Tuesday, 9 August 2016

LIVE | Indiependence 2016

A little while ago, I was lucky enough to get the chance to go to this year’s Indiependence festival, with Raidió Rí-Rá. And boy, was it epic. It was my first proper Festival Experience, given that we only went to Longitude for a day this summer. 

One of the coolest things we got to do over the weekend was watching The Blizzards sound-checking in the empty Big Top on Saturday afternoon, with only two or three others milling about – and then getting to see them almost tear the roof off the same tent later that night. They played a blinder of a set, with bangers such as Trust Me I’m A Doctor,
Fantasy and brand new bop Drop Down The Anchor. I’ll admit I’ve only recently gotten properly into The Blizzards’ music – I’ve been playing their 2009 album, Domino Effect on loop  – but I'm pretty obsessed at this point, and I’m really excited to see what the guys have in store for their first album in seven years!

Bell X1 were also spectacular – again, a band I’ve never really paid proper attention to, but I’ve been listening to them more regularly in the lead up to the festival, and these guys have so many belters it’s unbelievable. The Great Defector, Rocky Took A Lover, Flame and Velcro all went down a storm, and they even treated us to an unexpected cover of Bowie’s Let’s Dance – which inspired a mass singalong and dance-off underneath the main tent.

Also in my top three were Dublin grunge band Otherkin, who killed it in the Big Top on Saturday night. Honestly, I’d expected a much bigger crowd but given that The Kooks were playing at the same time, the guys managed to gather quite a crowd at the second stage. They gave it their all – tracks like Ay Ay went down a treat, and I’m definitely going to try catch them playing again soon before they get huge – because they’re absolutely going to.

We caught a bit of Idlewild on Friday night, after Bell X1, before bopping along to the silent disco (which was cool but also kind of strange – I didn't think I'd be getting to bop to Riverdance through headphones in a tent with a few hundred strangers but there you go).

On Saturday we got to see Hudson Taylor (two very talented brothers from Dublin who play gorgeous, sweet acoustic tracks), Walking On Cars (who’ve just exploded onto the mainstream scene with their single, Speeding Cars, last November), a bit of The Kooks and the most of The Blizzards’ set.

Aaand on Sunday, we saw some of Ash, legged it out to see Otherkin, back into the mainstage to see Editors play to an almost entirely apathetic crowd - which was a little disappointing as they are quite a spectacular band – and then for a bop in one of the DJ tents.

It was a pretty epic weekend for my first full festival – other highlights included being able to use clean toilets in the yet-to-be-opened main arena on Saturday, after The Blizzards’ soundcheck, and brushing my teeth for the first time on Sunday morning. Oh, and €6 fry-ups for breakfast every morning in the Marketplace Restaurant in Mitchelstown. Heaven.

One of the things I liked the most about this year’s Indiependence, and the festival overall, is how supportive they are of Irish talent – bands of all ages, genres, and sizes. With headliners such as Bell X1 and Ash, and the Big Top consistently rammed with Irish bands of all genres: The Blizzards, Otherkin, King Kong Company, Wyvern Lingo, Saint Sister, etc. etc. It's wonderful to see festivals supporting the Irish music scene because it is lit lately. Dochreidte.

Indiependence, you were magical, wonderful and I hope we’ll meet again next year.
Ciara Pollock © . Design by FCD.