So I think I finally figured it out. And by ‘IT’ I mean the reason for my absence from this self built web-presence (not the Stephen King novel about scary clowns). This blog is over 4 years old. I created it, set it up with its imaginative title (ahem), wrote some blog posts and here we are. This blog, my blog, started out merely as a place for me to share and catalog my taste in music. (Well it actually started its life as a film review blog, but it didn’t take long for music to take over).
Keeping with the tradition of Irish bank holiday weather the rain finally caught up with Indiependence on Sunday. Which thankfully did nothing to dampen spirits. An afternoon set from Solar Taxi in the Big Top allows festivalgoers to take shelter with the added bonus of some pleasing music. Their set is a live showcase of debut album ‘Broken Brother’s Secret Bells’ and features the likes of ‘Zodiac’ and ‘The Fool’.
Corner Boy, a band who earned their festival slot through recent success in the Red Bull Bedroom Jam, played to a packed out Bier Hall. With their blend of Bluegrass, Americana and Folk it’s hard not to draw comparisons between frontman, and band founder, Michael D’Arcy and Marcus Mumford. The hand-clapping, foot-stamping set is jammed with pop hits in the making such as ‘Morning Morning’, ‘Let’s Hit The Road’, and the more subtly appealing ‘Move To Paris’. Judging from the crowd, strong media presence and raw talent it’s fair to surmise that these Corner Boys are destined for something special.
Like the festival itself, Windings aren’t ones to rest on their laurels and churn out the same set gig after gig. The Sunday evening set, although only forty-five minutes in length, catered for every facet of the Windings Support. From the gargantuan ten minute opener ‘Sun In My Bones’, to something a bit older with ‘The Hassle’ and with even some newer stuff in the shape of ‘Blade Rubber’ it’s fair to say that no one was left out. This loud, sweaty, head banging set carried all the ferocity of a headline gig and was easily one of the weekend’s top performances.
If there was a reward for shock performance of the weekend then Paddy Casey would undoubtedly be walking away with gold. It’s not that people were unfamiliar with Casey or his songs. Hits such as ‘Saints and Sinners’ and ‘The Lucky One’ have graced the Irish radio waves for years now. The surprise factor came from the Dubliners sheer ability to work a crowd. And by crowd I mean the jam-packed, bursting at the seams Big Top stage. Casey’s semi-time travelling set list traversed his four previous albums and delivered the weekend’s largest sing-song’. Popular and slightly unorthodox covers included Blackstreet’s ‘No Diggity’ and The Jungle Book’s ‘I Want To Be Like You’. The fact that all of the above was delivered through by a hoarse voiced singer, fatigued from a busy weekend of gigging only adds to the magic of it all.
Unfortunately none of the above plaudits can be transferred to Bastile’s Main Stage performance. There as a crowd drawing, ticked selling device rather than musical talent it was quite painful to witness the Londoners headline set. But judging from the crowds, I fear I may be alone in my estimations. Swords offered much needed relief over in the Bier Hall. Their blend of infectious electro-pop was the perfect antidote. It is unfortunate that the numbers present were as low as they were. But this did not discourage the band who made every effort to encourage the small pocket of resistance who defied Bastille.
Once again the festival was a resounding success. With the expansion of the arena and ever-growing popularity it seems that the future of Indiependence is safe and secure for years to come.
Okay sorry I couldn’t come up with a better title. We can blame either my lack of creativity or my abundance of such, and surmise that the title is so good a better replacement could not be found. Yeah let’s go with that!! The following top 10 list does not appear in any particular order and the reason for which I spent hours fussing over the placement and rank of certain bands still eludes me. But alas we have 10 acts, who you most definitely should go and see, listen to, fall in love with, mosh to and possibly even wee yourself (a little) with excitement at the prospect of witnessing one of the greatest live festival sets that you are ever going to see. I think I may have over-sold this a bit, but time will tell…
Pronounced Wind (as in to wind something up) ings, rather than Wind (as in one of four key elements of life) ings, these are a band not to be missed. They will be taking to the Maxol Big Top (my favourite of the Indie stages) at 19:30 on Sunday evening and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better pace-setter for the final night of the festival.
- Bell X1
It wouldn’t be a proper Top 10 without at least mentioning one of the festival headliners. Closing the Canadian Main Stage at 23:00 on the Saturday night, and with little in terms of resistance from the other stages, you can expect this to be one of the busiest and most eagerly attended set of the weekend.
- The Hot Sprockets
The Bier Halle Stage, Friday night, 23:15, be there. In a David vs Goliath, Rocky vs That Big Russian Guy and other such metaphors, this small but formidable band of bluesy soul brothers will do battle with a hip-hop giant (De la Soul) and there’s no prizes for guessing what corner I’m going to be in. The Hot Sprockets have garnered a wealth of festival experience this summer and an equally impressive following. Again, as the list suggests, do not miss this set!!
- Corner Boy
A band who earned their right to play at this years festival thanks to recent success in the Red Bull Bedroom Jam. If you are looking to fill half an hour with some well worked bluegrass folk then be sure to be at The Bier Halle Stage at 18:00, Sunday. Here’s a review I prepared earlier: Corner Boy – Morning Morning EP.
- The Fratellis
Again with the headliners…but I cannot think of a better band to get a crowd going. Allow me to set the scene. It’s raining and your up to your knees in mud (well you hope it’s only mud) standing in front of the Canadian Main Stage (Friday at 22:15 to be precise). It’s dark and the crowd grows apprehensive. And then suddenly it all kicks off and 5000 people are jumping up and down in unison to ‘Chelsea Dagger’. Need I say any more?
- Le Galaxie
One of Ireland’s premiere synth acts. If anyone is going to tear up the Maxol Big Top Saturday night (20:45) it will be these guys. One problem though and that is the potential clash with Kodaline on the main stage. But thanks to the intimate size of the festival grounds a dash between stages only takes about a minute.
I’m still not sure about these guys. Really liked their first EP, hated the second and naturally have mixed feelings about the new album. But, and here comes the but, I am yet to see them play live. And as some religious nut once said, let he who has seen the band play live cast the first stone… of course I am paraphrasing here. I missed Kodaline at Indie12, I won’t make the same mistake this year. (Canadian Main Stage, Saturday 21:15)
Swords are A great up and coming Alt-Electro band out of Dublin. Their debut album ‘Lions & Gold’ went down a treat and their live shows are said to be equally as good. They will be taking to The Bier Halle Stage (which is shaping up to be my new home for the weekend) at 23:15 Sunday Night, which unfortunately pips them against Bastille on the Main Stage. I know where I’ll be..
- We Cut Corners
I don’t know much about these guys, my own fault entirely. I’ve heard nothing but good things about We Cut Corners and their interestingly titled debut album ‘Today I Realised I Could Go Home Backwards’ is a great listen. You’ll find them on the Canadian Main Stage, Saturday evening at 20:00.
- King Kong Company
I’m not going to say too much about these guys. But I will show you a video and after watching you’ll know exactly why King Kong Company are part of this ’10 acts to see’ list. I saw these guys last year at Indiependence on the tiny Red Bull stage. This time round they have been granted full command of the Maxol Big Top with a colossal 2.5 hour set (Saturday at midnight).
I almost forgot…