Spotify This - Belsonic 2009
Around this time last year, Wayne Coyne rolled across Custom House Square atop a crowd of people so ludicrously happy, the confetti and glitter in the air seemed to be coming out their ears. It was 2008's finest day (by some distance) and the opening night of the first ever Belsonic - a three day festival slap bang in the centre of the city. Thankfully (and in "the current climate"™ we really do mean that) Belsonic is back, with three strong contenders for the finest day out of 2009. We shall, of course, be in attendance with the usual awesome coverage.
While you do that, check out our Spotify playlist of ten awesome tracks you'll hear floating in the air in Belfast city centre sometime this week...
10. DAVID KITT - Dancing in the Moonlight
Given he's been making decent tuneage for the best part of a decade, Kittser's short set on Saturday evening should be a treat for devoted fans and a pleasant surprise who anyone who thought they didn't care.
9. DUKE SPECIAL - Sweet, Sweet Kisses
It's not every day you get to host and curate your own festival, so the assumption is that Peter Wilson will be in pretty good form. Pretty, pretty, pretty good form. And, given his comparatively 'normal' gigs in the past have been as unpredictable (and entertaining) as Liverpool FC's home form, this could easily be the set of the entire festival. We'd like to tell you exactly what he has in store, but we doubt even the man himself knows at this point.
8. PHIL KIERAN - Nitzer Ebb remix
After finally taking Alloy Mental out with an (extremely strong) tranquilizer dart and successfully storing the project somewhere in his garage, Phil is now out on his own, plugging a blistering collection of mind mangling techno (debut album 'Shh' on Cocoon Records). As a 'live set', this performance will showcase said album's finest moments, which may be a little strange at 7pm on a (hopefully sunny) Friday evening.
7. DEADMAU5 - I Remember
He comes across as a total melter and it's nothing short of scandalous that he's on after Boys Noize (most likely at his management's insistence), but 'I Remember' is a reasonably nice, summery tune. I guess.
6. BELL X1 - Flame
They're a strange concept, old BellX1 - absolutely massive in the south (they regularly headline arenas and outdoor shows in Dublin), barely known in England and somewhere in the middle in Northern Ireland. Best not dwell on that too much - just enjoy some strangely bittersweet pop-music and shuffly melodies courtesy of the nicest Mexicans in music.
5. SOULWAX / 2MANYDJS - Krack
For just two brothers from Belgium, the Dawelle's have done reasonably well in the last few years - practically inventing a genre (before eventually trying to kill it), producing a bunch of our favourite records (their own nite versions and tracks for the likes of Tiga and LCD Soundsystem) while making incredible records by the likes of The Rolling Stones, Justice, Robbie Williams, MGMT and Daft Punk sound even better. After putting a band together and being one of the few dance acts to pull of a decent live show, they're now boasting an audio-visual set put together to headline festivals. Alongside The Chemical Brothers. Soulwax/2manydjs are the finest dance act on the planet. If you've not had the pleasure - go to Belsonic on Friday night and you'll see why.
4. BOYSNOIZE - &down
ATL had the pleasure of broadcasting his set from Oxegen and it was an absolute blinder. The best of his own nasty productions and scuzzy remixes - no messing about - just slight tweaks and reworks to suit the mood. It will go off.
3. TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB - Something Good Can Work
Constant touring and festival performances (including Glastonbury and V) this year mean their sunshine pop is nicely polished and well prepared for what will be the first special moment of the festival. The Bangor three piece have come a long way since their first public appearance of note (on ATL Rock School as Life Without Rory) and have signed to Kitsune - one of the coolest record labels in the world. About time you found out why.
2. DIZZEE RASCAL - Dance Wiv Me
About to have another smash hit with 'Holiday' and off the back of two of the biggest pop songs of the last 12 months, Dizzee doesn't need much hype. Of course, all the cool kids are looking forward to hearing tracks from his grimey, pre-'sell out' debut 'Boy in Da Corner'. But whether you'll admit it or not, we're all looking forward to Custom House Square going Bonkers.
1. VAMPIRE WEEKEND - A Punk
A no-brainer for this writer - I picked their debut as my album of 2008. Every track is magnificent - all killer, no filler. And it was dead short, which suited my frazzled little brain. A rare live outing for the New York quartet is an absolute treat for Belsonic and will be the finest 45 minutes of the entire three days. Which is, all things considered, really saying something.