Saturday 16 December 2017

Sisters' sloppy style sets perfect tone for festival

In the wake that unfortunate and utterly avoidable fiasco over on the Northside, the focus returns to the proper side of the city this weekend. In fact, when you think about it, the "concerns" of a small number of residents in the vicinity of C**** P*** pale in comparison with what the good folk in the Rathfarnham area have had to put up with over the past few weeks.

Rock gigs and dance events seem to have been going on for ages this summer and, for good measure, they have a festival on their doorstep this weekend. And have they gone squealing to Liveline like those lily-livered Northsiders? Have they hell. Sturdy Dublin folk.

Anyway, today and tomorrow sees the climactic two days of Longitude take place in Marlay Park with an estimated 60,000 people making the trek up beyond the Yellow House to sample a variety of acts. Very much a junior version of what Electric Picnic used to be, Longitude nonetheless does have a fairly broad range of acts - lots of beardy lads wearing skinny jeans and looking like most of the blokes in the crowd if truth be told - but there are some, okay three, exceptional outfits on display.

Tonight you'll get to see Haim (inset) play their first festival headliner, and they really are a great pop-rock act.


The three Goldheim sisters (lazy journalists seem to think that Haim is their actual family surname) manage the tricky trick of blending a loose-limbed, almost sloppy rock'n'roll approach with harmonies which border on the divine.

If ever there was a band who can meld Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac with the killer harmonies of 1977's Rumours plus have a whale of a time while doing so then it's these three girls and, truly, they are fabulous.

There's more sibling harmonising on Sunday with Swedish sisters First Aid Kit bringing their take on Countrified 70s pop to an outdoor crowd for the first time in this country. Their Vicar Street show a couple of years back was really special, and since then they've signed to Sony and are on the cusp of being almost annoyingly ubiquitous on our airwaves. Well worth a look though.

However, the highlight of the weekend has to be the appearance of tomorrow night's closers Massive Attack. Although now down to founder member Robert '3D' Del Naja plus assorted sidemen, this Bristol-based outfit were one of the most groundbreaking acts to emerge from the UK in the late '80s/early '90s. Mixing dub techniques with exceptional songs and having a remarkable knack for choosing guest female vocalists, this should be the business. Bring your wellies though.

george byrne

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