Posted on August 26, 2022
Review: Another Love Story Festival 2022
Words by Peter Toal & Michael Savage / Design by Michael Savage
Another Love Story is like a gentle hug and a small squeeze before from your favourite friend. Leaving the festival feeling optimistic and fulfilled on Sunday evening is a refreshing change to other festivals where attendees collectively trudge away from the grounds on Monday morning.
The festival has evolved over time, accommodating a larger crowd over the past years. Food options and packaging where possible have moved towards a more sustainable effort and the once open Killyon Manor has now been closed off to the public. We encountered some mellow spirits over the weekend who attended previous Love Story's each year since 2016 and proudly saying that it has continued to outdo itself in production and entertainment year in, year out. A beloved Irish celebration of artists from every part of the isle.
Noteworthy to us was the incredible sound systems with each stage having great designs and attentive engineers mixing live. Much thought was put into the best possible listening experience. The main stage in particular had a natural enclosed space by the trees creating a perfect soundscape.
Arriving at the campsite, it was obvious looking around that a more mature crowd was in attendance, diligent in their preparation bringing plentiful food and comfort for themselves. This seemed like a seasoned party that was past the idea of cramped tents but rather large communal spaces. There was no hectic shouting or bad behavior. Everyone was laid back and ready to show love!
18.45 - 19.30
We could hear Henry Earnest settling everyone into the beginning of the weekend with some euphoric and dreamy drones of his own productions crossing the fields into the campsite. It was an essential early act that Another Love Story got right.
19.30 - 20.15
As the sun set and we discovered more of the arena, Moondiver, a four-piece mellow jazz and hip hop/moonbeat band were a warm welcome to the merrymakers who started to feel the festival spirit (alcohol?) at the Further Afield main stage. Not much soon after, Footnotes played some vinyl records including some fun Caribbean funk records at the Way Out There stage. A small dome shaped stage with a big heart.
21.00 - 22.00
This was followed by The Bonk down by the Moon River stage, a brilliant set with hypnotic and intense melodies over steady drum machine patterns. Meanwhile, Kev Sheridan had a packed crowd in the Shift Yard. Even with a small mishap with the power tripping out on him, he was reactive enough to start using drumsticks to create beats off different items until the sound was ready to go again. He kept morale high in such a stressful situation and the party continued as if nothing happened.
Session Victim were one of our 'must-see' acts. Their chemistry together was magnetic and our expectations for a succinct mix were met. At this stage of the night, multiple acts were starting to perform at the same time but we had to stay for the funky bass riffs from Matthias Reiling. Check out open.spotify.com/track/1MLEgLIn8xJelIAAJTcmgc.
(Pictured: Session Victim, image from @anotherlovestoryfest Instagram)
23.15 - 00.15
David Kitt (New Jackson) paired up with previous Plant Bass'd guest, Efa O'Neill, for some hypnotizing techno. The Kingdom County partnership delighted revelers with some live nocturnal electronic music. This is an exciting project that we will be keeping an eye on.
00:00 - 03:00
Drifter b2b Lil Dave had everybody dancing in a trance. Their selection of tracks were consistently strong. As well as being fun DJs, they were great to chat to earlier in the day. Our attention was being drawn back to the main stage where we caught Luke Una playing one of 2022's biggest tunes, open.spotify.com/track/0y6CoVW1ZSBqRmPbyfhFQs. Luke Unabomber was part of the iconic rave culture in the UK and his huge selection of tunes was a major treat. He tested out the new sound coming out of South Africa, Amapiano, to a highly responsive and interested crowd.
Cáit closed the first night off with a massive gig in the Tree Haus. She had the place hopping playing thumpers for an enthusiastic audience creating an eagerness for the next day.
(Pictured: The Dock, image from anotherlovestory.ie)
We enjoyed a replenishing experience taking a dip in the river while Luke Una was in conversation in the Moon River tent nearby. The water was exceptionally cold but we dried off quickly along with everyone else who dared to splash as the sun beamed down on us. We got the pleasure to hear him interviewed by Siobhán Kane, the curator of the Young Hearts Run Free takeover of the Moon River stage. A very insightful talk on Luke's own experience in 1980s Manchester and Barcelona, with the nights he ran such as Electric Chair.
13:00 - 13.45
We stocked up our energy with some delicious plant based burgers from YumGrub while listening to a laid back set from the Cosmonauticals. A tight band that plays some easy going surf rock and country standards, a great choice for Saturday afternoon recoup.
13.45 - 14.30
We were blown away by Rufous Nightjar and their holistic music healing gig. The trio were one of our standout acts over the weekend with beautiful acapellas, drones and multi-instrumental rhythms. They had infectious energy and didn't take themselves too seriously playing traditional pieces from Ireland, Scotland and Bulgaria.
15:00 - 15.45
An interesting set we caught on Saturday was an act called Minced Oath who brought a live whirling ambience to the Tree Haus. It was a heavily textured ambient and noise set full of head trips and abrasive blips interrupting a smooth incline of dreamy soundwaves, all the while leading into a final slow swaying beat that ended on a high amongst a transfixed crowd.
16.45 - 17.30
Yenkee's groovy melodic riffs flipped the change from sitting to dancing for the Saturday. Inhibitions were loose and feet were even looser while the Soft Boy Records member played some bright pop goodness. Listen to open.spotify.com/track/6gw6tt40BdB8E3mmLsrkHJ.
21.15 - 22:00
Viciously good tunes from lil Dave once again in the Shift Yard. Impeccable mixing and selection. Everyone was up and dancing on their toes to house tunes and soul house thumpers as we cut short to The Front stage. Anticipation for R.Kitt and the Glasshouse Ensemble was growing well before the slotted time as they had a full capacity to entertain. This set felt short for how much enjoyment we had listening to R.Kitt's vocals, mixing, and direction. We could have stayed here all night.
23:00 - 00:00
Barker played some electronic music live, opting to start slowly and develop a story over his hour set. Slowly increasing in rawness and positive energy similar to music from Tom Jarmey. It was like he was aware that he had some responsibility for the change in psyche happening on a Saturday night for some people and removed any potential anxiety going into the early hours.
00.30 - 03:00
Again, this time it became impossible to choose just one place, with multiple locations playing bouncing techno. Main stage had upbeat House by Manamana while the BPM was being pushed up at the Tree Haus stage. Sara Miller played out guilty pleasure anthems including a memorable selection of open.spotify.com/track/5M9buCoq6NweHXxjjUD7Uk. Manamana closed out the main stage with crowd pleasers of Roisin Murphy and Prince.
Being a smaller festival than others that Ireland offers, we bumped into the same friendly faces all weekend. The vendors let their personalities shine and musicians & creatives were able to make friends easily. Day three was simply incredible in terms of music and the weather.
13.15 - 14:00
Ronan O'Snodaigh & Myles O'Reilly were an unforgettable duo. Two true grounded beings that beam music, Irish culture & history. You should experience their show at least once in their collaborative journey. In Ronan's words, "I fall in love constantly" and it is reflected in his storytelling and music appreciation. Ronan uses music for self-discovery and healing. He sang as Gaeilge, retold stories of his life and others, and exuded love so much so that a light-footed punter felt compelled to break out in interpretative dance during one of the songs. There were many teary eyes during this powerful performance reciprocated by a proud and thankful rapturous round of applause.
A quote we will savor - “When people head off, we shine lights at where they used to be, and we love them all the more for it.”
14:00 - 16.15
Ye Vagabonds played when the sun shone highest to an engrossed main stage. They played favourites such as I'm A Rover, open.spotify.com/track/2s8ZvXTG6J7yLs9UbqySvL and some tunes from their new album. The two Leitrim brother's already impressive sound was strengthened by a double bass, cello, and synth instrument on stage. Closing the moon river stage was Jonny Dillon and his impeccable finger picking on the lap steel and acoustic guitar, with his effortless renditions of standards of John Fahey and traditional American hymns.
Robocobra Quartet amazed us with a pristine, well-practiced set of punk & jazz. Amazing performance by the drummer-vocalist who conjured surreal imagery with his thought provoking lyrics about the housing crisis, family, and wealth. The songs 'Chromo Sud', 'Heaven' and 'Wellness' will be on repeat on our playlist for many days to come. Check out open.spotify.com/track/7dHtMjXSbiQ5J1v3sf4oeh.
(Pictured: Chris W Ryan, image from @anotherlovestoryfest Instagram)
17.30 - 18.30
The final act of the weekend, Alabaster DePlume, threw the crowd into a frenzy with his euphoric and shining energy. A goosebumps trip of satire, manic improvised jamming, and magical display of skill and effort wrapped up in one tireless mind. The perfect sendoff to lift and soar everyone's spirits.
Vegetarian/ Vegan Food Selections
(Pictured: Another Love Story food vendors)
Another Love Story was catered by 'hand-picked' vendors for the weekend who provided amazing variations in taste and smell for many happy customers. We just had to share a mini food review because a festival is nothing without good food.
On Friday, our appetites were filled by Bish Bosh with a vegetarian spice bag that had pomegranate seeds and pineapple in it. Revolutionary right? Everyone was in good form at this tent with the jokesters staff.
We checked out YumGrub for some top plant based burgers on Saturday. Delicious tastes melted in our mouths with each bite, we couldn't get enough! Later on that night we grabbed a wood-fired margherita pizza from Zero Zero. This tent was busy throughout the weekend and the wait was worth it.
Before we left the grounds on Sunday, we had some Bahay Filipino Street Food. Phenomenal food! crispy shallots, chargrilled sweet potato & courgettes on rice.
Another Love Story is two weeks out from Electric Picnic and it's a striking comparison of the attentiveness and intimacy this small festival has created. It is an empowering, spectacular weekend for those who desire the festival experience without being overwhelmed by massive crowds or having too many stages to cover. We found ourselves in a sea of eccentric genuine personalities who left feeling just as good as they arrived. An older crowd with more sense and love for each other. Time and time again, we thought “oh they got this right.”
We were amazed by each act we saw but want to particularly give appreciation to Rufous Nightjar, Yenkee, Session Victim, Minced Oath, Jonny Dillon, Luke Unabomber, Ronan O'Snodaigh & Myles O'Reilly, Robocobra Quartet, and Alabaster DePlume. Their performances were nothing short of inspiring. Massive thanks and love to Another Love Story for this opportunity to review their festival, we can't wait to be back!