EP14 on the box: a slightly truncating experience

There was plenty of cheerleading and in-jokes - but omission was the central theme of Saturday night's TV coverage of Electric Picnic

Even the Pet Shop Boys’ unsatisfactory performance was euphemistically marked up as “divisive”. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Even the Pet Shop Boys’ unsatisfactory performance was euphemistically marked up as “divisive”. Photograph: Dave Meehan

 

Taking a conspicuous cue from BBC’s Glastonbury coverage, 2FM’s Jenny Green and The Voice’s Eoghan McDermott provided five hours of aggressive cheerleading from a faux rustic set in a hedge.

Speaking in fluent, excitable CAPSLOCK and, occasionally, as Gaeilge, McDermott did his best to gloss over the truncation of a three-day bash into a solitary near-graveyard TV shift. (TV ossuaries don’t get much more gloomy than those positioned opposite the first night of the X-Factor and Match of the Day.) Even the Pet Shop Boys’ unsatisfactory performance was euphemistically marked up as “divisive”.

All studio guests were introduced with superlatives attached: Ham Sandwich were trumpeted on to set with the words “I think I’m going to cry”.

The anchors also hailed the “unbelievable” Hozier, introduced part of a Friday-night set featuring the “incredible” Foals, and chatted with the “unquestionably talented” Paolo Nutini.

There was a double spread of Nutini; the programme featured the Glaswegian’s set and a fawning interview. The Strypes got the same double-up treatment, as did this century’s incarnation of The Stranglers.

That seems odd given how the show struggled to accommodate a big fat programme of events.

There were selections from smaller stages, including Benjamin Booker playing to a very merry audience and the otherworldly vocals of Eve Belle.

But omission was the central theme of the evening. We saw Blondie (recorded) by daylight and plenty of Nile Rogers and Chic, but no Portished, who were on stage during the broadcast.

We were introduced to two roving reporters, including comedian Al Porter, then didn’t see them do very much roving.

Might it not have been sensible to schedule the TV coverage on the Sunday as a wrap up?

If the team noticed the gaps, they didn’t let on. Instead they gamely made do with mandatory wellie banter, giddy plaudits (“I absolutely love Bombay Bicycle Club”) and gentle in-jokes about Laura Whitmore and Eoghan’s shorts, which were grey but (hilarious, apparently) looked white under the lights.

TuneYards’ zany Water Fountain played over the final credits. Presumably The Lego Movie theme Everything Is Awesome was unavailable.

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