Field Day 2012
Field Day 2012
added: 5 Jun 2012
// gig date: 2 Jun 2012
reviewer: Russell Cook
At its East-London spiritual home of Victoria Park, Field Day
has amassed a reputation for delivering fresh and cutting-edge music for a number of years now. With each passing year it embeds itself deeper into the bedrock of the UK festival circuit, and has established a genuine rapport with East London hipsters, musicians, celebrities, and festival revellers alike.
In its sixth official year since inception, those behind the event have presented a line-up that rivals that of previous years, and with a turnout of around 20,000, the event has all the makings of a real party.
As a first time attendee it is easy to see why Field Day has grown in such seismic proportions during its short life so far. With East London promoters, Eat Your Own Ears
working alongside the likes of BuggedOut!
, and Bloggers Delight
the event has the backing of some of London’s finest eyes and ears for up and coming talent.
Starting off with Revere
in the ‘Village Mentality’ tent, revellers are immediately treated to a taste of what the day has in store. The seven-piece band from London delivers its brand of anthemic, gypsy-infused, cinematic rock to an audience lapping up every note. A short trip across to the ‘Lanzarote’ stage to catch Brooklyn five-piece Friends
means a real leap in terms of musical style and tone. Initially, Friends’ sound reminds us a little of Neneh Cherry’s “Buffalo Stance”, or Chakha Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody”, and that is great, but it isn’t enough to steal the day.
In search of something a little different we head to the massive ‘Eat Your Own Ears’ stage to see Australian riffers, Pond
, who start off really well, wasting no time letting the crowd know exactly what they are about, but unfortunately, the initial excitement and energy seems to dwindle and its time for something else. At the ‘Laneway’ stage there is real anticipation as Errors
come to the stage. Their loyal fans seem to be relying on the Scottish three-piece to really kick things off, and they do not fail to deliver. Errors’ set is full of hooks, and instrumentation interesting enough to keep the audience until the dying embers of their set. They have been the best band of the day so far.
For a complete change in tone, it’s a trip to the ‘Red Bull’ stage to catch the Carl Sagan, Stars of the Lid-esque, Blanck Mass
. The sonic variation offered by Blanck Mass, and its juxtaposition of earthy rumblings and syncopated rhythms encapsulates the audience, and seems to have brought with it some much-needed sun. Next up is Liars
on the ‘Eat Your Own Ears stage’. They do very little to build upon what was becoming a really exciting and interesting afternoon. But, we wait it out in hope of something special from Andrew Bird
who is up next.
Bird’s infamous whistling, fiddle-playing and dreamy vocals are the perfect response to this brief flirtation with summer, and with 6 albums of material behind him, he plays song after wonderfully crafted folk song. Over at the ‘Lanzarote’ stage again is Copenhagen four-piece When Saints Go Machine
, who in typical fashion deliver a set infused with heartbreakingly fragile vocals and coolly interwoven synth parts that feel like a warm fire amidst a bleak and sparse, cold landscape. The audience responds really positively.
Coming to the end of a fantastic day, a trip to catch another Brooklyn outfit, Sleigh Bells
is arguably a must; ladies and gentleman, I think we’ve found a winner. What a set. It is a powerhouse of riffs, shrill and angst-ridden vocals, and a flood of nasty and noisy programmed beats. From start to finish the duo, comprised of Derek Miller on guitar, formerly of Poison the Well, and Alexis Krauss on vocals, pound out a set bursting with energy and intensity, successfully livening up a somewhat festival-weary audience who are in need of some serious resuscitation. Sleigh Bells’ blend of 80’s metal riffage and brash vocals can only be described as viscous, and is just a real breath of fresh air, making it impossible not to move as a result.
As a finishing touch to the festival, Field Day has added arguably one of the most commercial acts to have ever been on one of its line-up’s, in the shape of Franz Ferdinand
. However, the lads from Scotland have proven over the years an ability to transcend scenes, and there is a genuine excitement about their inclusion on the bill. There is a big problem though: the rain is here, and it is here in a big way. Unfortunately, the Franz’s set doesn’t do enough to make us want to endure the downpour so we head to catch the remainder of Modeselektor
’s set, and as a result round off a fantastic day that has celebrated diversity in music, food, people, and of course, the weather.
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