Your five a day for Longitude
Longitude, a three-day event in leafy Marlay Park in Dublin, has one of the most intriguing line-ups of the summer. Tony Clayton-Lea casts his eye over the bill and picks out the acts you really don’t want to miss
Kraftwerk’s appearance at Marlay Park sees the unit bring their famed 3D stage show to Ireland for the first time. Photograph: Luke MacGregor
FRIDAY JULY 19th
PHOENIX: What have the French ever done for us? Well, they’ve handed over a few things, not least the Versailles band, Phoenix. With a cool celeb connection (founding member Thomas Mars is married to film director Sofia Coppola) and a rake of albums that feature head spinning tracks such as Lisztomania and 1901, this crowd are headliners for a good reason.
We’ll be annoyed if they don’t play: The proggy seven-minute title track of their latest album, Bankrupt!
FOALS: Oxford band Foals have easily graduated from Band Of The Day status to become a bona fide act who have, on their latest album, Holy Fire, swapped scratchiness and density for a lightness of touch and some fine pop moments.
We’ll be annoyed if they don’t play: Inhaler (from Holy Fire) – it’s the kind of song that you imagine was created specifically to entice, excite and incite. Slow build? Yep. Climaxing into huge guitars? Yep. Orgasmic? Now, now . . .
JAKE BUGG: There aren’t many teenagers who can say their formative musical moment was hearing Don McLean’s Vincent. Nottingham’s Bugg, however, isn’t your average teenager, as even a cursory listen to his self-titled 2012 debut will testify. Bob Dylan with an East Midlands accent might be going a bit too far, but this guy is too good to write off with faint praise.
We’ll be annoyed if he doesn’t play: Two Fingers. Listen to the lyrics, then you’ll understand.
JESSIE WARE: London-born Ware embraces all manner of musical styles (she has been described as the missing link between Adele, SBTRKT and Sade) in a manner that effortlessly interconnects them all while retaining a hint of wilful individuality. What’s this? She once worked as a sports journalist for the Daily Mirror, and she’s bestie mates with the aforementioned Adele and Florence Welch.
We’ll be annoyed if she doesn’t play: Oh, we’ll be happy if she does most of her 2012 Mercury Prize nominated debut album, Devotion.
TOM ODELL: 22-year-old Odell is signed to Lily Allen’s record label, In The Name Of (an imprint of Columbia Records), so we have immediately a mix of new-school influences and old-school financial backing. He is, essentially, an old fashioned singer-songwriter with a contemporary brief: are hints of James Blake and Beach House, and, here and there, shades of Elton John and Bob Dylan too.
We’ll be annoyed if he doesn’t play: His latest single, Another Love. It’s, you know, nice.
SATURDAY JULY 20th
VAMPIRE WEEKEND: Impressively, the members of New York’s Vampire Weekend became best-friends-forever over a shared interest in hip-hop, punk rock and African music. From those early days in 2006, the band (creative writing lecturers who are also dazzling musicians) has gelled into something quite special and often sublime.
We’ll be annoyed if they don’t play: Oh, anything, pretty much from their latest album, Modern Vampires of the City, but particularly the incandescent Ya Hey. Easily pleased, that’s us.
VILLAGERS: You’ll know by now that it isn’t all about lead singer and literate lyricist, Conor O’Brien. Yes, he has the ability to make you shiver (in a nice way) with his words and delivery, but Villagers the band have the ability to make you shake (also in a good way). Separately, they’re strong; together they’re unbeatable.
We’ll be annoyed if they don’t play: From the debut album, Becoming a Jackal, it’d be Twenty-Seven Strangers, and from the latest, , it’s Nothing Arrived.
KODALINE: This Dublin act have become the latest whipping boys for anyone who doesn’t like their blend of Coldplay-style melancholia and classic-era Radiohead. Fact: there’s nothing wrong with being able to craft a decent melody and deliver it in a way that fakes sincerity – and Kodaline do that better than most.
We’ll be annoyed if they don’t play: Their UK and Ireland No 1 debut album, In a Perfect World, which has so many lit-matches moments it could make a pyromaniac combust.
LAURA MVULA: She was once a receptionist in the office of her native Birmingham’s Symphony Orchestra, but now Laura Mvula has traded touch-typing and telephony for a life of superior soul/pop/gospel/jazz songwriting. Style oozes out of her recently released and reflective debut album, Sing to the Moon. Quiet at the front!
We’ll be annoyed if she doesn’t play: Is there Anybody out There?, a blissful orchestral-pop song of personal loss.
MØ: We all love a new low-budget, alt-pop presence on the block, and Denmark’s MØ (aka Karen Marie Ørsted) seems to be just that, as she channels pop (Spice Girls), punk (Sonic Youth, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and regional Scandipop (Lykke Li). At present, MØ doesn’t have much beyond a handful of songs as proof of her greatness, but she’s good, so we won’t mind waiting.
We’ll be annoyed if she doesn’t play: Her latest single, Waste of Time, which fuses honeyed vocals, hollers and gushing guitar riffs.
SUNDAY JULY 21
KRAFTWERK: Oh, where to start? German-based pioneers of electronic music and, along with The Beatles, the most influential band of the past 50 years. Flowing melodies, minimalist instrumentation, repetitive rhythms, simplified lyrics, enigmatic personnel.
Their appearance at Marlay Park sees the unit bring their famed 3D stage show to Ireland for the first time.
Three words: Unique. Unique. Unique.
We’ll be annoyed if they don’t play: Neon Lights, Europe Endless, Trans Europe Express, Autobahn – everything, basically.
YEAH YEAH YEAHS: Ah, Karen O and the way she might look at you through a black just-so fringe . . . Ah, Nick Zinner and the way he might shred his guitar and tickle his keyboard . . . Ah, drummer Brian Chase and – well, you get the picture. Newish album, Mosquito, might not have the same umphf as the band’s 2003 debut, Fever to Tell, or 2006’s Show Your Bones, but it still makes a very decent art-rock racket. And the band are a good bet live.
We’ll be annoyed if they don’t play: Maps – a single taken from Fever to Tell – which is about a real relationship issue. Unusually for YYYs, this song is a subdued, Eno-esque slow burner.
MARK LANEGAN: The former member of Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age (whose voice has been likened to “a scratchy three-day beard” that is nonetheless “as supple and pliable as moccasin leather”) is no stranger to melancholy, as anyone who has heard his collaborative work in The Gutter Twins (with former Afghan Whigs and current Twilight Singers vocalist, Greg Dhulli) and with Scottish singer Isobel Campbell.
We’ll be annoyed if he doesn’t play: a few tracks from his excellent 2001 solo album, Field Songs, notably the vocally sandpapered Don’t Forget Me, and the incredibly, intensely morose Pill Hill Serenade.
JAPANDROIDS: From Vancouver, this duo (David Prowse and Brian King) might follow the Black Keys’ guitar/vocals/drums setup but there’s something extra here – particularly on their 2012 second album, Celebration Rock, which has been correctly described as a throwback to classic rock and American punk as parlayed by the likes of The Who, The Replacements, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty.
We’ll be annoyed if they don’t play: The House that Heaven Built (from Celebration Rock), a song that has been described (and will be again) as a rapturous, anthemic head-banger of a tune. It has the repeated lyric: “If they try to slow you down, tell them all to go to Hell.”
DRENGE: Another drummer/guitarist/singer duo, this time from the UK’s Peak District via Sheffield. They’re brothers, Eoin and Rory Loveless, and their band’s name is Danish for the word “boys”. Eoin and Rory appear to have no truck with fancy music industry types. Such a stance seems pointless – this lot could go very far, indeed.
We’ll be annoyed if they don’t play: I Wanna Break You in Half, which sounds like The Stooges chasing Black Sabbath through a barbed-wire fence.
yyy Longitude Festival 2013 will take place in Marlay Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin from Friday July 19th to Sunday July 21st.