Forbidden Fruit - Day Three Review
Ah, sunshine. Glorious, glorious sunshine. Two days of rain, grey skies and muddy fields finally gave way to something which vaguely resembled June and Forbidden Fruit was all the better for it. Rain jackets were exchanged for t-shirts, sun cream was lathered and a whole new dimension of festival fun was opened.
With last year’s festival being just two days long, a third day was uncharted territory for Forbidden Fruit. The Lighthouse stage wasn’t open today (save for one surprise appearance, more on that later) so festivalgoers had to choose between the Original and Undergrowth stages for their musical entertainment which sometimes led to a few lulls in between acts. There was also noticeably fewer people in attendance than on Sunday, with New Order proving to be the biggest draw of the festival.
Andrew Bird on the main stage was the perfect accompaniment to the afternoon sunshine. Bird, a former touring partner of main stage headliners Wilco, spoke of how he had spent a great deal of time in Ireland as a struggling musician, playing bars and clubs across the country and said that nowhere else across the world had he received greater hospitality. That’s one way to ingratiate yourself to the hometown crowd anyway. Bird has just released his sixth solo album Break It Yourself and his set was comprised of tracks from that, as well as a selection from his previous work.
After a quick sojourn to the comedy stage where we saw Trevor Browne’s quirky musical comedy act and Sue Collins’ inner city character Carmel, it was time to head back to the main stage for Beirut. Zach Condon is the owner of one of the more ethereal voices in indie rock music and, no matter how many times you hear it, it is capable of raising the hairs on the back of your next at a moment’s notice and that was definitely the case yesterday. The crowd’s attention was held from the moment Condon came on stage, with the usual audience chit-chat at a premium. A great performance, one of the best of the weekend.
While talking a walk across the site post-Beirut we noticed a bit of a hubbub outside the supposedly closed Lighthouse stage. A closer inspection revealed that the Trinity Orchestra has packed their ensemble onto the small stage and were running through immaculate version of Pink Floyd numbers. The Orchestra were due to play on the main stage on Saturday afternoon but the rain has forced a cancellation. Pod, however, came to the rescue and allowed them a second chance and the packed crowd were most appreciative. We even noticed tears in the eyes of one reveller during ‘Wish You Were Here’.
Hometown favourite James Vincent McMorrow was the second to last act on the main stage and it was plain to see how the Dubliner’s star has surged in recent times. McMorrow’s first album Early In The Morning has become a fixture of many record collections and his music seems to have struck a deep resonance with his audience. He has clearly crossed over from appealing to just a folksy/rootsy audience, to a broader spectrum of music fans which is a most impressive feat. Songs like ‘Hear The Noise That Moves So Soft and Low’ and ‘Breaking Hearts’ went down a storm. Album number two should be huge for Mr McMorrow.
After a quick jaunt to see Mazzy Star, it was back to the main stage once more for Wilco – Monday night’s headliners. The Chicagoan band have amassed a huge following in their near two decades together, but it was also clear that quite a few Forbidden Fruiters weren’t all that familiar with them. Quite a few “who are Wilco, anyway?” conversations could be overheard throughout the day but many, if not most, of those should have been swayed by the quality of their set. ‘Impossible Germany’ was, as ever, a particular highlight and in Nels Cline, Wilco have one of the best guitarists walking the planet.
By now the sun had gone and a familiar cold had enveloped Forbidden Fruit. Time to go home with some happy memories, but let’s just sort out the weather for next year.
Review by John Balfe | 14:10 | Tuesday 5th June 2012 | Music News
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