Guide to Summer Music Festivals 2012
The Electric Picnic
Having been described asIreland’s answer toGlastonbury, Electric Picnic has grown from strength to strength since its debut festival in 2004. The festival takes place in Stradbally, Co. Laois and has hosted artists such as Kraftwork, Sigur Ros, Arcade Fire and Beastie Boys. This year’s festival will play host to The Cure who make their Electric Picnic debut.
The Cure – ‘Disintegration’
In 1989, The Cure released the album Disintegration which saw them returning to their earlier Goth roots. The album became their highest charting inEngland entering at Number three in the album charts. It also spawned three top ten singles.
While Disintegration mainly consists of sombre tracks, “Lovesong”, “Pictures of You” and “Lullaby” were equally popular for their accessibility. Although the band would continue to achieve commercial and artistic success, they would never replicate the quality of songwriting on Disintegration.
Body & Soul
Body & Soul has been a sell out festival since the original in 2010. This year, the organisers hope to top previous successes by staging their best festival yet. The festival takes place in Ballinlough Castle in Co. Westmeath – an area known for its natural beauty, which is undoubtedly part of the appeal of this peaceful chilled festival. This year, Body & Soul welcomes St. Vincent, an artist who has been firmly embraced by Irish audiences due to extraordinary intimate shows. Can she blow us away outdoors with a bigger audience?
St. Vincent – ‘Actor’
Annie Clarke, better known as St. Vincent had been active in the music scene in New York for well over a decade before deciding to go solo and release her first solo album entitled ‘Marry Me’ in 2007. Having been a member of The Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens touring group, Clarke gained valuable experience and the confidence to produce her own work.
‘Actor’ was released in 2009. The album was recorded in Clarke’s home using Garageband and MIDI(having had several complaints from her neighbours about excessive volume!) and was largely inspired by children’s films which lend the songs a naïve, and yet sinister, quality. Clarke’s smooth calm voice sits wonderfully well with those songs.
Are you ready to rock? If not, then Download is probably not the festival for you! The first Download festival took place in 2003 with headliners Limp Bizkit pulling out at the last minute and being replaced by Audoslave. One band who loves to play Download is Metallica, although over the years they have had several unusual incidents occur. In 2004, Metallica were due to headline but arrived an hour and a half late to say that drummer Lars Ulrich had been rushed to hospital but that the show must go on. Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo played two songs, while Slipknot’s Joey Jordison played the rest of the show with the exception of ‘Fade to Black’ which was performed by Lars’ Drum Tech Flemming Larsson.
Metallica – ‘Master of Puppets’
Regarded by many fans as their finest hour, Master of Puppets was the breakthrough album for Metallica. The album was released in 1986 and managed to appear at No. 29 in the Billboard charts despite no singles or music videos issued to support it. The album was the highest charting thrash metal album of all time and paved the way for Metallica to move from cult group to hugely successful stadium rock. The album was also the last recorded for bassist Cliff Burton who died in a bus crash in Sweden in 1986.