Opening summer festival season in style, London’s most diverse festival festival, Field Day, returns to Victoria Park in East London this weekend.
One of this year’s headliners, Canadian electronic maverick Caribou, is sure to be bringing a blistering trademark audio-visual assault to match his sweet electro-tinged grooves. Another main act are reformed shoegaze legends Ride, who put Oxford on the guitar map when Radiohead were still just a twinkle in Thom Yorke‘s eye.
But headliners are just tip of the gigantic musical iceberg. As you might expect, there is a plethora of the hotly-tipped and devoutly followed indie acts around, from the kooky charm offensive of Liverpudlians Stealing Sheep to Django Django and Savages.
Both days also feature many of the acts GIITTV have been praising to the hilt of late. FKA Twigs‘ live show has seen her headline venues as illustrious as The Roundhouse, building on the critical and commercial success of her widely lauded (and minimally titled) debut album LP1. Imagine an unsettling blend of vocals reminiscent of Kate Bush and an exotic, sultry take on Massive Attack‘s slow motion breakbeat nightmares and you might start getting close to the enigma of FKA Twigs.
At the other end of the energy spectrum, US punks Ex-Hex should up the tempo with oodles of three-chord, three- minute garage rock pop charm executed with a don’t-give-a-shit snarl. Expect a sprint through some of the highlights of last year’s Rips LP, as the three piece set about making Green Daysound like one of Radiohead’s more pensive b-sides. The scratchy, wonderfully irritable sounds of Canada’s Viet Cong make for an altogether edgier experience. Or, if you’re in search of something a little more wry and humorous, the downbeat but uplifting sensibilities of Matthew E White might do the trick, combining an earthy folkiness and caustic lyrical wit with knowing nods to the sweet simplicity of original rock ‘n’ roll. As one his best known songs has it, ‘Rock and Roll Is Cold’; but his set will probably be one of the more heartwarming treats of Field Day.
There’s also a serious contingent of psyche to this year’s festival line up, for those looking to drift off to dimensions further flung than the portaloos and burrito stalls. Especially recommended by the GIITTV staff are Hookworms, whose trance-like guitar workouts boast echoes of Spacemen 3 or even veteran space rockers Hawkwind, with more than a dose of Krautrock minimalism. A trait they share with the equally lauded Telegram, whose Matt Wood actually spent 18 months working at Faust‘s HQ in Germany before forming the Anglo-Welsh outfit. And if that all sounds a bit fierce, then the more leisurely and serene sounds of Errors could be the remedy. A self-styled “post-electro” band from Glasgow, Scotland, they’re signed to Rock Action Records, the label founded and managed by the band Mogwai; and they clearly share a certain distinctive gliding sonic sparkle with their label bosses (as well as a love of referencing rave in their titles – ‘How Clean Is Your Acid House?’ being one). With a fresh album – their fifth – called Lease of Life emerging recently, the three piece will be showing why they’re one of the most celebrated new live acts around this weekend.
There’s an equally impressive array of dance music too, with all areas covered from techno purist wet dream Andrew Weatherall to UK bass exponents Murkage and DJ Barely Legal, a DJ set from band of the moment Jungle and new kid on the genre block PC Music represented by QT behind the decks.
All that, and the weather forecasters predicting it to be the first properly blazing weekend of the summer!
For full line up and ticket details visit the festival site.
God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.