Only one weekend left, ticket holders! Anyone heading to the sold-out festival must surely be packing their picnic baskets at this stage, so while you’re trying to squeeze the last naggin in, spare a thought for your own personal line-up. As I shall not be in attendance at Stradbally, I can only give you my top five recommendations on what I would have gone to see. Had I not a weekend job and a glaring rent deficit. Enjoy!
5. David O’Doherty
If you can tear yourself away from the alternative indie vibes of the hippest new band, pop over to the Comedy Stage and catch this guy out. You may recognise him as the scruffy version of Chris O’Dowd with a keyboard but O’Doherty is holding his own as one of Ireland’s biggest comedic exports. He has been a staple at the Edinburgh Fringe since 2000 and shows no signs of retreat. The tinkling keys provide the score for a refreshing and whimsical style of humour that always, always makes you laugh.
‘Who are the most decent people in the hospital? The ultrasound people!’
4. Walking On Cars
Though they have yet to make their name overseas, Walking On Cars were one of the most intriguing things to grace the music scene last year. The Dingle ensemble made their name through Other Voices, and soon dominated the Irish charts with their Snow Patrol inspired ballads Catch Me If You Can and Two Stones. Their latest offering Hand in Hand is proving equally noteworthy, making them the perfect option for a little bluesy indie indulgence.
Where were you when you first heard Milkshake? So, if you don’t already know, Kelis is a legend. You simply must go for the chance of hearing Caught Out There live (‘I HATE you so much right now..’). Her numerous reinventions have been pretty impressive, churning out such electro hits as Bounce and Acapella. Her soulful voice is reminiscent of a past decade, so if you’re still mourning the loss of 90’s sensation Sonique, this is one not to miss.
2. James Vincent McMorrow
The Sultan of Soothe. McMorrow sang his way into everyone’s iPods in 2011 with an eerily beautiful rendition of Higher Love. His debut album Early in the Morning was a folksy masterpiece of haunting lyrics and soaring high notes. The listening experience transports you to a boat somewhere on a crystal clear lake with no human beings and no distractions. Or to be less pretentious, it is the ultimate study playlist. I recently discovered his new album Post Tropical on an 8-hour flight to China and all was well with the world. His newer stuff is a bit less pop and a bit more transcendental but it’s phenomenal and definitely worth a live viewing.
1. Paolo Nutini
You don’t need my advice; of course you’re not going to miss Paolo. Why? Because he has a wide, versatile repertoire of hits. Because his voice his silk. And because he screams every last bit of energy down the mike in a way that renders you incapable of looking anywhere but at him. Caustic Love is riding high in the charts and it’s no wonder as the Scottish crooner fails to disappoint. He has mastered the near impossible feat of changing just enough to keep us intrigued, whilst retaining the essence that made us fall in love with him in the first place. If he sings No Other Way, will someone please ring me? Anyone?