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Electric Picnic Music & Arts Festival

Edwin Huxley - Wednesday 20.07.11, 15:51pm

Electric Picnic Music & Arts Festival

Electric Picnic Music & Arts Festival

Electric Picnic Music & Arts Festival
Stradbally Hall, Co. Laois
Friday 2nd – Sunday 4th September 2011

The undisputed heavyweights of electronic music, Underworld, make a very welcome return to Stradbally Hall following an awe-inspiring show back in ‘08. In the last 20 years Underworld have been providing the soundtrack for summer after summer with the likes of the colossal Born Slippy, arguably the greatest dance track ever made. Now with nine albums, the most recent Barking seeing the band perform a feat of creative regeneration once again, it is with baited breath that picnicers wait to witness what the duo will unleash this September.

One of the world’s most distinguished Irishmen and music legend, Bob Geldof, will be treating picnicers to not only his first ever music performance at the Picnic but also to an appearance at our Spoken Word area. The verbose singer, is set to perform tracks from his extensive back catalogue  including memorable hits from his Boomtown Rats era as well as music from his latest critically acclaimed album ‘How To Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell.’

The album is his first in over 9 years and has already been declared ‘Album of the Year’ by BBC’s veteran DJ Bob Harris. Renowned for speaking his mind, the Picnic could not hope for a more thought provoking guest at the Spoken Word area. Having already been invited to be SXSW key note speaker and also given an unforgettable emotionally charged talk at this year’s Hay Festival, picnicers may well see another side to his didactic character.

Renowned singer-songwriter and producer extraordinaire, M. Ward, returns to Ireland for the first time in over 5 years. Known for his swooning voice and angelic guitar strumming, M.’s 2003 release, Transfiguration of Vincent, caught the attention of fans of future collaborators including Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), Jenny Lewis, Cat Power, Gillian Welch and Jim James (My Morning Jacket). Since 2003 M. Ward has released several critically acclaimed albums including 2005’s Transistor Radio and his 2007 breakthrough release “Post-War”.

M. Ward is also the ‘Him’ in She & Him the hugely popular collaboration with Zooey Descanel and together with Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), Ward  released self-titled debut album Monsters of Folk.  Expect to be treated to songs from his current album Hold Time which has been awarded 4 stars from Mojo & Q.

The majestic I Am Kloot’s 2010 release Sky At Night, earned them a well deserved Mercury Prize nomination. Sky At Night saw fellow Mancunians Guy Garvey and Craig Potter from Elbow returning as producers after producing the band’s debut ‘Natural History’ and after years of being criminally ignored, the band finally got some well-deserved recognition.The Manchester trio formed in 1999 and have continuously delivered expertly-drawn, folk-inspired stories that have a lilting, melancholy to them. Album opener ‘Northern Skies’ was nominated for BBC 6 Music’s Top 40 songs of 2010 poll.

Foster The People are another first at this year’s Picnic. Their debut Torches has already been touted as a contender for album of the summer and with the breezy lead track Pumped Up Kicks being played by every DJ on the planet it’s no wonder. Having gained viral recognition last year the band have now been endorsed by MTV, sold out their massive US tour, and sold over 33,000 copies of their debut in it first week in US alone. With super catchy beats and an electric stage presence this is one not to be missed.

Cited by Bono as Ireland’s “Trailblazers,” the “sophisticated soul boot boys” that are Republic Of Loose make an inaugural trip to Electric Picnic this year. With their reputation as one of Ireland’ greatest live acts, along with the vociferous energy of front man Mik Pyro it is certain that  “Loose! Loose! Loose!” will soon be heard chanted across Stradbally lawns this September.

With a set list comprising of Loose classics such as Shame, Break, The Steady Song, Comeback Girl and their most recent critically acclaimed album Bounce At The Devil. Comeback Girl is also set to be the single release from their digital only compilation of their first 3 albums Mutant Soul which is to be released across Europe this August.

Austin-based psychedelic rock band, The Black Angels, bring their droning guitars and organ vibrato to the fields of Stradbally. Following on from their debut Passover and Directions To See A Ghost, The Black Angels current album Phosphene Dream produced by Dave Sardy (Oasis, Wolfmother) has reaped them the most success to date with BBC declaring it the rock album of the year.

Manchester four-piece, Everything Everything have a lot to celebrate this week with their debut album shortlisted for this years Mercury Music Prize. They are not to be missed at this years’ picnic having captivated audiences all over Europe with their engaging mix of operatic indie and sophisticated electronics.   Described by Q as one of the “brightest new talents” are not to be missed at this years’ picnic. Their debut album ‘Man Alive’ was released in 2010, receiving rave reviews with NME rating the album 8/10 and describing them as “pop’s new Picassos”

The Swedish duo Malin Dahlström and Gustaf Karlöf that form Niki & The Dove promise a live show that is nothing short of spectacular. Their debut single  DJ, Ease My Mind, caught the attention of everyone from Artrocker and NME through to The Sunday Times who declared the single and its AA side to “be the two greatest alt-pop songs of 2010”. Their follow up Mother Protect has confirmed Niki & the Dove as the ones to watch of 2011 too.

After garnering widespread acclaim from the likes of The New York Times, Pitchfork and NME to countless indiepop forums, blogs for their 2009 debut, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart have excelled themselves once more with their stunning follow up Belong. Recorded with the production and mixing team of Flood (Depeche Mode, U2) and Alan Moulder (Smashing Pumpkins, Jesus and Mary Chain, Ride) Belong has been winning plaudits both in native US and Europe, the band even performed on Letterman earlier this year. Their new single ‘The Body’, out this week, is soon to be a regular at every indie disco in the world and paves the way for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart to being year’s biggest buzz band.

Straight from Limerick’s mean streets, the tracksuit wearing colossus that is The Rubberbandits return to Electric Picnic with their rip roaring music and comedy adventure.  Since they caused a ruckus at EP last year The Rubberbandits have gone global. They’ve had 100,000 itunes downloads of their single and most tweeted video in the world Horse Outside, performed from London to Mullingar to New York and every point in between, picked up an IFTA, recorded their debut album set for release this October and now their brand new MTV show, Guide to New York, has just aired in the US.

Donal Dineen’s Parish Recording Project metamorphised from the now legendary shows he did in the body&soul area at the electric picnics of 2009 & 2010. Those special nights among the trees and under stars brought together the likes of Niwel Tsumbu, Liam O Maonlai, Andre Antunes, Ronan O Snodaigh & Peter Erdei, all of whom joined Donal  at a recording studio in January to go back over some of the ground covered in the course of those two nights as well as generating some new material.The first fruits of those sessions, Hi Five O, was released digitally in June on the Parish Records label & features a guest appearance from Sean Mac Erlaine on bass clarinet.

Following the release of her highly acclaimed debut solo album Dream of You Sharon Corr brings her collection of beautifully crafted melodic pop gems to the Picnic for the very first time. Sharon worked with an eclectic range of renowned traditional musicians including Davy Spillane, Máirtín O’Connor and Gerry O’Connor and a thrilling collaboration with the legendary Jeff Beck on Dream of You. Sharon Corr is renowned across the globe as the violinist, songwriter and backing vocalists with her siblings The Corrs.

Ghost Estates have been carving out their sound and songs in Dublin since January 2010 since the demise of their two previous bands, the highly charged 3 piece Sickboy and experimental pop sextet 8ball. The band have emerged with their debut self produced 11 track album mixed by Marc Carolan (Muse, Snow Patrol, The Cure).

Further more information visit www.electricpicnic.ie.

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