No mud and no bar queues make for sunny Forbidden Fruit

Festival comes up short on standout musical moments but wins on atmosphere

Music fans at the Forbidden Fruit music festival on the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin, yesterday. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne Music fans at the Forbidden Fruit music festival on the grounds of the Royal Hospital , Kilmainham, Dublin, yesterday. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne

Music fans at the Forbidden Fruit music festival on the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin, yesterday. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne Music fans at the Forbidden Fruit music festival on the grounds of the Royal Hospital , Kilmainham, Dublin, yesterday. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne

 

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

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

Headliners the Flaming Lips did the necessary on Saturday 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.

Lounging around

Forbidden Fruit is destined to be overshadowed this summer by Longitude and Body and Soul, but those 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 suffering PTSD. It was a weekend of good music and good vibes.

Yesterday 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.

They yelled familiar slogans, waved placards and demanded their audience, “Let me hear you!” so often that at times it was hard to figure who was being paid to be entertained by whom.

Dad’s Army

Security of the First World

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 large evening crowd. Yes, the rarely spotted Irish sun was the star of the show, but both acts played their roles with aplomb.

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