Indiependence Festival on August 2nd – 4th 2013

Words by Ros Madigan, Frank Hughes & Clare O’Hanlon

One of the most defining things about this year’s Indiependence was the revamped site layout. This year, the old media barn was scrapped in favour of a Bier that provided a vast shelter for anyone choosing to hide from the rain and a large selection of craft beers to partake in. The main stage was moved to a more prominent position, while the Bacardi stage was positioned so as to be central to everything taking place. The only stage that was a little hidden was the comedy stage that seemed to be almost impossible to find with stewards not even knowing its location. All in all, the sun shone, the rain poured, the music played and the good-times reigned.

The Vincent(s)

Cork band The Vincent(s) have created quite the buzz as a live band over the past year which is impressive considering they have been a band for little more than that time.  Frontman, Margus Charles Allen complete with cooler than thou dark shades, possesses the swagger of Hardy Bucks’ Viper Higgins to ensuring that he is the focal point for the audience. Of course none of this would matter if the songs were rubbish, but The Vincent(s) are not to be found lacking in that department either. Asked Her to The Dance and Song For the Sea are the sort of solid gold tunes that fill their scuzzy, dark set. Mark The Vincent(s) down as one’s to watch. (FH)

We Cut Corners

The lads from We Cut Corners looked positively dapper compared to the sleep deprived audience who were hung over and in need of a shower. Conall Ó Breacháin in his brilliant white shirt looked every part the rock star. Clearly delighted to be playing Indiependence for the third time, We Cut Corners delivered a balanced set of old and new material, fast paced numbers and sedate songs.  This variation keeps the crowd’s attention throughout especially on songs like YKK and The Leopard which sounded particularly impressive. Based on this performance we are all in for a treat when their new album is released. (FH)


Having two drum kits on stage is clearly a good thing, especially when the band in possession of them is Enemies. There are few tighter bands in Ireland and the seamless transition between instruments and tempo changes during songs only serve to enhance this further.  ‘Embark, Embrace’. Executive Cut from their new album‘Embark, Embrace’ stands out as an especially muscular number. Sadly the Beir Halle setting just didn’t generate the kind of response from the crowd that Enemies’ set deserved but, it certainly wasn’t due to a lacklustre performance from the band. (FH)


What a difference a year makes. The Kodaline boy’s trajectory has been pretty astounding and mid set Steve Garrigan thanks the Indiependence crowd, genuinely humbled by the volume of people in front of them. Last year’s Indiependence marked Kodaline first Irish festival, and it’s been quite a surge since. Inevitable chants for High Hopes ensued before the band had delivered the opening number. While a slight lull in parts of the set existed around Loose Your Mind, never has a unified chorus of ‘Oh’s and Whoahs’ spoke such volumes. Seemingly meaningless words resurrected new meanings and reaffirmed the crowd’s adoration for obvious festival favourites All I Want and High Hopes respectfully. While delivering After the Fall, In a Perfect World and Brand New Day, the crowd were slightly more divisive and it was apparent who the devoted listeners of ‘In a Perfect World’ were. Devoted fans may even have noted that the performance of Way Back When was the first live performance on stage from the lads from Dublin. For those slightly less aware of every lyric and savouring the atmosphere, the disastrously entertaining crowd surfing or the two birds sporting egg ponchos with what appeared to be remnants of a dodgy portaloo draped on their attire kept spirits flowing. Paving the way for Bell X1 perfectly and cementing the status of Kodaline as the Irish band of 2013. (CO’H)


You never really know what kind of set you’re going to get when you head along to a Beardyman gig, especially one at a festival. As per his erratic nature, he can morph from friendly-crowd-pleasing-anthem-basher to a seriously dark and beat driven bore-performer. In the past, some of his shows could be ridiculed for striving to be little more than an intensely clever beatbox producer. This has resulted in the feeling that you’re listening to a CD in a club rather than someone performing live. I know we sound crazy for criticising excellence but it can sometimes feel like he’s taking the fun out of it. Well, midway through the first song, he stands aloft the stage and screams “I am Beardyman”, so at least it’s clear that the friendly-crowd-pleasing-anthem-basher Beardyman we all know and love is here in Cork. As the set goes on it becomes a bit more and more of the same as most eyes in the crowd enjoy the incredible camera visuals behind Beardyman as opposed to the music. Several cameras, including one on his head, illuminate the screens behind him to show you the intricacy going on amongst the plethora of Kaos pads, decks and loop pedals in front of him. Towards the end of the set, Beardyman reigns in the crowd with that showmanship we all came for as he introduces a song by saying “voice only”, then stands away from the gadgetry and dazzles us with the quintessential Beardyman beatbox flow. A mixed bag altogether but definitely a set that everyone needs to see – which ever one you get that is. (RM)

Bell X1

The guys from Bell X1 have cut distant figures in the past year or so, flying to the U.S of A to record their newest album ‘Chop Chop’. This headline sees them right in the middle of their tour that has seen them play Iveagh Gardens, Big Top Festival and even their own set of mini concerts in pop-up shops around the country. With shows coming up in September, October and November; this really was a chance to catch the guys in full-flow; touring their new album. Velcro, from the last album, comes in and dazzles early on as Paul Noonan stands a dominate figure at the center of the stage. Unfortunately, the crowd didn’t react too well to this masterclass in performance. The next four or five songs receive the same muted response from a crowd that don’t seem all that interested. Next To You, a usually impressive track fails to score points but thankfully marks the end of the poor run in this headline slot. Thanks the tiny Cork gods as Flame quite literally breathes fire into a dwindling set. The quite obviously radio-friendly crowd react from the offset and holler back the song’s title in the chorus as loud as possible. The Great Defector soon follows and showcases the strongest part of the set list. It seemed that perhaps the crowd were only here for the more up-tempo and catchy tunes but that argument was debunked as Eve, The Apple of my Eye went ringing out and sent many Bell X1’ers off into the night; very happy campers indeed. The whole set was a bit of a muddle with punters leaving, coming, going and generally seeming a bit indifferent to the whole performance. The only question ringing around the campsite later that night was whether young upstarts Kodaline and their stunning set just before could have headlined over this golden gem of an Irish band? Time will tell… (RM)


Indiependence – Saturday – Photo Gallery

Photos: Rory Coomey