The tribes descended on Stradbally, Co. Laois on Saturday (2nd September 2017) for day two of Ireland’s Electric Picnic. With main stage attractions including Madness, A Tribe Called Quest, and DJ Pete Tong, it was for many, a day heavy on nostalgia.
With close to a hundred acts performing on the festival’s middle day however, there was plenty for those with an eye on the future, and the present to enjoy as well.
Scattered across the arena, revellers gathered to enjoy not just music, but spoken word, theatre, and comedy, at Ireland’s largest music and arts festival.
Playing to a packed Comedy tent, the onetime “Never Mind The Black Books” star Bill Bayley mixed politics with the plain surreal, covering topics such as Brexit, The DUP, and his patronage of the Barn Owl Society, to hilarious effect. Showing off his not inconsiderable music skills, his set proved one of the most versatile of the weekend, mixing keys, guitar and even theramin during his 'IPhone Symphony’.
Meanwhile, Bailey’s former Buzzcocks co-star Phil Jupitus - who had performed a set earlier in the day - introduced “not eight, not nine, but ten ordinary men”, in fellow Londoners Madness, as they took to the main stage for their early-evening slot. Performing a selection of tracks from across their career - including first single ‘The Prince’ – “debuting on 2nd of February 1979, on Top Of The Pops” - the band’s fun time, ska anthems proved an early highlight.
Revolutionary hip-hoppers A Tribe Called Quest meanwhile, brought a little West coast sunshine to the drab Stradbally site. Combining irresistible beats with irreverent rhymes, “Ireland’s in the house”, announced MC Q-Tip, as the weather turned Pete Tong ahead of the legendary DJ’s headline set.
The final main stage act, Tong was joined by an impressive array of live musicians, including a full orchestra, as he powered through the dance anthems that defined a generation. “Thanks for sticking with us through the rain”, he said, noting the sodden crowd’s tenacity.
Electric Picnic continues on Sunday (3rd September), when diva Chaka Khan, Chrissie Hynde’s The Pretenders, and 80s’ icons Duran Duran are all due to perform.
Stay tuned for eonmusic’s continuing coverage of Electric Picnic.