Forbidden Fruit serves as the kick off to Ireland’s festival season. Finally. With the sun bearing down, the excitement palpable and the crowds primed and ready, Kilmainham started us off in serious style.
The line up for Sunday erred a little more on the dance side of things, inevitably drawing a crowd that can only be defined as eclectic. Between the Indian headdresses, ray bans and burnt skin; it was Ireland’s very own ode to Coachella. Sure, at least the weather held up!
First on the agenda for the day was Public Enemy. Ensconced in the Undergrowth Stage, with the crowd pouring in, it didn’t take long for the air to start thrumming. They overcame a few early technical issues to bring the tent alive. While Public Enemy will never be as good as their earliest manifestation, they still court huge crowds and absolutely satisfy. Both Chuck D and Flavor Flav seemed to draw from the energy in the tent, and just got better and better. Drawing their slot to a close with a few words to the crowd, they could later be found wandering around the bar, indulging fans demanding photos. (Yes, this girl was one of those fans lucky enough to meet a slightly inebriated Flavor Flav post gig, who declared he “expletive loved Ireland.” Day = Made.)
Post-Public Enemy there was a brief come down, before heading over to catch Warpaint on the Original Stage. One of the few guitar centric acts on the Sunday, they drew in a surprisingly good crowd. The girls are only on their second album but took to the stage like pros, blasting out their broody, indie beats with characteristic soul. Perhaps a smaller stage would have fitted them a little more, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind as soon as the strains of ‘Undertow ‘could be heard across the field.
The biggest conflict of the day came in the form of 2manydjs versus Wild Beasts. With the former kicking off a half hour earlier, the decision was made to attempt to run between both stages. This surprisingly worked out quite well. One of the highlights of any 2manydj’s gig is the lightshow they put on. It can be absolutely mind-blowing. Unfortunately they kicked off a little too early for that to be in full effect. Therefore, they were quickly abandoned with the intention to return once darkness had set in.
Luckily, Wild Beasts had just graced the Undergrowth Stage. The tent was bereft of the crowds that had earlier packed it out, but a small band of devoted fans remained. Considering how well received their newest album has been, it was a surprisingly small turn out. But those of us that had turned out quickly made up for the lack of numbers with roaring support. Insinuating a little R&B into their indie fare, Wild Beasts have done a lot to transcend any kind of generic ‘indie’ moniker and their live show merely serves to demonstrate this. With blaring synths and a lead vocal that is nothing short of haunting, the quartet was undeniably a highlight of the day.
It was with considerable irritation that we dragged ourselves from the depths of the Undergrowth Stage, but the call of the 2manydj’s set was just too heady. The Belgian Duo stood with signature stoicism behind their mixing decks, ensuring that the crowd went absolutely wild. Whether you know their stuff or not, they dictate the rhythm of their shows so well that you can’t help but dance. There wasn’t a body in sight not moving to the beat as they closed out one hell of a festival. And yes, the light show was spectacular.