It’s Monday. I’m feeling the post-EP blues already. So to combat them in some vain way here’s a rundown of my EP2012. The highs, the lows, the spilled pints and ketchup stains.
The plan for the weekend was to drive up and down. Convinced from previous years myself and @sineadkeogh figured there was an inevitable downpour on the way to Strabally as we’d come to learn. We set out on the road and arrived just missing Alabama Shakes. Blast. We decided to explore the new Trailer park, festival favourite Body+Soul, Casa Bicardi and check out the @ElectricIreland #Dancergy tent while we waited for the Vaccines at 9.30.
Casa Bacardi had a cool 1920s speakeasy private bar, #Dancergy had a Mr Motivator giving everyone a good work out on their @electricireland sustainable dancefloor and Body+Soul had its usual attractions (reiki, tarot, shaymanic journeys) AND the ‘Mary Wishing Tree’ which was a nice new touch.
We hit the Electric Arena for the Vaccines who did not disappoint. Really enjoyed the lads who had just released a new album in Ireland that very day. Whilst milling about to ‘Post-breakup Sex’ I noticed two bank cards in the mud. It turned out they belonged to @elaineverdon, a ThinkHouse PR girl who’d been grooving to the Maccabees there earlier. I put the word out and through the power of twitter I reunited Ms Verdon with her cards. However €250 and a designer bag were both missing too. This was the first indication of a slightly rougher Picnic this year. Over the course of the weekend I saw 4 people forcibly removed from arenas and a few scuffles. Personally I noticed a shift in clientele this year.
The Vaccines were followed by Ed Sheeran who played a blinder including a cover of Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars. Midway through Ed’s set I ducked out to check out Christy Moore. Our timing was heroic, just catching Joxer goes to Stuttgart, Lisdoonvarna and Ride On. Happy out. Hit the road for Dublin got into bed at 3.30am.
Well rested and showered we hit Stradbally on day 2 with a vengeance. First up was SBTRKT who rocked it hard. Busy crowd at this one, followed by Villagers who showcased lots of new material mixed with fan faves. Day 2 saw us explore the Mindfield a little more and call into the @Hotpress interview tent for Wallis Bird and @Lmulligangrocer for a Scotch Egg.
The evenings festivities were split evenly between the Cure and Bell X1. Robert Smith may have put on a few pounds and may be considerably getting on but the Cure have always been one of my MUST-SEE bands and I was as happy as larry bopping away to ‘Friday, I’m in Love’ and ‘Why Can’t I Be You’. The Bellies were in top form blasting out everything from ‘Tongue’ and ‘Alphabet Soup’ to ‘Velcro’ with festival fan favourite ‘Rocky Took A Lover’. Great stuff.
The lovely Lianne La Havas kicked off my final day of EP. The plan was to see Michael Kiwanuka but I got sidelined watching The Strypes with dumbstruck awe on the Trailer Park stage (completely perfect for them). I’d met the lads queuing for security and they were lovely chaps and informed me of their last minute second EP performance and the great review @entertainment_ie gave them. These guys are definitely ones to watch.
Caught some Ben Howard and grabbed food for lazing on the grass to Bombay Bicycle Club. Then it had to be Elbow.
People will be talking about Elbow for years. It was the kind of iconic performance that people remember Arcade Fire for. I don’t know how the Killers followed them, and to be honest I don’t care. I hightailed it out of Stradbally before they appeared. Elbow have a real affinity with Ireland that can’t be faked. Similar to their affinity with each other. ‘Weather to Fly’ was started with a round of Jameson and a salute to the Emerald Isle. ‘The Night Will Always Win’ saw the entire band crowd around two keyboards and as a bright orange moon rose over the main stage it was simply perfect. A choir singalong for ‘Lippy Kids’ with the Irish Youth Choir and a crowd singalong for ‘Grounds for Divorce’. The highlight of the festival.