EleventyFour/Electric Picnic/The Love Letter Stage/Body & Soul/Saturday afternoon.
Photo by The Incredible Mulq
There I am, eyes closed, smiling, singing away. It’s a sunny September Saturday in Stradbally (too much?) and I’m in the middle of the most fun and surreal gig I have ever played. The reason I have my eyes closed is the same reason I have a big grin on my face. Well it could be a number of reasons, I can’t pin down which of the many weird, hilarious and distracting things was happening at that particular moment. There were many things that made me laugh mid song and close my eyes so I could concrentrate on singing and not on the thing I thought might be a hallucination. It might have been when the Zombie Bridal Party arrived at the gig in full zombie make up and costumes and the Zombie Maid Of Honour started raving to ‘Impatient Patient’. It could have been the guy with the amazing handlebar moustache and lilac jumpsuit who I decided was an ’80’s power dressing female executive who wanted to pilot her own plane and nobody could stop her, dammit. There’s a strong possibility it was during one of the TWO separate incidents when very loud drumming parades circled the stage. Or maybe it was the procession of faceless dancing playing cards skipping past the stage led by a harlequin jester.
I was in my element though, partly because I was so happy to be playing at the Picnic, partly because I only forgot the lyrics once (and got a big cheer when I remembered them), but mainly because everyone there was up for a laugh and open to the weird and wonderfulness of it all. The Love Letter Stage was a great place to play at EP, not just because it looked real purty but also because the location got a lorra traffic (pedestrian only thankfully) and lots of of passers-by stayed for the gig, yay!
I also played a set on Friday night on the beautiful wooden Peace Pagoda Stage.
EleventyFour/Electric Picnic/Peace Pagoda Stage/Body & Soul/Friday evening
Photo by The Incredible Mulq
It was a chilly evening and the sun went down as I played but the twinkly lights came on all over the Body & Soul area and it was quite magical. This set was fun too, a great supportive crowd which also included some interesting characters (Do I attract oddness?) like the guy dancing in the onesie tiger costume or the guy who was painted blue and decided to climb up one of the supporting poles in the tent!
Aside from having an absolute whale of a time playing at Electric Picnic (and getting some blog-love from Nialler9 and Pop Culture Monster who listed me in their 15 Best Bands at Electric Picnic and The Best Bands of Electric Picnic articles respectively), I got to see some fantastic acts. My favourites were Gordon Gano & the Ryans, Beirut, Tieranniesaur, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, PJ Harvey, Dublin Gospel Choir, Joan As Policewoman and The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra. I also got to see The Brown Bread Mixtape do their thang (always a riot) mostly listened to David O Doherty as the Comedy tent was jampacked and I was at the back (and 5′ 2″) and witnessed some stunning poetry on the Arts Council Literary Stage by Erin Fornoff, Sarah Griffin, Colm Keegan and Sarah Clancy. Not to mention being a wedding guest at the Inflatable Chapel, hanging out in the Permaculture area at the bonfire, eating homemade pizza from the outdoor cob oven, going on the Big Wheel with my best friend and generally lapping up the colourful antic goings on all over the place. The atmosphere was so special, thousands of people there to have fun, it was tangible. The magic of it all has left me pining like a teenager after a holiday romance. I love you Electric Picnic, can’t wait to see you next summer…write to me!