Entertainment Music

Saturday 20 January 2018

To Heaven and back as the stars keep it Electric

Festival finds music legends in cracking form

revellers smile for the
Psychedelic revellers smile for the cameras
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Gavin Friday gave the concert of his life at the Electric Picnic on Friday night. But don't take my word for it. Take The Edge's. "I haven't seen Gavin perform in many years," he told me after the show. "Then, suddenly, I realised there is no one else who can perform quite like him. There is only one Gavin Friday and I think Bono might need to take some lessons," the enigmatic U2 guitarist added with a smile.

Helena Christensen was equally full of praise for Mr Friday, who blew 15,000 fans away with a rousing and innovative stormer of a show -- his first "official gig of my music in over 15 years", he told me himself. (He is playing the Olympia Theatre, Dublin, in November).

The Danish supermodel told me backstage after the show that Gavin's performance "brought her from Heaven to Hell and back again". Well, his brilliant new album is called Catholic.

Earlier that day, a woman who knows a thing or two about Catholicism gave a rousing performance herself. Dressed in a black dinner jacket with a white Rastafarian scarf thrown over it, Sinead O'Connor performed everything from The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance to new songs like Old Lady and What Is A Real VIP.

She had everybody in the crowd up on their feet at the festival in Stradbally, Co Laois, when she broke into Nothing Compares 2 U. Sinead has a voice that sounds like an angel on industrial-strength LSD.

I asked Sinead afterwards what men might take her fancy. "I would love Alan Shatter and Neil Jordan and Gabriel Byrne as much as Ryan (Tubridy). But I love all men. I mustn't forget Adam Clayton. He would be number one on the shagabilty scale."

PJ Harvey ranked high on the alternative shagability scale when she took the Main Stage before Gavin Friday. She looked like the black swan herself from the Darren Aronofsky movie. The Dorset chanteuse opened up with the title track from her new album Let England Shake. "Pack up your troubles, let's head out to the fountain of death and splash about, swim back and forth," she sang to the crowd, who couldn't get enough of her attitude. Jerry Fish was also inspired (as the former always is), as were The Rapture and, of course, Irish poet Coni T Poni at the Word tent.

Canadian indie gods Arcade Fire were the main attraction of last night's Electric Picnic show. The buzz about the festival's main headliners comes courtesy of their newish album The Suburbs, which is lauded as one of the great records of recent times. The final day of EP will see Jarvis Cocker of Pulp wiggling his skinny butt to Common People, and Mick Jones with his band Big Audio Dynamite, and Bob Geldof, and Gemma Hayes. It all kicks off with the Dublin Gospel Choir at 1pm on the Main Stage. Just what the country needs now. A bit of gospel.

Tickets for the final day of Electric Picnic at Stradbally Estate, Co Laois, are €99.50. Kids under 12 in free

Sunday Independent

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