Field Day 2012 Live Review
Victoria Park, London 02/06/12
A hop, skip and dubstep away from what has been hailed the most fashionable street in Britain, Broadway Market, lies Victoria Park. This expanse of green is home to Field Day, which provides another superlative in East London - the best alternative festival.
This one-dayer has once again been revered by music lovers for its diverse, cutting-edge line-up, and this was its danciest billing yet. Prior to the big day, online playlists did the rounds and clash-finding timetables were highlighted and printed out. From the so-hip-it-hurts Kindness, Grimes, Gold Panda and Summer Camp, to post rockers Tortoise and Cuban-Malian supergroup Afrocubism, the more highlighted and ‘off’ main stage your sheet of A4, the more in the know.
In matching mustard trousers, Metronomy hollered: “It’s great to be here on what is undoubtedly the most important weekend of our generation.” Jubliee Schmubilee.
The Queen’s Sunday festivities ended up being the dampest squib of a party England has ever put on (apologies HRH). She should have come to Field Day.
Festival moment: The blazing sunshine during experimental NY three-piece Liars’ set. An aviator-ed Angus Andrew shook his finger about as the crowd (unwittingly fashioning new strapmarks) swayed to new album ‘WIXIW’ (pron. ‘You Wish’?!) - which has jokingly described as the “best Radiohead album since Kid A”. The pulsating beats and modulations of ‘Who Is The Hunter?’ and new single 'No 1 Against The Rush' were utterly hypnotising, if slightly lost on the open air main stage.
Festival mishap comeback: SBTRKT blew their power, but came back blasting to a bursting tent. Everyone has a photo of ‘that’ girl who climbed the tent ropes and the homemade LED sign spelling out ‘TUNE’ (props to that craftsy DIYer). Track of the set had to be ‘Hurricane’ - which broke off halfway into a dubstep frenzy.
Perfect festival pop: Pretty much the entire festival made an exodus from throwing shapes (and knickers) to band of the moment Django Django to check out South London’s Jessie Ware, (who also sings with SBTRKT) perform ‘Running’ and ‘110%’. She seemed shocked that everyone not only knew her name, but was singing along.
Heart-tugging: As skies threatened to break open at any minute, Beirut brought out the brass on the main stage for ‘Postcards from Italy’. Their stunning summer klezmer vibes shone through when the heavens opened during ‘Nantes’.
Other highlights: The jampacked stage and carnival vibes of world music supergroup Afrocubism, Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes (aka Lightspeed Champion) joining Kindness to perform ‘Doigsong’, and cramming into so-hot-right-now Grimes’ tent for the biggest dance-off of the day to ‘Oblivion’. Plus, throwing hay bales about in general.
Headliners: Many took cover from the main stage as Thom Yorke faves Modeselektor closed the day by testing the soundsystem’s bass, transporting us to their Berlin with ‘Pretentious Friends’ and ‘Grillwalker’.
The other choices of Franz Ferdinand, Mazzy Star and Baxter Dury proved too weak a pull for many soggy quitters, who made their way home. Those who remained got to holler in the drizzle to ‘Take Me Out’ and ‘Ulysses’, proud in the knowledge they had stayed the course of the first wet fest of the (y)UK’s summer.