All yer favourite indie bands play all the hits.
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We’ve always been curious about Field Day, but this year’s line up was so packed with bands we liked or wanted to check out that we pulled our fingers out and went. It was the general consensus of everyone we met, and even the regulars said this years event was packed, feeling like a big indie hipster village fete but with amazing bands instead of ropey tribute acts.
Arriving amid grey clouds, they soon lifted and we pottered around trying to work out all the stages, catching a bit of Eat Everything, Crocodiles and the massively popular Blood Orange. There was a tug of war contest and all your usual festival food fare. The first band we got to see a whole set of was Summer Camp, who we’ve adored for their song Better Off Without You. They’re really fun live, and cringey banter aside (Blah blah blah LEMSIP CHAT blah, then Girl: “I think you’re a lemon” Boy: *dignified silence*) are well worth a look, if only for their dancier songs in among the twee indie. Oh, and the brilliant video cut ups.
We’d be lying if we said we saw Grimes (pictured), because we could barely get within an audible distance. It felt like 60% of Field Day attendees were trying to cram into one tent and we peered and we tiptoed to make out what the fuss was about. It was energetic, and as brilliant as her album, despite the fact you got the feeling she could defecate on stage and some drunk hipsters* would cheer her along.
Her time on stage was a mere five or so songs long, and having dished out Oblivion as the third song (some people left after that, the fools) we could’ve done with a few more. We caught a glimpse of some latex mask wearing feathered dancer, but equally we could have imagined that.
Then we saw Sleigh Bells, who did all the big songs off their first album. They’re a stonking metal band, if you switched in a feminine heading banging female lead singer and replaced the drummer with a RnB programmed drum machine. The results are incredible and so much more listenable than that sounds. The live show is as good as their records, though the familiarity of the older material left the new tracks feel a little weaker, but they kept them to a minimum, knowing how to treat a festival crowd.
Chairlift were a pleasant surprise, and sounded like Marina fronting an 80s soft rock band. It was lovely, and they saved THE HIT until last, as most acts did. Throughtout the day we often took refuge from the sun/rain in the Bleed tent, where they played a whole bunch experimental eletronica, which had the feeling of being late at night on a boulevard in Barcelona, which it clearly wasn’t….
As dusk started to fall Beriut did a fine job of serenading in the rain, with their brass-n-trumpet laden indie pop. Light, fluffy and easy to pull a salsa shuffle to, it ushered in the final stages of the festival perfectly. We scampered to the Shacklewell Arms stage on time (which had been an almost exclusively all boys club until now) but due to technical fuckery, Austra came on stage late and left us after a mere four songs. Their operatic vocals and electronic goth pop are absolutely divine, as their immaculate Feel It Break debut attests to, and they only had time to do the two singles and two atmospheric album tracks.
We wandered off tired and happy in search of a bus, snatching a listen to Mazzy Star (still going, who knew?) and the sound of Franz Ferdinand carrying us on our way. If you hadn’t gathered, this years Field Day had one of the best festival line ups we’ve seen this year. And now, we’re going to end on A HIT:
*yes, the place was crawling with hipsters, but much like homophobes it’s always the ones shouting loudly about how terrible hipsters are that are actual hipsters. Like the TOTAL HIPSTERS we overheard in the queue moaning about how many hipsters there were. And ourselves.