I’ve been a little out of sorts, and this blog has borne the brunt of that by not being updated for SO long. I have a stack of reviews and stuff that I have started but not finished.
2nd June was Field Day Festival at Victoria Park. My first festival of the year – and a lot earlier than usual due to the sodding Olympics!
it was a bit grey and drizzly all morning, and I was bemoaning the fact that i didn’t have wellies, and I was going to have to go and buy some at short notice. The Man said “Let’s just see how it goes – you might decide you don’t want to go at all!”
Chance would be a fine thing!
Field Day is lovely, but their entry system is absolute chaos every year. You stand in a queue outside for at least half an hour! Allowing time for the terrible entry, I knew I had to be there in time for Django Django who were the earliest on-stage band that I wanted to see.
There was one amusing point when we actually got to the bag-search area and this group of rather overly-made-up girls in the line next to us had an absolute panic when they were informed that they weren’t allowed to take aerosols in. There was much spraying of hairspray and dousing in Impulse or the such like – with it being passed around the lot of them.
Once inside, the sun was shining brightly and it was extremely warm – it’s like there is a little micro-climate above Victoria Park, due to the mass of hot sweaty bodies at the festivals. We grabbed a couple of ciders and made our way over to local boys, Django Django who had certainly drawn a huge crowd for that time of day.
They were everything that could be expected and more – they are definitely way better live than their recorded stuff (which is pretty bloody good anyway!). I was extremely impressed. Deep thumping beats, a giant tambourine, excellent drumming and just right to get the party going. if you get a chance to see them at a festival this year, make sure you do!
To be honest, they were my favourite of the whole day, although it’s not like the day went downhill from there or anything. Being the first festival of the year, and the weather being unexpectedly decent, there felt to be rather more people there than there have been over the past couple of years – it’s given a far smaller area than Lovebox, and it did seem incredibly crammed. However, I hadn’t been to Lovebox at that stage…more on that later!
It is an incredibly ‘hip’ festival too. it feels like someone has picked up the entire population of Hoxton / Shoreditch and just dropped them into Victoria Park. Me & The Man are acutely out of place – but we love the people watching. it’s great picking out those efortless girls who wear stuff that would be totally ridiculous on other girls, but it just works because they convey the right attitude. And then the girls (mainly) where they’ve just tried way too hard, and it shows.
Last year’s hipster accessory of choice appeared to be rather a lot of facial hair. Considering most of the crowd are early – mid 20s, last year it felt about 90% had facial hair (on the blokes). that seemed rather disproportionate to ‘real’ life. However, this year’s male hipster accessory of choice appeared to be a cool Asian girlfriend. Honestly! It was VERY noticeable – and I wondered what had brought it about. Any ideas?
One of the things I love about Field Day is that they have huge boards with the whole timed line-up for each tent near the entrance, with clear directions, and then line-up times on boards at each tent. it is a REALLY good idea!
Anyway, the rest of our Field Day went like this:
Afrocubism: I have seen them before, and to be honest, I didn’t really feel like they completely ‘brought it’ with them on the day. even so, lying on the grass, in the sun, sipping my Pimm’s and listenign to them was a very pleasant Summer feeling.
Andrew Bird: Obviously very talented, but not totally my kind of thing. Again, felt a very nice ‘summer day’ sound lying on the grass.
Grimes: Completely different sound, she’s a little bit whacky – sometimes folky, sometimes more electronic. i’ve never been very good at genres, hence linking to a place that I know can explain far better than I!
Metronomy: Well, everyone knows them don’t they? Electropop heavy synthy stuff, most known for the Look, whcih everyone went wild for when they played it. they were way better than last time I saw them 18 months ago, when they wore these big lights on their chests and seemed a bit up themselves.
It was also during Metronomy’s set when security obviously spotted someone doing/dealing drugs as this skinny lad suddenly made a bolt for it, persued by two hi-vis’ed big guys. As he leapt over people’s heads, the crowd cheered in unison, egging him on. Until he was ambushed by a third man who wrestled him to the ground, face-down in one rather violent move, and the only crowd went “Oooooooooo”, imagining the pain!
We did go to see SBTRKT next, who I was quite keen on seeing, but he started late, and then there was a huge problem with the sound, and then I really wasn’t feeling it. So, we went to the very popular Bodean’s burger stall, expecting good things. my chilli cheese fries were fabulous, but The Man’s burger was extremely disappointing!
TOY: We popped by to see them, and they were certainly interesting. Billed as a ‘Korg Delta led 5 piece’ – I had no idea what Korg Delta was, but it is apparently a keyboard / synth. there’s a LOT of synth music around at the moment, it seems.
The Vaccines: By now it was starting to spit a little, so it was nice to get along to a tent. The Vaccines gave good festival – they sang the crowd pleasers and put on a show, everyone singing along to Post Break-Up Sex was a good feeling! Was a really good set.
Franz Ferdinand: The headliners. and they did it in style. Great visuals, played all the favourites, good crowd-interaction and made us all smile through the rain. and by now it was raining. Really raining. Quite hard. I have to admit, that we did leave before the last couple of songs, knowing that the walk back to the park entrance wouold allow us to still hear them, but cut out about 15 mins soaking time.
I must be getting old!
In summary, Field Day, I shouldn’t like it, it’s not really aimed at me, but I DO so like it and will definitely be going again next year!
I have taken forever to get around to wriing this post – everything has been so busy lately that I just haven’t had as much time to blog…and this has bothered me, as I keep thinking about what I want to put down and then feeling annoyed that I haven’t got around to it.
I said when I first started this blog that it was to get things out of my head, and over the past couple of weeks, I’ve realised just how much I do really need to do this!
Anyway, Field Day – Saturday 31st July in Victoria Park (yes, the same place as Lovebox a couple of weeks earlier). I’d booked the tickets as it looked like a fun day out, esppecially for The Man who hasn’t been to a festival for about 3 years, and I felt deserved a treat. It certainly was a treat – we had a fantastic day.
The sun was shining, I got my coveted Foursquare swarm badge when I got there and it was for over-18s only, so no kids running around – hurrah! Sack races, tug-of-war etc made for a bit of fun, and then of course there was the music.
It covered a far smaller area than Lovebox, but we saw Steve Mason, The Fall (Mark E Smith – totally mental case…not my kind of thing at all, but it amused The Man for a while), we went into one of the tents and saw Beth Jeans Houghton who was our surprise hit of the day – fantastic smoky country voice, with a great band including trumpet and violin / fiddle. Although I was really amused by the ultra camp fiddler *snort*, who did great backing vocals, and seemed to go from girlie ‘do-do-do-do’ to quite deep manly vocals
Back to the main stage, and we saw Lightspeed Champion who is always fun, and as wearing the shortest skimpiest shorts I have ever seen on a bloke. He kinda pulled it off too. Kinda.
Then was the amazing Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – 8 brothers from New York playing brass. Don’t sound very festivally? They’re amazing, and they really got the crowd going. I could’ve watched them for hours – the energy was fantastic. Watch the video from about 30secs to check them out
Then the ‘twilight session’ which is always my favourite at a festival, and this time was the amazing Caribou. As the sun was setting on a fantastic day, they played ‘Sun’ which I think is just abotu to be released as a single now, and was a perfect chilled out track that really captured the mood.
And the fabulous Frenchie boys Phoenix closed what had been an amazing day. Singing along to Lisztomania was a perfect end
They had another great idea at Field Day – they had ‘recycling points’ where you could hand in your empty cans and get 10p each back for them. Being a little on the skint side, we thought this was a great idea and managed to get at least a couple of cans free each by picking up empties as we walked around. We weren’t the only ones who had this idea, as when you looked around the site at the end of the day, there were hardly any cans on the ground anywhere – and that’s a first time I’ve ever seen that at a festival! They should do that more!