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It’s taken over a month but I think I’m finally over Body & Soul. I’m hankering to get back into the festival bubble and the preparation for Electric Picnic 2017 is well underway. This will be my third successive year to head down to Stradbally, made even more special this year as I’m due to hand in a dissertation the day before. At this point in time, there’s no better form of procrastination than putting together a mammoth playlist. Feel free to have a rummage through it here, As well as that, below is a guide to your Electric Picnic 2017 in songs. Let’s hope that the complete absence of Elbow isn’t taken personally by anyone.
I’ve picked out a starting eleven from the acts playing in the Main Arena which are all shaping up to be festival bangers. We can expect one more set of announcements in this realm and this year, E.P. have continued the tradition of providing a drip feed of revelations for the points scattered through the forest like Trenchtown, Hazel Wood and Other Voices.
VINCE STAPLES – BIG FISH
Staples is aiming somewhat to follow the path etched by Kendrick Lemar and in the wake of his newest release, appears to be doing a mighty fine job of it. Truth be told, it was quite hard to pick just one of his tracks for this grouping but ‘Big Fish’ just scraped it. His latest release is a HeadStuff top pick for 2017 so far and will warrant the attendance of any self-respecting rap/hip-hop fan down in Stradbally.
JAGWAR MA – COME SAVE ME
Jagwar Ma return to Ireland after their April show in Academy 2. I would have made it along only for an unfortunate clash with Snarky Puppy, thankfully it’s Electric Picnic to the rescue. A real half way house between Tame Impala and Stone Roses, these should light up the Electric Arena better than most.
KREPT & KONAN – FREAK OF THE WEEK
There’s a strong hip-hop showing on this year’s line-up, which will please some and leave others a bit miffed. Such is life! This South London duo is worth checking out by all accounts. It should do just nicely when Freak of the Week drops.
YOUNG FATHERS – GET UP
I have a lot of love for these guys since their set at Forbidden Fruit last year. Along with three of their other tracks, ‘Get Up’ appeared on the soundtrack for Trainspotting 2; providing the ‘heartbeat’ of the film according to Irvine Welsh.
CHAKA KHAN – I FEEL FOR YOU
Let’s hope it’s dry for this one! There are quite a few blasts from the past on this year’s line-up but it’s perhaps the Soul Train that I’m most drawn to. Only thing that could make it any better would be Stevie Wonder turning up to play the harmonica on this.
BIRDY – KEEPING YOUR HEAD UP
Birdy has been on flying form (eh), playing two nights in the Olympia last year with a five piece band and perhaps stealing the spotlight from Florence & The Machine and the like. This is a good ‘walking to work’ song, but will no doubt go down better in a muddy festival atmosphere.
RUN THE JEWELS – LIE, CHEAT AND STEAL
Killer Mike and El-P are proper entertainers whose casual dishing out of words seems almost in jest. They know how good they are but in the wake of RTJ3 (which dropped for free on Xmas Day last year), the political messages they wish to convey to their growing fan base shines through. A hit from RTJ2, ‘Lie, Cheat and Steal’ is a staple of their set. RTJ introduced Jeremy Corybn at Glastonbury. I wonder will the new Taoiseach get any notions.
MURA MASA – LOVE$ICK
It was the Little Big tent for Mura Masa last year, but don’t be surprised if he makes the Main Stage in September. I spoke a bit about him in my review of Forbidden Fruit 2017 and since then, his debut album has landed on the scene with his list of collaborations extending now to Damon Albarn and Christine and The Queens. He opened with ‘Lovesick at FF’ and I’ll have the same again, thanks mate.
SOULWAX – NY EXCUSE
I didn’t know a whole lot about Soulwax until a few weeks ago. They were one of those who went under my radar, but they’re now firmly in my select few that I just have to see. ‘NY Excuse’ is as catchy as they come.
LONDON GRAMMAR – OH DARLING ARE YOU GONNA LEAVE ME
A set like this will surely require the Electric Arena for the right setting, but having sold out dates in Dublin and Belfast towards the end of the year, don’t be surprised if you have to brave the elements to see London Grammar on the Main Stage. Either way, bangers all around.
AJ TRACEY – PASTA
I’m hoping for some more grime acts in the final announcement, but AJ Tracey’s name in the second announcement at least gets us off the mat. Not likely to be on the main stage yet but maybe it’s an idea for Longitude next year. A good time to get in and see him in any case.
ALL TICKETS FOR ELECTRIC PICNIC 2017 ARE NOW SOLD OUT.