Saturday 17 November 2018

Rappers Vs DJs by the pool: It Takes a Village music festival

It Takes A Village, a three-day music festival in Trabolgan village, East Cork, starts on April 13 - and it's well worth a visit

Young Fathers - just one of the headliners at the boutique 'It Takes A Village' festival in East Cork
Young Fathers - just one of the headliners at the boutique 'It Takes A Village' festival in East Cork
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Credit where credit is due. Andrew Weatherall's crucial sonic input on Primal Scream's Screamadelica from 1991 made it the dance album of decade, if not the era. He also added his magic behind the console for New Order (who could forget World in Motion?), Happy Mondays, and, among many others, Saint Etienne.

Weatherall's A Mix of Two-Halves version of Saint Etienne's cover of Neil Young's Only Love Can Break Your Heart was inspired, as was his remix of My Bloody Valentine's Soon which New Musical Express put at number 1 in their list of The 50 Best Remixes Ever.

The legendary musician, DJ and producer is coming to East Cork in a couple of weeks for a special three-day festival entitled - intriguingly - It Takes A Village.

It is something of a miracle that Andrew, who had an appetite for destruction, is going anywhere when you consider his colourful past. "It's not too dramatic to say that if I'd carried on at that level," he said of his appetite for enjoying himself of an evening in nightclubs, "and gone into the upper echelons, there's every chance that I'd now be in a haze of morphine in a private Swiss clinic being kept alive by a machine.

"The basic need for transcendence is part of the human condition, and has been for thousands of years," Andrew added, "And if I can help people get there, then all the better."

There will be plenty of transcendence - and much more besides - at the aforesaid It Takes A Village festival, which runs from April 13-15 in Trabolgan and features the cultured likes of Mr Weatherall, Martin Hayes and Steve Cooney, Shit Robot, Bitch Falcon, Nialler9, Talos, Gay Future and Booka Brass among dozens of other great acts in a lovely spot in the countryside...

"I've been planning on doing this for nearly 20 years," says its main organiser, Joe Kelly, "and eventually have got around to doing it with Ed, my partner from The Good Room.

"We run Live at St Luke's in the old church at the crossroads on the northside," he says referring to the much respected concerts at St Luke's Church, Summerhill North, in Cork.

"We had Badly Drawn Boy, Bon Iver and members of the National, Villagers, Jake Bugg and most of the Irish acts that we can get that are suitable for a 400-capacity sit-down church gig.

"It Takes A Village is the first of its kind in that you live on site for the weekend in one of 172 houses or 35 serviced camper van pitches.

"Other than the four acts from out foreign - Young Fathers, Andrew Weatherall, Fujiya & Miyagi and Oh Pep! and two ex-pats, Seamus Fogarty and Shit Robot - all the 64 other acts are Irish.

"Not out of any mad nationalistic spirit - but just we think they are both good enough and have proven to us by getting crowds at their gigs that they draw punters and are pushing the musical envelope," adds Joe.

"The interesting dilemma is that one national and one local radio station - but you would throw most of them in the same pile - said to us, 'great line up, but we wouldn't play most of those acts'. Where does that leave us?" mused Joe.

"I think that is the line in the sand between commercial radio and bands that are putting bums on seats week in week out in venues. Talos sold out two times 400 easily at Live at St Luke's and don't get national airplay. Weirdly, Radio 1 plays more Irish acts than other stations."

Less weirdly, It Takes A Village promises to be one of the festivals of the year. Not least because of the acts - but also because of the scenery and the possibilities of the pool parties in the Trabolgan swimming pool (it has a wave machine!), with DJs playing tunes alongside five-a-side soccer, zip-lining, rock climbing, cool food, crazy golf - and doubtless crazy vibes.

It Takes A Village, April 13-15 at Trabolgan, East Cork.

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