Deer Farm now lies eerily dormant, only muddy footprints or abandoned tents signaling any sign of former life. Less than 48 hours festival goers were chanting, clapping, and boogieing away 3 evenings of pure class entertainment. Despite the regular torrential showers, the spirits of the good Irish people failed to droop. Indiependence 2017 brought artists from just down the road to the depths of the Welsh valleys, delighting the hearts of both rockers and dance enthusiasts alike. Here are my Indie toppers from the August Bank Holiday Weekend
- Le Boom
Ok, so I’m going to fully unveil the truth. The only reason I decided to check out ‘Le Boom’ was because the name rang a somewhat familiar bell and kinda needed to kill 45 minutes before the Manic Street Preachers. Thank God for instinct because this was indisputably one of the best decisions I made last weekend. A set brimmed with electro indie beats (think along the lines of Disclosure) and some seriously energetic shapes created an intoxicating buzz. And a wonderful falsetto vocal, courtesy of Christy Leech, separated himself from the generic. This Dublin based pop/dance duo have oomphed up the party scene and are ripping ahead of the pack. Watch this space.
- Tom Odell
What a man. Talk about a whole lotta sweat, key battering and showmanship. Having seen Tom wooing an attentive audience within the golden interiors of the Olympia Theatre, I was left totally stunned by not only his skill but his passion. And that’s why I wanted to see if the Sussex born singer-songwriter could radiate this appetite in an outdoor venue. Crowd pleasers such as ‘Another Love’ and ‘Magnetised’ displayed Tom’s wavering vocal whereas ‘Concrete’ lured him away from the piano. This guy’s confidence has rocketed, proving he is everything but overrated. Fans grappled to the barrier as the maroon suited fella leaned out towards the crowd. As you listen to his albums, you begin to untie the talented maestro but Odell’s studio sound isn’t replicated in the arena. This blondie haired pianist offers not simply a performance but a divine episode.
- Brian Deady
Ushering the values of the deep south, a smoky voiced Brian Deady took to the main stage with a cool head and attitude. Elements of jazz and head bobbing guitar riffs allowed the revellers to get groovy. Deady exits the stage, returning with a wolf mask to conceal his face known as the ‘beast’. And a beast of a vocal was unleashed. Mid set sent the fans into a frenzy as radio hit ‘Clap Both Your Hands’ delivered a stomping beat while he also treated the audience to lesser known tracks from his latest offering, ‘Non-Fiction’. The bass lines were insane, pumping up the soul. Stage production was simple, allowing Deady to mystify. If this set wasn’t an indicator for bigger and brighter things, then this life as we know is a lie.
- Stomptown Brass Band
Now, this was something else. Indiependence was now tethering towards the end and one of the best was certainly saved until last. Consisting of 10 strapping lads, this jazzy ensemble exuded attitude, projected the occasional one liner, and busted some serious hip shaking numbers. Playing to a jammer filled IMRO tent on Sunday night, these guys not only gained the respect of the people but radiated sheer and honest gratitude. And not a single beat went by when I wasn’t dancing to a fiery trumpet solo or a booming tuba. Fun loving tracks such as the Jungle Book’s ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ were glorified in a rustic fashion. A fabulously funky conclusion to a skin saturated, mucky booted affair.
- Manic Street Preachers
The dream festival band. And the Indie family finally stomped on James Dean Bradfield’s coat tails after many years of grappling to get the Manics to headline. Was the hype worth it for the Welsh wonders? The answer is a resounding yes. No matter if you worshipped the band back in the 90s or if you are a 20 something year old reminiscing in the past, it’s fair to say that rock n’ roll ceases to age. No one can contest hits such as ‘Design for Life’, ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ and the iconic ‘The Masses Against the Classes’, a particular highlight of the night where Bradfield performed the track acoustically (nailing it by the way). Green, white, and red confetti graced the hands of the audience, marking the pinnacle burst of adrenaline down on the farm. Despite Nicky Wire’s absence due to family circumstances, the Manics executed a hair whipping set that left the eyes rolling around in your head.
To cure your post – festival blues or satisfy your impatience, check out the Indie ’17 Aftermovie video below.