Longitude day two review: Alt-J, Le Galaxie, Caribou

Hometown heroes Le Galaxie impress while Alt-J are a bit too chilled out for a headliner

Festivalgoers  at  Longitude in Marlay Park, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Festivalgoers at Longitude in Marlay Park, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

Le Galaxie get what must be the biggest crowd of their career on the Saturday afternoon main stage. Resplendent in monochrome, they rip into the set with the sort of enthusiasm that has earned them their “best live band in Ireland” tag.

Their sound is beefed up with slabs of synth and from the off they bring their nightclub vibes to this summery Dublin field. It’s a fiery, pumping set that powers through the afternoon in impressive style. Laurence Mackin

Gengahr aren’t in the business of crowd interaction. It’s the London alt rockers’ first time playing in Ireland and their early-ish slot on the Whelan’s stage starts with just a smattering of swaying die-hards.

What they produce during this performance is a collection of sometimes punchy, but largely familiar four-chord indie rock. Heroin is the best of the bunch, while the newer Dark Star typifies their tendency for repetitiveness.

Frontman Felix Bushe has a delicate lyrical delivery and there are glimpses of early Jack White in the lead guitar work. The tent eventually collects a few more punters, but overall the set doesn’t really get out of third gear. Dean Ruxton

Jungle put in a stormer of a set at last year’s Electric Picnic, turning the tent into a riot of colour and sound. Here, although the main stage area is packed with people, it initially feels like it could do with a roof on it to amp the atmosphere up another few notches. As the set pushes on, the band find their groove, and while it might not hit their previous heights, it’s a satisfying set of London soul. LM

Chaz Bundick, Toro Y Moi head honcho, cuts a striking image on the Heineken stage, decked out all in white with a matching Stratocaster to boot. A beefed-up five-piece band weave through sugar-sweet indie pop with tastes of soul, and enough octave-pounding disco bass to get the first five rows moving from the get-go. It’s a clean sound and agreeable for a Saturday afternoon . The dash of extra keys, provided by Bundick, who often swaps instruments mid-song, helps the groove along. Buffalo is the pick of the bunch. DR

Dan Snaith does a neat double header at Longitude, with a cracking, funky DJ set under his Daphni banner, that culminates in a brilliant Ye Ye in the Heineken tent. Later on, for his second to last set as Caribou on the main stage, it’s a very different affair. The live band are hunched up around the front of the stage, with Snaith switching between drum kit, keys and vocals. Opener Our Love sets an excellent textured tempo, even though most of the huge crowd don’t appear to be that familiar with his music. It’s all brilliantly put together, with his chilly house music given justice by a band willing to push and pull the tracks. Swim rolls out and the crowd rolls up. He sneaks in eight bars of the ubiquitous Can’t Do Without You before anyone knows what’s happened.It’s euphoric, and feels like a real festival moment, with Snaith taking a back seat and letting the band jam through the terrific groove. Closing track Sun seals the set as the best of the weekend so far.

It’s all good, clean fun until Girl Band show up. In a barrage of noise, spit and demented energy, they quickly whip up a frenzy at the close of the Whelan’s tent.Frontman Dara Kiely’s gritty yell is the cornerstone of the noise-punk package, paired with an intensity that resembles straight-up demonic possession at times. The mayhem begins to simmer early on with De Bom Bom, and fully boils over by the time their cover of Blawan’s Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage comes around - a popular one, partly due to the recent release of its brilliantly gruesome music video. It’s a knock-out set from the four-piece. DR

Even the rain makes it out for Alt-J as they launch their headline slot on the main stage. Groups can be seen dance-running towards the main arena as Hunger of the Pine starts up. A silhouetted Alt-J remain fairly static, as is their default mode, in front of a major light production of purples and reds, flanked by huge monitors displaying live pictures of the band over black and white images of flames - it’s all go. The sound is large enough to compete with the space - with the highs of Joe Newman’s voice paired with deep, loud lows in bass and keys work. Left Hand Free arrives early and kicks some life into the poncho-wearing patrons, while it’s hard not to be stunned with the vocal harmonies of Interlude 1. Alt-J’s ability to render their layered, intricate indie rock in a live setting isn’t a question and the set is enjoyable for the thousands singing back. But it might have been too chilled out for a headliner. DR