Something quite unusual happened last night. For a large section of the evening, the main stage Twisted Pepper morphed into a tent at Electric Picnic. Niwel Tsumbu began the transition by playing a few songs unaccompanied on his acoustic guitar. He wove his way through complex technical pieces at a frenetic pace. It made Rodrigo Y Gabriela seem lazy. The stage was bathed in orange-tinted light and Donal Dineen’s trademark visuals.
Then Aminah Dastan and Donal Dineen joined the frey. Tsumbu switched to electric guitar. What followed was trippy, intense and a whole lot of fun. The three members from the Parish group performed a sort of sun-kissed trip-hop… if that isn’t an oxymoron. The electronic sounds hit in the gut while the two virtuosos out front whipped the audience into frenzy. In the sparsely filled venue, it was no small feat. Combine that with the dream-like visuals and one or two attendees who were dancing fairly outrageously and it really had all the hallmarks of Stradbally’s lost tent.
The talent and chemistry within the group is undeniable. It was a testament to the 10 Days in Dublin festival that they have provided an outlet for acts of such calibre to be heard. Dastan’s voice is textured and forceful. Donal Dineen is a national treasure. However, Niwel Tsumbu steals the show from the outset. His solo performance of ‘Midnight on the Moon’ is the highlight of the show. Hopefully, the group will play around town again soon. Their particular blend of escape from the dreariness of mid-week Dublin is badly needed.