- 25 Jun 19
Saturday and Sunday featured standout sets from the likes of Sleaford Mods, Post Punk Podge and The Technohippies (pictured), TPM, Soak, Junior Brother, Æ Mak and more.
It may have grown considerably over the last ten years, but Body & Soul proved this summer solstice that its unique air of madcap magic is still safely intact. Truly a festival where anything goes, the weekend brought together an eclectic crew of both young and old creative minds to the beautiful – if not soggy – grounds of Ballinlough Castle.
With drag aerobics at Reckless in Love, vinyl spinning in the Sound Lounge and free-spirited trad at Arbutus Yarns, Body & Soul threw labels to the wind in favour of a programme that celebrated joy and seriously soulful sounds above all else.
Glastonbury-bound Dundalk brothers TPM were among the standouts of Saturday, with two incendiary sets that saw the hip hop duo taking their live show to raucous new heights. Whether proclaiming their love for curry sauce or dissing the national broadcaster, TPM’s anthems for the “all the boys on the FÁS course” once again proved to be as liberating as they’re gas.
Post Punk Podge and The Technohippies were another weekend highlight, bringing their genre-blending live show to the Orchard Lounge on Saturday night. The Shannonside outfit’s socially conscious sound, combining Podge’s trad fiddle background with DIY beats, was cranked up to 90. ‘Government Security’, a track inspired by the North Frederick Street housing protest, saw the entire tent joining in Podge’s call to arms: “Gardaí Síochána dressed like ISIS/Making war out of the housing crisis.”
Saturday night headliners Sleaford Mods cemented their legendary status with a set that was both dazzling and characteristically raw. Tearing through class struggles with a snarling irreverence, their electro-punk sound proved as timely as ever.
Sunday may have brought the rain – but it also brought a impressive line-up of homegrown talent, including an understated set from SOAK at the Body & Soul stage. Her performance, which drew heavily from her stunning new album, Grim Town, also saw Pillow Queens taking to the stage as guest backing vocalists.
Æ MAK, one of the most unique pop acts to come out of Ireland in recent memory, was electrifying beneath the canopy of trees and lights at the Woodlands stage. Dundalk native Aoife McCann’s otherworldly performance was both thrilling and moving, and gave an exciting taste of what’s to come from this rapidly rising star.
The Orchard Lounge, meanwhile, was a tough spot to beat on Sunday night. Junior Brother packed the tent with a unforgettable set that drew from his excellent debut, Pull The Right Rope, followed by compelling, genre-blending performances from Nudy Boy Nature, Myles Manley and Fixity.
By embracing raw talent above big name headliners, Body & Soul has once again set the tone for this year's festival season.