After reports that 2007's inaugural Field Day event was less than pleasurable, I wasn't sure whether this year's all day outdoor extravaganza would be worth going. But it appeared that the organisers were being sincere in their attempts to improve things this time around and the line up was stellar considering a ticket price of under 30 quid. Well, until el Guincho, Dan Deacon, Primary 1, Mystery Jets and Dirty Projectors all pulled out. Nonetheless, I thought it was pretty okay. It was also pretty wet! Cheers to Sam, Craig (Joy-Rides), Ronnie (No Picasso) and various others for keeping me sane.
Turning up at the fashionably late time of 3pm, I missed out on a couple of bands I probably would have seen - Noah & The Whale (I proclaimed my love for '5 Years Time' many moons ago [link]) and Magistrates (do they justify the hype?). Not the best of starts. Anyway, I'll chronicle some of my highlights below:
Wild Beasts - my introduction to Field Day 2008. And an impressive one at that. The pouring rain gave an already off kilter collective an added melodrama.
Laura Marling - this was the first time I'd seen her since one of her very early gigs and while I wasn't blown away, her sound certainly wasn't lost in the vacuous main stage setting.
Les Savy Fav - being unfamiliar with much of this band's music, I wasn't expecting much. But in fact, Tim Harrington et al probably put on the show of the festival bringing a powerful combination of eccentricity and energy to the rain soaked masses.
The Notwist - this is a bit of a mixed bag. I spent half an hour in thrall of their mesmering genre blending set but my interest began to wane so I went to see...
King Creosote - to be honest, I didn't have high hopes of KC but thanks in part to his accompaniment by Pictish Trail, their pleasant folk ditties provided a nice send off for my Field Day experience.
I also caught bits of Tuung (much more excitable than I had previously envisaged, 6/10), Lightspeed Champion (nice enough but nothing special, 5/10), Telepathe (pretty static, 4/10), The Mae Shi (entertaining but spent 20 minutes fucking around before they started so 5/10) and Jeffrey Lewis (7/10, seemed good from the toilet queue!).
Some lessons to be learnt for next year - employ more helpful staff, tell people in the toilet queues that you don't have to queue up for male urinals and put A4 updated stage time lists near to the respective stages (or in fact, anywhere at all). Pretty simple things that weren't managed well. Overall, it was a decent event and had the weather been better and acts not dropped out, I would probably be raving about it. Thus, I have high hopes for 2009's Field Day. Don't let the team down, guys.
In other festival related news, my Offset festival ticket came through the post the other day! Having been to the organisers' previous TMF events, I have no doubt that this will be one of the festivals of the year. Buy a ticket now and perhaps expect a KHI preview post soon.