Electric Picnic 2011: Unmissable Acts

Posted on August 31, 2011


It’s that time of year again – how bloody exciting is it? Checking weather forecasts every ten minutes and hearing everything from localised flooding to heatwave… It could only be Electric Picnic week.

Now, despite the line-up weighing a little heavily on the Saturday, there is plenty to see across all the days. Here a list of some acts that simply demand to be seen – intentionally omitting the Arcade Fires and the Pulps for something people may have missed out on along the way.

The Lost Brothers @ Main Stage, 1530-1600 Friday.

Who? Wonderfully twee Irish folk music – there are few ways better to kick off your Picnic than by checking out these guys. They stole the show on Other Voices when they made an appearance last year and have been building a great reputation for their live shows since.

Toby Kaar @ Body & Soul Love Letter Stage, 0000-0045 Friday.

Who? If you don’t know by now, hang your head in shame. Cork producer Toby Kaar is one of the shining lights in electronic music and not just in Ireland. Spellbinding live shows complement a stunning array of original beats, samples and creative production. Luckily he is playing a host of slots over the weekend so there is absolutely no excuse for not seeing him.

Rarely Seen Above Ground @ Crawdaddy Stage, 1330-1400 Saturday.

Who? Ireland’s premier drum expert, the Kilkenny native, usually known as simply RSAG, plays live accompanied by images of a full band on screen. He has released two albums to date, wholly different from one another and touching on everything from Joy Division to Johnny Cash.

Jape @ Electric Arena, 1715-1815 Saturday.

Who? Again, you should be well aware of this by now. Jape is a name that some people pass by on a bill like this thinking “He’ll be back in Cork/Dublin soon enough sure”, though those who were lucky enough to catch his legendary Electric Arena slot a few years ago are proof enough that any opportunity to see Richie and co. should be taken. With a new album coming out at the end of September, the set will be a mix of the old and the new and should be an absolute blinder.

Ghostpoet @ Body & Soul Main, 0300-0400 Saturday.

Who? My knowledge of this guy barely extends beyond the fact that he has been Mercury nominated for his debut album and is a darling amongst critics and bloggers alike. Jump on board before everyone else does…

The Danger Is @ Cosby Stage, 1200-1230 Sunday.

Who? We’re sticking with an Irish folk-y theme this year it seems. The Danger Is lands somewhere in the region of Laura Marling. Check it out below and make your own mind up, but there are few ways better to kick off a hungover Sunday morning…

Somadrone @ Electric Arena, 1230-1300 Sunday.

Who? One of the most interesting albums to emerge in Ireland in recent years, it is a testament to the act that venues across the country are clamouring over eachother to secure a show. Largely to no avail too it seems – don’t miss this opportunity.

Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead Hands @ Body & Soul Main, 2100-2155 Sunday.

Who? Last year at Electric Picnic I missed the opportunity to catch Patrick Kelleher because of that torrential storm that obliterated the campsite. The same will not happen this year – Kelleher is among the most innovative acts working in the country at the moment, sophomore album “Golden Syrup” adding to his ever impressive list of achievements.

And there we have it. An unintentionally Irish heavy list of unmissable acts – of course there are more across the weekend (there isn’t a hope I’ll be missing out on Beirut, Austra and Warpaint, for example) but those are a few that you may have missed out on.

That brings me to my final recommendation – my one, must see act of the entire weekend. And this includes your Arcade Fires and your Pulps…

Solar Bears @ Body & Soul Main Stage, 2130-2230 Friday

The only reason that anyone should miss even a portion of PJ Harvey’s set are the ethereal, mesmerising duo Solar Bears. Last year’s album “She Was Coloured In” has become a mainstay of my stereo/iPod since its release and still blows me away today. It feels fresh, exciting and new every time you listen. These guys have a wonderful reputation for their live performances too – I would urge you not to miss out. Body & Soul is the perfect location for it all.

So who would you recommend that I might have missed out on? Either way – it’s going to be a great weekend. Enjoy it.