Shit just got real. With less than a week to go before London’s Field Day opens it’s doors, you’d better have a ticket or be purchasing one at pace. Not only are organisers Eat Your Own Years stretching their legs to two days this year, but are also providing a festival seeping wonder from its pores. And Christ, It’s reachable by tube.
With The Quietus presenting acts on the Main Stage this year, you’d be forgiven for parking there all day. However, Saturday features an abundance of shit kicking music, from the likes of Sky Ferreira, Warpaint, SBTRKT, Evian Christ, James Holden, Dan Avery and Eclair Fifi. Sean Lennon’s darling malefactors Fat White Family and East India Youth reinforce the line up along with the somewhat wiser Seun Kuti, Neneh Cherry and Thurston Moore. There’s also the small matter of Metronomy’s offbeat electronic headline set. Sunday’s slightly smaller festival provides the eminent headlining performance from the Pixies, albeit minus Kim Deal. FutureIslands will no doubt draw a crowd given their deserved recent success and The Horrors assured transcendence will be a guaranteed highlight of the festival.
Alongside Drenge, Childhood and Noel Gallagher favourite Temples; Brighton band The Wytches, who are continuing to scratch their way into festival goer consciousness, will transport their Bill Ryder-Jones produced brooding surf rock up from the seaside. For me however, despite the copious amount of new and exciting bands to see, the Pixies headline slot is an early Christmas present. One of the most important bands in history – birthing the alternative rock scene of the 90’s and influencing Nirvana, Radiohead and The Strokes – if they’re not already in your iPod, they’re probably responsible for a bulk of what is.
Aside from the full metal jacket of music available, Field Day’s Village Mentality runs in the daytime from 1-5pm and it’s the bunting strewn, straw bale-filled heart of Field Day. For 2014 they’re offering a wry mix of old favourite and new classic team games and DIY-style side stalls, and my god… A COMPETITIVE EATING CONTEST. Shit just got real. Pass me my goddamn elastic jeans. If you can prize yourself away from the disgustingly good music, you’ll find the kind of village merriment available at Glastonbury.
London’s pioneering night street food market Street Feast will bring together London’s best street food traders, chefs and restaurants for a quite unique eating experience in the heart of the Village Mentality area at Field Day. Hotbox’s 9 hour slow smoked beef ribs and spicy pulled pork naans is all that needs to be said on that really. Though, the thought of ribs and the Pixies has already got me aroused.
That’s not to mention the presence of the London Brewer’s Market (at the centre of Street Feast) who’ll be conjuring ale sourced from the nearby springs of London… kind of. Meantime Brewery however, will be dragging along their 2013 creation ‘the Beer Tank’, a mobile events vehicle able to deliver Brewery Fresh lager to events and festivals. This is the world I want to live in.
Field Day’s ‘never mind the bullshit’ mentality is its attractive feature. Void of the increasing festival clichés, I’m hoping Field Day gives me a return of faith in field based festivals. With the ever growing commercialism of festivals taking over, crap has been cut – and this is a festival for music fans. Much like The Great Escape, you’ll find an overwhelming array of young bands and seasoned artists, and there is an overriding maturity about the festival. Yeah, we’ll drink, make merry and be silly – but it’s a refreshing break from the somewhat soulless generic festival culture that’s been slyly creeping into our landscape.
That being said, you’ll find dirt beneath the hay. Fat White’s family’s notorious raucous behaviour [which found them banned from Somerset House before they were even due to support Franz Ferdinand] should juxtapose the bunting and straw bales nicely. This is essentially what’s great about Field Day – wholesome village merriment alongside its wild-eyed temperament. Field Day are also putting on pre and post festival parties. You’ll find further information on the pre parties taking place throughout the week on the webpage, and if you need something to fill the void between Saturday and Sunday, I recommend you join me at Fat White Family’s [free] gig at the Shacklewell Arms. Taking place shortly after Metronomy’s headline set, Fat White Family’s apparent lack of concern for morals and safety, will offer you a gig to remember… but just expect a beating from their grotty psychedelia.
Despite Field Day’s growth into a two event, the festival appears to have kept its credibility and intimacy intact, and they’ve provided a line-up of huge intrigue. Whilst there are names familiar to most, even the most discerning music fan may find they struggle to tackle the lower ranks of the line-up.
For exclusive interviews on the acts playing at the weekend, it’s worthwhile visiting the Field Day Radio web page where you’ll find a wealth of exclusive interviews with some of the acts playing at the festival.
There is no box unchecked. It’s fucking ridiculous. Pre and post-parties, merriment, food, drink and above all else, great music. See you there.
For more information and tickets visit festivalmag.com/festivals/field-day.
Photo: Carolina Faruolo