Forbidden Fruit comes up short on standout musical moments

Event at Royal Hospital Kilmainham, however, was an enjoyable festival experience

The Forbidden Fruit festival, which took place this weekend on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, ultimately came up short on standout musical moments.

The Forbidden Fruit festival, which took place this weekend on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, ultimately came up short on standout musical moments.

 

Sure, at the very least, a whole lot of people got a little bit of sun. The Forbidden Fruit festival, which took place this weekend on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, ultimately came up short on standout musical moments.

Cavan singer-songwriter Lisa O’Neill had her main stage late afternoon set yesterday all but drowned out by the racket coming from the Lighthouse Stage, just over the hill. Long portions of a set by Irish veterans Bell X1 that same evening were equally inaudible to anyone not pressed up against the stage front barrier.

Headliners The Flaming Lips did the necessary last night. They played their half dozen or so guaranteed festival pleasers (Race For The Prize, Do You Realise, Yoshimi et al), plus a rendition of David Bowie’s Heroes with Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine on guitar.

Singer Wayne Coyne was dressed in a glitter bird costume and surrounded by enormous inflatable space aliens. Because that’s what he does. Earlier, German instrumentalist Nils Frahm thumped the strings of his grand piano with a timpani mallet, before pounding the keys in a thrilling climax to his set at the Undergrowth Stage.

But a majority of festival goers weren’t around to witness that, preferring instead to lounge on the grass outside. And while the sun was out, who could blame them? Even if Forbidden Fruit is destined to be overshadowed this summer by Londitude and Body and Soul, those rival events would do well to offer ticket holders anything like as enjoyable a festival experience.

There was no mud, no bar queues (which marred the 2011 event here), crisp mobile phone reception and it was possible to use the portable toilets without acquiring PTSD in the process. It was a weekend of good music and good vibes.

Today initially was a little more overcast. With 2 Many DJs and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs among the main draws, it was also a little more dance oriented and a lot better attended. Long portions of Public Enemy’s set, though, served only to remind how frustrating a proposition live hip hop can be.

The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame inductees yelled the familiar old slogans, waved placards and demanded their audience “Let me hear you!” so frequently that at times it was hard to figure who was being paid here to be entertained by whom.

Their Security of the First World, in military fatigues, these days appear less like intimidating militant black power activists than they do a bunch of poorly choreographed Dad’s army recruits. But when Chuck D and Flavor Flav eventually did bring the noise it was a glorious thing.

On the main stage Sweden’s Little Dragon and Californians Warpaint delighted the now very large evening crowds. Yes, the rarely spotted Irish sun was the star of the show, but both acts played their (supporting) roles with aplomb.

In the midst of it all, a Garda weave do through the crowd carrying a bag of chips and a bottle of Coke his hat, providing a perfect photo opportunity for a half dozen or so delighted bystanders.

If this is summer, they said, we’ll take all of that you’ve got!