Body & Soul – 17/06/22 – Review
They arrived en masse, wearing designer clothes and smelling of perfume and expensive cologne. Yes, it can only go one way from here! Day one of the festival is always a perky occasion, with everyone in good humor and full of the joys. Fresh from trying to remember where they put their tent and also after a good night’s sleep in their own bed, the festival goers arrived in the grounds of Ballinlough Castle. This is the return of the festival after a couple of years where the world seemed to stop turning! This year, the festival has gone back to its roots, with a reduced capacity of 5,550. Yes, I think it’s fair to use the term ‘Boutique’ once more.
There is a reduced number of stages at this festival, but the Hennessy Hip Hop House was a very welcome addition. With the best of Irish Hip Hop along with a nice bar and plenty of seating, it was a nice place to start the journey. Nealo was on stage at 10pm and played his unusual honest tunes about his childhood in the ‘burbs of Dublin.
Next up was King Kong Company on the Main Stage. If there is an Irish band better at working a festival audience, I haven’t seen them. Playing the main stage at a festival is a bit like being an entertainer at a children’s party, and they fulfilled the role with all the bells and whistles on display. They had smoke machines, masks and a variety of other gimmicks to keep the crowd bouncing.
Just Mustard recently won our Album of the Week slot, which is of course the highest prize in music, if not in life entirely! They played the Woodlands Stage just after 10pm and were suitably LOUD! It was an impressive set of their own brand of shoe gaze. It’s a style of music that is actually quite unusual these days but their wall of sound was great live.
To finish the night, Jon Hopkins brought his pounding beats to the main stage! Hopkins is a performer who seems to have graduated to the bigger stages, having recently played the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin. It was a perfect closer for the first day and kept the large crowd dancing throughout.
Also, a special mention for the variety of art works and oddities on display in the forest. It’s one of the things that really makes the festival a bit special, and there are all sorts on display this year. We look forward to day two of the event, where the audience are starting to show the signs of a bad night’s sleep and too much beer! The smell of expensive their perfumes has long since departed…