Another festival, this time in rural Ireland. Too far to bike to from our hotel in Dublin, but we did arrive in Dublin the afternoon before our show day, so we went to the site by bus and caught Bjork’s set. It was somewhat similar to what I’d seen a year or so ago at the Queens Museum—the use of a giant Tesla coil as a fuzz-bass instrument and incorporating many songs from her recent record with the Earth Sciences themes and videos. Bjork has a tradition of setting her songs among innovative combinations of instruments—this particular band is composed of drums/percussion and keyboards of various sorts, all supporting an Icelandic choir. Super interesting song writing on the newer stuff, but maybe a wee bit challenging for a festival crowd. Brave choice. There are flames and volcanic eruptions, so the festival crowd does get spectacle.
The next morning I rode to Howth—a town at the end of a peninsula, for a brunch of oysters and whelks.
The ride back was against a strong headwind the whole way—nasty!
Back at the festival site for our own show, we arranged for a tour of the manor house, Stradbally Hall, on whose property Electric Picnic festival takes place. It’s owned by Tom Cosby, an Englishman, who gave us a tour that focused heavily on his family history.
The first room featured a lovely diorama (Walter Potter-esque) of taxidermied small animals posed in a series of tableaux—in this case depicting a boxing match. Here are the judges taking down the scores:
The house is massive and quite grand; most paintings are of Cosby’s ancestors.
Much of it doesn’t seem very lived in, giving an attractive and cozy, run-down aspect to the place.
Cosby lives in a back area, so we didn’t enter there. Like many of his ancestors he has debt problems—likely related to the cost of renovating the mansion and general upkeep. Property taxes too, I imagine. He and his wife rent the property to the festival every year now, so that’s a way of generating some cash. Cosby was quoted as saying, “I’m no hippy-loving philanthropist.” Just to be clear.
We dispersed and caught a few of the afternoon acts. Here’s a snap of Chvrches—a Scottish band who drew a wildly enthusiastic crowd, even though they only have an EP out. I liked them; they’re unabashedly poppy, with lots of sing-along choruses.
Caught a bit of Warpaint from LA who were on just before us. Very nice, too. Invited them to come back and watch our set from the side of the stage.
Our set went over incredibly well—many, many folks were singing along! We rushed back to our dressing rooms after so we could catch a bit of The Knife’s set before we had to return to Dublin. They were in the dressing room area just about to head out towards the stage.