Festival Season : Electric Picnic Breakdown Part 2

Tiers 1 & 2 of the first batch of Electric Picnic acts announced on Wednesday afternoon were covered on the blog here.

Now we see the turn of the "smaller" bands which is what intrigues me most about this years Stradbally extravaganza.

If we are to go literally by the poster there are nearly twenty acts listed as tier 3 acts. These rankings may be compiled based on commercial success but most importantly the standard in this tier is extremely high.

- Seasick Steve

A storming success last year, the self-appointed "song & dance man", returns and probably to the main stage in 2010. Not one to rest on his laurels, Steve has been jetting around the world non-stop since his performance on Jools Holland's Hootenanny show on BBC on New Years Eve in 2006 determined to enjoy every last second he can of his unexpected fame.

- Hot Chip

As much a part of the EP furniture now as the Electric Arena itself, Hot Chip return to tour their new One Life Stand record and dance us all into a frenzy come September.

- Gil Scott-Heron

Jazz, Blues, Spoken Word, Rap, Soul, Author, Criminal, Poet, Revolutionary. Depending what side of the fence you are standing on, Gil Scott-Heron is either the most taggable artist on planet earth or simply untaggable.

I'm New Here
, his first original studio album in nearly two decades has just been released to mixed opinion but that is no surprise going by his track record. GSH may prove to be one of the highlights or the lowlights of this years get together. Either way I will be front-row centre. (If anyone is looking for me I will be on the cable strip linking the stage to the sound-tower).

- Fever Ray

Formerly of The Knife (whose song "Heartbeats" was famously covered by Jose Gonzalez for that Nokia ad not so long ago), Karin Dreijer Andersson went solo in 2009 as Fever Ray to mass critical acclaim. In fact Fever Ray appeared as number 11 on The G-Man World's Best of 2009 so it must be great!

- Jonsi

Best known as the lead singer of Sigur Ros, Jonsi only just released a "solo" album with his partner Alex under the name Riceboy Sleeps last year but, not being able to sit still, has his "solo solo" album seeing general release in April. A must-buy for at least any Sigur Ros fans.

- The Low Anthem

I spent half of last year on about these guys.

Topped my album of the year list : See Here

Exlusive interview with The G-Man : See Here

- The Big Pink

One of the "cool" bands to hit it big last year, The Big Pink released an album to back this leading tag up. A Brief History Of Love is an electronica album with a number of big hitter, more meloidc singles such as "Dominos" and "Velvet". One of a number of acts to play on a small stage at an early time last year, it will be easy to judge how much success has fallen the boys from London's way in the past twelve months when the stage, times are announced.

- Steve Earle

Every year there is an argument over how great/poor the announcements are for each festival. "There is no legendary act playing", "Where are the big names?" and similar are common rants and complaints. To me personally, Steve Earle is one of the greatest songwriters and possibly the last true great rock 'n' roll star on planet earth. He has arguably done, seen, played and written more and better than everyone on the line-up put together. He has accomplished everything with an honesty and a heart-on-sleeve approach yet his name lies hidden away on line 7 of the official poster. The world baffles me sometimes. It really does.

- Beach House

A headliner on the Body & Soul Main Stage last year, new album Teen Dream should see the duo who formed in Baltimore, Maryland, elevated to a larger stage/crowd. To be honest I highly expected this so called "dream rock" band to be on the Harmonic - Live At The Marquee bill so it came as a pleasant surprise to see their name hidden away down there.