Forbidden Fruit returns for city takeover

We’ve nearly ran out of Irish cliches for the weather this week, but there’ll be plenty more over the weekend as Forbidden Fruit returns or what’ll be a sunny festival at Dublin’s IMMA.

All the press releases and PR drives are no match for a bit of sun, and after Bruce’s scorchio gigs at Croker last week, Forbidden Fruit’s Sunday tickets sold out, and there’s a good chance they’ll all be sold over the weekend.

Emerging in 2011, Ireland’s first ever proper city festival is also our handiest outdoor weekender — just outside the city centre and beside Heuston Luas, which is actually running today.

Since 2011 it’s also hosted some big heavy-hitters, from New Order, to Wu-Tang Clan to Aphex Twin — even stumbling a bit in 2013 trying to snag the Oxegen crowd with Kasabian.


Last year though, they locked down on hip-hop, house and techno, and they’ve seemingly gone down the same route for 2016, bar Tame Impala and Battles and a few others down the bill.

They’ve made big headlines with a bill that straddles the line between legends like Underworld, Leftfield, Octave One and Kerri Chandler, and ultra-hyped critically acclaimed artists like Pusha T, Freddie Gibbs and Young Fathers.

Undisputed man of 2016, grime kingpin Skepta joins the same bill as his hero Dizzee Rascal, who’s maybe the biggest name on the poster, with festival veterans Groove Armada for the party vibes.

Along with Irish audio-visual electronic artists like Kormac, CLU and White Collar Boy, deep house maestros Ame and loads more, it’s way more tasteful and experimental than a big commercial venture in the city has to be.

Octave One are on too early — but get there to see them anyway
Octave One are on too early — but get there to see them anyway

It all kicks off at 4pm today but don’t be hanging around the beach until later on tonight. Detroit techno legends Octave One are the first big tick on the poster, and the brothers start at 5.30pm. Then again, they’re more suited to 5.30am, but any excuse to get the party started with a volley of kickdrums.

Or failing that, there’ll be a funfair with a Ferris wheel, and I’m sure there’ll be an ice cream van — they’ve had all week to sort that out.

With only a few hours til gates open, here’s our top 10 picks for the weekend…

SKEPTA, Original Stage, tomorrow, 18.00-19.15
With the UK’s grime scene arguably at its hottest since Dizzee Rascal’s crossover success first pushed it into the mainstream, London MC Skepta comes into Forbidden Fruit weekend on the back of dropping his excellent album Konnichiwa.

As the figurehead of the new generation of revitalised (and young) grime artists, Skepta’s added a serious international cred — and widespread
public appeal — to the quintessentially British rap sound.

However, don’t mistake his hanging out with Kanye for Skepta forgetting his Tottenham roots. With a brash attitude and an uncompromising approach to the genre, Skepta’s at his best when he’s being himself. Expect a cutting picture of modern day Britain laid over some whopper tunes. (David Hartery)

YOUNG FATHERS, Original Stage, today, 18.00-19.15
Scottish trio Young Fathers (dubbed “best live act in the world” by Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja) will be bringing their particular brand of bass-heavy, intense, hip hop/altpop to IMMA.

After impressive performances at both their 2015 headliner in The Academy and supporting Massive Attack in the Olympia in January, these Mercury Prize-winners should be top of your to-see list. Get Up, Low and Shame should be highlights. (Michelle Martin)

CLU, Lighthouse Stage, tomorrow, 15.30-16.30
Audio-visual duo Sean Cooley and Kevin A Feeney are one of the most exciting electronic acts in Ireland today as they combine three of my favourite things — music, art and technology — so wonderfully. (Mark Kavanagh)

FREDDIE GIBBS, Lighthouse Stage, tomorrow, 21.30-22.30
THE best gangsta rapper of his generation, Freddie Gibbs can also go toe-to-toe with any of the greats.

His 2014 LP Pinata with producer Madlib is his murky, hazy calling card, with a machine gun flow and street smart that’s thrilling from all sides.

His last Dublin show at Twisted Pepper was genuinely mesmerising. (Conor McCaffrey)

JUNGLE, Original Stage, tomorrow 20.00-21.00
Another act not to be missed are modern-soul collective Jungle, who take to the main stage tomorrow night.

For live performances, founders Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson are joined by a seven-piece band which, along with a stellar light show, beats your average
sample-led pop act.

While the band have been quiet on the release front lately, they have a string of funk-filled hits (Busy Earnin’, Julia, The Heat) under their belts, to get you on your feet. (Michelle Martin)

TIGA, Lighthouse Stage, Sunday, 21.15-22.30
MONTREAL producer Tiga is back for his third live show in a year — the first since his third album No Fantasy Required.

The LP is another collection of wry electro-pop, acid and techno, with some of his best hooks ever. Bugatti and old fave You Gonna Want me are real
belters live. (Conor McCaffrey)

MMOTHS, Lighthouse Stage, tomorrow, 19.45-21.00
Jack Colleran’s adventurous and experimental debut album Luneworks has been one of the strongest Irish releases of 2016 so far.

I’ve yet to see the 23-year-old perform live — and am most curious to find how his compositions will transfer to a live setting. (Mark Kavanagh)

PUSHA T, Original Stage, tonight, 19.45-20.45
After dropping Drug Dealers Anonymous with Jay Z, from his forthcoming album King Push, on Wednesday, Pusha T found himself back in the headlines.

Never one to shy away from the limelight, Pusha taking aim at Jay’s critics was typical of the man, both witty and immediately demanding of attention.

It all shows that Pusha T has never lost his flair for serious showmanship — so why would you not want to see what he conjures up tonight? (David Hartery)

KORMAC, Undergrowth Stage, tomorrow 16.30-17.30
Irish musician, producer, DJ, all-round musical genius and a ridebag to boot, Kormac is always a feast for the senses, often coming complete with his 11-piece ensemble, Kormac’s Big Band.

At Forbidden Fruit, however, he’ll be sans band, but he’s performing his new AV show for the very first time.

Along with a drummer, he’ll be playing versions of his own material and remixes, playing drum machine, synths, guitar, and all the visuals. Himself. Live.

His new single I believe is out July 1, but maybe we’ll get a sneak peek during his set. (Laura Bury)

FLUME, Original Stage,19.30, 20.45, Sunday
Aussie music producer Flume is back with a brand new album Skin — making this weekend the perfect time to check out the electro maestro.

Skin dropped on May 27 and was named Tidal’s album of the week on the same day.

Now, I’m not sure of her music credentials, but even actress and model Chloe Grace Moretz is raving about it.

Four years on since Flume’s well-received debut, Streten has managed to get AlunaGeorge, Vic Mensa, Little Dragon, and even Beck on his latest LP, which sees him lock down both uptempo and downtempo electro.

This heavy-hitter will be throwing out synth-heavy vibes. (Laura Bury)

  • Original version in Irish Daily Star