Festival Previews: Andy P’s Five To Watch At Field Day 2009
Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, London E3, August 1st 2009
Following the past few weeks of incredible (and disconcertingly fine) weather us Londoners have been experiencing, Victoria Park in the heart of East London has blossomed into a haven for frisbee throwers and picnic eaters. As August begins, it will open its doors to everyone else for a day of top notch bands.
As festivals in the city go, Field Day pretty much has it down. There’ll be no queuing outside venues for hours a la Camden Crawl, and acknowledging the ubiquity of UK festivals and their inclination to pitch high before declaring themselves cancelled by the end of June (RIP Redfest, The Outsider, Wax:On Live), Field Day has delivered on both price and quality.
Top acts include a return for Mystery Jets and their shimmering psychedelic pop following their forced absence last year, and the much maligned but regenerated The Horrors. Their debut Strange House divided the floppy-fringed masses. Seemingly everyone had an opinion, but very few had actually heard the album. Their follow up, and first release on XL, Primary Colours, is garnering acclaim from all corners, while their live intensity and garage doom clatter will no doubt make for a thrilling affair.
Little Boots (pictured) and Santigold (formerly known as Santogold, courtesy of a typically pointless American lawsuit) are guaranteed to bring some disco glitz, while Fanfarlo and First Aid Kit will be praying for the sun to accentuate their captivating folk musings. Field Day has succeeded in curating a genuinely diverse and intriguing line up this year; not many can boast the bass-heavy Latin folk of Domino Records' Juana Molina and Glaswegian experimentalists Mogwai on the same bill. While it may not be the most renowned or glamorous of this summers festival options, the others will have to go some way to match the range and quality of acts on board.
Five To Watch at Field Day 2009:
Championing the DIY punk ethic spewing copiously out of California, Wavves produce a frenetically awkward, feedback drenched racket in the White Denim vein. They could well be the festival season’s major find.
Bloggers Delight Stage
2. The Big Pink
Tipped almost universally as one of the brightest new stars in the British music sky, The Big Pink bring their 80s indebted indie to Victoria Park with a hefty weight of expectation on their shoulders. It’s home territory for the duo though, and their sound is mighty big enough to match the occasion, so definitely one not to miss.
Delivering the sort of jerky electro akin to Hot Chip, Errors forsake lyrics for an incessant, often buoyant and never predictable beat, causing fellow Glaswegians Mogwai to hail their talents to all who’ll listen. An onstage link-up between the two acts is a definite maybe.
4. Micachu & The Shapes
Living in my fellow homeland Bow, Mica Levi and friends will make a short stroll to the festival to play songs from their recent debut Jewellery. Another act in the stripped back punk aesthetic, tracks such as Golden Phone and Calculator manage to pluck selectively from hip-hop, electro, blues and beyond to create something complex yet disarmingly simple. Captivating live, Micachu & the Shapes deserve the hype.
Adventures in the Beetroot Field Stage
5. Mumford & Sons
Of the London folk aristocracy which has spawned last year’s Field Day attendee Laura Marling, Noah and the Whale and Jay Jay Pistolet among others, Mumford & Sons harness an antiquated blues with contemporary pop twist, making them a festival treat in anyone’s book. Their songs achieve both a grandeur and subtlety which make them stand above their peers, and will undoubtedly delight.
Village Mentality Stage
words: Andy Porter
pictures (Little Boots, Mumford and Sons only): Kate Goodacre
Tickets for Field Day cost £29.50 (excluding booking fees). They are available from outlets including www.ticketweb.co.uk and www.seetickets.com. A full list of stockists is on the Field Day website. The gates will open at 11.30 on the day, and nearby Tube/DLR stations include Mile End, Bow Road, Bow Church, Stratford and Bethnal Green.