I’m just back from EP 2010 and I decided to record my highlights for posterity. I’m not a veteran EPer, so I didn’t do my homework to ensure that I really saw all the best stuff on offer – what I saw was some quite random mix of the fayre.
My five favorite moments were:
- The National on Sunday evening were absolutely fantastic – the band seemed very much on form and the fact that the rain was beginning to fall quite a bit at this stage didn’t dampen the spirits of the (large) crowd;
- Fight Like Apes were also amazing – I’d never seen them before and only heard some of their tracks on the radio, but they were absolutely compelling on stage. When watching MayKay do her stuff, I was thinking Debbie Harry – some kind of possessed she-demon on stage – after doing a bit of digging, I found that I wasn’t the first to see these similarities. Definitely going to catch one of their gigs around town soon;
- The debate in Mindfield with Howard Marks, BP Fallon, Simon Napier-Bell and Peter Hook (chaired by Olaf Tyaransen) was great fun indeed. The best moment (as noted elsewhere) was when a guy took the microphone to ask a question, proceeded to ramble somewhat incoherently about how Joy Division and New Order were the most influential bands in his life, at which point Peter Hook jumped up to give him a hug, partially in an effort to shut the guy up. The guy insisted, however, that he had a question and after some further witterings – which were forgiveable in the context of a fan meeting one of his heroes – eventually asked Hook (genuinely) what he thought of David Hasselhoff when he’d met him many years ago. Surreal and hilarious – almost Pythonesque;
- I just caught the tail end of Bourgeouis & Maurice in the ThisIsPopBaby tent – they’re a completely camp outfit who are not for the faint hearted – they’re fantastically, brilliantly, hilarious. Tracks like ‘If you don’t know what to do with your life (just die)’ and ‘What would you do (for sex)?’ are pretty much the tip of the iceberg. I caught ‘I’m gonna out outfit you’ and their alternative rendition of Des’ree’s ‘Life’, which had a lot of emphasis on death – super fun;
- having a beer in glorious September sunshine on Friday afternoon while going through the festival line up figuring out who I wanted to see – I’d just cycled the 75 odd kilometres from Dublin to Stradbally and was tired and thirsty; a pint of Paulaner while sitting in the sun felt almost sexual.
Other notable mentions: I just caught the tail end of Foals who seemed to really rock the house. I thought Crystal Castles were pretty damned good also. On a different note, Eamon Ryan delivered a very professional performance in a Leviathan debate amidst a somewhat belligerent but not altogether reasoned crowd – hats off to him for arguing his case and taking it on the chin as necessary. I had some food from Rathmullan house, which was yum indeed! I really liked the History Ireland hedge schools – the TCD Profs were obvious heavyweights in both of the discussions. I missed The Villagers, who were talked about as one of the unmissables, but I did see Conor O’Brien play in Body & Soul early on Saturday and he was fantastic. The Comedy Improv gang were in top form – Steve Frost, Phil Jupitus, Joe Rooney, Steve Small and another guy who’s name I missed.
There weren’t many downers, apart from the old reliables – toilets and weather and even the toilets weren’t too bad in my opinion. The weather was particularly bad on Sunday evening which wreaked havoc with the campsite – all credit to Campus, mine managed to weather the storm.
All in all, another great festival – rock on 2011!