Entertainment Music

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Roxy Music to headline '70s-style Picnic

Wellies at ready as Ferry leads this year's line-up

Bryan Ferry first blazed a trail through the British rock scene as the frontman of Roxy Music
Bryan Ferry first blazed a trail through the British rock scene as the frontman of Roxy Music
Niamh Healy and Martha Christie got their tickets at yesterday's launch for Electric Picnic
Limerick rap group The Rubberbandits are included in the line-up

Ken Sweeney and John Meagher

REFORMED avant-garde rock band Roxy Music are the main attraction at this year's Electric Picnic. The group will be playing together for the first time in five years.

Singer Bryan Ferry will be joined in the line-up by original Roxy members Phil Manzanera and Andy Mackay in Stradbally Hall, Co Laois, on the weekend of September 3-5.

Roxy Music were trailblazers in the 1970s and early 1980s, famed for such esoteric albums as 'For Your Pleasure' and 'Avalon'.

Aficionados of cutting-edge music from the 1970s are also in for a treat, thanks to the appearance of Public Image Ltd (PIL), who will play Ireland for the first time. Frontman John Lydon -- aka Johnny Rotten -- played the Electric Picnic two years ago with The Sex Pistols.

Of a more recent vintage, Bristol trip-hop visionaries Massive Attack will be dipping into their acclaimed new album 'Heligoland', as well as their groundbreaking early-1990s records, 'Blue Lines' and 'Protection', while their contemporaries, Leftfield, will appeal to fans of intelligent dance music.

Famous for the traditionally eclectic nature of its line-up, the festival also features acts as diverse as London indie-folksters Mumford & Sons; Jonsi, the enigmatic frontman of ethereal Icelandic band Sigur Ros; soul/jazz/blues veteran musician Gil Scott-Heron; and the acclaimed electro-indie outfit LCD Soundsystem, led by Irish-American James Murphy.

A sizable Irish contingent is included on the bill, including The Frames, who celebrate their 20th anniversary this year, veteran singer-songwriter Paul Brady, and Imelda May, the Dublin singer who performed with Jeff Beck at the Grammy Awards in January.

One of the more eccentric names to be included is The Rubberbandits, a bunch of track-suited rappers from Limerick city, who became an internet sensation after penning a song about the then newly resigned defence minister, Willie O'Dea.

"We're going to rap about greyhounds, smoking fags, horses, time machines, girls, kissing girls and fighting girls' fathers," said Mr Chrome, one member of the group, who all wear plastic bags over their heads to conceal their identities.

"People can look forward to lots of rapid songs, mad dancing, paninis that cost too much money and wet shoes," he added.

Electric Picnic's spoken-word area, Mindfield, also returns this year, having been a huge success in 2009 when its attractions included an appearance for the second year in succession by Jon Snow, the anchorman on Britain's Channel 4 News. There will be a poetry reading by singer Florence Welch and a debate about the economy, hosted by the Irish Independent columnist David McWilliams.

Young festival-goers can enjoy a children's play area, kids' yoga, puppet shows and craft workshops.

Now in its seventh year, Electric Picnic attracts 32,500 revellers each year.

Organiser Siobhan O'Dowd said come rain or shine, there is always a sense of magic on the 450-acre site, which is set in the grounds of the 18th-century Stradbally Hall.

"Last year we were unlucky with the weather, so hopefully we won't be this year," she said.

"But some people feel cheated when there is no mud because part of a festival is getting dirty and doing the mud and wellies."

Weekend tickets costing €240 go on sale this Friday at 9am. A family camping ticket is also €240 per adult. Each adult can bring two children under 12. There are no single-day tickets.

Irish Independent

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