I'd like to start off by stating that I am both a fan of The Redneck Manifesto and The Frames; maybe my admiration for The Frames has dwindled somewhat over time as I have grown older but, still a fan nonetheless. The line up for this years Electric Picnic has been announced this past week and both of these fine Irish bands are on the impressive bill. The Frames choosing Electric Picnic to celebrate their 20th year in existence and The Redneck Manifesto have added The Picnic as part of their tour for their new album "Friendship".
As I have nothing better to do with my time I have been gauging the public's reaction to the line up by scanning through forums, namely the Q & A forum on the Electric Picnic website or as I like to call it "Hipsters Haven". The only problem people seem to have with the line up seems to be the addition of The Frames. A lot of the people on the forum and on other public forums seem to feel the need to let everyone know that they really don't like The Frames, yet offer no reason as to why they dislike them. Which leads me to conclude that they don't actually dislike The Frames, they just think they should or they will be denied entry to Crawdaddy on a Wednesday night; or will be asked to return their collection of skinny jeans and checkered shirts to American Aparral and Topshop. Now I know that a lot of these people might indeed be genuine in their disliking of The Frames, their lead singer has an Oscar; whats cool about that? But, I also believe that a lot of these haters are the people that made their mind up about The Frames from their underwhelming 2004 release "For the Birds" and everything after that; which was, lets face it, shit. But I urge those people to give The Frames another chance and delve into their work pre Setlist. In particular "For the Birds", which is easily one of the best Irish albums ever. As well as "Dance the Devil..." and "Fitzcarraldo ", both good solid albums with hidden gems like "Neath the Beeches", which is one of my personal favorites.
Now onto independent gods among men, The Redneck Manifesto. This is a band revered throughout the Island for their innovative instrumental doodlings and for just being a damn fine band. Just when I thought my love for these lads could go no further they go and decide to release their new album "Friendship" on Independent label Richter Collective; home of the greatest live band on the planet Adebisi Shank. I have yet to come across anyone who actively dislikes The Redneck Manifesto. I'm sure there are people out there who don't particularly like their brand of genius but, they don't feel the need to let everyone know about it. Which brings me to the question why do so many people out there actively dislike The Frames and the same doesn't seem to happen The Rednecks? Sure, in certain circles its "cool" to dislike Glen Hansard and his band of merry men, also their music over the past, oh I don't know, DECADE certainly has not been up to their "For the Birds" standard. This brings me to my argument. It could be as a result of time. The Frames pretty much have a decade on The Redneck's as far as releasing material goes. I'm sure in the mid to late 90's The Frames were just as loved as The Redneck's are now.
The Frames have been going for 20 years; which is quite an achievement for an Irish band who are not U2. On an Island where great bands such as Whipping Boy seem to become disenchanted with just having success in Ireland and seem to vanish into thin air, I believe that The Frames deserve some credit. Ireland is known for being steeped in a history of story and song as well as all the craic; and Glen Hansard is a great storyteller and a damn fine songwriter; AND he has red hair, Failte Ireland should sign him up. As much as fans of Richie Egan and the crumlin boyos would kill me for saying this, They do draw certain parallels with Glen and The Frames such as just having popularity in Ireland and their frontmen having side projects. Who knows maybe Richie Egan will go off and win an Oscar with Jape and everyone will dislike him and therefore hate the Redneck Manifesto in the next decade. Lets hope not!