Like a fishing net held up to catch all that has been hot, blogged and buzzed about in the last twelve months, Field Day saw the great and good of London hipsters descend on Victoria Park for a day of badly timed but entertaining musical treats.
Summer Camp and Jessie Ware provide mid-afternoon thrills; the latter impressing with a relaxed set of tracks including the breezy trip-pop of '110%'. A packed out tent for the relative unknown showing off perfectly Field Day’s USP of being the festival to catch the next big thing first
Over in the Bugged Out tent Hudson Mohawke stands unassuming behind his laptop but soon shows the bombastic skills that have seen Kanye West become a fan and Bjork seeking to collaborate. ‘Cbat’s minimal beat warms up an audience living like it’s early morning in the late afternoon before ‘Thunder Bay’ blows the roof off with weapons grade power. Later in the same tent SBTRKT lays claim to owning the festival outright with a set played out to fans literally fighting to get a glimpse. Sardine like personal space aside, the masked producer’s set is fantastic, seeing vocalist Sampha bring the crowd together on ‘Hold On’ whilst ‘Wildfire’ causes an inevitable surge in atmosphere and the strange sound of people trying to sing the electronic beeps and loops.
Causing a similar crush across the park is Grimes, performing in a tent far too small for this year’s alternative cover star of choice. Technical problems lead to her set being delayed nearly half an hour (a problem which blights a majority of stage times today) but 4AD’s closest thing to a popstar delivers a fun set topped off nicely with performances of ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Vanessa’. Word of warning to the white-hot star of the last six months however; most people watching seem curious rather than entertained.
With so much to see it is easy to grab a pick n’ mix selection of sets at Field Day. Toy, Chairlift, Beirut, Metronomy and the cult-disco of Austra all impressing in small doses.
Spector and The Vaccines may have the monopoly on reviving the mid-noughties indie revolution over on the second stage, however, it is all about Franz Ferdinand’s live return as the night draws in. Battling against driving rain and a technical fault which sees the band’s backdrop temporarily showing the desktop wallpaper of a crew member presumably still on the naughty step, the band deliver with a set of arched classics including ‘Tell Her Tonight’, Do You Wanna?’ and ‘Dark Of The Matinee’.
Points go to the band for being brave enough to test new songs on a festival audience, it is, however, slightly worrying how anonymous some of the fresher material sound tonight - the now revived backdrop flashing up a bowl of fruit during ‘Fresh Strawberries’, the image more enticing than the tune.
A song as good as ‘Take Me Out’ could rescue any festival set however and, amidst a now torrential downpour, the jerking rhythms and still threatening cut of Alex Kapranos’ jib sends a soaking wet audience home happy ,safe in the knowledge that next year’s Field Day stars may not even have formed yet.