When the line-up for a festival is released there are always expressions of joy as we see how many of our favourite acts will be playing that year. Glasgowbury is the biggest it has even been this year featuring a mind boggling six stages packed to the brim with brilliant bands. However there then comes the point when realisation sets in, you won’t be able to see them all! It’s like having three parties to go to on the one night; unfortunately you’re just going to have to miss out. For those who are making it to the Draperstown festival, they will have a weekend full of tough decisions. After studying the stage times we have discovered, to our horror, some of the toughest decisions that we will all have to make this weekend! So get a pen and paper ready and prepare to total up all the pros and cons. We warn you, this isn’t going to be easy, but good luck!
Droids or Best Boy Grip or Soak
Three new acts from Derry, making their first appearances at the festival this year and they are all on at the same time! Nightmare! This one is a real head scratcher with each act bringing something unique to the table. So let’s break it down;
First up are rockers Droids. It’s amazing to think of the buzz surrounding this band right now, with only a single to show for (although “Astromech and Protocol” is a belter of a track). Stephen McCauley (Electric Mainline) and Gifted Live organiser Paul McKay are both big fans, with all reports pointing towards them being quite a special band to see live. Their debut EP is imminent so it’ll be interesting to hear more new tracks.
We don’t think a debut EP impressed us more last year than Best Boy Grip’s “Barbara”. Eoin O’Callaghan burst onto the scene at the end of 2011 under the moniker Best Boy Grip and has become one of our most beloved local talents. With superbly crafted songwriting it feels like we’ve known him for years! It’s been a bit quiet from Eoin for the last few months, so fingers crossed there is more new material on the way.
To be able to write a song like “Trains” at the age of fifteen still amazes us. However don’t be fooled by the pint sized singer-song writer’s age, as Soak can hold her own with the best of them. Seeing Soak live is a mesmerising experience, with many being won over by her lyrical charms. Bridie Monds-Watson is very exciting prospect.
We believe that all three have the potential to be a mid-afternoon highlight for many at the festival. So whoever you choose, be prepared for the post-festival debate that night amongst the campsite.
Droids // 2.30pm – 3pm // Spurs of Rock Stage
Best Boy Grip // 2.40pm – 3.10pm // Eagle’s Rock Stage
Soak // 2.30pm – 3pm // G Spot Comedy Stage
Rams’ Pocket Radio or Axis Of
You can slightly cheat on this one due to the fifteen minutes Axis Of have on the Main stage before Peter McCauley and Co. rock onto the G Sessions Stage. It’s an interesting “try before you buy” scenario, but a full set from both is what people will crave. It’s a nice difference in pace between these two acts and it’s hard to tell how the punters will be split.
Axis Of have keep their gigs sparse in 2012 and will be a sought after live experience as the hype for their forthcoming debut album builds, but after the fantastic 12 months Rams’ Pocket Radio have had there will be many who will have put them at the top of their “must see” lists. With this being Rams’ only NI festival appearance of the year, we have a feeling that will be the deal maker for those on the fence.
Axis Of // 7.05pm – 7.40pm // Small But Massive Stage
Rams’ Pocket Radio // 7.20pm – 8pm // G Sessions Stage
Mojo Fury or Fighting with Wire
We know, the mere thought of it us makes feel slightly sick. It’s like choosing who your favourite child is (well we imagine it is).We wish it wasn’t true but it is. When the clock turns 8 up on the mountain your decision will have to be made quick.
With both bands headlining a day at Pigstock this year, we can vouch that these two are on a fine run of form heading towards Saturday. New albums are on the horizon for Mojo Fury and Fighting with Wire, so expect new material to feature prominently amongst old favourites. You can’t make a wrong decision here and you’ll have a great time either way. We just don’t know how you are going choose between them. It might just come down to heads or tails for us.
Fighting With Wire // 8.10pm – 8.50pm // Small But Massive Stage
Mojo Fury // 8.20pm – 9pm // G Sessions Stage
Japanese Popstars or LaFaro or Farriers
A fantastic contrast in styles near the end of the night, displaying the great variety at the festival this year. Local favourites LaFaro will guarantee a bumper crowd at the G Sessions stage. You know what you are going to get with the hard rock 4 piece, and after breaking the PA at Pigstock with their carnage, they’re a band who certainly know how to stir up a frenzy.
Derry electro three Japanese Popstars are your option on the Main Stage after 9. They will probably not draw in the more rock centric festival goer, but those who want to have a proper dance as darkness sets in on the mountains will be right at home here.
Farriers might be an act that’ll be over looked with such stiff competition during their slot at the Eagle’s Rock stage. Which is a shame as if you want something different to chill out to before Therapy? then this is the act to check out. They are an impressive band to see live and will have a whole tent jiving to their melodic folk. A great alternative.
The Japanese Popstars // 9.30pm – 10.30pm // Small But Massive Stage
LaFaro // 9.20pm – 10.20pm // G Sessions Stage
Farriers // 9.20pm -10pm // Eagle’s Rock Stage