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Forbidden Fruit - Saturday
Erol Alkan performs a blitzkrieg of house, techno and electro.
Paul Nolan, 16 Jun 2011
The laid-back, feelgood atmosphere on the first day of Forbidden Fruit is reminiscent of Electric Picnic, although the vibe is perhaps a little less enthusiastic among those misfortunate enough to find themselves caught up in the hour-long queue for the bar. There’s no doubt about it, this is a serious black mark for any festival, but in just about every other respect, Forbidden Fruit offers so much to enjoy.
The Main Stage is set at the bottom of a natural amphitheatre and Wild Beasts are the first act of note on it. There’s a select crowd giving the band their undivided attention, with many revellers happy enough to drink, talk and generally soak up the atmosphere. Still, Hayden Thorpe and the boys give a good account of themselves, with their baroque art-pop providing an ideal early evening soundtrack. It helps of course that the sun is shining, something which the band can barely comprehend. “On the couple of occasions we played Oxegen, it bucketed down,” notes the band’s singer and bassist Tom Fleming. Then he produces something from his pocket. “Look at this,” he exclaims. “We’re in Ireland and I have sunglasses!”
Highlights of the Beasts’ set include the exquisite ‘Hooting And Howling’, and an epic closing number which, after a tension-building organ break, builds to a powerful crescendo. Unfortunately, though, Mr. Fleming has spoke too soon – this being Ireland, the weather is ever changeable, and by the time Yo La Tengo take to the stage, grey clouds have gathered and a noticeable chill set in. Nonetheless, the crowd has swelled for the Hoboken trio’s set and there is plenty to enjoy in their energetic performance.
Early on, they throw in an infectious, funky number that gets everyone going, while the beautiful ‘Autumn Sweater’ and the wailing ‘Sugarcube’ are also enthusiastically received. The finale is quite something, with James McNair and Georgia Hubley striking up a repetitive Krautrock groove, over which Ira Kaplan plays layers of shrieking and howling guitar, in a manner reminiscent of Thurston Moore. Terrific stuff and proof that Yo La Tengo are still in the vanguard of US art rock.