Electric Picnic 2015 Day Two Review
It was t-shirt weather for day two of Electric Picnic. It was actually hot. Yes, hot. Imagine that, a festival in Ireland where it’s hot! The Dublin vs. Mayo football semi-final was broadcast live on a colossal screen down by the fairground. The Dublin victory was witnessed by thousands who then invaded the main arena in the middle of Future Islands’s set. They didn’t seem to notice the slightly screechy vocals dipped in shimmering synth. At times it veered towards death metal, only to reel back towards the ever popular ‘Seasons (waiting on you)’.
Picking my way carefully through the sunbathing, hungover, dormant bodies, I eventually made it to the Electric Arena where Printer Clips audience were still swooning from the stunning set performed by Gemma Hayes and Paul Noonan from Bell X1. Onstage next was a Canadian guy and his band, Mac DeMarco. They looked grubby and grungy. They produced dreamy, synthy, floaty, funky tracks that were lapped up by a massive troop of super fans. Some of it was along the lines of Groove Armada, vocal hints at George Harrison, hazy lazy vibes with sultry synths, with ‘Salad Days’ providing a taste of the laid back vibe. Their delivery reminds me of Alex Ebert and his band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
See also: Electric Picnic 2015 Day One Review
Heading back to the main arena, most of sun-soaked zombies had awoken and were now waiting on George Ezra. The young, talented, well travelled troubadour introducing himself and his lovely band onstage. He starts out with ‘Cassy O’, a folky jingly tune, the cue to the kids flooding into the field just in time for the crowd-calling chorus. Recalling tales of his European travels on each song, there’s a lot beginning with B. ‘Budapest’, ‘Barcelona’, ‘Benjamin’, ‘Blame It on Me’, plus he did a Bob Dylan cover which was slightly lost on some fans. ‘Stand by Your Gun’ sees a sea of selfie sticks and kids on shoulders as George claims the Saturday sunset in Stradbally.
Meanwhile over in the Cosby Tent, four pumped up, high energy Scousers almost burned down the stage. With the thrust of The Vaccines, the energy of The Wombats and indie idolatry long associated with the Arctic Monkeys, Circa Waves rolled out their new album, Young Chasers, sounding joyful, new and fresh. Their fans were well acquainted with most of the tracks culminating in the sizzling indie anthem, ‘T-Shirt Weather’. Ironically, it was t-shirt weather. Thanks lads, you rocked it. Sam Smith
Sam Smith got some good news on Saturday. This week marked his sixty seventh week in the UK Official Chart Top Ten, with his album going five times platinum. Approximately 45,000 people were crammed into the main arena to see him. Bit of a contrast to his lonely hour here two years ago when nobody turned up at the tent he was in. ‘It was bloody awful’ he proclaims, grinning from ear to ear at the contrast in front of him. Giving the audience exactly what they wanted, his polished performance was flawless. His genuine warmth for his fans makes it hard to dislike him, even if his material is textbook mainstream. A gospel choir and impressive arrangements worked for all his own songs, with several effective cover song blends. Aretha Franklin’s ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ mixed with the end of Amy Winehouse’s ‘Tears Dry On Their Own’ proved successful. Finishing with ‘Stay’, he pronounced Electric Picnic as the best festival he’s ever played. You can’t help but believe him.
Two giant ice cream cones light up the stage as headliners BLUR hint at their imminent arrival. Charming ice cream van chimes tinkle out ‘Just One Cornetto’ as a prelude to the opening notes of ‘Ice Cream Man’. We get a ‘Céad Míle Fáilte’ from Damon before BLUR dish out a few scoops of 90s nostalgia and a flake or two from their latest album. All the material is equally recognised by the massive army of fans indulging in their favourite flavours, from ‘Leisure’ to ‘The Magic Whip’. Damon announces he is eleven per cent Irish. His prize is a cry of ‘ole, ole, ole, ole’ from 50,000 fans. To celebrate, he gets eleven of them onstage for ‘Parklife’. Indeed, all the people in the park did go hand in hand for EP Parklife. The hits are endless: ‘Tender’, ‘Beetlebum’, ‘Spaceman’, ‘The Universal’ and the original song for whoo-hoo’s, ‘Song 2’. Damon doesn’t want to go back to Dublin, he wants to stay and party. The encore gives us ‘Girls And Boys’ and unfortunately, ‘To The End’. Yes, it looks like we’ve made it to the end of an epic headline set for the second day of the festival.
Day two was insanely busy. The queue to enter the arena was like a Ryanair check in desk. Bags and their contents spilled out as the wristband police patrolled the perimeter. The Dublin/Mayo match concentrated thousands into the one place as the queues for everything just seemed to get longer. There was a slight whiff of the Oxegen generation with substance abuse casualties dropping like dying wasps. At times it was a test of endurance to actually get to the music. But once you did it, it was totally worth it. The variety of acts on offer couldn’t be faulted. As temperatures dropped on a starry September night, the revellers partied on in their fur coats and puffa jackets.
Words by Ciara Sheahan
Photos by Jamie Tanner