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Field Day 2014 |London| Live Review

HTF headed down to this years Field Day festival in London! Read our thoughts here

Source: Shyam Rajdev

Field Day is a two day event which brings together the London’s indie/alternative scene including promoters such as Eat Your Own Ears, Bugged Out!, Bleed and Lanzarote to create a weekend full of music, dancing, games, and loads of food. All this and more is set in London’s Victoria Park, with multiple music stages and fete activities even including a sack race, tug of war and an egg and spoon race. HTF headed down to check out some of the incredible artists appearing this at this year event.

Here are some of our highlights…

Source: Shyam Rajdev

Louis Baker -4/5

New Zealand based singer/songwriter Louis Baker is definitely one of those promising new acts that everyone should definitely be aware of. Despite the room not nearly being as filled as it should be, the ones who were there seemed like dedicated fans, and why wouldn’t they be? He has an incredible voice and definitely puts on a performance.

Baker gives you this soothing, sort of a rich, motown-era, soul voice which was something which kept passers-by wanting to see where this sound was coming from. Baker sings about love, loss and life in general, no matter which direction the songs take you, he manages to keep it entertaining. The closest comparison we can give you, is a mixture of John Mayer and Jeff Buckley combined, but it isn’t fair to compare Baker to anyone, he still carries a certain uniqueness about him. It’s soulful.

Shyam Rajdev

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Source: Shyam Rajdev

Warpaint – 3/5

Warpaint wowed the Field Day crowds back in 2011 and decided to come back for more. Their set was brilliant and was largely filled by tracks from their self-titled second album. The single “Love Is To Die” has been a massive hit this year and that was very clear from the crowd’s reaction when the song first came on.

Warpaint drew a massive crowd to the main stage and even performed a cover of David Bowie’s “Ashes To Ashes”, of which they recorded an ace cover for Bowie tribute compilation ‘We Were So Turned On’. Everything about their set was on point, and if you think their recorded voices are captivating you should definitely hear them live. By the final track “Elephants” everyone was still as into it as they were when the girls walked on stage. It certainly has been exciting seeing the band come this far with their experimental sound, and it will be interesting where the future takes them.

Shyam Rajdev

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Source: Shyam Rajdev

Pawws – 5/5

London’s very own Lucy Taylor, also known as Pawws, may be slightly unfamiliar to most people but she’s already worked with Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke and MGMT on their ‘Electric Feel’ track. As a solo electronic-pop artist she certainly has a lot more going for her. Taylor has this cute, almost angelic voice which will grab you and certainly hold you captive until the very end.

Her Field Day performance was one of her first festival experiences, and she certainly handled it well. Taylor played one of the first gigs on the Saturday afternoon and she certainly drew a crowd. Oh and we mustn’t forget to mention she played both the keyboard and flute, so elegantly, during her set. Each song she performed held a certain sincerity, you could tell each track with its lyrics had been created with care and precision. Pawws is definitely going to be an artist to keep an eye on this year.

Shyam Rajdev

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Source: Shyam Rajdev

Temples – 4/5

Temples carry a sound which sounds like it came straight out of the 60s, and they do it flawlessly. With the sun shining, the band took to the stage and drew a very excited crowd. Playing tracks from their album, funnily enough named ‘Sun Structures’ certainly was a perfect fit for the perfect weather. We’re not quite sure how they manage to sound so modern whilst also bringing along that feeling of nostalgia. Their full set was really well orchestrated, and by the look on people’s faces, they were completely engulfed in a band truly ahead of their time. They’ve already been support acts for the like of Kasabian and the Rolling Stones, to name a few, and if you think ‘Sun Structures’ was an impressive debut, you should seriously consider seeing them live.

Shyam Rajdev

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Source: Shyam Rajdev

Drenge – 4.5/5

Following last year’s outstanding debut album and a whole load of hype surrounding the Loveless Brothers’ live energy, one of the largest crowds of the weekend swarmed the Shacklewell Arms tent on the sunday of Field Day. Opening with their hit ‘Face Like A Skull’, Drenge didn’t take long to throw the crowd into mosh – Rory’s exhilerating guitar riffs getting the crowd going before Eoin’s ferocious drumming had even kicked in. Running straight into Gun Crazy , the teasing guitar intro slowly built up before once again meeting that beefy drumming; this formula proving a sure-fire method of causing pandemonium for the full set, which spanned the entirety of their album.

Coming just at the right time, with fatigue seemingly hitting even the most well-seasoned moshers, Drenge slowed things down a bit; with the placid ‘Fuckabout‘; this without doubt their most sing-along-friendly song to date. Having afforded the Field Day crowd a well-earned rest, Drenge flicked the switch again; breaking into their relentlessly intoxicating ‘Bloodsports‘, Rory once again leaping about the stage whilst thrashing those stimulating guitar licks. Coming to the end of their set, Drenge once again lessened the pace; unleashing their 8-minute-long ‘Let’s Pretend’ – a song which whilst matching the intensity of the previous songs in terms of emotion, switched that emotion from pure unbridled attitude to a more poignianct, sorrowful tone – a fitting end to one of the most exciting sets of the weekend.

Bart Williams

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Source: Official Facebook / Tajette O’Halloran Photography

Courtney Barnett – 3.5/5

Through the release of her double-EP ‘A Sea Of Split Peas’, Courtney Barnett’s bagged herself slots at many of the UK’s largest festivals this year, the Australian singer-songwriter a firm favourite with many; her brilliant slacker lyricism surely speaking deeply to the youth of today. Taking to the stage in a manner perfectly synonymous with the identity of her music, Courtney wore a baggy t-shirt and nonchanantly slung her telecaster over her shoulder; easing straight into the set with ‘Anonymous Club’, which whilst being quite a laid-back tune, the levels of the instruments made it really quite energetic; Courtney also seeming to shout down the mic rather more than is the case with the vocals on her records.

Barnettkept the set fun and bouncing throughout, leaving her biggest hits ‘Avant Gardener’ and ‘History Eraser’ to the end; the crowd singing and swaying whilst she sang with a real smile on her face; the upcoming artist clearly sharing the crowd’s ambience.

Bart Williams

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Source: Promo

Metronomy – 4.5/5

Playing their first ever festival headline set, Torbay’s very own Metronomy seemed bang up for it, striding on to the stage in exquisitely funky white matching suits. Knocking a few big hits out early on with a triplet consisting of ‘Love Letters’, ‘The Look’ and ‘I’m Aquarias‘, Metronomy instantly had the crowd bumping n’ grooving; with those electro basslines sitting perfectly alongside the wonderfully complimentary vocals of the entire band. Being the perfect summer band for so many, Metronomy really were rocking the main stage; that clean, pure new wave sound lifting the spirits of the whole crowd; making for a blissful sunset.

As the sky grew darker, hits from both of their last two albums like ‘Everything Goes My Way’, ‘Corine‘ and ‘The Bay’ kept the ecstatic vibes going on through to the end of the night; Metronomy fully embracing their first shot at the headline slot, this set making for the perfect conclusion to a great first day of Field Day 2014.

Bart Williams

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Source: Shyam Rajdev

Pixies – 9/10

In terms of pure size of bands on this festival bill, the inclusion on Pixies as Sunday night headliners was surely the most eye-catching of all. On the back of this year’s album, which was comprised of three EP’s – their first releases in over 20 years, crowds have been dribbling at the prospect of catching the Boston rockers, even without the presence of their influential bass player Kim Deal. Kicking off the set with ‘Wave Of Mutilation’, it seemed like no time had gone by at all before they’d already covered this and other classics such as ‘U-Mass‘ and  Debaser‘, leading on to the utterly beautiful ‘Hey‘; fans belting out not only the Francis Black’s exhilarating vocals, yelps and soulful screeches, but also Santiago’s anthemic guitar lines; the echoes from the crowd of the solo showing just how special a song this was for so many in the crowd. 

‘Bone Machine’ and ‘Gouge Away’ followed, with the intertwining of new tunes like ‘Bagboy‘ not at all feeling out of place – the band having clearly perfected the live execution of them over the duration of their lengthy tour. As the whopping 27-track-long setlist went on, the classics just seemed to keep on rolling, with stunning renditions of Velouria‘, ‘Here Comes Your Man’ and ‘Monkey Gone To Heaven’ as well as exciting hits off the new album like ‘Greens And Blues’ and ‘Indie Cindy’ giving the set a consistently special aura. As the set began to draw to a close, the dreamy intro to ‘Caribou’ drifted in, sending the crowd docile as they swayed and echoed the ‘oo’s’ before being treated to the brilliant quick, bouncy pace of ‘Vamos‘.

There was one chord that each and every member of the audience knew would not only signal the finale, but would also signal the melting of hearts, and as vamos came to an end we were given it. As the chords were strummed out on Black’s acoustic and the chilling ‘wooo oooo‘ came, those hearts were positively melted as their most identifiable track ‘Where Is My Mind?’ had begun. In came Santiago’s guitar line and there was a genuine electricity in Victoria Park; hugs, kisses and raised arms to be seen left right and centre. Not often are you able to embrace such a beautiful piece of music recited in its full glory, and this really was one of those special moments – with the set ending and there being a genuine connection between the immensely grateful fans and the band – members blowing kisses back to them, with the reciting  ‘wooo oooo‘ continuing long into the night. As a whole, Pixies gave Field Day 2014 an emphatic ending; a truly special set.

Bart Williams

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