Longitude day one: Phoenix, Foals, Jessie Ware
Ireland’s newest festival got off to a scorcher
Django Django seem tailormade for this sort of slot. A big, blistering main stage in the evening sunshine is the perfect platform for their jangly pop, which is built on a high-tempo blend of afro-pop, surf music and stoner rock. They’ve ditched their matching onstage shirts, but have lost none of their energy or their eagerness to please.
It’s not the most unpredictable music in the world, and some of the songs could do with more development beyond a trundle from verse to chorus and back again. But in these conditions it’s a complementary fit to the sun-bleached festival stage. When the band pull the trigger 40 minutes into their set with Default, things really click into place with the crowd, which sets the band up for a strong finish. It’s a solid set, without ever being in danger of stealing the show. LM
In a hot, hot Heineken Project Live Stage tent, Londoners Aluna Francis and George Reid draw an impressive crowd for what is their third gig in Ireland (after Arthur’s Day and the Trinity Ball) but probably the first time most of the punters here have seen their dubby pop live.
Beefed up with a bassist and drummer, what they lack in depth they make up in a joyful frivolity, with Francis’s voice note perfect all set. You Know You Like It soars and a cover of This Is How We Do It could be better than the original.
A spirited and light rendition of White Noise, their collaboration with Disclosure, gets a rapturous response before their brilliantly woozy Your Drums, Your Love closes a great set. UM
Foals seem intent on putting more muscle on their wiry musical frames of late. Here, they take to the stage in a War of the Worlds-esque blitz of blue and green lights and smoke, which does its best to compete with the glare of the still-hot sun. Then they take an instrumental walk on the rock side, stretching their musical limbs like a band limbering up – this is an outfit with the look of seasoned professionals. Here, their angular, frenetic rock feels reinforced with more heavyweight craft work, and while it’s the older favourites of Blue Blood, TLF and, of course, Spanish Sahara that get the loudest roars, the band look just as committed and comfortable when ripping through tracks from their latest album, Holy Fire. It’s an assured set with a little elegant fury that’s combustible enough to power a small festival. LM
“I love you! We’ve got the same hair!” If you had a quid for every time Ware pointed at a fan and announced “I love you!” during her evening set, you’d probably be able to afford a few more of the €6 pints of beer at the Longitude bars.