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I Sing The Body Electric
The stars were aligned and and the sun shone at Electric Picnic. It was the least we deserved at the end of a long, wet summer...
Niall Stokes, 14 Sep 2012
And then there are the ones who get it right. The tattoos positioned snugly across a half-bare spine; the indian head-dress that sits as if it was made for the head and the face it frames; the hair cascading down around narrow shoulders pushed back suddenly to reveal a smile; the day-glo face-paint imparting an aura of mystery and, smeared in the right way, just a hint of recklessness; the look of expectation barely contained in curious eyes; the movement and gesture of animated conversation as it flows out across the arena in clusters and in waves and ends in raucous laughter revealing gleaming teeth; a hand grasped firmly and shaken; a joke well told; enthusiasm communicated so that you wish you'd been there or you shift ass in response to catch the last two numbers of an artist in action; friendship renewed in the fading light, as the sun finally decides that it is time to retire for the night.
In the Mindfield area, the Hot Press Chat Room was buzzing throughout. Having done his interview, behind the scenes John Cooper Clarke reminisced with us about the show Hot Press promoted for him back in the late 1970s in the Project Arts Centre. How, after all the ravages, does JCC look so the same? Glen Hansard wandered through the zone and seemed thoroughly at home, posing for pictures with fans and embracing The Frames' manager from the old days, Frank Murray; Ryan Tubrudy told yarns about crossing paths with Terry Wogan, and aiming to turn the old maestro on, to Villagers; Miriam O'Callaghan did her homework quietly beside the Mindfield production office – "once a swot always a swot," she laughed – before her stint in Leviathan; Booker Prize-winning author Anne Enright scurried by on her way to the Word Stage; Paddy Cullivan turned the Pistols vandalisation of 'My Way' on its head by doing a jazzy version of 'Anarchy In The UK'; and all around there was a sense of serious purpose in the air but an absence for the most part of the kind of po-facedness or people taking themselves too seriously that is the ruination of a good vibe. In so many ways, it felt idyllic.