Turner receiving rave reviews in advance of its national release next Friday 27th August, Electric Picnic-ers should count themselves lucky – Fight Like Apes are loaded and ready to unleash their highly-anticipated new material at this year’s festival. Undeniably one of Ireland’s top acts, their shows have become the stuff of legend on the Irish gig scene – front-woman MayKay has the kind of rare stage-presence that is incomparable to anyone who’s come before her; and collectively the band just seem to naturally know how to rock a venue like no other. The combination of eagerly-awaited new songs along with fan-favourites such as ‘Digifucker’, ‘Lend Me Your Face’ and the always epic ‘Something Global’ will make for what is quite simply a must-see gig at this year’s festival. Get there early – then get ready to get raucous!


Arguably the finest female singer/songwriter in Ireland today, Cathy Davey descends upon Stradbally this September with a recent chart-topping album to her credit – finally, commercial success has caught up to her widespread critical acclaim. The Nameless is considered to be her finest album to date – no small accomplishment when the incredibly high standard of its two predecessors is taken into consideration. Davey’s live performances have consistently gone from strength to strength; her confidence has flourished as she has gradually become more and more comfortable in her own sound. Her ever-unique voice can mesmerise, and her ability to switch between instruments on stage never ceases to amaze. Cathy Davey is truly one of Ireland’s finest solo acts – not to be missed at this year’s Electric Picnic.


Dublin twins Ellie and Louise Macnamara have been cast into the spotlight of the mainstream Irish music scene in recent months thanks to an almost meant-to-be placement of one of their hits on a Discover Ireland advertising campaign – but there is SO much more to Heathers than *that* song. They have been a firm-favourite act on the irish gigging circuit over the past few years – their 2008 debut album, Here, Not There, is filled with beautifully crafted songs which really come to life when the twins take to the live stage. With nothing but a single acoustic guitar for accompaniment, Heathers know how to wow crowd with their infectious melodies and impeccable harmonies. Definitely an act to factor into your plans for this year’s Electric Picnic.


A sold-out national tour, a chart-topping debut album which garnered critical acclaim across the board, a nomination for the prestigious Mercury Prize, and a seal of approval from a certain Mr. Holland to boot – to say that 2010 has been quite the year for Conor O’Brien is an understatement. Believe the hype, and then some – because Villagers are worth every bit of it. The absolute beauty and depth of the songs on Becoming a Jackal have the power to captivate a live audience in a very special way. One of the first acts to be announced and a major draw for this year’s festival, Villagers will attract a huge amount of attention in Stradbally this September – catch them before they take over the world.


What a difference a year can make. This time last year, Bangor boys Two Door Cinema Club were relative unknowns gearing up for an arena-opening Sunday morning Electric Picnic slot; 12 months on, they look set to be one of the most popular acts at the festival. Backed by a seal of approval from BBC’s revered ‘Sound of 2010’ poll, their distinctive brand of melodic hook-laden guitar-pop – as exhibited on debut album Tourist History – has not only garnered widespread critical acclaim, but also attracted a legion of fans in the process. Loving that tune that you’re hearing on a TV ad at the moment? Chances are it’s a Two Door Cinema Club song! They’ll be sure to get Stradbally rocking – expect mass hysteria for ‘Something Good Can Work’, ‘I Can Talk’ and ‘Undercover Martyn’.


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