Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

EP09 – the first reviews

All reviews from the Daily Ticket, to be published on-site in Stradbally tomorrow. Lykke Li “Was that too slow for you?” The Swedish pop goddess  asked a ready-to-dance crowd in the Crawdaddy tent. Well, yes, if you don’t mind, it …

Fri, Sep 4, 2009, 23:18

   

All reviews from the Daily Ticket, to be published on-site in Stradbally tomorrow.

Lykke Li

“Was that too slow for you?” The Swedish pop goddess  asked a ready-to-dance crowd in the Crawdaddy tent. Well, yes, if you don’t mind, it was. This is the last leg of a two-year tour on her debut album, Youth Novels, and it showed. Vocally, Lykke seemed just that little bit tired, but the songs – Dance, Dance, Dance and A Little Bit – still held their own. There were just too few of them. The rest – slow burners accompanied by vocal games that she didn’t seem up to –  weren’t enough. A cover of the Kings of Leon’s Knocked Up was definitely a crowd-pleaser, but next time, she needs to include some of her new material if she wants to keep fans loyal. (Rosemary MacCabe)

Michael Nyman Orchestra

If it’s a soundtrack to widescreen drama you are after, Michael Nyman is the dude you should call. He’s scored more flicks than you’ve had religious experiences and he’s still at it. What Nyman and his orchestra provided were the festival’s perfect opening lines. People were streaming on to the site, checking their bearings and trying to take it all in. They then saw these men and women in black on the big stage and stopped in their tracks. An orchestra? Film scores? A maestro at the piano in the snazziest tails any wardrobe mistress could provide? Encore! It was gorgeous, scene-stopping stuff. The brass parped and the strings wept as Nyman’s cinematic compositions swirled and sighed under a bruised blue sky. All that was missing was one of those movies to be projected on a big screen. That – and popcorn. (Jim Carroll)

ABC

If you’re an act from the 1980s seeking rehabilitation, the Electric Picnic is a good place to start the process. After all, we’ve seen the Human League re-up their cred in previous years and, yeah well, A Flock Of Seagulls are also playing this weekend. ABC are a band who always seemed a little too smart for their time. Sure, their mix of blue-eyed soul, arty pop and whiteboy funk always found radio DJs tapping their tootsies, but they never quite hit the same commercial heights as such tea towel-touting peers as Spandau Ballet. While frontman Martin Fry announced that an audience of nineties kids mightn’t remember the band’s hits, the screams and shrieks that greeted a rollicking, evergreen Poison Arrow said otherwise. Idea for 2010: get them back to play the classic Lexicon Of Love album from start to finish. (Jim Carroll)

Seasick Steve does the talking

A very Peaches Geldof-looking young woman interviewed a bemused Seasick Steve in the Hotpress Chatroom yesterday, to an audience in a state of what can only be described as rapture. It began with something new: a question about surviving recession, which Steve answered with aplomb: “Taking care of yourself starts when you get down to nothing. I don’t know about the middle part.” Cue plentiful laughter and Steve looking slightly confused. The crowd was determined to find him hilarious. What about the future of music, Steve? “It’s a big question.” Ha ha ha, goes the crowd. “All the old folks I used to know are dead. It’s always up to the young people.” Rapturous applause. This interview never seemed to quite get off the ground, but in this tent, nobody cared. Ha ha ha. (Rosemary MacCabe)

Dark Room Notes

Call it a coming of age. Since the release of their smashing We Love You Dark Matter debut album earlier this year, Dark Room Notes have enjoyed a bump in their profile which was long overdue. Watching them knocking out their warm, smart, seductive electro-pop in the ThisIsPopBaby glittersphere yesterday, it was clear that positive notices for the album and plenty of gigging has done wonders for their confidence. There’s now a much greater cohesion to their sound, and you can also spot a few dabs of panache when they hit the accelerator. What they need next is another great leap forward, and that will require moving the DRN story to different terrain. They’ve certainly got the goods it will take to get heads nodding out foreign – all they need now is a lucky break to grab more ears. (Jim Carroll)

Europe – Is it any use at all?

The “What Has Europe Ever Done For Us” debate on the Leviathan stage saw David McWilliams introduce his political cabaret, featuring  Martin Territt, director of the EC Ireland, Joe Higgins MEP, Patricia McKenna of the People’s Movement, and former rugby international Denis Hickie. It was always going to be about Lisbon, and with two on each side, it quickly fell into a re-hash of the old same debate. The talk only shifted to “what it can do for us” when a contributor spoke up from the packed pews. However, thinking only about ourselves is a “typically Irish” and selfish outlook… according to Hickey. We’ll disagree for now and will wait for a more focused debate today –  “Are We Witnessing the Death of Capitalism?” at 4.30pm, in Mindfield. (Leonie Corcoran)

MGMT

Well, we always thought they would pull the crowds, and the Brooklyn boys didn’t disappoint – it was a packed-out front that spanned the Main Stage. They followed the well-known and loved Oracular Spectacular track list with Electric Feel and Youth getting plenty out of the packed field. Not as dynamic a sound live as when it’s blaring out of your car stereo, but there was no missing the Friday-night energy and feelgood vibes that greeted a rocked-out version of Kids. (Leonie Corcoran)

Veda Beaux Reves, Neosupervital, Bitches With Wolves

If Ireland wants new pop stars, they were found yesterday at ThisIsPopBaby. Veda Beaux Reves, Neosupervital and Bitches With Wolves played to a near-empty tent, but filled the space with pop synths and catchy hooks. Neosupervital was resplendent in LED sunglasses, playing a too-short set with lots of pep. Veda provided the interlude – more killer than filler, all eyes were on her. O’Neill was last, and neither bitch nor wolf. He was more karaoke than performance: just the stage, Beetlejuice trousers and brash self-confidence. A damp end to an electrifying show. (Rosemary MacCabe)