Forbidden Fruit - Day One Review
If there’s one thing you really can’t legislate for when it comes to Irish festivals, it’s the weather. You could be forgiven for thinking that this year’s Forbidden Fruit festival was just one week too late, with last weekend’s glorious sunshine replaced by a sight for more familiar to Irish festivalgoers – overcast, grey skies and rain. Lots of rain. Still, it’s not like anyone was particularly surprised – this is Ireland after all – and it took a lot more than some precipitation to dampen the spirits of those in attendance.
Forbidden Fruit was the recipient of criticism at their inaugural festival last year when issues with the bar caused enormous queues for drinks, leading to a numerous disgruntled attendees. This year’s festival has no such problems. The facilities have been amped up by, according to site manager Robbie Butler, by 300% meaning that queuing time is roughly equal to the amount of time it takes to pour a pint. The main stage, or the Original Stage as it’s called, has been moved from its position last year to take advantage of a naturally occurring bowl on the grounds, making for a wonderful amphitheatre-like effect enveloping all those inside it.
This year also sees the addition of a Comedy Stage for the first time (more on that later), as well as Hot Press signing tents (New Order this evening!) and the Phantom Orchard where entertainment.ie witnessed a huge crowd of people dancing to the music Rage Against The Machine in the midst of one of last night’s more potent downpours. Food stalls seem to have been ramped up this year too, with more options as well as the most welcome returns of the now legendary Pie Minister (yessss!).
On the music side of things, Saturday’s Forbidden Fruit began with a distinctly Irish flavour. Dubliner Marcus Lambkin, or Shit Robot as he is known, opened up proceedings on the Undergrowth stage. Shit Robot may call New York his home but he’s an ex-pat who is always welcome back here. Lambkin is a frequent collaborator with LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and they own a bar together in New York too, not bad for a boy from Ballybrack.
Mmoths continued proceedings just after 4pm with a dreamy electro set at the Lighthouse stage and he, along with Toby Kaar who followed him, showed that Ireland could be on the cusp of a very exciting electronic movement. Corkman Kaar has been making some big waves in the last 12 months and Mmoths was scheduled to do his leaving cert this year. Exciting times.
Le Galaxie showed why they’re one of the most highly regarded live bands in Ireland at the moment with a lively set in the Lighthouse Stage at 6.15pm. Michael Pope and co. will have seen their crowds swell with appreciation recently and maybe no more so than Saturday’s Forbidden Fruit. The tent which held the Lighthouse Stage was jam-packed. It was difficult to see who was having more fun – the band or the crowd. ‘Midnight Midnight’ from the band’s Laserdisc Nights II, which was released about this time last year, was one of the more prominent highlights until, of course, Pope arrived at the front of the stage armed with a brief case containing what must have been hundreds of glowsticks and hurled them into the crowd.
We had promised ourselves that we’d check out the Comedy State before the night was over and what better time than when Saturday headliners UK sketch comedy act Late Night Gimp Fight were on. The group have been steadily making names for themselves since their formation over four years ago and it’s easy to see why. Their act takes in everything from bestiality, orgies and vast dollops of homoeroticism up to and including full frontal male nudity. But, and this is rather remarkable, it never comes across as intentionally or deliberately crude.
Recent entertainment.ie podcasters Friendly Fires were next up on the Original Stage and their performance coincided with the transition of the rain from a mildly annoying drizzle to a more cataclysmic “I’m wet absolutely everywhere” kind of thing. Still, the English dance-poppers did their best to take everyone’s minds off of it.
Before too long it was time for the feature attraction of the evening. Leftfield have been around for almost a quarter of a century and their music still sounds as fresh as if it had been created yesterday. The energy from the performance – which took in numerous tunes from their landmark album Leftism – dispelled any accusations that their 2010 reformation was done so for lure of lucre and, as the rain cascaded down on the crowd, the crowd who were by now thoroughly soaked couldn’t care less.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter where we’ll be live blogging from Sunday’s Forbidden Fruit. Check out our Summer Festivals page for further updates.
Review by John Balfe | 13:17 | Sunday 3rd June 2012 | Music News
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