The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Cois Fharraige, Day 3 (Kilkee, Co. Clare)

Review Snapshot: The third and final day remained without highlight until Travis gave us what we wanted to hear - the hits!

The Cluas Verdict? 5 out of 10

TravisFull Review:   After a promising opening night, and a slightly less solid second, I feared the final night would continue the downward trend. This was not helped by the admittedly poor line-up. But, it was the unlikely Scots, Travis, who saved the night from mediocrity.

Oscar and Simon from the dad-friendly Ocean Colour Scene performed their acoustic-driven set to an early crowd. Like a hotel-lobby band, they pleased the punters with their familiar sing-a-long anthems. Oscar and Simon, however, seemed surprised to be playing to such a small crowd, but I was surprised there was even a crowd at all.

I’ll admit I was highly skeptical of the reggae addition, Natty, to the line-up, not least because of all the typical Bob Marley comparisons. But, after opening with a catchy song and singing “this is just the intro…”, he proved just that, carrying on to play a pleasant and enjoyable show. The songs of revolution and oppression went down a storm with a merry Irish crowd, and he left me feeling a little more hopeful for the rest of the line-up.

Starsailor couldn’t seem to top this, though, playing a mildly diverting set of bottom-drawer Britpop. Strangely, they opened with their hit, “Alcoholic”, which was instantly recognisable but set a pace they could not keep. Though unmemorable, the set was not unpleasant to listen to. “Four to the Floor” was notable, giving brief respite from unimaginative album-fillers. The crowd seemed to enjoy them, as they did every single act, singing along to a cover of Oasis’ “Champagne Supernova” at the end. Not strong enough to be on so late in the evening, we were left looking forward to Travis.

After the ordeal that clearly was “playing the new stuff”, Travis slipped into a more comfortable mode and showed us doubters why they were headlining. They churned out all of the hits to what was regrettably the smallest crowd of the three days. No one could resist Fran Healy’s friendly chat and novel approaches to engaging the crowd. At one point, he encouraged everyone to goad on their Swedish keyboardist for his solo by shouting his name – “Claes! Claes!”. For their inevitable encore, the band huddled around one microphone performing “Flowers in the Window”. After taking up their instruments once more, they closed with “Why Does It Always Rain On Me?”, sending the crowd into a singing frenzy and ending the festival on a high note.

Barring the likes of The Futureheads and Supergrass, the Cois Fharraige festival had very few acts to draw music fans. And, at three days, the thin line-up seemed a little strained. It has a long way to go to compete with the likes of Electric Picnic, but if you’re looking for a weekend on the lash, this is the festival for you!

Christine Cooke

  • Check out the CLUAS reviews of Day 1 and Day 2 of Cois Fharraige 2008.

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2000 - 'Rock Criticism: Getting it Right', written by Mark Godfrey. A thought provoking reflection on the art of rock criticism.