BEATYARD, Dun Laoghaire, tomorrow & Sunday
For years the Beatyard was an umbrella festival in Dublin city centre clubs and venues, showcasing left-field electronic and hip-hop acts and plenty of exclusives. It filled a hole left by the implosion of the Dublin Electronic Arts Festival, with scores of acts over 10 editions, including Hudson Mohawke, Shabazz Palaces, Flight Facilities, Blawan, Efterklang, Apparat, Annie Mac and loads more.
This year, Beatyard has turned plenty of heads by announcing its new two-day exodus to the seaside, with a full-on festival in Dun Laoghaire. As expected, it’s one of the more interesting summer festival line-ups — catering to the more discerning fan, without getting too obscure.
It’s set to be a riotous soundclash, taking in house, disco, hip-hop, reggae and dub, and plenty more in between over three stages. Four Tet’s a big scalp for the Sunday, as one of this generation’s leading electronic producers, who also had a hand in Neneh Cherry’s latest album, that’ll also get aired on Sunday when the avant-pop legend hits the stage.
There’ll be a world of disco abandon when Sister Sledge top the bill tomorrow, alongside legendary hip-hop crate-digger Madlib and space disco pioneer Lindstrom. Public Service Broadcasting take their electro-krautrock audiovisual set-up to Dun Laoghaire to air their Race For Space material, while Optimo’s Wilkes spins vinyl with Eamon Harkin.
Other must-sees include I Am the Cosmos, Rusangano Family and Meltybrains? And you can get your reggae and dub fix with legend Barrington Levy and Dublin’s Sim Simma, who’ll be at the Eatyard area all weekend.
And speaking of eats — a good chunk of the line-up poster is taken up by food stalls. And if you fancy a breather from the music there’s a retro gaming zone and Ireland’s first sneaker convention, where you might find queen of the hi-tops Neneh Cherry shopping for a new pair of Nike Dunks.
CASTLEPALOOZA, Charleville Castle, Tullamore, tonight-Sunday
All set for its 10th edition, we’re welcoming back the little king of the Castle for another bank holiday weekender in Tullamore. Over the next three days, a few thousand punters will hit the midlands for Castlepalooza, to lose themselves in the medieval Charleville Castle and its surrounding woods, while catching up with a right-on mix of top Irish and international acts.
With plenty of festival failures, implosions and also-rans over the last five or six years, Castlepalooza has weathered the storm so far, with an even more loyal set of regulars than Electric Picnic. Organisers don’t need to melt their wallets on acts they can’t afford — confident that Castlepalooza will keep thriving on its well-curated eclectic line-up, this year taking in full-on techno from Dubliner Sunil Sharpe tomorrow, to supercharged NYC house from Hercules and Love Affair and epic highly-strung indie-rock from Of Montreal.
With one of the Irish albums of the year, This Chemical Sea, under his belt, Richie Egan aka Jape is Irish festival royalty at this stage, and he’s playing the sundown show on the main stage. There’s a bummer of a clash, as he’s on the same time as Late Nite Tuff Guy, the Aussie master of the edits, calling on his remixes of everyone from MJ to Prince to his epic take on Toto’s Africa.
In May, Fight Like Apes’ idea of launching their new album at Charleville Castle didn’t quite work out — but they get a chance to turn up and play on Sunday without the hassle of organising. Make sure to catch Belfast synth act Not Squares in Tullamore after they launch their album Bolts in Dublin tonight.
Dear Desert will hit the spot if you’re into sophisticated synth-pop in the vein of Japan and the Blue Nile. And keep and eye out for Cave Ghosts early on today — whose twangy 60s swagger recalls the Shangri-Las and a less gloomy Jesus & Mary Chain.
INDIEPENDENCE, Deer Farm, Mitchelstown, Cork, tonight-Sunday
Up there with Castlepalooza in the clumsy pun name sweepstakes, Indiependence in Cork is another festival that started in the depths of the recession and stuck to its guns.
Building steadily since the first year of opening a field with a few tents and local heroes the Sultans of ping and the Frank & Walters, it’s turned into Cork’s biggest three-day annual blow-out.
After a few years securing old festival reliables, they’ve spread their wings a bit in recent years, hooking Public Enemy, 2 Many DJs and Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip and Beardyman in past editions, and upped the ante in the dance tent.
Now in its 10th edition, the annual blowout in Mitchelstown in north Cork may not have the underground chops of the Beatyard, but there’s no knocking the wide range on offer.
Like Live at the Marquee in Cork, there seems to be no overall theme to the bill this year, and that’s part of its charm.
In the Marquee big top this year we had Lionel Richie, Status Quo, Beck and Riverdance, and Indiependence this year has carnival house heroes Basement Jaxx, soaring pop-rock act Kodaline, gruff master of darkness Mark Lanegan and pop-punk veterans Ash — as well as the dance tent headed up by local hero Stevie G.
Elsewhere, Jape is playing tonight before his trip up to Tullamore for Castlepalooza tomorrow, while RSAG takes his electronic one-man blues drummer act to Cork.
HamsandwicH are also on a roll in Cork this year, with a recent show supporting the Coronas at the Marquee.
You might have read a ‘where are they now?’ article about The Dandy Warhols over the last few years — well you can find them at Indiependence on Sunday night.
And if you really couldn’t be arsed pretending to be cool, there’s a nightly 80s vs 90s disco. Will it be synth-pop or rave? There can only be one winner.
Original version in Irish Daily Star