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Field Day's Poor Sound No Match For The Pixies

In its eighth year, Victoria Park’s Field Day continued its escalation to one of the capital’s cultural highlights – albeit with the same dogged sound issues that have affected previous years.

Field Day 2014 - Day 1Through muffled speakers, the now two-day event kicked off on the Saturday with a series of world-renowned bands and DJs across a range of stages. When moments of respite were needed, the popular Village Mentality arena was available, offering local ales, foods and the occasional tug-of-war. On the music front,
Jamie XX is swiftly becoming to Field Day what Billy Bragg is to Glastonbury, delivering appearances that are as frequent as they are underwhelming. Electronic music is difficult to do well in the middle of the day though it must be conceded, and following such a notion was the equally disappointing set from
Oneohtrix Point Never, who’s visuals never outshone that of the sunlight streaming into the Resident Advisor tent. The day’s highlight however was the ever-impressive
Jagwar Ma, who’s energetic hour on the Crack stage was an ideal warm up to the more polished, but slightly less exciting,
Metronomy. Headlining the Eat Your Own Ears stage, the four-piece entwined songs from their new album
Love Letters – including the brilliant title track – with older favourites; ‘The Bay’ drawing the best response ahead of Saturday night closer ‘You Could Easily Have Me’.
20140607202739-Jon-Hopkins-Ph-CFaruolo-1-518x345The glorious weather on Sunday drew an odd crowd from the Bethnal Green cracks, with younger weekend-ticketed attendees in dire need of sleep and Alka-Seltzer the stumbling contradiction to practically dressed older conservative rockers here solely for the evening’s main attraction. Ahead of this was a showcase of today’s best up-and-coming music, now taking place on a site that was slightly reduced from the day prior.
Drenge’s beautiful anarchy was the perfect counterpoint for
Pond’s experimental vibes, and in spite of
the Horrors and
Temples struggling with languid audiences courtesy of the main stage’s modest speakers and distance to the crowd (“what is this, a Mexican standoff?”), the British groups were able to put on impressive shows. There was nothing lackadaisical with the weekend’s standout performer however, with the hotly anticipated
Pixies putting on a spectacular show, as meticulous as it was sonically perfect. Without once interacting with the crowd during their two-hour set, Black Francis and co. utilised their wealth of experience in putting on one of Field Day’s standout sets since its creation back in 2007. The coup of having Pixies headline is a great omen for Field Days of the future, with the once modest festival now able to attract one of the biggest bands in the last three decades. An underlying issue with sound is in dire need of addressing though, and this should definitely be at the focus of the organisers.
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