I will be honest – I’m not actually going all the way to Stradbally for Electric Picnic this weekend. However, my friend who is going wanted to know which acts he ought to be checking out and obviously such a request massively appealed to my music blogger ego. Thus I figured I might as well write up some suggestions for those of you going, outside of the headline acts (surely I don’t need to tell you why you should go and watch The Cure and The xx?). There are so many amazing acts playing, but here are some that I personally would go and see, in no particular order:
1. Bombay Bicycle Club : Having irritated my friends by raving about their brilliance since 2007, I will not be able to tell you enough how much you need to go and watch them – whether you like straight-up rock, sweet pop songs, lovely folk or even joyously upbeat dance music. They’re great live performers and always seem so happy to be on stage. Fresh from Reading Festival last weekend which they claimed to be the “best night of our lives” [on Twitter], I can only assume they will be buzzing for Picnic. Here is a classic performance of ‘Always Like This’ from Glastonbury 2010, replete with a casual accompaniment by the London School of Samba:
2. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs: I’ve written about the excellent Orlando Higginbottom before [here] so I’m just going to be lazy and quote: “incredible live… when you’re lost in the sea of the crowd he makes it so easy to lose yourself in his bizarre and beautiful labyrinth of sounds.”
3. Grimes: Easily the most talked about person in the blogosphere this year, Canada’s Grimes is ethereal, poppy and weird all at once – again, I wrote about her earlier this year, and don’t want to repeat myself, so if you need convincing click here. Plus everyone has been talking about her new video (below).
4. Patti Smith: I haven’t actually listened to any of her new stuff, but come on – ‘Horses’?! Patti Smith is cool incarnate – an absolute legend of New York punk. Getting to see her live would be an incredible opportunity, even if her latest album ‘BANGA’ is supposedly less loud, although it is still purportedly just as biting and difficult to listen to.
5. Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Max Romeo: Exquisite Dub music (not to be confused with Dubstep); if you want to have a bit of a laid-back dance, this should be a lot of fun. I once wandered into a tent Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry was playing in at a festival by mistake and I had such a good time with the Reggae-infused, chilled out vibes. Lovely:
6. Fatoumata Diawara: I don’t know how much of my readership listens to African music, but if you’re genuinely interested in music then you have to check Fatou out; she is incredibly talented. Delicate, sugary guitars, delightful beats and fluid, soulful, powerful vocals; I really recommend you go check her out if you can.
7. Perfume Genius: Gentle, affecting songs that have the evocative, heart-wrenching beauty of Sufjan Stevens or Thom Yorke at their most sensitive. Stunning music, though only go see him if you’re in the mood for an experience which is a bit more emotive and breathtaking than your standard festival act.
8. Caribou vs. Fourtet (B2B DJ Set): This should be something quite special, with Caribou’s woozy psychedelia and Fourtet’s strange, disparate electro coming together. Fourtet seems to favour the more refined, while Caribou something more intense. Needless to say, it will probably be very weird and very pretty and very wonderful.
9. MMOTHS: With more and more people talking about the wonderful Jack Colleran, aka. MMOTHS, it seems very feasible that this is going to be one of those shows where, soon enough, you’ll be able to say “I was there”. Warming, fantastically constructed electro which washes over you in what makes for an incredibly pleasant aural experience, I highly recommend you go and see this guy. Should be a brilliant show.
10. Hudson Mohawke: lush, labyrinthian electro – if you want to have a good dance, this is who I would head to. Swaying bass lines and intense synths, this guy creates a fusion of all sorts of dirty, wonderful electro. Plus he did a super good mix of Aaliyah which, needless to say, gives me much respect for him.
11. Grizzly Bear: You have the opportunity to see Grizzly Bear live; I really recommend you do so if you even slightly enjoy wonderful instrumentation and velvety vocals with superb harmonies. Here’s their new one:
And I’m now too lazy to go into detail about these, but as equally as those above I would recommend: The Horrors, Wild Beasts, Metronomy, Bat For Lashes, Villagers, Solar Bears [whom I wrote about here], The Maccabees, Michael Kiwanuka, SBTRKT, The Roots, Heathers, Lianne Le Havas, Roots Manuva and, of course, Trinity Orchestra.