Field Day postmortem

Almost a full day after Field Day’s done, drenched and dusted, and here I am still feeling it in the old thighs.  I must be getting old.  After a fairly reckless Friday night following Speech Debelle’s concert, and scarcely any sleep, a full ten hours of dancing, tapping, swaying, walking and sprinting for shelter has definitely left its physical mark.  But, without wanting to offend any Christians, perhaps this sort of achy slumber is just what Sundays were designed for?

Pain aside, I have mixed feelings about Field Day.  It sure rained a good bit in the middle – not such a bad thing in itself, but it means the tents get totally rammed full of cagoule-less desperates. That consequently makes skipping between acts tricky, because you can’t get at all close to any stage, other than the main one. On top of all that, there were irritating sound problems on the main stage, which led to Santigold starting late, and then poor Skream having to pay the price, as he got only 20 minutes.  Why Skream, and not Santigold?  Conspiracy theories abounded. Whatever the reason, it was very strange, and decidedly maddening for fans of the dubstep doyenne, of which there seemed plenty. Other complaints include the programmes no longer being free, with timetables not available elsewhere; beers costing a bargainalicious £3,70 and a cheeseburger £6 (a hamburger was £5, and the cheese was one of those square slivers from a mass-produced pack); and my umbrella breaking, although that’s probably not anyone’s fault.

But there were plenty of good things – some beautiful people, some tremendous performances, and plenty of all round fun, from sack races to free human fruit machines.

Reviewing every band I saw would take ages, so instead I’ll cover each in seven words.  Why seven, and not five or eight or six?  I don’t know.  Anyway, here goes:

First Aid Kit: delicate Swedish country doesn’t wow bleary-eyed earlybirds
Fanfarlo: well-coiffed, shirted sixpiece impress with melodic folk
Dave I.D.: expressionless man strums, sings and DJs impressively
Sian Alice Group: near-pyschedelic post-rock epics leave tent happily exhausted
Aeroplane: Belgian house sounds like any other house
The XX: deep bass, high guitar and vocal murmurings intrigue
The Temper Trap: passionate rock that’s chart-friendly and slightly obvious
Micachu & The Shapes: yes, quirky songs, but where’s the catchiness?
The Horrors: it-band bore with appalling lack of melody
Wild Beasts: heartfelt high-note rock, by band’s regularly-rotating frontmen
Little Boots: dance-pop, huge crowd, glam outfit.. very unsurprising
Mumford & Sons: country corkers performed with ferocious, captivating energy
Four Tet: pretty but rather-shapeless electronica induces unwelcome yawns
Santigold: sassy hip-hop pop relished by patient crowd
Skream: classy DJ suffers for earlier electronic incompetence
Mogwai: rock epics bore visually despite stunning lights

There we are.  Mogwai sounded tremendous, but the lack of lyrics or audience interaction made them a strangely-dissatisfying band to watch, for me at least – even though the stage looked incredible thanks to the pyrotechnics.  It actually made for better watching framed from afar rather than up close and personal.  The same couldn’t be said of Mumford & Sons, easily my performance of the day: that was a belting and surprisingly rock-and-roll set by the Londoners, rapturously received by a crowd grinning with glee, happy and rain-free.  Micachu remains a puzzlement to me, though: she’s quirky yes, but her songs are very stop-start, fiddly and hard to penetrate or float along with. There was a huge crowd for her show, and giddy applause for each song, but the mystery remains for me.  A secondary question is why she always wears that same over-sized white tee-shirt?

Anyway, those are my rather straggly Field Day thought.  If anyone has anything to add, or strongly agrees or disagrees, by all means leave a comment…
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~ by ripamel on 02/08/2009.

2 Responses to “Field Day postmortem”

  1. I had a great time, despite the questionable weather. For me skream on the main stage was a definite highlight, I was really near the front and the whole crowd were really loving it. Also enjoyed little boots and even the fairground ride (before the cider drinking began!) – I do agree with you about the prices, not very pleasing for the those of a thrifty nature (myself included, and considering the large student population i doubt we were alone) – you might be interested in a competition to win a case of magners pear cider/mini-fridge full of magners. You need to become a fan of the Magners facebook fan page http://bit.ly/MagnersUK – Winners are selected on Thursday – winners will be drawn every week (must be over 18 and UK based!)

    • Skream was excellent, but oh so short! I was just rolling up my sleeves and throwing my umbrella into a bin when – oh! – it’s over. Very disappointing. As for the fairground, I simply didn’t dare given my questionable fluid intake – you’re a braver soul than me, Jessica!

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