Monday 23 April 2018

John Meagher's Loaded

John Meagher

John Meagher

Body & Soul likes to talk about how family-friendly it is, so last Saturday I took my 13-month-old daughter to Ballinlough Castle, Co Westmeath, to see if it could possibly live up to such a promise.

And it certainly did: from a kid-friendly disco to baby changing areas to a family camp site and super-healthy food, the fourth installment of the festival didn't disappoint.

It says something about the event's happy vibes that incessant rain couldn't dampen spirits, although the muddy ground was hardly conducive to pushing a buggy.

Judging by the large volume of children present – including earmuff-wearing toddlers like Emani – Body & Soul appears to be on the radar of parents countrywide.

Q Having a unique selling point is a smart move for any music festival keen to become an annual fixture. So while Body & Soul has the family thing down pat, the Westport Festival of Music and Food – which takes place this weekend – has cottoned on to the fact that fine tunes and quality grub can make for an enticing double act.

Besides the likes of Elvis Costello, Squeeze and Martha Wainwright, festival goers to Westport House can also enjoy cookery demos from Michelin-starred chefs Derry Clarke and Oliver Dunne as well as Dylan McGrath – that bloke off MasterChef.

Special teen day tickets (€40) are also available for 13 to 17-year-olds keen to sample pleasures both aural and epicurean.

Last Friday, I received the following tweet: "You are a MORON #Kodalineno1".

While I might argue against the veracity of the first part (no sniggers at the back), the second could not be disputed. Kodaline's debut album, In A Perfect World, did indeed hit top spot in the Irish charts. Like many others, the irate tweeter had spotted that not only had I claimed in this column that the album had failed to reach number one, but I also sneeringly stated that it didn't make the top 10 either. Madness.

My excuse – if there possibly could be one – is that I consulted an out-of-date chart.

So, I'm now happy to rectify my mistake: Kodaline's debut album did go to number one. And it reached a highly respectable number three in the UK as well.

I still don't like it, though.

Kodaline are among a significant Irish contingent playing Glastonbury this weekend.

Glen Hansard, Sinead O'Connor, Two Door Cinema Club and Villagers are all set to play Worthy Farm and Cavan teenagers The Strypes will make their debut appearance at the UK's most significant annual festival.

The BBC will be offering exhaustive coverage across TV and radio with Lauren Laverne, Jo Whiley and Mark Radcliffe bringing the best of the fest on BBC Two from 10pm tonight, 4pm on Saturday and 5pm on Sunday.

BBC One will also be bringing a special Glastonbury-themed Songs of Praise on Sunday morning. The mind boggles.

Day & Night

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