I think it's pretty safe to say that Electric Picnic is essentially a weekend of guaranteed merriment, regardless of how demented the weather has decided to be at that given point in September. Of this I am convinced, having had spectacular fun at the the wet, muddy, cold version in 2009 and the earlier ones around 2005 and 2006 where there was actual honest to God SUNSHINE for most of the weekend and I have the photos and rather hazy memories to prove it. Anyway, that's enough preamble. For this was yet another shenanigan-filled three days, which involved the following...
> Santigold taking the roof off the Electric Arena on Friday night, such was the ferociousness of her electro/superfunk set, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Her show was made all the more amazing thanks to her two backing dancers that would out-fierce Tyra herself, bopping along in perfect time with matching golden pom-poms which were soon exchanged for giant hammers, which then gave way to lassos for the part when the pantomime horse came onstage and danced to the music. Yes. A DANCING PANTOMIME HORSE. I want to live inside Santigold's head.
> The Salty Dog shipwreck stage being its usual decadent, dreamy and brilliant self, where we caught Jerry Fish and The Mudbug Club, a Cajun band I can't quite remember the name of and most importantly, the three delightful cancan dancers that frequent The Burlesque and Cabaret Social Club. Jackpot.
> Getting our disco on at the glittery, sparkly wonderfulness of Bitches With Wolves. I seriously can't get enough of this band, not to mention frontman James O'Neill's AMAZING Eighties Madonna dance moves. Eighties Madonna but miles better, in fact.
> Ambling past someone in the full bespectacled, stripey jumpered Wally outfit passed out asleep under a tree.
> The sheer joy of getting to see the very lovely and tremendously talented EleventyFour play both the Peace Pagoda and the Love Letter Stage in Body & Soul. Both of her sets seemed to attract the most random, bizarre and brilliant of happenings, what with the man dressed as a tiger raving to her sweet, funny, folksy stylings, a zombie bridal party stopping by for a listen, a conga line of people disguised as a deck of cards scampering through the audience, and that's actually only the half of it. She handled all the distractions marvellously with her witty banter and the audience most firmly on her side for the Eleventy vs Loud Drumming Bastards debacle. She's recounted the whole thing on her own site and it makes for most surreal and entertaining reading. Also, I completely missed the fact that I had been sitting near Pop Culture Monster at her gig, who I would've loved to have met properly. Next time, purple monster!
> Mr. Billy Flag distracting the drunk-ass headwrecker that kept asking us all what our favourite Bruce Springsteen song was by pointing to the middle distance and shouting "What's that over there!?" whereupon we all legged it in the opposite direction. It was the only way, there was just no getting rid of this fucker.
> Tieranniesaur stomping some amazing funk pop into the main stage of Body & Soul, with bass lines so big and delicious I wanted to eat them. The bass lines, not the band. There was also a brief appearance by frontwoman Annie Tierney's brother Mick Pyro, which was rather class.
> Discovering the genius that is Abandoman in the Comedy Tent. An improv hip-hop duo that stormed through a series of amazing on the spot songs, earning themselves three standing ovations from the delirious crowd. After that astounding performance, MCs Andrew Stanley and Damien Clarke led the audience through the first verse of Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, with the entire tent taking over when they forgot the rest of the words because we all knew it by heart, obviously. David O'Doherty's meandering lo-fi whimsy followed, which was hilarious as ever and topped off what was possibly my favourite ever stint in the Picnic's Comedy Tent.
> Lords of Lightning BLOWING MY MIND entirely with their genuinely awesome lightning bolt performance as they duelled atop a giant Tesla coil each alongside the fire-breathing Arcadia stage. Yowza.
|What the Jaysus fuck? Amazing, is what!|
> Dancing my socks off in general, but particularly to Gordon Gano finishing out his set with Blister In The Sun, Public Enemy lashing out Don't Believe The Hype, Pulp treating us to Disco 2000 and pretty much all of Beirut, as I do love a bit of brass.
> The Brownbread Mixtape knocking it out of the park in Mindfield with their inspired comedy sketches (in particular the reconstruction of Amanda Brunker's already laughable appearance at Oxegen, punctuated with the YouTube comments from her video. There's really nothing like seeing the unnecessary rage of the YouTube commenter brought to life) the gorgeous poetry and music and the most rousing end to a performance that I've ever seen, in the shape of their alternative Irish anthem My Blood Is Boiling For Ireland. It mostly involves the crowd shouting "Ireland! Ireland! Ireland, FUCKIN' IRELAND" and a fantastic call and response bit as Gaeilge. Go h-ana funky ar fad.
All told, it was a typically fantastic Electric Picnic weekend...'till next year, Stradbally!