Festival review: Field Day, Victoria Park, London

4.00

 

After seven years, east London’s trendiest music event appears to have finally got to grips with festival site logistics. There are significantly more bars, toilets and refreshment stands, and the stages seem to be located according to genre; meaning fewer cross-site dashes to catch complementary acts.

All this, not to mention that rarest of treats - a brilliant blue sky and blazing sunshine -gives Field Day the kind sanguine atmosphere that has arguably been missing during its initial dark and dubstep-heavy years.

Perfectly capturing that newly invigorated mood are Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited; a wonderful Zimbabwean collective who, against all odds, drag the usually stony-faced hipster crowd onto their feet for a gleeful mid-afternoon dance; their political Chimurenga music packed with strong African rhythms and charming vocal melodies.

Somewhat more in-keeping with Field Day’s darker, more provocative side are Savages, whose explosive anarcho-punk draws one of day’s largest crowds.

Frontwoman Jehnny Beth is one of the more powerful vocalists in the resurgent London indie scene, and she drives her band and audience forward with fist thrusts and frayed vocals chords. A lack of really striking choruses – the excellent "Husbands" aside – is the only thing that lets the band down.

The same could be said of Solange who, as Beyoncé's younger, cooler sister, was always going to draw a large, mostly curious crowd. Incredibly stylish, with a pleasant enough sound, her songs do feel slightly devoid of substance when the baggage surrounding them is removed.

That is certainly not the case with Kurt Vile, however. Performing his critically acclaimed new album Wakin on a Pretty Daze almost in full, Vile summons the spirit of early 70s Bob Dylan through his beautifully-structured psychedelic folk.

Four Tet emerge as the ideal soundtrack to the day’s beautiful sunset, with Kieran Hebden’s initially jazzy set growing darker and more sinister with the sky. The huge crowd to watch the DJ perform are testament to his innovation and staying power, as elsewhere post-dubstep artists draw little attention.

After a day of largely crowd-pleasing acts, it’s left to Animal Collective to introduce a little impenetrability. Perhaps it was the drop in temperature as darkness fell, or it may have been rumours of huge delays at nearby Tube stations, but by the time the Baltimore-band were mid-set, the crowd had dwindled to around half the number Four Tet performed to.

Those who stayed were treated to a brilliant career-spanning set, but in being there to watch the band finish, you couldn't help but feeling like the slightly awkward last guest after a really great party.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Thomas carried Lady Edith over the flames in her bedroom in Downton Abbey series five

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, seated next to a picture of his missing wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene

Friends 20th anniversary
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham

books
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey

There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

    Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

    ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
    Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

    Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

    Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
    'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
    BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

    BBC Television Centre

    A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
    Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

    My George!

    Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
    10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world