Sunday was the busiest day of proceedings at Deer Park, with Kodaline and The Academic making welcome returns Leeside following Live At The Marquee appearances. The party atmosphere was unmistakable throughout the day, with the Franciscan Well Beer Hall proving to be the most popular venue to close out the festival’s tenth tumultuous year.
Bright and youthful as ever, The Academic rush through the main stage tent in cyclonic fashion. Bear Claws is the highlight of the lads’ set, but giving there frequent festival appearances this year, it’s hard not to feel like the set has been completely exhausted. Give us an album, or give us death.
Gartland delivers a full-bodied set from the off. Tucked away in an early slot at the Big Top, she is much deserving of a more prominent position on the bill. Every song is substantial, both in delivery and in substance. Roots is a lively addition to proceedings, with the musician demanding everyone to march along. However, things really kick off with her cover of Years And Years breakout hit King – Gartland seems to be cementing her place as one of Ireland’s most promising pop acts.
The Original Rudeboys
Going into a show with strong preconceptions usually goes one way or the other – for The Original Rudeboys, the performance was thoroughly enjoyable and pleasantly surprising. Lyrically, they probably wouldn’t win many prizes, but there is a lot of unexpected instrumental variation throughout. Vocally, ORB are consistently strong and, whether you’re a fan or not, it can’t be denied that their delivery is pretty much spot on. The entire band works around each on and no part is compromised, especially on big hits Feel It In Your Soul and Feeling Good. It all feels pretty effortless on their part, and it kind of should, considering how long they’ve been on the trot for. At one point, they tell gig-goers to “fuck the rain”, before indulging in more pop/rock/rap revelry.
Every other festival performance up until this point was merely a warm-up for the Swords lads’ performance at Deer Park. They are electrified taking the stage, despite the slightly tame crowd, dampened by the weather. Latest single Ready is an electro-guitar haze of passion, while High Hopes drags the crowd up from the mud to greet the heavens. Unfortunately, like The Academic before them, given their presence at every other Irish festival, the set is typically predictable, ending on All I Want. All together now … “If you loved meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee …”