Elec­tric Pic­nic – here we come. Five acts tell Tony Clay­ton-Lea about their plans,

Seven sleeps till Strad­bally: ahead of Elec­tric Pic­nic next week­end, Tony Clay­ton-Lea puts five fes­ti­val per­form­ers through their paces

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Front Page -

What can we ex­pect from your per­for­mance?

Good mu­sic, good show, good songs? It will, of course, be dif­fer­ent from Sigur Rós – I’m play­ing with four dif­fer­ent guys, one of whom is my boyfriend, con­ve­niently. It’s dif­fer­ent for me be­cause I’ve been play­ing with Sigur Rós for about 16 years, so it’s a bit strange to play with other peo­ple. But it’s re­fresh­ing and fun. The show’s de­sign will be dif­fer­ent, too, with lots of back pro­jec­tion and an­i­ma­tion.

What’s your most mem­o­rable fes­ti­val ex­pe­ri­ence?

They are dif­fer­ent, all of them. I re­mem­ber one gig we played in Roskilde, Den­mark. I can’t re­call what year it was, but it was a fun gig. The au­di­ence was quite sim­i­lar to Ir­ish au­di­ences – re­ally pow­er­ful and en­er­getic, not shy of let­ting you hear them. That’s quite em­pow­er­ing for a band, get­ting that kind of feed­back.

Tour bus or tent?

Usu­ally, we sleep in a tour bus, but the way most fes­ti­vals work for us is that we hang around for a while, play the gig, hang around for an­other while and then drive out. What is the weird­est fes­ti­val you’ve played?

We played a fes­ti­val in Ja­pan called Sum­mer Sonic, and when we fin­ished the first song they just stood there, to­tally silent. Po­lite, per­haps, but strange nonethe­less.

What’s your worst fes­ti­val ex­pe­ri­ence?

I was at one once and I wanted to get into the fes­ti­val ex­pe­ri­ence, so I de­cided I’d sleep in a tent, but there was a drunk out­side it all night, re­ally loud. And then the tent was so hot it was like a sauna. It was very dif­fi­cult.

Do you min­gle back­stage much?

I think bands in gen­eral are quite shy, and they tend to keep to their own back­stage space. Or per­haps that’s just me and Sigur Rós. Maybe I should walk up to peo­ple and

in­tro­duce my­self?

Is the fes­ti­val ex­pe­ri­ence as much fun for bands as it is for pun­ters?

You have to learn to en­joy it, be­cause it is a bit of a big cir­cus, and you have

to take it for what it is.

Were you a fes­ti­val goer?

Yes, when I was much younger, and in my hippy phase – long hair, a beard, and drank warm beer and slept in one tent with loads of my friends. Un­for­tu­nately, we pitched a tent in the dark, only to dis­cover quite soon af­ter­wards that we had pitched it too close to the main pee­ing area. Not good!

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