Thursday, June 9, 2011

Forbidden Fruit Festival: My Wholly Unprofessional "Review"

Forbidden Fruit, the first of many a music festival to take place in Ireland this summer was seen by many as the kicking off festival season. And instead of bailing down to some country location, tent in hand and a song in your heart, Forbidden Fruit offered Dubliners the the chance to sample various stages of music, overpriced falafel (Does anyone actually eat falafel?) on their doorstep. Basically, go see some cool bands and then sleep in your own bed at the end of each day. What's not to love?

I decided to head along to day one in an attempt to soak up some festival cool, expose myself to the sort of music I frequently read about but rarely see live and also laze about in the sun staring at hot indie boys. Many a muso-head told me that the Sunday line up was like, so,much better? but for me Saturday had the best spread of dance/rock/Irish acts.

Thankfully the festival was "boutique" (whatever THAT means) meaning it was easy to navigate and you could plonk yourself between stages and tents with ease. The atmosphere was great although the grumbling about the lines for drinks threatened that peace. While I can see why people would be frustrated by bar delays I still fail to see why they couldn't just go see and a band instead. Oh well.

Bands wise this is my (not entirely scientific or highbrow) breakdown of who I saw:

Bitches With Wolves :  I rave about this bunch all the time but can you blame me when they're so bloody amazing? Having caught BWW live a few times now it's been a joy to watch their show get better and better each time. The tunes were all there, including a newbie Rewind, a 90s house flavored number with a melancholic air. Great stuff. BWW are down to play many an Irish festival this year so do make it your mission to see them.

Jape: Confession time, I sort of spent half of this set rambling on with mates, bumping into friends so my attention was split but what I do remember was a jaunty, indie dance set that got the main stage hopping relatively early on in the proceedings. Fun.

Bombay Bicycle Club: I'd heard a tune here and there by these critical darlings and so was excited to see them live. Sadly they didn't really grab my attention, though the feel good, Vampire Weekend air to the set and a couple of key tunes clearly went down well with the crowd around me who were are all cooler than I could ever hope to be *clutches Britney album to chest, cries a single salty tear*

Wild Beasts: I interviewed these guys last year at Oxegen and they were suitably lovely. New album Smother has had many a rock journo foaming at the mouth (I guess they had to take a break from listening to Born This Way on a loop? Riiiight?) but it's a style of folk infused guitar pop that's not necessarily my thing. But between earnest chats and avoiding spilling Bulmers from passers by I found myself really enjoying their set. (If you feel like this all too insightful, I completely understand)

Beardyman: Myself and festival partner in crime Sarah where very aware that this was an act we were really "supposed" to see. But given that we'd sat ourselves between his tent and the main stage we settled for listening to a chunk of his set from just outside, with a capacity crowd piling in. We couldn't resist a few minutes inside for a sneaky rave up. The crowd were suitably in awe of the beatboxing, head spinning show on stage and I could see why. I couldn't quite brave the party hearty crowd for too long but this was great fun. I completely get the hype now. 

Aeroplane: clearly where me and Sarah decided to man up and just go up to the front in advance and have a proper dance fest. So that's what we did. A DJ set fueled by remixes, thumping French house and an infectious audience made this a highlight of my weekend. I did spy the lovely Cock and Bull TV filming and a had a moment of fear, picturing the awful crowd shots of my dance moves.. but hey. Worth it.

Flaming Lips: I've never really been a fan of this band's psychedelic rock but have always wanted to catch their visually explosive live show. And what can I say, it was suitably impressive. Although fifteen minutes in, after a stage full of costumed dancers, lasers, a giant screen, Wayne Coyne flying into the audience and giant balls everywhere it felt like we'd seen most of the what they had to offer so we cut our losses and decided to have a mooch around.

The Subs: which lead us to catching the majority of The Subs' set. I knew very little about them before I went but part DJ set-part noise punk poppers The Subs were brash, obnoxious, unsubtle, silly and lots and lots of fun. Sadly, their studio cuts of their frenetic electro rock doesn't have the same bizarre energy of their visually arresting and thrilling live show. Still, if you see The Subs on a festival line up, go, disengage your brain and flail like a maniac. You'll love it.

Alongside this decent line up I enjoyed a properly brilliant organic burger (oh, music festivals), briefly danced on a disco bus (boom), had an impromptu dance party to a Frankie Grimes DJ set and even had a few lovely people come up to me about Following Fade Street. Forbidden Fruit, for me was plenty of fun and by all accounts did a decent job of entertaining the music starved masses. I'm excited to see what they get up to next year. Keep an eye on CockandBull TV who will be uploading videos and pictures from the festival over the coming weeks too. You can one below and their amazing Flickr photostream with images by Peter Fingleton. Wahey.

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