Body&Soul 2019 – Saturday Review – 22-06-19
Saturday was the first full day of the festival and in the early afternoon, the Sanctuary stage provided an interesting mix of drum circles and yoga along with a variety of talks on topics such as ‘Magic, Myth and Mystery’ by Eddie Lenihan and Heartfulness Meditation by Ivor Browne. The stage was a nice change of pace from the usual emphasis on music. Other events in the afternoon that seemed to capture the imagination of the audience included Drag Aerobics at the Reckless in Love stage (now curated by Mother) and the Lords of Strut at the Orchard Lounge (which had a full afternoon of comedy).
The main stage kicked off with an event called RTE 2FM Classical Collision which featured a 24 piece orchestra along with a conductor. The idea of this event was that the orchestra would start to play a classical piece which would then be blended or transformed into a modern pop song. The classical pieces were largely recognisable and featured Bach, Mozart, Rachmaninov and more. The pop classics chosen included the Killers, Billie Eilish and Coldplay. The idea worked well, but the only annoying aspect was that they didn’t play enough of either the classical piece or the pop song. They often only played one chorus of the modern tune. It’s always good to hear pop songs arranged for an orchestra as the sound is much more complex with a large string section! All they have to do is let the band play the full track and they’re onto a winner!
Ibibio Sound Machine are a band from London via Nigeria and their blend of Afro-funk got the whole crowd dancing! It’s always good to hear some African music played well and they were a good choice for the main stage. The Masquerade Ball in the Secret Garden took place that evening and some of the festival goers went to great lengths with their costumes as they ambled through the crowd!
Meltybrains? are an impressive live band and did well at the Midnight Circus stage, but it wasn’t an evening for being indoors! One of the best bands of the entire weekend were surprisingly the King Kong Company who pitched their set just right for the festival audience. They built the crowd into a frenzy with talk of our Celtic past and the need to celebrate pagan rituals such as the solstice! They also featured some well known cover versions (including the Cure and M.I.A.) and a variety of costumes including robots and a giant eye ball! The audience reacted very well to them and they were easily the hit of the night with the large crowd bouncing along.
The Sleaford Mods arrived without any introduction onto the main stage and belted out their blend of electronic punk. They are fronted by Jason Williamson who struts and shouts on stage, cutting quite an intimidating figure. The final act of the night were Modselektor who were one of the most anticipated of the weekend!
Now in its tenth year, the festival is one of the main stays of the Irish festival scene and the event is something quite unique! The smaller stages get just as much attention as the main stages and there are so many interesting and diverse talks and activities. You can move from Yoga to a drum circle or a DJ in seconds!