Nights In

The seven small acts you have to see at electric picnic

With Electric Picnic only one day away, those with tickets will already be planning out which act they must and see and how to best to see them all. 

George Ezra, Blur and Florence and the Machine will undoubtedly be pulling massive crowds because they’re simply brilliant. 
 
This is the music event of the year in Ireland with more fantastical music acts than you can shake any number of sticks at. 
 
To help you figure out which of the smaller acts you should most definitely check out I’ve compiled a short list of non-headliner acts you should make time to see.
 
Stradbally Manor is a big field full of music, so here’s my hidden treasure chest of melody. The following list is no particular order.  
 
Anti-One  
Sean Ferdia Mooney is Anti-One. Coming from Donnycarney, Dublin he combines his fresh, original lyrics with his own take on what modern hip-hop is. 
 
Usually responsible for writing, producing and recording his material all by himself, he intends to add a new dynamic to his live performance at the Picnic by having a full live band on stage with him. 
 
A full band, great artist and with a warm up gig tonight in the Workman’s Club, you have no option but to get a taste for alternative Irish hip-hop. 
 
Catch their set for yourself on the Earthship Stage in the Body and Soul arena on Saturday Sept 5th.  
 
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Bitch Falcon
Dublin’s premier rock and grunge band, Bitch Falcon make the music they want and don’t really care about what anyone else thinks. 
 
The energetic and rambunctious frontwoman Lizzie Fitzpatrick captures your attention immediately. Once you hear the first note of their set, you won’t be able to leave until they finish and you’ll still be begging for more. 
 
This band is not one for the faint-hearted. If you want to mosh and partake in the banging of the heads then these are the only act you need to see in Stradbally. 
 
Don’t assume because it’s two girls and one guy that they like acoustic four chord songs about heart-breaking boys. They know how to shred.
 
There’s anger in their work, but a finesse that shows their talents. Pounding drums, howling guitars and growling vocals will have you feeling like you’re in an underground gig in 90’s Seattle.
 
Don’t miss them on the Main Stage in the Body and Soul area on the Saturday of the festival.  
 
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Booka Brass Band
Now here’s something a little (well really it’s a lot) different from most of the other acts at the whole festival. 
 
Their name is self-explanatory, but their live shows are a spectacle all their own. I’ve never heard another band who describe themselves as Urban Brass, have you? 
 
But that is what they are. Since performing at the Picnic last year they’ve gone from strength to strength. With their second birthday bash in the famous Vicar Street venue and with stomping performances at this year’s Glastonbury festival, these guys knows how to party. 
 
With seven classically trained players on trumpet, trombone, saxophone, sousaphone and drums, they hail from all parts of Ireland and they still manage to be full time students. Now that’s impressive. 
 
Having performed with people such as James Vincent McMorrow and Lisa Hannigan, Booka Brass Band are undoubtedly one of the most impressive acts to emerge from the Irish scene recently. 
 
Get a taste for what their live performances are with the video below. Catch them on the Other Voices stage at 5pm on the Friday.  
 
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Mac DeMarco
Here’s a name which until quite recently I wasn’t familiar enough with. Mac DeMarco is a Canadian singer songwriter. His genre; indie jangle pop. That’s enough to grab anyone’s attention.
 
Since releasing his debut EP, Rock and Roll Night Club, in 2012 he has gone on to tour the world with his backing band. An incredibly talented vocalist, lyricist and multi-instrumentalist he has gained many fans through his psychedelic yet incredibly catchy song writing style.
 
For those at EP who only want to find music to sit and relax to and to feel as chilled out as possible, Mr. DeMarco is the most appropriate fulfilment of your wishes. While he is easily the biggest name on this list, he does not have a particularly large following in Ireland which is why he has been included.  
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Æ MAK
Fronted by Aoife McCann and Ellie McMahon, Æ MAK, are the newest musical act to explode on the Irish scene. Formed in BIMM Dublin earlier this year, their influences include Arcade Fire, Bjork and Django Django.
 
This year, their debut single “I Can Feel It In My Bones” featured on this year’s BIMM Dublin and Manchester. You can listen to that track over on the group’s Soundcloud page to get a sense of what they’re like. They are currently preparing to record their debut EP which will be released in the near future.
 
Don’t miss them and their dancy jungle indie pop stylings on the Oxfam Ireland’s Oxjam Stage on the Sunday at 10pm.  
 
https://soundcloud.com/aemakoffical 
 
Featuring X
This all female five piece indie band have done quite a lot in a short time. With support slots for The Strypes, performances at this year’s Vantastival and Longitude festivals, two music videos with thousands of views each on YouTube as well as climbing the Irish alternative music charts with their first single “Wild Love” there is nothing they aren’t capable of. 
 
Five immensely talented individuals plus one craic promotion team and management plus a fantastic stage presence will leave you assured that the future of music in Ireland is safe with them. 
 
Having been chosen as the poster band for Guinness Amplify’s outdoor billboard campaign there’s a good chance you saw them on your local Dublin Bus sometime this year as well! 
 
Be sure to catch them at the Trailer Park Mobile Home Stage on the Saturday at 4pm. 
 
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The Eskies
Finally, let’s round up this list with another Irish act. The best way to describe the Eskies I think is how they describe themselves. Sea soaked gypsy folk. 
 
Now if that doesn’t roll off your tongue leaving a taste of intrigue and salt water I don’t know what will. 
 
Having recently launched their debut album “After the Sherry Went Round” to a sold out launch gig in Whelan’s, and off the back of a storming performance at this year’s Knockanstockan music festival, these boys are slowly and charmingly taking over the world.
 
Having played a number of dates in Dublin, the UK and Europe in the last month, they’ll be rounding off the summer in exotic Stradbally. 
 
As one of the most passionate live performers going at the moment, you’ll be in for one hell of a treat at the Jerry Fish Electric Sideshow stage.  
 
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