10 acts to catch at Electric Picnic this weekend (International) 2 months ago

10 acts to catch at Electric Picnic this weekend (International)

The Stradbally spectacular awaits...

The stage times are out, the weather forecast is grim and your bag is likely not even close to packed.

Yep, it's Electric Picnic week. Rejoice.

We're just going to cut to the chase here - there's lots and lots of acts playing across the weekend, so here's our 10 must-see encounters from the international pool...

Billie Eilish

Having witnessed her in more intimate surrounds in London earlier this year, JOE can happily confirm that Billie Eilish is already a seriously strong live force.

The 17-year-old's rise has been meteoric, assisted by memes and a great debut album, and so you really ought to hit up the Main Stage on Friday evening at 7.30pm.

James Blake 

If it's winsome electronica-tinged heartbreak - and some scatterings of joy, too - you're after, look no further than London's finest James Blake, who plays the Electric Arena on Friday at 10.30pm.

Blake excels in propulsive emotional wanderings, all backed up by an unforgettable voice. So good he opened for Kendrick Lamar on his last visit to the capital.

While you're here, do check out this old Newsnight interview. It's intensely awkward, none of which is Blake's fault, mind...

Clip via BBC Newsnight

Charli XCX

The Queen of Pop? 7pm at the Electric Arena on Saturday will confirm or deny.

The 1975

Led by the often quotable Matty Healy, The 1975 have leaned so very hard into the pop thing since their inception and have emerged, eventually, as the genre's biggest current juggernauts.

Divisive, for sure, but few are putting on a live show like these lads right now. Saturday night, Main Stage, 9.15pm. Do not be elsewhere.

The Strokes

How do you follow The 1975? Easy, just slot The Strokes in on the same stage a half hour before midnight and watch 'em all go nuts.

Not to go all, 'Lads, it's Tottenham' here, but what more do you need?

Clip via The Strokes

Sam Fender

Taking to the Electric Arena stage at 4.45pm on Sunday, Newcastle lad Sam Fender is all about that 'next big thing' status.

His debut album is en route, and the hype machine is up and running, having been compared to Bruce Springsteen of all musical kings. 'Dead Boys' is a powerful instant classic, so let's hear what that all sounds like live, shall we?

Mitski

Yeah, yeah, we teed James Blake up as the ultimate heartbreak merchant but New York sensation Mitski might have him beat.

Responsible for one of 2018's best albums in the form of Be The Cowboy, Mitski specialises in getting right under your skin, allowing the emotions to spill everywhere.

This writer saw her perform in Dublin's Tivoli Theatre (RIP), where she made the simple act of pacing the stage back and forth seem like the most stressful visual ever.

That's a recommend, so get over to Rankin's Wood at 9.30pm on Sunday.

Let's Eat Grandma

A strong 'get' for the Three Made By Music stage, UK duo Let's Eat Grandma are wizards when it comes to synth-based glacial pop heroics.

Get on 'Donnie Darko' below, and get to said Three stage at 8.30pm on Sunday.

Clip via Let's Eat Grandma

J Hus

A rapper whose profile seems to just rise and rise by the day, J Hus is a compelling live performer and you can get up close and personal at the Electric Arena at 9.15pm on Sunday.

Parquet Courts

Alternatively, if you prefer some dirty rock and roll and songs that last about two minutes at a time, Parquet Courts are set to provide a joyful noise 15 minutes after J Hus gets underway over at the Cosby Tent.