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Field Day Festival Brings London To Life Once Again (Part 1)



Field Day is a festival in Victoria Park London, boasting the likes of Metronomy, SBTRKT, The Vaccines and Jamie XX amongst previous acts. This year, the two day festival was headlined by Caribou, Ride and Patti Smith, but in terms of the line-up, this was just the tip of the iceberg. The depth of the line-up was astounding, acts that may be headlining other similarly sized festivals slotted into various stages during the day resulting in a consistently exciting atmosphere.



Saturday…


Mumdance


The Brighton born DJ and producer is signed to XL Records, hooking up with Novelist early in the year for a highly acclaimed EP. He was placed on the iD Mix stage for an early Saturday afternoon set where he played an exciting and eclectic mix of grime/garage/ and electronic beats. It was a set worthy of a huge audience and arguably a later slot on a bigger stage, can’t wait to see this guy again.


The highlight: Dropping “Take Time”, his collaborative track with Novelist.


The lowlight: No fault of his own, would’ve liked to have seen the set later in one of the bigger tents.


3 word conclusion: Go see him!


RatKing


Hip-Hop trio hailing from New York, also signed to XL and have already been making some waves in the genre. This was one of the sets I was anticipating the most going into the weekend. Their music has energy, much down to Sporting Life’s beats, Wiki and Hak have great flow, and altogether decent lyrics, but (and this pains me to say it) I just wasn’t feeling their set. I wanted the energy from their tracks to translate into the set and it just didn’t for me, and the only time I felt it was starting to pick up a bit of energy and momentum the set was finished.


The highlight: The last two minutes of the set represented, what I so desperately wanted to see consistently throughout the set.


The lowlight: Their flow was on point for most of the set, they just didn’t generate the excitement I’d expected.


3 word conclusion: So desperately disappointing.


Shura


Singer/Songwriter/Producer Shura was this year featured on the “BBC Sound of Poll” and has had a fair amount of hype surrounding her music since she dropped her self-produced and directed track/music video “Touch” in March 2014, which to date has over 12 million views on YouTube. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from her set but was quite pleasantly surprised by the intimacy and emotion behind the majority of her 35 minute performance. Some songs certainly felt more engaging than others, but if she can continue to emulate the vibes from tracks like Touch, we may be seeing an awful lot more of Shura in the future.


The highlight: I’d be lying if I said it was anything other than Touch. You can’t take anything away from it, it’s a great track and set conveyed the raw emotion behind it brilliantly.


The lowlight: Difficult to pick an individual one but some of the lesser known tracks did seem a little lost on the crowd.


Three word summary: Pretty decent set.


Run the Jewels


After dropping what was in my opinion already one of the stand out albums of 2015 (Run The Jewels 2), I was expecting huge things from this live set and. they. delivered. Run The Jewels is a hip-hop duo made up of previously frequent collaborators Killer Mike and El-P, before they decided to “make it official” with their first full length self-titled project together. Almost unbelievably, in their live set, they managed to match the energy from their album, as well as keeping the consistency and momentum that made it such a formidable project in the first place. Some serious sleep deprivation and Killer Mike’s broken shoulder didn’t stop them from delivering one of the stand out performances of the weekend.


The highlight: There’s just so many, the crowd, the energy, the tracks, El P almost joining the crowd at one point. I just can’t pick one.


The lowlight: Totally non-existent.


Three word summary: A sensational set.


Sylvan Esso


Given a tough slot headlining the Shacklewell Arms at the same time Hudson Mohawke and Caribou were headlining the Resident Advisor and Eat Your Own Ears (Main Stage) respectively, but seriously smashed it! With a solid, powerful debut album under their belt, their material throughout the whole set was on point, perfectly in sync with one another and delivering the full hour without missing a beat. Their energy was big enough to match that of Run the Jewels and the silhouette effect, mixed with Amelia Meath’s stunning vocals was enchanting. The new material sounded great, and the songs from their first album translated flawlessly. The crowd stuck around demanding more for a good ten minutes after their final song, but with Sylvan Esso literally out of material to play the fans had to settle for what they’d already witnessed, an immaculate performance.


The highlight: Again it’s difficult to pick one, at a push maybe “Hey Mami”.


The lowlight: No encore that the audience were so desperate for. Still I can hardly say this cast a downer on the set.


Three word summary: Maybe the best?


For part 2 of the review click here.


Words and video by Thomas Schofield


To find out more about Field Day click here.


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