Thursday, 12 June 2014

Festival Preview: Field Day 2014 (BidoLito!)

Field Day is a cool festival. It’s one of those festivals that you’ve never been to, but your mates who are much, much cooler than you have. Whenever you hear them talking about it in January and they ask if you’re up for it, you say yes, definitely, feigning excitement because you know that, when the time comes to buying tickets, you’ll be able to pretend you’re busy doing something infinitely less cool than going to Field Day Festival.

The one and a half day event takes place in Victoria Park in Hackney. There is no overnight camping, which is pretty much a given when you imagine how well ten thousand young people, on twenty thousand different variations of class a drugs, staying in a park in East London would go down with the council. And Field Day isn’t just a cool festival because those Fashion Hunters from the Topman blog take pictures there. No, it’s cool because of the absolutely eye-watering line up they’ve managed to put together. I mean, if you can scroll all the way down the lineup without releasing out some sort of audible squeal then you should be applying for The Marines. DANIEL AVERY will be a must after his of-the-year good 2013 debut Drone Logic, and if you can bring yourself to listen to trap music in the afternoon on a Saturday, which I don’t think has ever been done since records began, head over to Ellesmere Port’s finest son EVIAN CHRIST’s DJ set. ‘Can U Dance’, the new live collaboration between Numbers boss JACKMASTER and Standard Place curator ONEMAN will certainly live up to its name, with neither DJ’s shying away from the concept of ‘bangers’ in their DJ sets. Canadian producer RYAN HEMSWORTH’s recordings flirt with hip-hop and UK Garage, but his sets are an altogether different kind of beast, as he whips his favorite hip-hop and trap tunes into some kind of fucked up electronic music tornado to the point where you won’t know what the you’re listening to, but for some horrible, unbeknown reason, you can’t stop your fingers turning into the shape of a gun. And not many people can claim to have danced to SOPHIE - the Glaswegian producer responsible for the astonishing single Bipp last year - so you’d be a fool to miss that one. For those more partial to chin stroking than fist pumping, don’t miss ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER, who’s 2013 masterpiece R Plus Seven will be deconstructed during his performance early Saturday evening.

If you’re looking to avoid tinnitus or you know, severe arthritis in your later years, SKY FERREIRA and BLOOD ORANGE will provide perfect respite from the barrage of kick drums and baselines, whilst Melbourne’s COURTNEY BARNETT and her deadpan, disinterested drawl will provide one of the most earnest performances of the weekend (if you need anymore convincing stick on Avant Gardener and thank me later for your new favorite tune). Liverpool’s ALL WE ARE will go down nicely with that first beer of the day, and it will be intriguing to see what the guys have been working on since signing to Domino earlier this year.

And of course, there’s TODD TERJE. If you’ve been to a party in the last two years without hearing Inspector Norse, then you need to reassess the kind of people you’ve chosen to socialise with. Add that to the likes of Delorean Dynamite and Strandbar, both taken from his breathless debut LP It’s Album Time, you will need an industrial strength vice to unlock your jaw from that smile by the end of his performance.

What’s most impressive about the line up though, and about how Field Day presents itself in general, is that it straddles electronic, guitar and pop music absolutely seamlessly. It has one of the richest arrays of DJs and producers in the UK, but you wouldn’t call it an electronic music festival in the same way you would say Gottwood, or Creamfields. And similarly, some of the best and most sought after guitar and pop acts this year are making rare appearances, yet you’d never suggest it is anything near a mainstream festival. I could write about the lineup for another three thousand words (I’ve not even mentioned the Sunday, which sees THE PIXIES, FUTURE ISLANDS and DRENGE attempt to nurse ten thousand hangovers), and I’m sure once the schedule is announced I’ll be crying into a clashes inspired suicide note. And now in its eight consecutive year, you won’t find a more clinical and better-organised festival in the UK all season. The festival ends at eleven on the Saturday, but don’t worry, there are after parties in pretty much every corner of London to guide you slowly towards insanity as morning threatens to arrive.

Mike Townsend


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