Monday, December 18, 2017

EP 2017

Red car park & Eco camping

Having had to trek across the site from yellow parking where I was funnelled last year I made a big effort to ensure I was in red parking, as the eco camp field is beside the north red entrance. Coming W on N80 from Portlaoise, Mountmellick, Emo, ignore all the signs and drive towards Stradbally. See the right turn sign for Ratheniska, about 1k before Stradbally, this leads to A & B Red car parks

I arrived at eco camping on Friday evening to an erected tent (thanks, McG). A nice surprise was to see the van inside eco camping. A "burger with attitude" was excellent and chips with Sharon's curry was so filling, now it was time to head to the venues.

Friday 1 September

  • Nick Kelly - Leviathan
    • He was talking, singing and showing some of his film, The Drummer & the Keeper, which lokes good, not a bad way to start the festival.
  • Divine Comedy - Mainstage
  • London Grammer - Mainstage
  • Saint Sister - Other Voices
    • The contract to taking refuge here last year from the rain with La Galaxie was big, it was nice to be back!

Saturday 2 September

Looking at the schedule Saturday morning I only realised Vince Staples was in the Electric Arena on Friday night and Talos played Other Voices at 18.40, would have loved to have seen that show. Note to self: going with the flow is grand but do the research next time - it's so easy with ClashFinder too!

It was good to wander around the site and remember where everything was. There are 3 entrances to Body & Soul, the North gate is across from the Little Big Tent, up from Gerry Fish with the Flying Machine cafe on the right before the entrance to the Zen Gardens. The East Gate pops out between Play at picnic tent (Oxjam in 2016) and the bumper cars, Natasha's (Living Food Emporium) is to the right as you go out. The South gate pops out across from Global Green, which houses the Village Hall and the Tiny tea tent is to to the right before going out. Wondering around Mindfield, I did not remember an exit to the right of the Newstalk tent out to comedy tent. Having no Irish Times tent in Mindfield was missed this year

  • Slane Whiskey - Theatre of Food Fringe
    • Good talk\chat and a lovely whiskey cocktail to kick things off.
  • Susan Steel - Vitamin Sea, Theatre of Food
    • Memorable chat about the benefits of sea swimming in skins, exposing your body to all the resultant minerals and never getting sick.
  • Blindboy Boatcub with Nadine O'Reagan - Literary Tent (The Gospel According to Blindboy)
    • It turns out he has a book coming out and he read us one of his short stories. Always worth listening to.
  • Everything Everything - Electric Arena
  • Run the Jewels - Mainstage
  • Interference with Glen Hanzard - Gerry Fish
    • This was jammed and I didn't stay long.
  • A tribe called quest - Mainstage
    • Fantastic to see Q Tip running the show, respecting their MC, Phifie Dawg who died in March 2016
  • Perfume Genius - Cosby stage
    • First time for me, absolutely standout.
  • Pete Tong & the heritage orchestra - Mainstage
  • Clark - Little big tent (2am)
    • Outstanding visuals with 2 dancers on working together fluidly. Really enjoyed finally getting a dance. 
  • Le Boom - Body & Soul (3am)
    • Hovered until I got a seat up at the back. Really worth staying out in the rain for this one, one of the gigs of the festival from this Irish duo.
I like this drone image from Saturday night.

Sunday 3 September

Trying to see the Hurling Final again was a disaster, I ended up hanging outside the Newstalk tent feeding off scraps, with 2018's final due on August 19th thankfully this won't be an issue - finally. It was not to be for Waterford but it was hard to deny Galway, it was their time.

  • Learn The Secrets Of Sourdough With Scéal Bakery - Shane Palmer
    • I got some Sourdough mother culture from Shane and after schooling from Martin O'Gorman & Shane, I now am baking my own Sourdough every week. I've starter available if anyone wants some!
  • Paul Howard talking with Tom Dunne about his book about Tara Browne
  • Kelly Lee Owens - Little Big tent
    • A tip from Colin in Christchurch and I parked myself in front of the speaker right of the stage in Colin's honour. I knew nothing about her but needless this was a brilliant highlight to finish the festival for us.

I left on Sunday night for the first time having broken down camp in the morning. Tom Dunne played Simon and Garfunkel's Homeward Bound as I drove the empty backroads home. Not as many musical highlights as previous years but this wonderful festival is the highlight.

PLUR, Tom.


  • Gig of the weekend: front row for Michael Kiwunaka, magic
  • Other moments: 
    • Tom Adams in Other Voices
    • Pretenders doing Back in the Chain Gang
    • Rag n Bone man singing "Human", great crowd buzz for that one                        
  • Other highlights: 
    • Saint Sister
    • Perfume Genius, yes
    • Kelly Lee Owens
    • Divine Comedy (something for the weekend and tonight we fly)
    • Tribe
    • London Grammar
    • Father John Missy 
    • Everything Everything (distant past)

Saturday, October 8, 2016

EP 2016

The anticipation of getting back to the picnic was huge, it really is an awesome site for a festival - check out this drone footage:

After a 5 year hiatus, 4 picnics had passed by since my last one and it was with huge excitement I arrived at eco camping on Friday afternoon. The traffic handlers had directed me away from the north side yellow entrance which I had targeted coming into the site via Rhode island, Mount Mellick. The ground and my trolley were solid and getting my gear over to the red parking entrance, which eco camping was right beside was a non-issue. McG had my tent up :-) Now we just needed to put together the gazebo, a roll of trusty gorilla tape was indispensable. A close second to ring is Jim carrol's annual festival tips. Camp flag up and job done.
Flag up eco camping
I read about the addition of swimming at the picnic this year, it was open at 5.30 on Friday evening, realistically that was the only time to go, it would be my first thing at the picnic this year. We were the first adults to arrive at the swimming, it having been open to families that afternoon, getting there was a mission, with staff giving wrong directions. There was about 6 safety crew so they took that very seriously. The manmade lake was created by the Cosby family, the ancestral owners of Stradbally Hall, during the early 18th Century. We swam a couple of laps, what a start!

Lake swimming down by family camping
Right off the bat, there was a clash that for me would be tough to beat. Nas on the main stage or Broken Social Scene, both nostalgia trips, Nas I had never seen and I love my hip hop but Broken Social Scene had too many amazing memories for me not to be revisited. One of the band even started a Robbie Keane chant in tribute to his retirement. Their set covered their last 3 albums, dropping the majestic 7/4 shoreline early and the euphoric Dreams of Pavement their penultimate track. Todd Terje is an ideal festival vibe, no interaction with the audience, though, it got me thinking about Orbital's head torch glasses as a great way to help with that.

McG was up for Super Furry Animals and I went with the flow, never having paid them any attention, going back to Glasto 2002 even.

Super Furry Bing Bong
Dineen in the Body and Soul pit 12-3 on a Friday night was classic for years. Miss 4 picnics and come back and he's relegated to the Body & soul Earthship stage for and hour and a half Saturday night at midnight. Everything moves on.

Friday Music
  • Broken Social Scene - Electric Arena (7.30)
  • Todd Terje - Electric Arena (9.00)
  • Super Furry Animals - Electric Arena (10:45)
With breakfast at the campsite, there's no huge rush to walk in - realistically you are not coming back until done. Saturday afternoon was a Mindfield wander, the new Irish Times tent a great starting point with a coffee from the amnesty stand and listening to Malacky Clerkin, Gavin Cummiskey and Sinead O'Carroll talk about interviewing players after matches and they all having media training and the difficulty of getting something real.

Sports Talk: Malacky Clerkin IT, Sinead O'Carroll The Journal, Gavin Cummiskey IT
First music was the Jim Carroll tipped Whitney. I arrived to find the base player jumping on top of the singer for a snog. Very enjoyable show. Front man , Julien Ehrlich, is also the drummer so the kit sits centre. His falsetto vocals complement the music which reminds me of the fleet foxes at times. With Dingle close to my heart I am curious about Walking with cars and stay for their opening song, a minute of the gorgeous purple rain tributes into a song the tent know. There is only one destination now, Engine Alley at the Jerry Fish Electric sideshow. Having seen then band live over 50 times in the 90s this is a pure nostalgia trip. "Song for Someone", what a timeless gorgeous song and then their Diamond Jill and crazy jane  getting things organised with a hammer and a plastic spoon.

McG & me enjoying Engine Alley
Straight after it's across to see the Rusangano family from Limerick/Clare via Zimbabwe and Togo. Wonderful energy.
Rusangano family
Next up is Little Simz, she was compelling, a highlight was God bless Mary, a thank you to her neighbour who never complained all the years she was playing her stereo loud at all hours. It has to be back over to Jerry Fish, to see the Franks, so great to hear Fashion crisis hits new York, After All. Now it's time to head out to the Other Voices stage in the woods, down from Trenchtown and before the Salty Dog, a new stage for me. The rectangular tent is packed and we start squeezing in from the rain, I eventually settled into a grand perch inside the door sitting up on a beam. It's been a few years since I seen La Galaxie in Athlone and their energy is still massive, big vibe from the jammed tent. A highlight.
La Galaxie
Finally, I get to the main stage for the first time and it's gone midnight - technically Sunday. LCD Sound System. More nostalgia, but what a festival band, the weekend highlight hands down. James Murphy is not losing his edge. And then onto the new Oxjam, a small tent in the middle of the field with it's back to the exit tot the campsites as people leave the main stage. But I'm there for a reason, trawling through the line-up that morning I had find, Augustus and John, Cane 141's Michael Smalle's a;test incarnation and his first gig at the picnic since I saw them there at the chill stage in Body and Soul in 2007. There might have been 10 of us there. But it was the dancing highlight of the weekend for me, I love dancing to his\their music.
Augustus & John
Saturday Music
  • Whitney - Cosby Tent (5.15)
  • Engine Alley - Jerry Fish Electric sideshow (6.30)
  • Rusangano family - Little Big tent  (7)
  • Little Simz - Little Big tent (8.15)
  • The Frank & Walters - Jerry Fish Electric sideshow (9.00)
  • Le Galaxie - Other Voices (9.45)
  • LCD Soundsystem  - Main Stage (00:05)
  • Augustus & John - Oxjam (02:00)
Sunday kicked off in the Mindfield again, and Amnesty tent, the only way to start the day really. Blind boy was talking about "What the F*** is culture" in the Leviathan tent, explaining about meta-modernism and why we like Stranger Things (Netflix series, family film one minute, horror the next) because it's like our Facebook feed. The tent was packed and just caught some of this from outside. So much going on in this field, I catch Limerick author Kevin Barry reading, I think, from his novel, Beatlebone, funny stuff. I've no must-sees before Savages so wander, catching a song from Frankie Cosmos and Saint Sister before grabbing a seat at the back of the body and soul amphitheatre and listen to Elm. I then catch a song from Blossoms and also Wild Beast who are complete with rock star front man. Then it's most definitely over to Rankins Wood for Savages, - it was mesmerising, we can't take our eyes off Jehnny Beth.

Jehnny Beth crowd standing
The rain was coming down now so with Animal Collective coming up there was no going anywhere, I love some of their recorded music but I couldn't really get into their show as much as I appreciated it. Back to the main stage for New Order. They start with a song front the new album, Singularity, wow, new Order are back! True Faith, Blue Monday, super set, finishing of course with Joy Division.

New Order
Music wise Jerry Fish closed the festival with the end of the world party as the rain hammered down, sage advice and great vibes!

Sunday Music
  • Elm - Body & Soul main stage (5.00)
  • Savages - Rankins Wood (6.30)
  • Animal Collective - Rankins wood (7.45)
  • New Order - Main Stage (8.45-10.00)
  • End of the world party - Jerry Fish Electric sideshow (01.00)
Garbhán sent a post-festival questionnaire:
  • Highlights - LCD Sound System, Savages, Broken Social Scene, New Order, La Galaxie
  • Lo-lights - Animal Collective
  • Depth of mud - There was never any mud in our campsite, see the picture at the end of the field after I packed up. A couple of cm in the thoroughfares between the main campsites (where were the metal walkways?) after the Saturday morning rain.
  • LCD? Massive. James Murphy said he'll be back next year, see set list
  • Campsite night noise-o-metern - Eco camping was away from the Charlie Chaplain field and right beside the red entrance, it was quiet once you got home when all the music had stopped!
  • Atmosphere - 37,000 fri & sat and an extra 18,00 supposedly on Sunday. I am struggling to think of any bad vibes, I didn't even bump into a nasty drunk
  • Volume of mud between toes - Now my Keen sandals are the first thing I pack for a festival and use exclusively before anything mucks up. There ain't no mud getting into my hiking boots though! I didn't even need to break out the gators!
  • Batman locator - the bat was this year replaced with a pink elephant, the tent pole needed some nursing and definitely needs to be re-strung before the next outing. We didn't have many friends to pull in but used it to locate each other . McG swore he never saw it the whole Savages show after I had told him it would be up. Finally, he believed me when it's in one of the photos when Jehnny Beth is crowd surfing. Plenty of punters thanked us for allowing them to hook up too! 
  • Toilets/ Showers - didn't check out the showers and never had a bad toilet experience, this year they were split between male and female with plenty of male urinals too.
  • New Order - A great surprise, I had not realised they had ditched the guitars and gone back to their original blueprint, see set list
  • Dryness in tent - I was surprised I got a little leak on one side, not sure why, maybe the swirling wind, but nothing got wet and it was easily soaked up with my towel.
  • Super Furrys - A nice surprise having never paid them attention, Gruff Rhys was constantly entertaining 
  • Food - Saba wedges with Thai curry sauce were mind blowing, chips with curry sauce will never be the same again. Brilliant tip from the on-site ticket.
  • Don't tell me there wasn't mud everywhere - not til Sunday night there wasn't, at that stage McG was gone home.
  • Spoken word area - quality, IT tent nice addition (think added 2015?)
  • Free tea and a mini flake this year? Didn't get any free food :-( Prices up a bit from before, 9/10 for most mains.
  • Jenny Greene and RTE orchestra - believe? Heard orchestra was class but didn't make it
  • Da match.....NT tent had it but it was jammers and not possible to get in, we sat and ate close by but could hear nought, confined to updated from punters/phone in the end
  • Gortex to the ears, and beyond.... My Ground Effect Flash Gordon (Hydrofoil technology) did the trick and my waterproof pants weren't needed until Sunday night
  • Pink sunburnt heads???? I think I remember applying sunscreen at one stage!
My flag flying after breaking down my tent in the eco camping field on Monday

Thursday, November 3, 2011

EP 2011

EP 11, 2-5 Sep, was looming all summer and now it's come and gone again. I was lucky enough to get to go again this year. Kevin was back after a year's hiatus and there were a few others going along too. On Friday afternoon we arrived on site as late as I have ever arrived. I was very disappointed to see that the quiet camping had further evolved from last year, where it was one side of a roped off walkway and no longer hidden away at exit 2. This year they went another level where the quiet camping was a corner of the Andy Warhol field, a few signs up but no demarcation. Walking in as well one noticed there was no metal walkways this year, clearly the organisers were making cut backs.


4 hours from leaving the house in Athlone we were heading into the site having somehow found room for 2 tents and a gazebo beside our mates and raised the flag. I did not have a huge check list but had definitely some must not miss acts, P.J Harvey being the only must see on Friday. I would not have minded seeing Cry Before Dawn on the Cosby stage. I had been a big fan of theirs in the late 80s and remember bumping into them on the quays in Dublin in 89 and getting an album signed. It would have been a nostalgic show, I'm not that big into those.

Since really getting into their 2nd album, Echoes, early in the Naughties, I had not paid attention to The Rapture and had kind of forgotten about them. Straight into it at the picnic! It was all new stuff to me but so good. Afterwards at home I found out their 4th album, "In the Grace of our love" and first in 5 years was about to be released. Listening to it now their superb life picnic vibe comes flooding back.

We got up front for PJ. She came on in black with this big headpiece, very Bjorkish. Strangely I had not picked it up when it came out and had recently picked up the CD for a fiver on Amazon new? It arrived that morning and we gave it the first play in the car on the drive up to the show. It was straight into Let England Shake, like on the album. And she sounded awesome, delivering a sensational show.

Going with the flow I hung around for the next act on the main stage, another New York band, Interpol. Also having 4 albums, I had not checked them out since their 2nd, Antics. The show was very enjoyable. The rain came in heavy a while after Interpol who finished after midnight. The only destination was Body & soul main stage were Donal Dinnen was doing his annual Friday night slot til 3. This year it had special significance with recent news that his show, Here Comes the Night, or rather the newer, Small Hours (see archives), has been canned and will terminate in December. His Parish collective sounded great. We had a brief word afterwards and he liked hearing the fact that I used to record his shows and distribute them as mp3 downloads to friends around the world.

Eventually trying to find the tent I had to give up and ended up hanging with these guys who had an old school ghetto blaster and a rack of burned cds. Drinking their beer we got talking music and ended up putting on Stone Roses live at Blackpool. Sometime later I noticed it was dawn and there across the way was my half collapsed flag marking the tent. Little did I know that in a matter of weeks I would have have a ticket for a stone roses reunion show in Manchester!

  • The Rapture - Electric Arena
  • P.J Harvey - Mainstage
  • Interpol - Mainstage
  • Donal Dineen's Parish - Body & soul

Having stayed up til after dawn Friday Saturday was a late start so I had missed morning rain. I was amazed there was no mud after the downpours the night before. I was gutted to find out our mates in the tent beside had been robbed, money stolen while in their tent asleep. The lame ass security were of no help, saying they would tell the night crew when it was reported to them. We heard stories of others around being robbed as well, their was lots of it going on. Another lad we talked to had his wrist band cut off as he slept and it was 2 years in a row for him someone having done a dump in his tent the previous year and wiped their ass with his t. I was robbed myself at the festival in 2009. The organisers must stamp out this scumbag element before a classic irish festival suffers.

I had printed out Jim Carroll's 10 acts to catch post, with only 1 on the list being very much on my radar, Flying Lotus, having dropped one of the vinyl releases of the year, the rest were unknown names to me. Body and soul has seriously matured at this point, with lots of permanent installations now, where first it was just the main (former chill) stage. Wandering over for a late afternoon gig, it was time to catch one of Jim Carroll's (JC) tips, irish band Tieranniesaur - I'll keep an eye on them. Over at the main stage James Blake had started . His debut album has lovers and haters which is easily understandable, anyway his recorded talent was too big too dismiss for me. I was very surprised he was on the main stage when I saw the lineup. I did not expect the live show to be so outstandingly good. Limit to your love was amazing live, spine chilling.

I got a nice surprise call from my mate John in London, whom I had spent Glastonbury 2005 with. I was a little concerned about how Arcade Fire would be outside having only seen them indoors every time. He had only seen them outside and as recent as Hyde park that summer and said they were amazing so I was getting psyched for the show.

It was time for a first hack session, we tried to setup where we could hear sound from one tent and not bleed with another, the background music was OMD. My little Bandit turned out to be an excellent footbag, of course we were blaming the footwear rather than the lack of skills, but we did manage to impress ourselves even a wee bit.

Before Arcade it was another JC recommendation, The Jezebels, they were only down for a 30 minute set 9.15-9.45, perfect with Arcade due on at 10. Hands down it was the best 30 minutes of the festival, this Sydney band with a punked up Kate Bush on vocals were astounding! Crystal clear voice and she could do absolutely anything with it with loads of stage energy and funky groovin' band.

I am a big fan of Death in Vegas and have not managed to see them live, but there was no question of missing Arcade Fire for them. When I came home I read up and found out that they just released their 5th album and first in 7 years - Trans Love Energies. Public Enemy were clashing too. Nice vibe for Arcade, an air of expectation from everyone, also it turns out from the band, as Vim tells us that they were afraid that the crowd vibe would not be as good as before. Of course this time was different, 05 was a time and place thing for everyone as well, but this was really good and they gave it everything.

Flying Lotus clashed with the Chemical Brothers but it was no contest...he's the nephew of Alice Coltrane and a very exciting talent. He had just arrived in Ireland for the first time and was totally sober, not having his weed he said. He was bouncing as he worked his dj set, himself and public enemy were the only black people in Ireland he told us. Flying Lotus finished up his Little Big Tent set at 2 but the night was young, we headed back to the camp for supplies and then out to the Salty Dog where a crowd was building, we waited and it turned out it was for Rubberbandits. It was jam packed and we gave the lively lads, who had "a professional mc" with them a song before we moved on. Into Body & Soul and what turned out to be a super picnic memory, some deadly sounds was coming from the pit and we were hanging up on the Zen garden side. Later after some detective work I figured out it was GhostPoet throwing down a dj set in the 3-4am slot, there was some wicked drum n bass sounds and some unexpected late night high stepping. It turned out right beside us was a place just closing up about 3.30, and they were selling hot poitin, perfect late night dancing tonic!

  • Tieranniesaur - Body & Soul
  • James Blake - Mainstage
  • The Jezabels - Cosby
  • Arcade Fire
  • Flying Lotus - Little Big tent
  • Ghostpoet - Body and soul

I got Sunday's ticket around the campsite and JC was big upping this pop up cafe in mindfield for breckie. Exactly what the doctor ordered, but first it was time to call into the hot tubs and see what was available. First slot left on Sunday was 10-11pm and only one left. I had seen Pulp back in the early 90s and even a great show at Lowlands in 01, they were a time and space band for me and I was not interested in revisting them, there show started at 10.30. We booked the tub, it could fit 4, 5 would be grand. We were at the pop-up a little late I guess as they had run out of stuff but the substitutes were top notch, but it was not before Kevin got caught in the down pour queueing for coffee next door while I waited in the dry at a table clothed table for our food. In the mindfield I managed to bump into Roddy Doyle reading an unpublished short story in the Mindfield about these mates of sorts kind of accidentally gate crashing a Spanish wedding. I noticed that Irvine Welsh was on at 5.30, not to be missed.

First up music wise was another JC recommendation, Moths, an 18 year old lad from Kildare, I'd love to hear more of his twiddleing. Cast of Cheers were mentioned by JC in the ticket as another Irish band to watch. Kev & I caught their show, decent stuff, good sounds. The flash rain had gone, there still was no mud and the grass was dry! Time for some afternoon hacky. One of my new hacky sacks, the bandit was turning out to be deadly, a 32 panels job filled with plastic pellets, even us bumblies occasionally looked like we knew what we aere doing playing with it. A 3 kids family joined, lead in by the girl child in wellies who got a few touches in. The Japanese Popstars doodlded away in the Electric Arena. A long hair joined us and pulled in his more reluctant 2 mates. This boy had the rollback pickup going, it was his party piece. Kev picked it up quick. We stopped and started trying to find synergy in the new group, a couple of close double hacks. And then it clicked, we caught the flow, and kept that wee synthetic bag up...we finished with 26 phases. Arms aloft the long hair backed off and we all satisfyingly reflected.

Time to skip over to Mindfield and catch Irvine Welsh. He is living in the states now where he has moved from Dublin, and read from a new story he is working, "Road Trips In America", in an American accent, different nationalities but recognisable Welsh characters. He spoke after about Skagways the Trainspotting prequel he is still trying to wrap up and is sick off, but it will be out next Easter. He talked about Filth starting filming in January.

Time for And So I watch you from Afar at the cosby stage. After a bursting tent last year I was surprised it was not full. There were less people around today, did a load of people have free tickets and head home I wonder, what about the day ticketers, I know there was at least a field of new cars today. Great energy lads. I was building for The Drums, one of my must sees for the weekend, I'd fallen in love with their infectious sound and had yet to see them live. Their show was one of the highlights of the whole weekend, catch them live if you can.

It was perfect timing for some boundless bathing. The hot shower beforehand was sensational and then it was a wood fired dutch hot tubs in a quiet corner, absolutely mint, it will stick a long time in the mind. Wondering over to Mogwai, I could not believe the empty tent, I don't recall Sunday night slots having this problem in previous years. Mogwai never disappoint though.

  • Moths - Body & Soul
  • Cast of Cheers - Cosby
  • ASIWYFA - Cosby
  • The Drums - Crawdaddy
  • Mogwai - Electric Arena

Friday, September 10, 2010

EP 2010

  • Tom Corcoran
  • Conor Harty
  • Tony Corrigan
  • Dave McGuinness
  • Kevin McDaid
  • Kevin McGrath
  • Willie Mulkeen
  • Declan Waugh

Kevin McDaid

Best of All:

1. Paul Brady (By far the best crowd participation)

2. Stornoway (They even threw in a folk tale about a local cursed road where the lady of the manor died after her hourse bolted and she got caught up in the reins - its good to have a band who can communicate with the crowd)

3. Jonsi (Biggest surprise of the weekend!)

4. Villagers (Not the best festival band but what a talent)

5. Mumford and Sons (might have been higher but for all the kids throwing themselves around stupidly)

One I wished Id caught: Seasick Steve

Worst of the weekend:
1. Fight like Apes
2. Laura Marling
3. Gil Scott Heron

Well men - great weekend. I got away after Mumford and Sons and home by 11. Big thanks to Dave his energy in organising everyone and for tom for the wonderful pancakes.

Willie Mulkeen
Yes indeed - thanks Dave for pulling it all together.

Kev that was one cool tent you had for the weekend - each with our own space, "de berries boy" - Thanks for dragging it along and setting it up and stuff.

Tom as for that pancake - savoury or sweet was even a menu option for early morning breakfast under the gazebo canopy, absolutely brilliant. - and the flag pole from days in Boulder I presume when the first of the ramblings began..

As for the event how cool is it to see
Current good musical talent - Villager
Vintage comdey of sorts - Mr O'Hanlon and the option of Ed Byrne
Legendary Irish Talent - Paul Brady
Relaxation - A hot tub with a sup of whiskey (Thanks Kev) & a song (Thanks Kev again)
Food glorous food - what a selection, I think I had Thai
Of course - beer
Maturity - "I'm tired now - I think I'll go for a kip" that is at 02:30am of course and that was just Saturday evening.

It surely was a unique event in that we were able to create a customised festival to suit everyones taste and still hang out and chill at breakfast the next morning.

I think the photo attached [title photo above] catches a chilled setting or exhausting setting to help remember the weekend.

All the best it was great meeting everybody again.

Tom Corcoran

There was less good food this year than others and more annoying drunks than I remember from other years. Plenty of good folk to chat with if you were so inclined. At least the watchtowers in the campsites gone but there were lots of security patrols, the gas police, wanting to put out camping stoves sucked. On the plus side it was Comp 87 on tour!

  • Janelle Monae, Main Stage: Best opening act I've ever seen at the picnic surely
  • Marc Almond, Electric Arena: Went out of curiosity, somewhat interesting
  • Jonsi, Electric Arena: Outstanding, a festival highlight
  • Laura Marling, Crawdaddy Stage: She was not in the festival spirit, dire
  • Roxy Music, Main Stage: Disappointing, music by numbers
  • PiL, Electric Arena: Only caught 15 minutes between Roxy music, uninspiring, maybe it would have been different if I managed to hear Rise and the awesome line "Anger is an energy".

  • And So I watch You from Afar, Crawdaddy Stage: The lads play short sets and only caught the last song of their 1.30 start, it was superb and wish I had seen more
  • Redneck Manifesto, Crawdaddy Stage: Only managed to get the last song as well, great Irish instrumental band (there are so many these days), it has been a bunch of picnics since I seen them, I really like the new album, Friendship
  • Villagers, Crawdaddy Stage: An EP moment. Never heard their music before the big - the hype and friends' advice not to miss proved spot on. Sensational. The song Pieces was electric!
  • Irvine Welsh and Roddy Doyle, Literary Stage: I'm a big fan of Irvine Welsh and it was a huge treat to hear him read one of the stories from Acid House. He came unprepared and found Acid House in the 2nd hand book shop in mind field. Roddy doyle read a story that was surely Irvine Welsh inspired, a memorable drug infused trip with Mexico's Fighting Irish, the The San Patricios.
  • Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, Little Big Tent: Same size tent as last year but packed solid compared to the handful of last year. Great to hear Thou shalt not kill again - with the chorus, Radiohead are not a band...(and many more bands)...
  • The Frames, Main Stage: back after 2 years on the road without the Frames, Glen needed this more than us. As always he gave 110% and keeping with the festival spirit minimised the story telling. I've seen them at Glasto but never at the EP, it was time. Superb.
  • Gill Scott Heron, Crawdaddy Stage: Rambling but irresistible, so good to see the legend.
  • Leftfield, Main Stage: Came over to their show on the main stage after Gill Scott. It was a prefect outdoor late night vibe. It caught me by surprise as I had not been keeping up with Leftfield, they finished up with some fantastic dubstep, a festival highlight for me.
  • Caribou, Body & Soul: Leftfield finished at 2am but there was still a lot of music to come. Really nice sounds down at the pit in the Body and Soul, which had a bed of mulch, I guess they were being careful after the mud slides down last year.
  • Martin Hayes, Body & Soul: Wow. Mind blowing. Thinking the energy might be fading at 3am, we got a shot of ripping fiddle that you just were compulsed to move to. Electrifying and spine chilling as I write. First trad ever for me in 6 picnics and very possibly the highlight of the festival.
  • A perfect day. The only downer was missing the hot tub in body and soul with the lads.

  • Two Door Cinema Club, Electric Arena: Another brilliant Irish band, heard for the first time.
  • Fat Freddy's Drop, Electric Arena: I love their sound but was not in the mood after a song or two.
  • Archie Bronson Outfit, Cosby Stage: Grand, didn't leave an impression.
  • Mixhell, Little Big Tent: Dug this dance sound for a while.
  • Mumford & Sons, Main Stage: Didn't know them. They got a nice vibe going with the crowd with songs that sounded like I had heard them before but hadn't.
  • The National, Main Stage: Saw them 2 years ago in the Olympia when they were still playing songs of Aligator. Have not listened to their last 2 albums, but damn, the crowd had and you got the feeling loved these songs even better. They played a totally different version of the Mr November I knew too. There was some drizzle falling now. Very Good.
  • Low Anthem, Crawdaddy Stage: After their set last year I really wanted to see them again. A 4 piece this year and not swapping instruments as much. They 4 of them did one tune where all 4 sung into the same mike with just a strumming guitar accompanying. Very cool.
  • Fever Ray, Electric Arena: A cool sound, would like to see more.
  • Laurent Garnier live, Little Big Tent: Unlike the last time he played at the picnic he had live musicians this time but was still doing his signature breakdowns. The rain was full on for a while. I left before the end at 11.30 and walked out to the car and drove home.
  • Fight like Apes, Crawdaddy Stage: Had not seen them before, saw 20 minutes of them and thought they were dreadful. Caught member Mary Kate's mother beforehand in a debate in the literature stage in the mindfield, Drivetime Four Savvy Women, that was more bearable.

Declan Waugh

EP 2010, great weekend, still not fully cognis mentis.

Here is the round up from West Cork commencing with in order of performance:


Janelle Monae:****
Marc Almond:***
Laura Marling:*
Janelle Monae (Body and Soul):**
Trenchtown:- Reggae set: **


Hypnotic Brass Ensemble:***
Bad Lieutenant:***
Steve Earle:***
Robyn(THISISPOPBABY, acoustic set):****
Hot Chip:***< The Frames:***** (the auld triangle was a classic moment & performance to finish on)
LCD Soundsystem:**
Gill Scott Heron:***
Martin Hayes:*****


Two Door Cinema Club:****
History Ireland Hedge School:****
Leviathan Political Cabaret:*****
The National:****
Low Anthem:***
Laurent Garnier live:**
Bourgeois and Maurice (THISISPOPBABY):***
Jonny Woo (THISISPOPBABY):***-outrageous performance designed to shock, entertaining but could only take 20minutes

Headed back to tent around 12.30am in torrential rain, tent didn’t hold up to monsoon rainfall.
Little sleep and up early to beat the morning rush, just got out before torrential downpour.
No Pancakes-bummer!

Hard to say what was the gig of the festival for me; touch and go between Robyn, THE Frames and The National, followed by Foals, Villagers, Martin Hayes, Two Door Cinema Club and Janelle Monai

Packed away my costumes for another year. What will it be next year?


Dave McGuinness

Another very memorable picnic, one of the best from this "veteran's" viewpoint. i didn't see a dud performance all weekend - i thought beforehand it was the best line-up in years, but wondered would i be disappointed - no chance.

Unfortunately i wasn't witness to many of the mcgrath-related shenanigans (e.g. the never-used camping stove). but his rendition of 'pair of brown eyes' elevated an already great EP moment -
that is the body and soul hot-tub - to a new level. willie and his lovely ladies was a recurring memory of friday night - not sure if was his shoulders or the consumed whiskey, perhaps both. tom's pancakes - it goes without saying, legend. and those sociable, lazy breakfasts. nicely captured by your pic attached willie - would be great to share the others. kev, declan you might have some too to put up on flickr or whatever? it was very cool to see the novices embrace the event - ducks to water. so i'm not going to rule out seeing some or all of you, your wives and your kids, at some future electric picnics. long may they continue.

All these emails show we all had such different experiences of the weekend, and you could beat yourself up about missing this act or that - but the bottom line is we all had a blast and there are no bad decisions! You split up, you hook up later and realise everyone's had just a good time as you did.

Declan, I like the snappy 'star' reviews. So, for the record my gig reviews are:

Friday -
Janelle Monae ****; Marc Almond ***½; Jonsi ****; Roxy Music ****.

Saturday -
Redneck Manifesto ***; Villagers *****; Ardal O'Hanlon ***; Frames ****; LCD Soundsystem ****; Gil-Scott Heron ***½; Martin Hayes ****.

These are the votes of the McG jury...


Kevin McGrath

I have a few very low quality photos here [slideshow below], but sure they're worth a look.

Get the flash player here:

Seasick Steve took up about 50% of my gig entire gig attendance was .... Half of Roxy Music, 15 mins of PIL, Seasick Steve, first half hour of The Frames, Seasick Steve again, first 20 mins of Gil Scott Heron, some ape called Fionn playing in a small tent with nice amps, and 2 tunes from Martin Hayes. I was at my own gig of course in the hot tub, which was prettty poorly attended by 3 members of a warmly appreciative audience, plus one heckler shouting "no singing", come on ... its the Picnic!

I loved the refugee style toilets, it like pi$$ing off a bridge.

Thanks guys for all the good times and thanks to the little pixies who put the tents up for us!


Tony Corrigan

I'd have to add Imelda May to the list of hits....I was blown away; I was possibly the only person in Ireland who'd never heard her before. You'd have to give The Frames a serious mention too, I don't know does Glenn Hansard get through a set of strings per song or wha'! Mark Almond was also quite enjoyable.....and a special mention for The Might Stef? Maybe not....

Honorable mention to Mr. Harty for providing communal whiskey too!!

A great weekend and it was great to see all 'd-lads' together again!
Same again next year?

Conor Harty

Definitely in line for 2011. Will have a better itinerary and plan (could hardly be less that this year's nothing effort).

Clodagh (the sister) was very impressed with our set-up, wants to know if she can take a membership for next year. Her car had to be pushed out of the car park yesterday morning. She left her 30 Euros tent behind her as it got destroyed

Kudos to Tom C. Was speaking to Eimear (other sister) this morning. She told me that one of her friends said to her that it it wasn't for that tent with the pole and the big flag she would have been lost getting back at night. Better still, on Saturday night Eimear was looking for her at the frames, she told E that she was in the crowd next to that pole with the twirly flag and light.

Well done all


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

EP 2009

See you under the rainbow

Another picnic has come and gone. What an outstanding few days on the Cosby estate it was, as it always is. Missing this year were my sisters, Christine, Cats...but we had a lovely crew with Declan Waugh, McG, Brendan & Edel, Kevin McKellar and Simon back from Stockholm, bringing another convert, Elloy, with him. The 3m hook-up pole was back, with the bat on top replaced with a rainbow twister which did it's job on many occasions pulling together the crew for some Electric Picnic moments.

Quiet camping was in a perfect spot behind a screen at entrance 2 that no one saw as they came in and the field was not even a quarter full. The walk in/out with the trolley was real easy this year, no ploughed fields to negotiate with the trolley this time. At basecamp the rainbow/purple streamer flag was up and it was time to retire to McG's nearby camper van, which he parked in a field close to entrance 2 when he baulked going into the camper van field seeing tractors were pulling in the vans! Prepared in Wanda (McG's VW), a cold G & T in the sun is a wish for every Friday afternoon!

What to check out before MGMT/Dinosaur Jnr/Orbital? Niall Lynch had given us some tips on Facebook. After warming up with some Richmond Fontaine & Major Lazer feeding the groove we headed to the Cosby stage to check out one of Niall's tips. Efterklang, is not a name that rolls of the tongue. Taking the Canadian collective "blueprint", turns out they are Danish, 2 tash and cardigan wearing lads and another 5 in the collective, 1 girl on keys. They were as blown away by the crowd reaction as I saw a band over the festival. That usually helps and this show was buzzing. A highlight without a doubt.

I had not seen MGMT live before and have played the album to death with Malie loving to dance to Time to Pretend and Kids. Hard to translate the energy of the album to the EP main stage where the speakers could have been bigger and fuller sounding. It was great to see them anyhow and the songs still shone through. I had not seen Dinosaur Jnr in 20 years I think, J Mascis still has his hair, the bastard! It was fun hearing their melodic noise. Orbital broke up in 2004, I had seen 2 of their festival shows before at Glastonbury, in 2002 and 2004 with Christine. If I was asked what my favourite show ever was, I'd say Orbital, Glasto, 2002, so this was the one must see off the weekend for me. Seemingly not reformed but together for a bunch of shows to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Chime. It was just gorgeous to feel their magic bouncing in your ears once more.

Body and Soul was not as crowded this year it seemed and watching the Lucent Dossier stage with the fire stick/hoop dancing was as fantastic as ever. To the back and right of Lucent Dossier is the Zen Garden with the dragon guarding the entrance. The "Glasto" chai tipi was back again for another EP, these lovely folk are now a festival constant and a great late night refuge. Nearby in the corner was another tent spinning reggae and other stuff that got you up off your feet before skipping off for a chai and a chocolate crepe.

The wonderful Lucent Dossier

Low Anthem

Giving the XX album a few spins in the days before the EP it was sounding decent, their show in the Electric Arena did not catch fire and over in the Cosby the 3 piece Low Anthem were swapping the drum seat and getting on with it, nice energy.

Kev, McG and myself started a hacky circle which turned out to be our only one due to Kev straining a muscle. We were getting in the groove and getting a little flow when we heard 15! We had a official counter! She joined us for a bit while her mate watched and being well used to keep-it-up with a football was not long adapting to the speed of the foot bag.

Back in the Electric arena Roots Manuva was spitting out his stuff, only Rapper at the festival I saw. Declan thought he was from New York and putting on an english accent, but no, defo a London boy! It was time for some afternoon outdoor antics and Kid Creole stepped up. He has a new set of Coconuts these days and it was a decent afternoon show though the lude references to the coconuts were tired and rolled out.

David McWilliams was MC down in the Leviathan tent in the Mindfield space (last year's spoken word) and I listened to the first part of a 'Death of Capitalism' debate which involved Eamon McCann, Eamon Ryan and some ex wall streeter. It was good stuff but when Eamon McCann started into his 2nd "rant" I wanted to hear more music.

Can I manage a hacky?

Jazzanova (Live) in the Little Big Tent was a perfect vibe and one of the festival highlights. Off to the Crawdaddy for Explosions in the sky and having heard a spin of their album I was anticipating some sonic instrumental journeys. Their first track held promise but they did not suck me in and left me wondering was this a fans gig as they seemed to miss plenty of opportunities to bring the festival crowd together. I was not the only one unengaged and myself and McG headed via the commercial mud slog to the main for Madness. Not as easy this year to move between the main and the tents since they closed off the quick passage. After a few tracks the rainbow twister located us with the lads and we had some EP moments with Our House and Baggy Trousers, great fun. Managed to get back to the Crawdaddy for the end of Fourtet which sounded dark and great. 2 Many Djs was the late night option on the main stage and their megamixing and visual bringing of life to album covers was interesting for a while. Caught some of Moderat on the way to Body and Soul. Edged around Fourtet's 2nd set and ended up in the Zen Garden tents to wind down the evening.

The only real rain of the festival was on Sunday morning while we were crashed in the tents. Got a late enough start to the tunes with the dj band, Simiam Mobile Disco, at the electric arena. Only caught the end of Bell Orchestra at the Cosby and wish I had seen more. It was jammers at the arena for Florence and the Machine, Echo & the bunnymen were sounding pretty karaokish with some cover songs and back at the Cosby the 4AD band, The Big Pink, were a find, though only caught the end of the set. The Jimmy Cake had the slot vacated by Bat for lashes absence and another end of the show sounded spot on! We pulled in a crew for Amadou & Mariam, from Mali with the 2 principles meeting in blind school, these lot were a festival highlight no doubt.

The Flaming Lips or not? Having experienced them live at festivals a bunch of times you know what you will get and I could not resist though I wanted to go to the cosby for Skream & Benga. Of course Yoshimi came though and 'Do you realize' was why I went. Wayne loves the EP and will come every times he is asked he tells us. I am wondering what the uninitiated made of the gig. Declan and myself ended up sitting on a perfect perch in the body & soul for Amorphous Androgynous and their psychedelic sound winding down the picnic. Saw some of Beach House before drifting over to the chai tent in the Zen Garden, a bit of a festival ending tradition for me at this point.

Back at basecamp at 3am Sunday my 9m flag pole & flags were no where to be seen. My gazebo was also pulled down and the poles bent. The wind did not do this. Also stolen on Sunday night from inside my tent vestibule was my thermorest/camping chair, this was personal - since it's been too many wonderful places with me in the last 15 years.

Waking up to a perfect Monday morning wandering around the quiet camping as people broke down camps I pieced it together. At 01.45, 5 yobs ran off carrying the flag pole and shouting names at some campers outside their tents as they went. They disappeared into the corner if the field where one could wade though a small "stream" and get into the Charlie Chaplin field. I talked to one girl whose friend's tent had been broken into Friday night and her food and drink strewn around the campsite. Another girl told me her car had been broken into, they did not take her iPod but broke her steering wheel and inner light. 20 cars have been stolen so far an employee told me. A Garda said that it happens every year, though more at the Oxygen festival. This year, at my 10th closed site festival, the law of averages finally caught up.

David McGuinness
Orbital, Billy Bragg, Madness, Efterklang

Saturday, September 13, 2008

EP 2008

Best Bits
Friday, 29 August
  • Sigur Rós

Saturday, 30 August
  • George Clinton,Main Stage
  • The Breeders, Electric Aren
  • Tindersticks, Electric Picnic
  • That Petrol Emotion, Crawdaddy stage.
    I was at their last gig in 94 before I moved to the states so that was a real nostalgic trip.
  • Ra Ra Riot, Little Big Tent

Sunday, 31 August
  • My Bloody valentine, Electric Arena
  • The Roots, Main Stage
  • Ibrahim Electric, Jazz Tent.
    The last gig of the festival and a very memorable surprise, before they burned the temple and the heavens opened. Or so I thought, I it seems The Orb played in Body and soul around then too.
  • These New Puritans, Little Big Tent

David McGuinness highlights
Sigur Ros, Roots, Wilco, MBV, Elbow

Thursday, September 20, 2007

EP07 - Caro pix

Caroline posted some fab photos on flickr. Great shots of Final Fantasy.