Around 20,000 revellers descended on East London on Saturday as the leafy surroundings of Victoria Park once again played host to Field Day and the usual changeable weather. With a line-up boasting ever more impressive names, the annual event – now in its fifth year – lived up to its claim of being a celebration of innovative, bold, forward-thinking alternative music. There were the usual fairground attractions and activities to entertain the masses if they wanted a distraction from the music, but photographer Martyn Leung spent the day rushing from stage to stage and waiting… and waiting… to bring you pictures from the frontline. There aren’t any photos of the beautiful golden-tinged sky that enveloped the festival shortly before sunset, nor are there any of hipsters getting soaked in the downpours, so you’ll just have to picture those in your mind as we present to you a visual recap of the bands we managed to catch among the crammed and clashy schedule.
Kicking off our day were London’s own The History Of Apple Pie, who woke the crowd from their hangover/slumber with their melodic lo-fi sound. Debut single ‘You’re So Cool’ got the biggest cheer, but there were several other future hits in evidence from these folks.
Fronted by sisters Hannah and Collete Thurlow, 2:54 have been making a few waves in the music press recently, and despite an early slot they managed to draw in a large crowd for a convincing performance that justified the hype and then some.
Being on one of the smaller stages didn’t stop Australian band Cloud Control from showing why they’ve achieved success back home and are on their way to matching that in the UK. Lead guitarist Alister Wright may do the lion’s share of the vocals, but keyboardist and backing singer Heidi Lenffer proved to be an equally engaging presence.
Electronic duo Visions Of Trees were at one of the smaller stages – the amusingly named Do You Come Here Often? tent – but on the strength of the crowd’s response it won’t be long before they get upgraded. The duo release their newest single ‘Sirens (Novocaine)’ on October 3 before embarking on an eight-date UK tour.
No summer festival would be complete without a bit of dream-pop, and it just so happens that Still Corners are exemplars of the trade. The early evening crowd did not leave disappointed as the band played through the familiar singles and tracks from their upcoming debut album, out October 10.
Any music publication worth reading had Zola Jesus as a ‘must see’ in their Field Day previews, and anyone who failed to take this advice definitely missed out. Nika Danilova wowed the crowd with a mesmerising display on and off the stage, performing a selection of favourites and songs from her latest opus, out September 26.
It’s been quite a remarkable year for Anna Calvi, who put on a typically searing display that proved that her Mercury Prize nomination this year is very well deserved. Striking and composed as ever, she cut a dramatic, stylish figure on the Village Mentality stage as the last of the daylight faded away.
Such was the clamour to witness the reliable brilliance of Glasser that we could barely squeeze into the Shacklewell Arms/Lock Tavern tent. And though we couldn’t see her, save for this one telescopic shot, we could certainly hear the joyful noise she was making, the swirling electronics and tribal-like beats providing a perfect conclusion to Field Day 2011.