The first disappointment, in our eyes at least, of Electric Picnic 2012 are The xx – but maybe that’s no fault of their own. Their lo-fi sounds are ill-equipped to capture the imagination of the main stage crowd. Is it a no-win situation, given that the stature of the band has outgrown the confines of a smaller stage? At the same time, they do themselves no favours by playing neutered versions of some of their most popular songs. ‘Crystallised’, for example, was played in a stripped down manner not resembling the version of the song which appeared on their (admittedly excellent) self-titled debut album. They’re a great band – don’t get us wrong – but they’re definitely more suited to a more confined setting.
Prior to The xx we checked out Roots Manuva in the Cosby Stage. Perhaps it was the rather harsh juxtaposition from the English hip-hop vocalist to the low-key performance from The xx which followed which coloured our opinion of the latter, but Rodney Smith’s boisterous set was everything that The xx’s wasn’t – full of imagination, fun and verve.
At 10.30pm this evening Iceland’s finest Sigur Ros will take to the main stage. It remains to be seen whether or not they’ll reduce some of the audience to tears, as has happened at previous Electric Picnics. Not us though, we’re stoic.
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Fans enjoying The xx at Electric Picnic 2012 rather more than entertainment.ie did. Photo credit: Dara Munnis