So, the inaugural Forbidden Fruit Festival has come and gone and beyond the discussion over drink (or lack thereof) and waiting times for the toilets (not so lack thereof), there was the small matter of some bands playing. From the outset, much was made of the organiser's coup in attracting some international big hitters such as Flaming Lips, Aphex Twin et al. And yet, as the heads eased, and the moans about queues heightened, I can't help but feel this was a festival in which the local talent soared highest.
Bitches With Wolves' glam-disco-pop kicked things off with a bang, while Jape's new songs enlivened a particularly reserved Saturday afternoon crowd - with 'Please Don't Turn That Record On(?)' and its Smiths-esque riff, sounding particularly essential. It was the The Lighthouse Stage that really shone, however. Comprised solely of Irish bands (bar the invited Richter Collective pals Tera Melos), the smallest of the three huts proved anything but the weakest. As Aphex Twin were glitching the audience to sleep and Wayne Coyne was shouting "C'mon, C'mon Mutha-Fuckers!" for the twentieth yawn-inducing time, the best the country has to offer were playing out of their skin. Particularly commendable was a Not Squares outfit whose bristling tunes came alive with an unmissable mountain of energy and ingenuity, which deservedly attracted a healthy crowd.
The Cast of Cheers meanwhile, stole half of Aphex's crowd and then blew them away with a jarringly emphatic performance, with each of the new tracks scaling Chariot's mightily impressive peaks. This was the point where the Dublin outfit became one of Ireland's most important bands - as if they weren't already. Spies meanwhile, on their first festival appearance and biggest gig to date, exuded a confidence worthy of festival veterans. Assured and passionate, they rose to the occasion with a performance that should secure them a healthy and well deserved spurt in their fan base and profile. Elsewhere you had Land Lovers' melodic pop hooks, or Bipolar Empire's thudding driven anthems, to cater for your needs and that's not even counting Enemies, Kid Karate, Ham Sandwich, Solar Bears and much more, all of whom received glowing report cards.
Of course, it would be illegitimate to deny the quality of some of the others acts on show. Caribou's vigorous creations were a tremendous riot, with the final mass chants of 'Sun!' surely standing as the closest many will get to a satanic ritual experience. Wild Beasts' sophisticated new tunes, though more suited to the calm of dusk, also shone in the evening heat - their decadent, swirling structures and goosebump-inspiring embraces marking them out as an important, intelligent modern band. It was undoubtedly the home-grown heroes that shone brightest, however. Those of the blogging variety have been championing these bands consistently for years, believing this to be something of a golden period. Here's hoping that such a prominent outing for local talent will see an even larger pool of punters fall under their collective spell. In a post-Cast of Cheers haze, a random Australian man, who knew nothing of the band, excitedly proclaimed that they were the best band of the weekend. And you know what - he wasn't wrong.
|Main Stage Hill|
|Flaming Lips...Style > Substance|
|Bualadh Bus ar fad!|