Saturday 23 September 2017

FESTIVAL

Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

LONGITUDE: DAY THREE

MARLAY PARK, DUBLIN

Heritage acts have been clogging up the festival circuit like they're going out of fashion. Blur and The Stone Roses headlined Féile '95 in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on a line up that's almost completely interchangeable with the modern day merry-go-round.

It's heartening to see a lot of new blood at Longitude. Brothers Rory and Eoin Loveless raucously perform as a noisy duo called Drenge, looking determined to give the festival scene a good pasting with their blistering blend of death metal wrapped up in tender pop.

Flume is the best contemporary example of a electronic bedroom act breaking into the mainstream, going to number one in his native Australia with a poppy mutant of electronica and dubstep that's also extremely fresh and innovative.

He mightn't be challenging for the Irish top spot just yet, but he's certainly picking up numerous fans along the way.

Moving on to a seasoned stalwart, a festival line up these days wouldn't really be complete without the perennial attraction that is Hot Chip, who show off their chops with a set that segues beautifully into hit after hit.

Incredibly, Yeah Yeah Yeahs (right) haven't graced an Irish stage since Electric Picnic back in 2006. They open with 'Sacrilege', arguably the best slice of pop gospel since Madonna's 'Like a Prayer'

They're brilliant when it comes to adding some extra touches and flourishes, as an inflatable eyeball bounces through the crowd.

Crucially, they look absolutely thrilled to be here, playing their hearts out with big smiles on their faces. It's totally infectious and it's great that they don't feel the need to make too big a deal out of it with mawkish platitudes.

You couldn't find a more pronounced polar opposite to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs than Kraftwerk, who deliver a headline set steeped in German efficiency and functionality.

There are some spine-tingling moments. The much-hyped 3-D effect takes a little while to adjust to. Initially, I'm firmly of the opinion that the whole lark is a bit of a cod. Then, some satellites dramatically hover out over the crowd to the sound of loud whoops and cheers.

After Yeah Yeah Yeahs serving up such a tasty lesson in festival entertainment, it all falls a little flat, despite all these hi-tech bells and whistles. For such a brilliant addition to the festival calendar, it's a shame that Longitude didn't get graced with a knock-out performance to match.

Yet that shouldn't take away from the fact that for the purposes of a full day and weekend's entertainment, Longitude brilliantly blends the old and the new.

Irish Independent

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