After the resounding success of Longitude’s inaugural presence on the music scene last year; the country’s premium city/no-camping festival was back in Marlay Park. In the lead up to this year’s Irish version of Latitude, a few questions rested upon the lips of festival goers.
Would the ground/site hold up after so many high-profile gigs in the Marley Park this year? Would that eejit from the Garth Brooks protest party that wasn’t even from the community somehow spark an uproar, for the craic, and sign a dodgy petition to stop this event? Would the weather be anything like last year’s blazing heatwave? Would the lineup mix work well and offer a variety of performers to festival go’ers?
We were about to find out.
Bombay Bicyle Club
Bombay Bicycle Club have clearly made themselves at home on any stage they should find themselves playing on. And though the set is a wonderful mix of new material and fan favourites, it looks and feels as if the band are just going through the motions. Nothing is more unappealing than when a band look bored on stage. Maybe it was just the mid-afternoon heat but even Shuffle couldn’t get our feet moving through Marlay Park. A damn shame considering the band are normally revered for their live appeal.
Once again, the trouble with the Friday slot is that you’re going to see a large influx of people heading out Marley Park way after work. With that in mind, the 7.30pm placing of John Talabot should have been right about on the verge of when people could make it. Unfortunately the crowd wasn’t so impressive with a half-full tent for the Spanish electronic DJ. His set was an hour long, which seemed that little bit long for most people in attendance who tended to dip in for a boogie and then leave a few songs later. The rare sight of sun also tempted the punters to lay out under the clear blue sky – basking in the aural treats emanating from the Heineken stage. An average set from someone who usually produces top drawer live sets. You get the feeling that a later slot or a more receptive Electric Picnic crowd would have suited this set better. Having seen him wow the crowds in a back -to-back bumper three-hour set at Glastonbury with Jamie XX – it’s quite clear he can impress – just not tonight.
Few words need to be wasted on this one hit wonder, who’s place on the main stage is questionable, if not a downright desperate attempt to bank on the popularity of a single. And that’s all the bands set seems to consist of; a series of tracks with minimal difference in their presentation and sound, all building up to now irritating “Eh-eh-o eh-o Eh-eh-o eh-o .” It was dull, it was boring and it was not worthy of the main stage, but it seems that’s just what the audience wanted on a sunny Friday evening, who knew? Apparently MCD.
Drawing heavily from an album that’s long past its sell by date, Ben Howard treated the enthusiastic if not surprisingly small crowd for a Friday night headliner to some treats. His acoustic indie sound is made by his vocals and his lyricism, only added to by his enthusiasm for performing. Fan favourites come in the form of Keep Your Head Up and Only Love, but the peak point of the set was when he showcased material from his forthcoming album which he’s apparently locked himself away for six months to work on. Alas, as the Friday night headliner, Ben Howard and CO. would have fitted more comfortably into a much more intimate setting . What we’ve heard from the new album is certainly promising, so there’s that.
Longitude Friday Photo Gallery
Photos: Tara Thomas