herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Too-cool festival failed to deliver

Oh, how the hipsters must have loved this one. Aphex Twin, Battles, Cast Of Cheers -- something for the whole family in there. That is, if the family all wear skinny jeans and sit around listening to music, complaining about everything and anything that might be deemed mainstream. However, the very first Forbidden Fruit festival perhaps played it a little too cool.

Indeed, it's safe to say that the organisers wanted this to be a mini Electric Picnic of sorts. Only, right in the middle of Dublin, and minus the decent line-up. Perhaps they got what they wanted, too, with a considerable turnout over the two days.

On Saturday, local hero Richie Egan (Jape) did what every other early main stage act does in the opening hours of a festival: he struggled, stumbled, and fought his way to the finish line.

Perhaps you caught some of UK beatboxer Beardyman's frantic vocal trickery later on, or sat on the hill for British rockers Wild Beasts. Personally speaking, it was The Flaming Lips that did it for me. Yes, they've been touring the same show for years. No, their songs aren't always up to much. But where else would you find a set that includes balloons, confetti, fans dressed like characters from The Wizard Of Oz, and some dirty yet delightful psychedelic rock?

powerful

Crazy and colourful (with a fantastic atmosphere to boot), The Flaming Lips live experience reminds those of a more subdued nature what a real live band looks like. And it ain't London-based indie heads Bombay Bicycle Club. Or the aforementioned Cast Of Cheers.

Fellow Dubliners Bipolar Empire may not have attracted a large crowd, but hey, at least they've got the tunes (especially set closer Feel That You Own It). New York experimentalists Battles used to be a genuinely powerful live force. That is, before key member Tyondai Braxton walked out of the band. Oh well. At least Caribou (weird yet wonderful electronic rock from Canada) brought some funk to the field on Sunday afternoon.

And that was that, really. Except for the fact that, oh yeah, the bar and toilet facilities were an absolute disgrace. On Saturday, there was only one bar to cater for the entire crowd, and it wasn't long before large queues began to form and thirsty punters expressed their anger. So, get the finger out, lads -- here's hoping that next year is an improvement. HHHII

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