REVIEW: Body & Soul – The Fairy Tale Festival

Why Body & Soul has all the elements of the perfect fairy story. Not quite convinced? A spell-bound Rachel Hegarty writes...

The Hero - James Murphy

As we gathered, queued and trundled our gear a plague like rain set upon us.  Later as we took cover from the wet in the Midnight Circus tent you could almost see the LCD Soundsystem front man mouth the words “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses”. We huddled, we laughed and we danced ourselves clean. 

The Villain - The weather

The strange and unpredictable elements meant we endured squally winds, scattered showers with spells of promising sunshine. We did however man up and make the most of the situation and as one punter remarked   “Just imagine the form if the sun was out “. Surprisingly there was little mud and few major soakings apart from the inaugural night. This, my friends, is all part of the Body and Soul spirit. 

A Great Challenge - The festival itself

As this was year number four festival organisers faced the challenge of bringing improvement without disappointment. This year’s festival was definitely on a larger more spread out scale than previous cycles.  Good points? -  Less queues for food, more room at the campsite and a more direct walk to the car park.  But who else missed the intimate tomfoolery of the Bacardi Bar; while the main hub of the festival had been moved beyond the walled gardens (I’m guessing preservation was a big part there). This maturing is inevitable, but why do they have to grow up so fast? 

The Supernatural - Supermoon

Every tall tale needs a touch of the paranormal and Body and Soul coincided with the closest and largest full moon of 2013. Can this explain the episodes of lunacy and high spirits that we experienced that weekend? Possibly...

A Magical Kingdom - Stages

The jewel in Body and Soul’s crown was most certainly the forest and the surrounding pop up stages.  The Jook Joint, My House and Reckless in Love stages housed many a party and a hazy memory. Throw in the giant swings, art installations and magical trees it was a playground of epic sorts. No password or magic door required –it’s the stuff of folklore and fantasy. 

Fairy Godmother - Mother DJ’s

Mother DJ’s rounded up night number one and rewarded everyone who was willing to spend an extra night fighting with their sleeping bag. The sequined go go dancing godmothers came to the rescue of every forest bound damsel in distress.

A Spell - Forrests

How apt that Forrests played midway through the festival during Midsummer’s Day, as they are the perfect soundtrack to every middle ground. Like a double music box their live set is the ideal score to that woozy halfway point between consciousness and sleep or at their louder parts where light meets dark. Forrests are my new lucky charms.

Narrator - Nick Cave

Saturday night as Mr Cave performed tracks including ‘From Her To Eternity’ and “Red Right Hand” we were in no doubt about his credentials as the perfect front man and storyteller for Body and Soul.

The Tall Tale - Nicolas Jaar had cancelled?

There were whispers bouncing about the campsite Sunday afternoon that  Nicolas Jaar had cancelled. Indeed the gossip at the portaloos later that evening was that “Jaar had been beaten up the night before in Dublin “.  With the gospel according to Twitter clear we could only hope. Thankfully it was a work of fiction and judging by his face melting set Jaar wanted us to know yes, not only was he here but he had well and truly arrived.

Troubadour - WIFE  

The Wonderlust Stage on Sunday was where WIFE played court jester for the many sore heads and James Kelly is an impressive one man show. WIFE not only conjures up floaty beats but sings live –he literally whistles as he works. What a talent.

Wizard - Jon Hopkins

Following on from the eerie and dark symphony filled Immunity Jon Hopkins had the Midnight Circus clique transfixed Sunday night. Like magic he moved us from a mass weeping mess to communal jubilant merriment. Voodoo like.

Finally - can we expect a follow up fable in 2014? 

Most. certainly. yes.

(Photos: Photocall, Body & Soul)