The home front: guaranteed Irish at the Picnic
As ever, there's a healthy showing of Irish acts in this year's Electric Picnic line-up. Lisa Hannigan we've already mentioned, but the rest is like a who's who of Irish rock and pop: previous Mercury Prize nominee Fionn Regan returns from the wilderness; Mundy will be bringing his top hat to Stradbally; Damien Dempsey will be bending our ear over the state of the nation; David Kitt, who rediscovered his mojo on The Nightsaver, is also on the bill; and not forgetting audience favourites Bell X1, who will be doing their Talking Heads thing.
You can also see three different Choice Prize winners: Jape, Julie Feeney and Neil Hannon (the latter as part of the Duckworth Lewis Method), as well as fellow Choice nominees Mick Flannery, David Geraghty and Halfset, whose album Another Way Of Being There was one of 2008's best.
There's plenty more too, but space prevents me from mentioning them all -- however, I'd like to recommend Waterford's answer to Mazzy Star, Katie Kim (pictured right), who played a mesemerising set opening for Mark Kozelek in the ALT earlier this summer. Katie's album 12 Songs has been on repeat play in my living room ever since.