Heady mix of new musical delights added to this year's Picnic
Explosions In The Sky, Villagers, Ben Howard and more...EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY; VILLAGERS, DEXYS; BEN HOWARD; BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB; THE ANTLERS; NELL BRYDEN; BELLOWHEAD; PAUL BUCHANAN; PATRICK WATSON; WILD BEASTS; GRIMES; THE STAVES; ANDY IRVINE, DONAL LUNNY, LIAM O’FLYNN and PADDY GLACKIN; THE VACCINES.
Summer is upon us and we have a heady mix of new musical delights for this year's festival, we have some returning acts already a favourite among Picnicers such as Explosions in the Sky and The Antler’s and for some its their Picnic debut – Wild Beasts, Ben Howard and throw in a bit of nostalgia with Dexys and Paul Buchanan and we have the perfect playlist for EP ’12.
Texan quartet, EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY are coming back to Stradbally following an electric performance in ‘09. Since then they've released their fifth album, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care in 2011 and added guitar technician and long-time friend Carlos Torres to their live line-up. Famous for emotionally enchanting performances, there's no doubt they'll promise the Picnic another evening of post-rock instrumental fireworks.
VILLAGERS need no introduction having played the Picnic in ‘09 and ’10. With a raft of nominations since then, such as Mercury Music Prize, Choice Music Prize, Q Awards and also winning 2 Digital Socket Awards plus a coveted Ivor Novello Award for ‘Becoming a Jackal’. Conor J. O’Brien and band make a triumphant return to the Stradbally stage.
Dubbed the biggest comeback of the year, DEXY’S (Midnight Runners) reformation will make at Stradbally this September. The band who filled the early eighties with hits such as “Come on Eileen” and “Geno”, have returned with One Day I’m Going To Soar, their first album in 27 years. Although they dropped the latter part of their band name (an effort to distance themselves from old material), their show at Stradbally ensures to pay homage to past favourites, with front man Kevin Rowland stating their old songs “still have an energy and a relevance today. I’m proud of this band.” Catch their first reformed visit to Ireland at Electric Picnic.
Since his debut album Every Kingdom was released last October, BEN HOWARD’s star has been rapidly rising. With Every Kingdom going gold and his UK tour already sold out for later this year, Howard has accumulated an abundance of praise from audiences and critics alike. Picnicers will welcome Howard with open arms as he soothes the crowd with his stunningly harmonious and emotive stage presence.
Another indie rooted act that will grace Stradbally with their presence, are BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB. The boys are set to release their final single Beg from their third album A Different Kind Of Fix on July 9th. Beg was recently given Zane Lowe’s ‘Hottest track in the world’ and the band along with The Specials and New Order has also been chosen to support Blur at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on 12 August, 2012. With an adoring fan-base and consistently packed out shows, their performance at the Picnic is sure to follow suit with an abundance of festival revellers joyously embracing lead singer, Jack Steadman’s glorious vocals.
It’s been two years since their stellar performance at Electric Picnic 2010 and Brooklyn based, THE ANTLERS are returning to the Stradbally stage for 2012. After their critically acclaimed third album Hospice, the band recently confirmed their new Undersea EP to be released July 24th. With a relocation from French Kiss Records to Anti and a vigorous festival line up this summer, Antlers’ revisit is sure to coax the crowd into dream-pop, post-rock exhilaration.
Also hailing from Brooklyn, is singer-songwriter NELL BRYDEN who will entice us with her “WOW” appeal, as given to her by Ian Dempsey on Today FM. Nell has been receiving rave reviews across Ireland, she gave a staggering performance on the Late Late in 2008 and Pat Kenny stated ‘Not only do I love listening to Nell’s music but I love watching Nell perform’ . Nell has built her industry reputation through traditional word of mouth respectability. She has performed as a special guest on tour with KT Tunstall, The Counting Crows and with Irish acts-Damien Dempsey, Cathy Davey, MUNDY, Mick Flannery, DUKE SPECIAL & Declan O’Rourke.
The immense BELLOWHEAD are an eleven piece British band assembled by Jon Boden and John Spiers. Think English folk tradition meets jazz, disco, musichall and an irresistible array of instruments including everything from fiddles, concertinas, frying pans, bozoukis and banjos, to wind-up toys. Winner of three BBC awards for “Best live act” Bellowhead are sure to ignite the Picnic with ”the sound of 44 limbs in pursuit of countless more possibilities”. – The Times (UK).
It’s been six years since Blue Nile hit the Picnic but now Scotsman, PAUL BUCHANAN is returning solo to Stradbally for 2012. Buchanan took eight years to get around to recording his debut Mid-Air released this year. It was time well spent and reached number three within its first week on the UK charts. Paul who felt “lost after the Blue Nile” will certainly be found knocking our socks off at the Picnic come September.
Canadian band PATRICK WATSON (aptly named after the lead singer ‘Patrick Watson’), will entice Stradbally with their theatrical and atmospheric charm. The band was born from the same artistic division in Montreal that boasts acts such as Arcade Fire and Godspeed You! Black Emperor and have earned a fearsome status thanks to four albums. With the 2007 Polaris music prize under their belt and an outstanding stage manner, Picnicers won’t want to miss them.
English Indie-Rocker’s WILD BEASTS will make their Picnic debut this year. Praised for their delicate yet evocative style, the Cumbrian quartet will transfix picnic goers with an array of ethereal and sensuous hits. Mike Diver says they are “the most inspirational, intriguing, effortlessly enrapturing band at work in Britain” and Hayden Thorpe’s falsetto is sure to send the crowds quite literally, ‘wild’ at Stradbally.
If you’ve been living under a rock, you probably would have still heard that Canadian, Claire Boucher aka GRIMES is the hottest indie-electro female sensation at the moment. ‘Grimes’ was a project created by Boucher in Vancouver’s thriving DIY scene in 2010 and has managed to release four albums in less than two years. Her latest contribution, Visions is enjoying mass success and she describes her work as, “the only means through which I can be fully expressive. It is both an ethereal escape from, and a violent embrace of, my experience”. Expect lots of hysterical dancing and hipster head bopping at Stradbally upon her arrival.
Striking sisters, THE STAVES are a folk-rock triad, quietly overtaking the music world with their graceful and melodic sound. Now working with producers Glyn and Ethan Johns – who, have worked with the likes Bob Dylan right through to Laura Marling – one should keep a close eye on these three and their performance at this year’s picnic.
ANDY IRVINE, DONAL LUNNY, LIAM O’FLYNN AND PADDY GLACKIN are local heroes who revolutionized traditional Irish songs in the 70s. They brought Irish culture and music to the world stage and will bring that same historical musical energy to Stradbally this year.
Another first is musical magpie WALLIS BIRD whose mature, self-affirming songs display an unusual emotional breadth. The Irish artist has paid her dues, shredding her fingers and breaking string after string from the sheer force of playing on stages small and large across Europe, and throwing her entire soul into each performance with a level of energy that makes her an unassailable force of nature and a perfect performer for this year’s Picnic.
London based 4 piece THE VACCINES return to the Picnic after they thrilled Picnic goers in 2011. The band has earned nominations for MTV Best New Band 2011 and BBC Sound of 2011, and an appearance on Later with Jools Holland. Armed with their gold selling debut album ‘What Did You Expect From the Vaccines?” and their sophomore addition ‘The Vaccines Come of Age’ arriving early this September, they will once again unleash their indie rhythmic magic throughout the Picnic.