Electric Picnic, Stradbally Hall, Co. Laios, Ireland, September 2006
Back again to Ireland for the awesome Electric Picnic, and this time, rather than just whizz in and out, we spent the previous two weeks driving around the bottom half of the country - from Dublin, south, across to Cork, Kerry, up to Galway and back across. Awesome, awesome trip. What a cool country. The headliners at this year were Groove Armada, New Order, Basement Jaxx, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Massive Attack and Bloc Party. New Order were awesome again, no Hooky this time round, but still all those glorious tunes. Yeah Yeah Yeahs were brilliant - Karen O just putting on a hell of a show, and the sound was great considering they are really a two piece instrumentally speaking. Basement Jaxx were very entertaining - their singer working the crowd up nicely. They were way better live than I expected. Other acts of note we took in were Pet Shop Boys which Fi loved. I was less impressed, not a fan… but she disappeared up front to dance with all the shirts off boys. Aprt from that you really just wander about and taste a pretty cool lineup: Rufus Wainright, PJ Harvey, Elbow, Yo La Tengo, Broken Social Scene, The Rapture, Coldcut, Laurent Garnier, Super Furrys. One thing that stupidly struck me was when we went to see Mogwai play in the big second stage, an enormous Big Top. Now, Mogwai are brilliant, but back in little old NZ, you not talkin’ platinum sales figures, so I still had this naive mindset that that someone like them would be on a side stage with a small crowd. After all, people are here to pet Shop BOys aren’t they? Wrong, doofus. The top was packed to the gunnels… 3,000-4,000 (?) with screaming post-rock fans all chanting, and even singing along to the occasional track that actually has lyrics. The other stunning surprise in that same tent was Gary Numan. Again it was packed, but what could have been a bit of an 80s novelty act was amazing. His songs were just big, and filled out with a massive beat that mad them sound like NIN - it came across as totally contemporary, yet we were bopping to tracks from primary school. So I might have to go for Gary Numan’s ‘Cars’ just because it was such a surprise.