.Events: Saturday @ Electric Picnic (@epfestival) #ep2014
Portishead (Main Stage, 10.35pm)
20 years on from Portishead’s ground- breaking, Mercury Prize winning debut Dummy, recently reissued on blue vinyl, Portishead still sound as fresh, vibrant and cutting edge as they sounded on their 1994 debut. The sight and sound of Beth Gibbons’ quivering falsetto echoing throughout Stradbally is worth the price of admission. With recent setlists from the band’s European tour of the festival circuit have seen the Bristol Trip Hop legends lean heavily on Dummy, as well as 2008’s excellent Third. It could be another 10 years before we hear any new material from this lot, so enjoy their live set while you can.
London Grammar (Electric Arena, 9.30pm)
Often compared to Portishead, if something of a more pop- orientated Portishead, electronic trio London Grammar are, like Portishead, blessed with a vocalist with a powerful voice that sends a shiver down your spine and reverberates around every pocket of a venue. Hannah Reid’s voice and confessional lyrics, set to Dan Rothman and Dot Major’s soundscapes, had critics swooning and rightly so. Sure to draw largely from 2013’s If You Wait, London Grammar’s Electric Arena set makes for a fitting precursor to Portishead’s set.
James Vincent McMorrow (Electric Arena, 11pm)
Clashing as he does with Portishead, James Vincent McMorrow will likely play to die- hards at the Electric Arena. That said, McMorrow will play the Electric Arena with one of the year’s best albums in his back pocket. Released this January, Post Tropical was a breath of fresh air from a singer- songwriter who refused to be pigeonholed as a one- dimensional indie- folk singer and, instead, incorporated falsetto- laden soul vocals, sparse piano and keys arrangements…not an acoustic guitar in sight. How McMorrow blends material from his two disparate albums will be nothing short of interesting.
Bombay Bicycle Club (Main Stage, 7pm)
Returning to these shores following their stomping set at this year’s Longitude, Bombay Bicycle Club are still getting plenty of mileage out of So Long, See You Tomorrow, their 2013 career- best album, heavily influenced by frontman Jack Steadman’s travels and reflecting a sound somewhere between electronic- influenced indie rock and world music. At that particular show, set staples such as ‘Shuffle’, ‘What If’ and ‘Always Like This’ segued seamlessly with new tracks ‘Carry Me’, ‘Home By Now’ and ‘Luna’, all of which had festival goers dancing in the sunshine. It was a smooth performance by a band who look as comfortable and natural on stage as ever and who could upstage charismatic Celtic soul singer Paolo Nutini, who succeeds the band on the Main Stage.