Field Day is back again for another year, and with it, we see the slow drift into the UK festival season. Like every year, expect dubious weather conditions, even more dubious fashion choices and some really nasty looking sunburn. The latter is something that you certainly didn’t see in the rainsoaked estates of Tottenham Hale on Friday, with constant downpours whipping the newly established festival site all day long.
But since when has a spot of rain put any UK festival goer off? Obviously never. The site this year was split equally between a number of outdoor stages ranging from the huge Printworks to the tiny Boileroom outdoor area, so there were many places to shelter if the weather got a little too much.
After a mysterious no-show from Kojey Radical early on, set times were pushed back throughout the day, with acts appearing a little later than planned. At around 4:45 a flu-riddled Mahalia appeared on stage, full of apologies and sweet words for the crowd. “I’m sorry if I sound bad, you can tell all your friends and I wont mind!” She still managed to skip through a set accompanied by full groovy instrumentation. A little later there came a rare appearance by Odd Future alumni Earl Sweatshirt, who is now famous for cancelling his shows with little or no notice. Such was GIGsoup’s surprise when he appeared, charismatic and smiling. He ploughed through a number of his slow-mo tripped out rap hits, with a DJ who seemed to push his tempo even further down as the set progressed.
For GIGsoup, the real surprise of the day came in the form of Death Grips, who are frankly impossible to describe adequately with any human words. They fall somewhere between metal, hip-hop and someone throwing a very old computer into a bathtub. The three-piece, including drums, synth and ridiculous frontman MC Ride didn’t let up for almost hour. Outwardly their music appears frightening and impenetrable, but on further inspection, it’s deeply complex, with an almost classical edge to it. There was an almost act-like structure throughout like you were watching a Heronimous-Bosche painting come to life before your eyes. Check. Them. Out.
Anyone watching Death Grips probably needed a sit down after all that madness. Inside the safety of the Printworks Warehouse, George Fitzgerald and his band lit up the room with his brand of uplifting eletronic music. The Printworks Stage was visually stunning throughout the entirety of Field Day, with wierd and wonderful computer graphics accompanying each dance act over the weekend.
Swiftly following Fitzgerald was the ever impressive Bonobo. Bonobo essentially created his own genre when he burst onto the scene in the early 2000s with his debut album ‘Animal Magic’. His music is classy, classical and classic, bridging the gap between the orchestra and the dance floor. On Friday however, Bonobo’s aim was to appeal to a dancing crowd, with a blend of his own music and some house/techno grooves.
Tottenham’s own Skepta topped off the evening with a literally firey set, which included too many guests to even mention. They included J Hus, JME, Jammer and so many more. This was to be the grime stars first festival appearance since the release of his album ‘Ignorance Is Bliss’ who’s album cover appeared on the backs of many festival goers t-shirts on Friday. Rattling through new tracks and old classics like ‘Shutdown’ and ‘That’s Not Me’ the local boy never stopped the crowd moving.
So, that was Friday! Stay tuned for full coverage of Field Day 2019’s Saturday experience!