FORBIDDEN FRUIT 2017: Saturday review

Forbidden Fruit made its seventh return to the grounds of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham this year, with much fanfare made over their Bulmers Live Stage and its Irish-only lineup. It’s appropriate then that young Irish acts set the tone and dominated the opening day.

“If you’re feeling Glory on the keys, raise your hands,” Solbas of Super Silly told us as they opened proceedings on the aforementioned stage - and there was a fair number of hands in the air throughout. Their early set time out the window as the commanding Solbas provided top-notch rhythm whether with his vocals or bass in a set that ranged from BBNG-esque jazzy R&B to jump-around hip-hop.

The afternoon sun had everyone queueing for 99s as it was, but Hot Press yearbook cover star Jafaris was intent on raising the temperature even further. “Who here's on the pull?,” he asked, to wild cheers from the young, enthusiastic audience. They couldn’t keep their eyes off his moves - he’s an expert at the robot - and his band are tight too, with tunes like ‘Keep Your Head High’ demonstrating why he deserved a slot in the big Outcider tent.

American-born, UK-based - but most importantly, Dublin-raised. “This is my hometown,” Bonzai reminded us - and we should be only too happy to lay claim to the prodigious 20 year old. At times a maelstrom of club sounds from various scenes, it’s a high-tempo show, and Bonzai belies her age with her confident stagecraft. ‘No Rest’ is an early highlight, a snippet of ‘Get Low’ a great touch, lapped up by a crowd so appreciative that she had to foil an attempted kidnapping after she jumped in.

Over at the Main Stage, Nao promises “I'll take care of you, make you happy,” on opener ‘Happy’ - and that’s just what she does. Her self-described “wonky funk” makes for gorgeous early-evening listening in the sun, with ‘Fool To Love’ a highlight.

Dublin live favourites Le Boom have only been gigging for a year but every time they showcase ‘What We Do’ we’re blown away by their pure energy - and their slot on the Bulmers Live Stage was no different. Watching percussionist Aimie jump herself into a frenzy is worth the admission every time - we just can’t wait for more from the duo.

If booking so many young acts was a risk for Forbidden Fruit, the Saturday headliners were not - the uber-reliable Orbital drew the night to a close, rewarding ravers who braved the rain with a snippet of Belinda Carlisle’s ‘Heaven is a Place on Earth’ during ‘Halcyon’.

While euphoric dance classics ‘Chime’ and ‘Belfast’ are always a treat to hear, the main takeaway from the day was the sheer amount of potential found in the young talent on the bill - the next generation of festival headliners hidden in early evening slots. Exciting times are ahead.

 

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