Review: Field Day

By chloeg Last edited 123 months ago
Review: Field Day

No, Field Day was not sunny. Nor were there enough toilets (again). Waiting in a queue for one hour to relieve yourself and thus missing an exemplary array of alternative muscial talent is not acceptable. Nor is it fun. I could pay £30 and use my own toilet, thank you very much. Now that we have got these negative points over and out, we shall move on. Maybe.

Because despite these faults, Field Day still manages to tower above London's other summer festivities in a myriad of ways, namely its killer line-up. Queues for bar? Absolutely fine. You could pick yourself up a delicious ale or cocktail from the Amersham Arms tent quicker than you can say 'f*** I need the toilet so much I think I'm going to ...' Atmosphere? Fantastic. As well as watching the music on offer, London's young and beautiful 20 somethings danced in the dry haven of the Blogger Tent, rolled around in hay bales, splatted rats and indulged in games of boules until the cows came home. Though some of them did look a little remorseful that their cost/benefit analysis of fashion vs staying dry turned out to be so flawed.

And now - because we're saving the best until last, and we're not thinking about the toilets anymore - what of the music? A bill that offered Les Savy Favs, Of Montreal, Laura Marling, Lightspeed Champion, Jeffrey Lewis, Simian Mobile Disco and Foals was never going to disappoint, was it - unless they'd all stayed at home, we suppose. Or they'd all got stuck in the queue for the toilets. Or the line-up was a cruel joke and The Hoosiers were really playing.

Londonist first caught 18 year-old Laura Marling on a sodden Converse/EYOE stage. Her nu-folk is best seen in a small venue, probably just with her guitar and with candles lighting the room, but there is no taking away from the fact that she has a voice that could strip the leaves off the trees in its intensity. She might have wandered over to see her hero Jeffrey Lewis after her set, who impressed the crowd at the Homefires Tent with his talky anti-folk . He sang and shyly held up his beautifully drawn comics, a mix of precocious talent and endearing social awkwardness. Meanwhile Of Montreal, pure effeminate sex and makeup-heavy, dragged those at the Converse/EYOE stage into a weird world of perfectly executed pop. Lightspeed Champion was a delight as ever, blending pop and alt-country and trademark furry headgear, and pretty-boy headliners Foals math-rocked out, all dense guitar drones and electro shrieks. The highlight couldn't fail to be Les Savy Favs - Tim Harrington in his pants as usual, trashing the stage and jumping into the crowd, pounding out post-grunge rock in a way that all live bands should make you feel - that you're alive, and intensely so.

Field Day is important, because it is crafted by people who love music and want to put on an event that brings amazing and talented bands to London. They do need to sort out their logistical problems, because they ruin an otherwise flawlessly-curated event. Go next year, but keep the cider on hold - you'll need to go to the loo (it happens), and you could be there a while.

Last Updated 10 August 2008