| 16.9°C Dublin

an electrifying affair forecast

When the weather turns for the worst at festivals things, as we know, can become unpleasant and sometimes it's not just a couple of heavy downpours that can drive you into 'sod this for a game of soldiers' mode.

It's when you've been on a site for the best part of three days in overcast, intermittently drizzly conditions, the dampness seeping into your very marrow, that many throw in the towel.

That was certainly the case at Electric Picnic last year, as the Sunday saw lines of miserable-looking stragglers trudging towards the village of Stradbally by lunchtime.

Still, at least this year the lead-up to the festival has been exceptionally good on the climate front and as the forecast is good-to-fair for the weekend there shouldn't be a recreation of Napoleon's retreat from Moscow before the final day gets under way.

As regards this year's line-up, on paper the opening night looks to be the strongest. Back when they were in their ultra-stylish phase in the early 1980s the thought of Roxy Music performing in a field would have been as ludicrous a prospect as some jumped-up Grafton Street busker winning an Oscar.

However, looking back at a documentary about the band's early days, Roxy's workload included countless festivals -- so they should be old hands when it comes to this evening's performance.

Having headlined the main stage with the Sex Pistols two years ago, John Lydon is, of course, no stranger to Electric Picnic but this time out he's reviving his experimental post-Pistols outfit Public Image Limited, whose dub and krautrock influences should add an alien feel to the evening.

intelligent

The Waterboys may have a special circle of hell set aside for them for what they unleashed on the world in the form of Raggle Taggle but it should never be forgotten that before they decamped to Ireland and fell for the flimflam fantasy of Galway as a 'mystical place' they were one of the best rock bands in the world, their first three albums containing soaring, intelligent music until it all went diddley-eye. Which Waterboys will turn up tonight though?

With appearances from Modest Mouse, Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi, Laura Marling, Janelle Monae, Eels and Marc Almond also taking place, this is a serious line-up.

On Saturday, the highlight should be the coronation of Imelda May on the main stage, Dublin's stunningly talented rockabilly/r'n'b queen whose latest album, Mayhem, was launched last night with a short set at The Workingman's Club, the food being supplied by Fusco's chipper from Meath Street. Pure class.

There's a strong dance element to the day's music, with Leftfield providing ageing rave heads with a reminder of their lost youth while Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem keep the young 'uns happy.

It's been hinted that the end is also nigh for The Frames, which would certainly be a blessing as they truly are one of the worst Irish bands of all time. Good riddance.

Round off the weekend with a blast of souped-up folk from Mumford & Sons and classic dub-pop from Massive Attack and a fine time, in every sense, should be had.


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