Field Day Festival 2014 Is a Gloriously Sunny Success
‘What’s that big yellow thing in the sky?’ asks Nick ’’Paisley Adams’’ Allbrook the singer of Aussie psych-rockers Pond as he approaches the microphone, with a heavy dose of sun-cream on his face, on the second day of the Field Day Festival - the first time in its 7 year history that the festival has expanded into a 2 day event, as if it’s the first time he’s seen it - at least in this country.
The Horrors @ Field Day Festival 2014, London Victoria Park, Sunday June 8th The big yellow thing is the sun - as in the star in the sky not the so called tabloid of the same name - which seems to be a rarity in this country, not least during the festival period. But luckily and happily for Field Day Festival and its, by now, sun burnt, but otherwise very happy and friendly punters, its been gloriously sunny on both days (the Saturday was supposed to be thunderstorms and be a bit of a washout which luckily didn’t happen). Another great thing about Field Day Festival is that it always seems to have an intriguing line up, with particular focus on lesser known or new acts, - which people can check out without having to stray too far from there homes, for people that live in London at least. And this years line up is no exception. Although £5 a pint or for a bottle of cider is a little eye watering to say the least, is the only slight drawback of the whole weekend. But this year there’s at least 3 bands that could potentially be future headliners of festivals, and not just this one. Not counting Pixies, who gather a very very enthusiastic crowd on Sunday night who have been waiting all weekend, and ‘Monkeys Gone To Heaven‘ sounds just as great as it did down the local rock club night, and Metronomy who put on a multi coloured extravaganza of a show, which could easily rival The Flaming Lips walking in a massive balloon on the heads of the audience show, on the Saturday. But its 3 bands a little further down the exciting and eclectic bill that could be potential future headliners. There’s Jagwar Ma who draw in a massive crowd in the ‘Crack Magazine’ tent on the Saturday to play a wigged out and dance crazy show (basically I’m trying to avoid describing them as Indietronica because there’s more to them than that) which with their spinning music and Gabriel Winterfield bending from side to side like there’s no tomorrow around the stage feels like its going to turn the audience into a whirling dervish where we will be spinning forever, as they pelt through their debut album ‘Howlin‘. There’s a riotous feel to early Klaxons to some of their music but its more widescreen and epic despite the velocity and at times ferocity of it. Jagwar Ma offer us a dose of future loved up pop and its very hard to resist. Then there’s Drenge on the Sunday, who could possibly be the bleeding nose rock version of Jagwar Ma, as there self titled debut album offers us joyous rock moments with the word MOSH written all over them, particularly the anthem that is ‘Bloodsports’, which is enough to rival Queens of The Stone Age. The very lovely chemistry between the 2 brothers is hard to resist and adds an extra dimension to their show and their music - future headliners of Download? Watch this space! Then there’s The Horrors which possibly if it weren’t for the Pixies on the Sunday, they would and should already be headlining this festival not least because they’ve played here pretty much every year and also because no other band can touch them at the moment. Indeed halfway through their set their singer Faris Rotter, arguably the coolest - as well as polite - front man of the moment, says ‘Thanks for coming to watch us, although to be fair there isn’t much competition at the moment’, which he was probably referring to their being no other band on in the rest of the festival at that point, but he could also be stating that they’re the best band by miles at the moment. Not least because of their new album ’Luminous’ which has taken their rock, dancey, and psychedelic element that they’ve been melding into their own shape for the past 5 or so years to a new level, and they played a good chunk of it at the festival which goes down a storm not least the masterful ’I See You.’ But its their older material that gets the biggest response the snaking brilliance of ’Sea Within A Sea’ still has a haunting charm despite the warm weather. And ’Still Life’ is basically this century’s answer to ’Live Forever’, and ’Bitter Sweet Symphony’, the crowd sings a long to every word and the spaced out rhythm works it slow but magnificent magic. They close with ’Moving Further Away’ which is the bands way of leaving a marker saying we want to headline Glastonbury next year. Other acts throughout the eclectic weekend worth mentioning, are the brilliant Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 who plays early on Saturday afternoon and shows the rest of the artists how its done.
Nguzunguzu @ Field Day Festival 2014, Sunday June 8th But the highlight of the weekend is Nguzunguzu, who as it turns out are a duo, and they take it in turns to play some hard body shaking beats which gets everybody dancing and freaking out. They’re mesmerisingly brilliant, and somewhat of the beaten path which I suppose sums up Field Day Festival as a whole.