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
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
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!