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For me, EP feels like family, like coming home ­... I belong there

irish songstress Cathy Davey takes a break from putting the finishing touches to her long-awaited new album to play this year's festival. Here, Cathy talks about new songs, staying in caravans and the benefits of 
woolly socks at 3am...

Your fourth album is due for release later this year. Is it ever a good idea to play new songs at a festival?
"It depends. If you're a dad rock band who have loads and loads of excellent festival songs, but you insist on playing all new ones, and they're kind of bland, then no, bad idea. Go back.

I sort of never used to write for live performances, but the last couple of albums, I've been slowly falling in love with the live experience, so I've been getting songs together which are more in tune with the live atmosphere, so for me, I'm gonna say it's an excellent idea, and I'm allowing myself to do new songs."

What do you love most about the 
Electric Picnic?
"I never used to enjoy festivals, but Electric Picnic I've always associated with positive things. It's not simmering with stress, like some of the other festivals are.

For me, Electric Picnic feels like family. It feels like sort of coming home, and I belong there."

What's in your festival survival pack...or do you even bother with one?
"Yeah, my car and a safe route out as soon as the gig is over! I'll tell you what, bring woolly socks! Because I remember traipsing around [at the Picnic] and having wet feet.

You've had a long day, you're tired, it's three in the morning, and you don't know where your tent is and you just wish you had those thermal socks you saw for sale in Tesco for €1.99 in the winter, like, 'why did I not bring them'?

What's your festival preference - tents or hotels?

"Tents, only if you're travelling to, like, Connemara for a whimsical weekend of, you know, traipsing around a beautiful mountain and discovering things.

But [festival] camping? I would say a caravan or hotel. Maybe I've never had a positive tenting experience at a 
festival. I'm doing a caravan this year"...

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's Picnic?

"I have to see Beck. Like, if he's in the same country, I have to make that. I'd love to see Portishead, but I think Beck is gonna be my Mecca. He's my Becka".

Do you remember your first festival experience?

"I'm not sure I went to one 'til I was playing them, and that may have been the V Festival in the UK, when I was, like, 23.

Before that, I wasn't that way inclined, you know, when I was growing up, sort of weekends away with friends and stuff wasn't where I was at.

So I'm reliving my teens now, doing all sorts of fun things without over-thinking them".

What's on your festival 
tour rider?

"I don't care about backstage stuff. My tour manager would look after that. I think I'm usually in my own world, so it doesn't really matter. Should I ask for something in particular? Should I ask for some thermal socks from Tesco? I'll do that then".


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