Gig Review: Arthur’s Day, Cork, 2012
Pros:Added excitement of mystery acts.
Cons:How can you stay in one place when there's so much happening? You don't know what you're missing on the other side of town!
Arthur’s Day 2012 in Cork was something really special, says Dee, as she took in free performances by Fatboy Slim and Ellie Goulding.
What was most fun about Arthur’s Day 2012 is that all the acts were a surprise until they appeared on stage, so rumours were flying.
We headed first to the Old Oak on Oliver Plunkett Street. The first band in the Old Oak were This Club, who we can only say were more than energetic. It’s almost impossible to describe the sound of This Club; it’s fair to say they are floating through every genre. The following band, Funeral Suits, had a totally different vibe. They were more on the heavier end of the spectrum without being too much, and even with the change of sound, they kept everyone on the dance floor moving.
The headline act was much anticipated. We could hear Chinese Whispers all through the building about who was going to be gracing the stage. And finally… Fatboy Slim came on to greet a ballistic audience, skilfully creating an old school club-vibe by pumping that electronic nectar into the crowd. Not a single person in the entire venue was standing still; our only possible conclusion was that Norman Cook must have the fittest hands in the world from a lifetime of clapping.
The Old Oak had a superb line-up – either by their own decision, Guinness’s or just the luck of the draw; we’re not sure – and there could not have been a more varied set compiled.
We made the tough decision to tear ourselves away from Fatboy Slim to see what was happening in the Crane Lane Theatre on Phoenix Street, only around the corner. And there was a lot happening there, too!
The supporting acts had finished: Hudson Taylor, The Riptide Movement and again, This Club. We got there just in time for the rumour-filled build-up once again, before a fabulous Ellie Goulding came on stage, complete with her pint of Guinness. She was so pleasant to watch.Perfectly at home on stage, she chatted to the audience as if they were lifelong friends. Her live performances are very different to what many might expect; she is far more alternative than popstar. She played a stunning mix of slow and upbeat songs to a sea of people on the dancefloor; the Crane Lane must have been the busiest venue in the city, and as such, had a fantastic atmosphere.
There is no reason not to go out on Arthur’s Day; the craic is mighty and it’s all free. A surprising advantage to the revelry is that all of the acts were over by 11pm, so if you were working the next day you could get home at a reasonable hour, or if you wanted the stay out there were still plenty of bars and clubs open.
The only suggestion we could make for people planning to head out next year is to get there early. There was a queue for everywhere and the bouncers had more IDs to check than ever before. This year there were over 500 free Arthur’s Day events in local pubs all over the 32 counties, with 606 Irish and international artists playing on over 500 drum kits, 750 guitars, 800 microphones, 65 turntables… and 6 baby Grand pianos. It’s a perfect night out for music lovers, only made better by that hint of mystery.