Friday’s overnight downpour threatened Stradbally Hall’s terrain fo’ sho’, but it did not compromise Saturday’s craic. A surprise appearance from Hozier during Trinity Orchestra’s set sent rumours a-flurry that he’d be partaking in a secret set at Other Voices, only for Joey Badass to be confirmed later that day. Nevertheless, his drop-in marked the beginning of another very fun day of picnicking.
Dublin Ukulele Collective
The most wholesome performance of the weekend came from the Dublin Ukulele Collective early Saturday morning at the Trailer Park. Their seemingly never-ending rendition of Wagon Wheel was undoubtedly torturous to some. But it sure as hell got people moving though.
You’d expect their ukulele versions of modern songs to come across a bit twee and tired, when rather, they manage to give these tracks an entirely new lease of life. It’s absolutely saccharine and it isn’t for everyone, but it’s perfectly pleasant listening for the non-fickle listener.
Trinity Orchestra’s tribute to the late great David Bowie suffers because of some sub-par vocal displays from its female leads. Rebel Rebel is compromised, with a peppier version of Let’s Dance bringing up the standard somewhat.
They draw a sizeable crowd off their own bat, but Hozier’s unexpected appearance for an impassioned, coarse rendition of Heroes draws stampedes to the front of the crowd. In total, it’s a set that falls slightly off their efforts in previous years, due to the patchy vocal performance.
The Electric Arena is impenetrable for the entirety of Daithi’s performance, and the response to his songs is a testament to the hard work Daithi has put in to get to where he is today. People scramble to get video footage of the insane performance of Mary Keane’s Introduction – Daithi’s most successful song to date, which topped the Spotify ‘viral chart’ upon its release.
Sinead White’s cool vocals, particularly on Love’s On Top, provide a few sweeter moments in the set. Daithi’s performance was one of the most enjoyable of the festival. It is extremely satisfying to watch an artist like Daithi, get to where he is today within this messy industry. And clearly the journey’s far from over for him.
Unbeknownst to the crowd, Bell X1 kick off their extremely varied set under immense pressure. Broken amps could easily have thwarted the set, but Bell X1 are far too long in the tooth for that. Instead, they deliver a set focused mainly on older material – a welcome return considering they’ve heavily invested in their upcoming material in recent shows.
Paul Noonan takes a moment to make a dignified shout-out to the #RepealThe8th movement, specifically #Twowomentravel, who live-tweeted their journey to Britain for an abortion. It’s a pretty big moment, considering they’re the third last act on the Main Stage, and one of the only acts to speak openly on the issue throughout the festival.
The sky opens for the delicious closing triplet of Flame, Rocky Took A Lover and The End Is Nigh. “Let it rain!” scream a handful of fans. It’s a powerful scene – romantic, clichéd and true to form for Noonan and the boys.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Noel Gallagher’s setlist remains largely unchanged from the one he delivered at Live At The Marquee two summers ago, setting himself up for what seems to be a largely unimaginative performance. He’s forced to restart Champagne Supernova because “they fucked it up”, gesturing towards his band, stifling the magic it conjures slightly.
His solo material still stands, mind: Everybody’s On The Run is a dizzying opener and You Know We Can’t Go Back is a familiar tug at the heart strings. But it’s only when Wonderwall comes on that people genuinely appear to lose their minds. It’s the one song that didn’t feature during his Leeside performance. It’s sincere for the most part, but one can’t help but feel a little skeptical that Oasis most famous song is making an appearance on the circuit in the lead up to a documentary about the band … Nevertheless, it cements itself as one of those inevitable ‘you had to be there’ festival moments.