Electric Picnic '08 Review

Fun and frolics abound at the latest Electric Picnic which, despite having several worthy acts poached by the cunt of all festivals that took place back in July, still mustered together enough madness to make it easily Irelands music festival of choice.

Click on the read more for my blow by blow account of what the hell I got up to during the day and most importantly who I saw and even more importantly if they were any good.


Before I embark on this dredge into my memories I'm going to give a spoiler: I saw no bad acts at Electric Picnic. Some were lacklustre but nobody truly sucked which was a bit of a revelation as usually at each festival there's one or two acts who will truly piss me off. A bit like MGMT did at the aforementiond cuntfest.

Having arrived in the early afternoon it was considered pretty good going that I actually managed to get all the way from the back of the Andy Warhol campsite in time to see Jape. Did anybody else notice how fucking annoying it was that they gave the campsites names this year instead of colours. How many times did you hear "What campsite are you in?" "Jimi Hendrix" "Which one is that?". Whats wrong with just simple red, blue and yellow. Causes far too much confusion.

Anyway. Jape. Well if you don't already know that the man has one of the best albums of the year and a class live act then you shouldn't be reading this cause he does on both counts. I found it strangely ironic that the Crawdaddy tent is about ten times bigger than Crawdaddy itself but Jape managed to pack the fucker out and entertain the masses who all sang along in their droves to "Floating" and "I was a man" amongst others.

While stopping to have a mong break after Jape one couldn't help but take in a little bit of yet another reformed Irish act this time in the shape of The Stunning. Not having been old enough back in the early 90's to have appreciated these lads most of the songs were fairly lost on me but its telling how much of a fickle bunch modern audiences are that during their last song ("Brewing up a Storm" naturaly) everybody starts running towards the tent in order to cath a blast of the only Stunning song that they (and I) know. It does happen to be a good one though if a bit of a rip off of "Don't fear the Reaper".

Wander over to Goldfrapp to catch a few minutes. She's good at what she does but she's never exactly blown my skirt up and she seems to be dipping into her folky shit instead of the dancy stuff that everybody likes. Ho hum.

My mate Jono from England turns up out of nowhere. "What are you doing here man?" I say. "All I have to do is inflate the inflatable church at the start and deflate it at the end. Free flight grub and ticket". Bastard. He did however draw my attention to Beardyman playing in the Bacardi live tent. Human beatbox kind of character. Very very impressive sounds coming out of his gob. Doing cover versions of songs while playing all the instuments with his vocals at the same time. Fucking man had some time so spare growing up no doubt.

Wander over for a bit of Digitalism. Good sounds. Pity I wasn't so fucked or I would have stayed longer. Reminded myself to get the album and note next time they're playing.

First must see of the weekend: Sigur Ros. Nothing will make me forgive myself for walking out of them two years ago at cuntfest and go to see Humanzi instead just on the basis of being too hyper for whale music. This will rectify everything hopefully so set up my chair and sit and let the beauty wash over me. I'm not going to say that Sigur Ros get better and better with each album as they're last two haven't been as good as "()" or "Agaetis Byrjun" (they're still great though) but they've got enough quality to fill as sets worth and I pray nonetheless that "Untitled #8" will finish the set which, thank fucking christ, it does. If ever there was a song you'd want playing as the world blew up around you then that would be it. The rest of the night is left hoping just that will happen.


Saturday begins mid afternoon with a trip to the Electric Arena where Midnight Juggernauts are halfway through the set. Not being familiar with their work I head on advice and am impressed with their electro rocky sounds. Will be seeing if the album measures up so wait with bated breath guys lest I piss on thee from afar.

The Breeders begin and within two songs have bored the shite out of me so I head over to the Little Big Tent to wait for The Faint. Having been listening to these dudes for about 6 years tensions are rising with their first trip to these shores. Unfortunately this didn't turn out to be the barnstormer that we all had hoped as they appear 25 minutes late only to play for 20 minutes and then bugger off. They cite technical difficulties but we love The Faint so in fairness they could have come out and read the fucking phone book and we would have been happy. Next time though please come and play your own gig and really blow our cockheads off.

A bit of a tent break to prepare ourselves for what is certainly going to be the maddest hour of the weekend as Warlords of Pez follow three sexy nurses toting free vodka shots onto the stage and swing their mighty cocks and balls into our gleeful mugs. I've had to wait long enough to see these mad cunts so I'm going to be a selfish bastard and not tell you what went in just so you can drag your carcasses down to where they will next rape and pillage and see them for yourself. Consider yourselves warned. And shat upon.

Little bit sad I missed Grace Jones but what can one do. Head to the Electric Arena for Underworld? Sure why not. Good sounds. Tent too packed? Too stoned? That would be a yes. Lie on the grass and mong out? Yes please. Underworld prove that they can still pump out a quality crowd-pleaser but unlike The Chemical Brothers who seem to evolve as dance evolves they seem to be still stuck in their mid to late 90's phase. Woody Allen's analogy about the shark moving forward springs to mind but regardless they know how to pack a tent out.

Wander past George Clinton. Not feeling it. Good funky sounds but elsewhere needs attention.


On what is normally my festival day for lying around feeling like the population of Morocco just shat in my head I find myself strangely chipper in the morning and what is more, am able to head down to catch my earliest festival slot in 6 years. Despite playing at the ungodly hour of 12.30 Ham Sandwich have managed to almost fill the Crawdaddy tent. A mighty achievement and proof still that this band are rising and rising. Their songs sound great on the large stage and Niamh Farrel shows she has recovered well enough from popping a sprog. The main focus as usual is on Podge and what he's wearing, in this case a bunny suit, and god did I ever envy the stage dive he does halfway back the tent as the band walk off. Top stuff altogether.

Walking back to get some breccie we're treated to the Dublin Gospel Choir on the main stage running through a version of Sigur Ros' "Hoppipolla". Fucking bizarre and how they learnt the words is beyond me.

Back in time to see my surprise hit of the festival. Pivot have brought out one of the best albums this year and its clear from their live show that we're going to hear lots and lots from them before the year is out. Check em out in October when they come back over here. Like a mixture between Battles and God is an Astronaut which you have to admit sounds pretty good.

These New Puritans disappointed however. I like their album a lot and really dig the song "Elvis" but they just don't seem to give much of a bollocks onstage and all look so drippy that I'm worried the next fart somebody lets will knock them over. Shame really. They're not bad per se, just lacking a certain something. Its not Je ne sais quoi but I don't know what it is. Har.

Stick around long enough to see the start of Faust. About ten years ago in my more impressionable days I had the idea of bringing Chainsaws and Black and Deckers on stage and using them as musical instruments. Don't really know or care how they sounded cause the start of if was the lowest in wanky shite and I bailed having no desire to hear the sounds of a cement mixer mixing cement. Tosh.

Sunday being sunday I usually see less bands than usual, but seeing as I saw a huge number the previous days, the fact I saw 4 bands is fucking epic. My Bloody Valentine are the other must-see band of the weekend and boy oh boy do those chaps (and chapettes) know how to make some fucking noise. Its only listening to them now do you realise just how inspirational they've been on music thats out nowadays and as you stand and try to listen to they're 15 minute wall of noise that ends their set you wonder how in the name of God you can stand it. Rumours abound of some pussies falling out of the tent crying and throwing up. These people should not be allowed at music festivals and in fact should not be allowed to live. Smashing stuff.

Wander to body and soul past Sex Pistols. Manage to catch "Problems", "God Save the Queen" and "EMI". Hear Lydon hurling abuse at some angsty prick in the crowd. Doesn't he know who he is. No respect at all. Even if he is a racist bollocks surely thats the point of the Pistols isn't it?

Roll on next year by god.

Cheers to James Goulden and Eddie Ryan at State for the live photo's

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