All Points East: a brand new eclectic festival taking residence in London’s Victoria Park.
This weekend, was the second of APE, after The XX and others completed a mouth-watering line-up last week. With the first day of this second weekend hosting some of the best names in indie and alternative, Gig Soup just had to be there to see if this festival newbie was all it was cracked up to be….
CATFISH & THE BOTTLEMEN
Having smashed apart London last year at Community Festival, Catfish returned a year later to do what they did to Finsbury Park, here at Victoria Park.
This set was bigger, this set was better.
The welsh unit have a better sing-along repertoire than either The Greatest Showman or Grease soundtracks combined, despite how great the Grease mega-mix may be, 10 pints down at your aunt Sue’s wedding.
Everything with this set just seemed to fall in to place. Their two albums are full of songs that reflect the everyday struggles with love and life that we are sure would have caused a large section of London waking up and sounding like Phil Mitchell or Marge Simpson.
We are not too sure how many acts can hold a crowd of this size so well….like, BLOODY well!
With huge tunes Kathleen, Twice, Soundcheck and Cocoon, Catfish can start a fire, with songs such as Heathrow and Hourglass, the fire is reduced to a beautiful ember.
They capped what was an unforgettable day, pulling a huge crowd that hung on every word and danced out all the frustrations of the working week, with many looking like they had stepped out of the office and headed straight to the festival, ties included.
THE MAGIC GANG
A band we have become familiar with ever since last year’s summer festival, this was the biggest stage we have seen them.
You could be forgiven for thinking their tunes would be swamped by the main stage, but The Magic Gang owned it completely. This is a band that is truly loved. They seem to have a knack of making fans feel a real zest for life, and a love of this festival.
The size of the crowd that had gathered at the main stage shows how the cheery tunes of the fun loving boys from Brighton have touched so many people.
This set came at a perfect time, just as the sun was at its peak and everyone was a few beers in.
New songs from their self-titled debut album, Take Care and Getting Along add a maturity to their set. We cannot wait to see them again on the festival circuit this summer.
With their brilliant second album now in their holster, Blossoms are the precious stone in the crown of British guitar music.
Nobody sounds like this band. Catchy as anything, deep synth interjections and riffs that stick in your head like that annoying radio jingle, except you’re more than happy for it to be there.
I Can’t Stand It, There’s A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls) and Cool Like You sat comfortably alongside crowd pleasers and sure-fire Indie classics Honey Sweet and Charlemagne.
This set came at the time of day that always makes festivals look so appealing when on TV. Blossoms played it right, getting the blend of energy and chill, perfectly.
One of the only live bands that sound like they have stuck themselves on Spotify and played it out over the speakers.
Lead singer Matt Thomson’s red locks flew about the summer sky and looked nothing short of pure rock ‘n roll, as it bounced the sun back at adoring fans.
This set was slick as hell, as the boys from Reading kick started chaos. The first band we saw that had circles and moshes forming.
With Junk Food Forever and Black Magic, the sweat had begun and sunglasses and cups flew across the East London sky.
FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES
Frank Carter. You watch this (now veteran?!) rock n roller and just think “geezer”.
Topless, covered in tattoos and giving the microphone a battering, he’s almost like a better and far cooler Connor McGregor.
Carter and his Rattlesnakes delivered a mind-blowing set that at its end, had people crawling out deep from within the crowd like eels sliding out of water.
Raw. Unstoppable. A festival set done right.
Girli took to the mid-sized Firestone stage and drew a crowd that would fill a tent twice the size.
With sharp spitting and raw energy flowing through the witty lyrics and proper owning of the stage, Girli is nothing but att-i-tude! They are a great live outfit, even if it isn’t your cup of tea sat at home, they are great to see live.
Lead singer Milly Toomey has a great look, with outrageous pink hair and lary outfits – a breath of fresh neon air.
We expect big things for Girli, mainly because they will definitely make it happen, and on their own terms.
This was a day for some great Indie and Alternative acts, at a festival that has made just not ripples on the expanding London day festival scene, but massive waves in its debut year.
London can now welcome this absolute gem into its family of festivals. All Points East captured the essence of a proper field festival weekender, just with a lack of tents and trench-like mud and the welcome scented whiff of fresh bodies!
The way APE stretches across 2 weekends means it has a real carnival feel. The site is large enough to have a sense of grandeur and presence, but it won’t leave you shattered from trudging between stages and beer runs.