Field Day 2014: The Quietus Review, Saturday

Luke Turner, Adam Bychawski, Karl Smith, Phil Hebblethwaite, Amy Pettifer, Sophie Coletta and Laurie Tuffrey report back from the festival's sun-baked first day. Photographs courtesy of Valerio Berdini

For the past few years, there’s been a bit of a pattern with Field Day. A thundery, threatening morning, drizzle and humidity before, as if organisers Eat Your Own Ears had hired a cloud seeding plane from China, the sun comes out. This did cause problems for the Quietus’ gothic-leaning reviews editors, but the great glowing orb in the sky above Victoria Park made for a terrific atmosphere throughout the day. As ever with Field Day, we spent most of the time running between the various tents and stages – in these increasingly fragmented times, it’s interesting that the variety of what’s on offer within the auspices of, say, the Resident Advisor or Bugged Out stages, just keeps on increasing. With great sound levels, best ale (special shout out to Five Points for their fiendishly tasty rocket fuel Hook Island Red), excellent food and attentive crowd almost entirely lacking in gurning bellends, this was the finest Field Day yet, with the addition of a second day working a treat at the first year of trying. Here are some of the Quietus’ writers highlights from the best day out of the year so far.

14:10 – Thurston Moore, Crack magazine stage

It’s a busy weekend and a few bus rides (the 149 and 277 handily would get him most of the way here) for new local boy Thurston Moore – as well as this appearance at Field Day, he’s involved with the Stoke Newington Literary Festival up the road. After a spot of what might be trademarked as Sonic Youth Abstract Picking At Taut Strings Pinging, Thurston and his band launch into a new tune with lyrics about a "spirit mountain", "fireflies" and "church lights" that builds into a massive churning chorus of, "That’s why I want you forever more". These Thurston Moore pop songs really are great things, chugging away masterfully, always possessed of a fairly belligerent groove, Thurston’s ever-petulant vocal (he is, after all, a boy who’s never entirely bothered growing up) giving it a great emotional heft. There’s an abandon to the tune that suggests that he might want to take a sleeper from Kings Cross up to the Highlands for some-wind-in-the-hair-o’er-heather music video histrionics. Moore does after all spend a lot of time staring at the roof of the tent, the rest of the band watching him play to keep time. The unfamiliar tune gets a great reaction – London life seems to be suiting him well. Luke Turner

14:15 – Slackk b2b Samename, Red Bull Music Academy stage

For Boxed co-founder Slackk and associate Samename, opening Field Day’s Red Bull Music Academy stage in the early afternoon must come as an unusual experience. When they take to the stage most punters are still milling around noncommittally from tent to tent stopping to watch momentarily from afar before, more often than not, being dispersed by the waves of instrumental grime being emitted from the PA. Even so the pair make no concessions for the time, casting off the languid interest with track after track dense with staccato gunshots and bruising snares. But this is far from an unrelenting single-geared performance, with Slackk demonstrating the same kind of eclecticism that we’ve come to except from his comprehensive monthly mixtape series. Likewise, Samename showcases a number of tracks from his recently released debut EP Yume which took carefully researched inspiration from Japanese culture and classical instrumentation. Some of the EP’s more experimental touches included almost meditative samples of running water and grandiose synth strings that sound like they might belong in a JRPG soundtrack. Here the oddly-scheduled slot also gives the pair a chance to play around, seeming less a battle and more like an open-ended live collaboration, with both seamless responding to each other’s selections. Adam Bychawski

14:20 – James Holden, Resident Advisor stage

As the great glowing orb in the sky blazes down on Victoria Park, it quickly becomes clear that wearing black shirt and trousers and a lined cream linen jacket really was not a good idea. Neither was having a refreshing ale without any breakfast save some strong coffee, and by the time I reach the Resident Advisor tent for James Holden I’m sweating, my vision is closing in around the edges, nausea rises, and the state of discombobulation… is actually rather suited to what follows. With Holden grooving away in front of a stack of modular synths, facing a drummer and with saxophonist placed between them, their acidy freakout digital skronk is like Factory Floor transported to a hippy sex colony, which of course is a very good thing. Luke Turner

14:35 – Sky Ferreira, Eat Your Own Ears/The Quietus stage


Night Time, My Time is probably my favourite pop album – close to being my favourite album in any genre – of the year so far. I’ve listened to it quasi-religiously (occasionally skipping, like a lapsed catholic, through to some of the record’s undeniable bangers) since I bought it but have, deliberately, never watched a live video. As the first act I saw, I can’t deny being apprehensive: talk of Ferreira’s shyness abounds and support slots for Miley Cyrus call in to question whether the off-the-beaten-track quality of her songs would come through in a live show.

These worries are, for the most part, completely unfounded. Despite what seems to be trouble with the microphone for some of the earlier songs, forcing them to lose their potency, Ferreira barely-audible other than when truly belting (and she is capable of belting) and the question of whether this might be better in a sweaty tent, the instrumental grit and vocal/lyrical gloom-pop sensibilities make themselves heard over any controversy.

’24 Hours’, ‘Boys’ and ‘Heavy Metal Heart’ are, even as a tiny cross section, singular in their diversity – the latter as notable for the contributions of the band as the eponymous artist – swinging effortlessly from soar to crush. Ferreira sits seemingly equidistant between Cyndi Lauper, PiL and Nico and The Velvet Underground, a sense which gets crystallised in ‘You’re Not The One’ – arguably the most emphatic song on the album and the set’s closer. Bangin’. Karl Smith

15:30 – Omar Souleyman, Resident Advisor stage

You could make a case for most people playing later in the day at Field Day, none more so than Syria’s king of dabke music, Omar Souleyman. Half three is too early, and he’s on late, which serves to dampen spirits for his set, not increase anticipation. The poet who used to walk up to Souleyman on stage and whisper lines of verse in his ear is long gone; instead, it’s just him and his synth player, who knocks out the most insane, clapping techno to the increasing gratification of people in the almost-packed tent. Three songs in and it’s a near full-on rave.

Souleyman uses a four-to-the-floor beat and sings in both Kurdish and Arabic, making his music feel distant to British ears, but perfectly accessible. There’s also something about its brutal simplicity that makes it fit well with plenty of other electronic acts on the Field Day line-up, and it wasn’t much of a stretch that Kieran Hebden was recruited to produce his excellent recent album, Wenu Wenu. Good fun, would have been better after dark, but that’s not to take anything away from Souleyman, who remains a great entertainer with a fine understanding of how to get a rabble roused. Altogether now: "Waaaaaaaaaaaaaayeah!" Phil Hebblethwaite

15:45 – Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Eat Your Own Ears/The Quietus stage

In an interview for Field Day Radio, Seun Kuti, who is Fela Kuti’s youngest son, explained the title of his recent album, A Long Way To The Beginning, by saying: "It’s something that’s inspired by my music and my politics; my music, because I think Afrobeat is about to become a major force in the world. Afrobeat is no longer an African brand; it’s appreciated all over the world. Politically, as an African, I believe this is a new beginning for Africa, because this generation of Africans are waking up, getting conscious and realising they have to get in charge of Africa so Africa can benefit Africans first."

Certainly his well-received mid-afternoon set, which ends with Kuti and his two backing singers giving a two-raised-arms salute, is driven by political righteousness, particularly on ‘Higher Consciousness’ from his new album. And as Afrobeat has indeed become appreciated all over the world, Kuti has taken on an important role – to be both a moderniser of the music and a traditionalist. Dressed in zebra-print trousers, he’s an electric performer (and a fine saxophonist) and he’s playing today with Egypt 80, one of his father’s old bands. A group of 11 in total, they’re supremely tight and thick-sounding, and there’s acute pleasure hearing their dense, motley sounds blast across Victoria Park in the blazing sunshine. By their final song, Kuti is shirt off, possessed and doing some mad, freeform take on the funky chicken. Truly, it’s excellent. Phil Hebblethwaite

16:10 – Sophie, Red Bull Music Academy stage

Expectations are particularly high for Sophie’s Field Day set. The UK producer’s previous live outing at Just Jam was the highlight of the night, accompanied by a wonderfully bizarre performance art piece involving, among other things, a flute, an aubergine and a miniature pig – more than enough to overcome the limitations of playing in front of a green screen in a small studio due to the event’s inexplicable last minute cancellation by the police. Sadly there’s no visuals on this occasion, but even so Sophie’s productions remain a bewildering experience. Much of the set is saturated with the high-pitched, high sugar content vocals that made last year’s single ‘Bipp’ so instantly gratifying. At times, it’s tempting to write the whole thing off as Aqua 2.0, but its impossible not to be drawn into the weirdness of the instrumentals. Much of the crowd has assembled here expecting more maximalist pop, only to be tantalised with short clips of new material and tested by Sophie’s playful experiments with bouncy synth effects and squiggly basslines. But as a taster of things to come, its addictive stuff. Adam Bychawski

17:15 – Blood Orange, Eat Your Own Ears/The Quietus stage

In Field Day terms, Dev Hynes has risen from Solange’s guitarist to bona-fide main stage highlight in the space of a year. No wonder he looks so delighted. Occupying almost the identical slot as Knowles did in 2013, the shimmering tropical rhythms of tracks from the excellent Cupid Deluxe he rolls out are exactly what thousands of ears need to hear as the sun begins to burn in earnest. Dusty, nostalgic summer-haze coupled with Hynes’ slick voguing and considerable guitar posturing go down a treat, making it very possible to imagine him heading up much bigger stages in the not-too-distant future. He might need to start keeping some of the bangers he regularly pens for others back for himself though. There’s only so much ‘mid-tempo without drops’ that a crowd can take and Hynes knows it – urging everyone to hang in there for the more danceable, sonic carnival of the set’s crescendo.

Blood Orange have everything you could want from a summer festival band; a sound flecked with bright, intelligent colours, choruses you can croon en masse, cameos (a lugubrious Skepta and Hynes’ muse Samantha Urbani of Brooklyn outfit Friends) and personalities that only connect. It’s emotional and joyful to watch Hynes perform now that he’s seemingly (and finally) so comfortable in his own skin and it’ll be fascinating to see how far he’s pushed it a year from now.

Fittingly, he closes the set with the heartfelt ‘Time Will Tell’ which speaks to the fact that no matter what you do, life, "it is what it is". Hynes’ gained some perspective though; wryly singing fragments of the songs he’s written for Sky Ferreira, Solange and others, over the four, bittersweet chords that have become his trademark. Yeah maybe he’s overused them, but he’s subtly etched his mark on everything that’s good about popular music in the process. Nice one. Amy Pettifer

17:35 – Evian Christ, Red Bull Music Academy stage

There’s a vicarious pleasure to be had from watching Evian Christ DJ the Red Bull Music Academy stage. First and foremost, Leary’s selection of trap, footwork and blinding techno is going down a storm, with the tent erupting on a number of occasions. But part of the enjoyment also comes from how visibly obvious it is that Leary himself is having a great time, mouthing word-for-word the lyrics to every track and constantly throwing up his hands while behind the decks. One suspects if he delivered his Baker’s Dozen in live form it would probably sound something like this. So naturally, the set also functions as an intriguing insight into the influences which inform Leary’s own music, his selections recalling the dynamic range of his Waterfall EP which somehow managed to combine both abrasive industrial textures and ambient sounds. Of course, ‘I’m In It’, produced by Leary for Yeezus, is the highpoint of the set and we’re treated to a number of choreographed gestures to accompany Kanye’s punch lines. It proves to be infectious, with the crowd reciprocating both Leary’s enthusiasm and dance moves. Adam Bychawski

18:35 – Neneh Cherry, Crack magazine stage

Neneh Cherry materialises like a bullet from a gun, swathed in white smoke and cloaked in thick, insistent bass that barely lets up during her half-hour set. The fact that she’s showcasing material from the relatively new Blank Project album (her first in 17 years) seems irrelevant to a crowd that dances hard to every song like they’ve loved it as long as they’ve loved Cherry herself. The title track sets an unrelenting tone of dark jungle rhythms and verbal cavalcade which Cherry performs with mesmeric energy, the Echoplex clanging her voice like a bell around attendant skulls. The best thing about watching her perform is the fact that you can see every layer of Cherry’s musical and personal history writ large in a self-possessed, confident stage presence; a Buffalo girl, a Rasta and a rock hard punk at the heart of it all. She’s clearly unconcerned with what a prolonged absence from the limelight might mean – music is part of her DNA and frankly, she can come and go as she effing pleases.

While this half hour goes a long way toward proving that Neneh Cherry is irreducible to ‘Buffalo Stance’, she plays it anyway, yelling, "This song is 25 years old and I’m 50." If I’m half this cool at 50, I’ll die happy. Amy Pettifer

18:35 – Jessy Lanza, Red Bull Music Academy stage

Jessy Lanza’s excellent Hyperdub debut Pull My Hair Back plays a prominent part in her late afternoon set on Saturday, perfectly timed as the sun sits as its lowest point in the sky. As the familiar vocal opening on ‘Kathy Lee’ plays, people begin to run towards the source of the sound, flower crowns askew as they chase the tingly synths and clicks of percussion coming from the speaker stacks before them. There’s a chorus of excitable yelps from the glitter-covered audience, their murmurs of affectionate sentiments to each other silenced beneath the prominent peak of the RBMA tent. A few feet away a young man in denim attempts to serenade his girlfriend sat before him on the grass, singing along with elongated vowels, hips gyrating as hands form into fists that rotate slowly in front of his chest. It feels more fitting to sit a few metres behind them all, underneath the shade of Victoria Park’s foliage, watching the occasionally dubious slinking from afar, eyes peeled for potential and unavailable lovers. Lanza is excellent at filling spaces, and while the single Sydney Opera House-style peak above the stage does little to contain convoluted sounds in the case of some of the other acts, here her simplistically silky R&B manages to carry itself far beyond its edges. Sophie Coletta

18:45 – Warpaint, Eat Your Own Ears stage

Warpaint’s summer noir is a unique creation for which a fairly large and notably ‘into it’ crowd has gathered at the Main Stage. It doesn’t rely on gimmicks, or image but on a clear, refined sound; a particular brand of melancholy pop that seems to be as well-equipped for the dry, throbbing heat and festival atmosphere as it is for a rainy evening home alone. Such is the peculiarity of their sound that, for an embarrassingly long time, their cover of David Bowie’s ‘Ashes To Ashes’ totally passes me by as anything other than an original.

The signature lethargic shuffle of the guitar and rain-fleck quality of the rhythm section on tracks like ‘Undertow’ and ‘Love Is To Die’ along with the band’s trademark shared, mournful vocals exude a singularly captivating kind of presence and self-assurance: 45 minutes later everyone’s still as into it as they were when Emily Kokal, Theresa Wayman, Jenny Lee Lindberg and Stella Mozgawa took to the stage. Even I have been guilty of the odd (quite odd, probably) swaying hip movement. The only thing about the performance that seems at all odd or ill-considered is the time – why this wasn’t on later in the evening as a eulogy for the heat of the day, I can’t quite imagine. Karl Smith

19:05 – Ryan Hemsworth, Red Bull Music Academy stage

Starting off with a trancey version of Future’s ‘Move That Dope’, which powers out from under the giant petal of the RBMA tent a fair few times today, Ryan Hemsworth turns in a late-afternoon-haze set that banks heavily on his remix work. And it’s a deft choice: good as last year’s Guilt Trips album was, it pivoted on a more introspective stance than would suit the glorious summer evening that’s fast unfolding. The metallic, music box chimes of his remix of Tinashe’s ‘Boss’ sound thick and heavy over the PA, before a trickle of his favoured 808 hi-hats segue into his inversion of Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire’s ‘Illest Niggaz Breathin”, tilting it towards effervescent synth-pop. This is Hemsworth’s trademark: moulding his eclectic listening habits into a glowing, melody-primed mould (the multiple, multi-coloured Hemsworth faces that make up his SoundCloud background make a pretty accurate visual accompaniment). As such, it’s no surprise that another Future song, the hook-heavy title track from this year’s Honest album, appealed to him for a remix, appropriately titled ‘Post-Rock Tears Version’, which he slips in alongside M83 and a rework of R. Kelly’s ‘Ignition (Remix)’ with female vocals. All together, it’s saccharine-sweet, and even verges on cheesy at times, but the sheer jubilation of the crowd and Hemsworth himself make it an undeniable pleasure. Laurie Tuffrey

20:05 – Jon Hopkins, Eat Your Own Ears/The Quietus stage

I spent the first five minutes of Jon Hopkins’ set on the main stage – no, not dancing – queuing for churros. And yet, despite some apparent success containing noise bleed between stages this year, even at a distance the Dionysian pulse of Hopkins’ frequencies is an infectious siren call.

Evidently it’s a call everyone has answered. On approach, the perfect metaphor for Hopkins’ sound presents itself in a Field Day mainstay: a giant red inflatable ball, bigger than its blue counterparts, that doesn’t seem to be falling towards the hundreds of eager hands below but gets suspended, the last of the sunlight giving it the effect of a rippling bubble of hot metal, at war with its own desire to burst apart. Such it is with Hopkins’ set this evening, at once serene, meditative, euphoric even, and simultaneously ripe with an insurmountable undercurrent of energy. Heavy on the bass, tearing itself to shreds at the will of a sea of nodding – the kind of frantic nodding that wears away cartilage – heads and pumping fists.

The power of Jon Hopkins – both in the sense of the influence he exudes in the wider musical world and in terms of the music he is electing to play this evening – is played down to spectacular effect. Yes Hopkins is up there vigorously smashing buttons and twisting knobs but even here, as a solo artist way up the bill, he remains something of an enigma. Superbly choreographed videos (by Dan Tombs, also collaborator with Factory Floor and East India Youth) fill the twin screens, providing a provocation not just to move but to surrender. The young woman in the video for ‘Collider’ hurls herself around an empty car park, present in the moment yet body and mind transported, and the kid on the skateboard in ‘Open Eye Signal’ endlessly pummels his foot to the floor, focused on nothing but the act of moving. Gradually, the rest of Victoria Park begins to fade out from the edges of consciousness, as the clarity and impetus of Hopkins’ music closes in. It’s a numinous experience. Karl Smith

20:20 – Lunice, Red Bull Music Academy stage

Even if you were watching Lunice’s set on mute, it’d be immediately clear you’d have a blast. It’s almost hard to catch sight of the guy as he bounces around behind walls of smoke, but then he’s out in front, hanging off the edge of the stage and pointing his mic at the audience. His set taps his impressive, frequently big-name remix back catalogue, and the sheer bombast of his take on the Kanye West version of ‘I Don’t Like’ is just one of many crowd-pleasing spins. What with his associations with West, it’s no surprise that the latter’s writ large on the set: ‘I’m In It’ sounds immense as it gets a second outing on the stage (see above) and it’s not long before the track’s co-producer Evian Christ bounds on for a mini-stage invasion. But ultimately, it’s Lunice’s own work with Hudson Mohawke as TNGHT that crown the night. He slots in snatches of ‘Goooo’ and ‘Bugg’n’, before ‘Blood On The Leaves’ strafes the speaker cones. The crowd inevitably and rightly erupt and Lunice lifts off the vocals to leave the source track, TNGHT’s ‘R U Ready’, rolling out, demonstrating exactly why the duo’s "so clean, so crisp" ethos make for some obliterating sonic tactics. It almost takes the piss, then, when he slots in ‘Higher Ground’ afterwards (once you’ve gone to ‘R U Ready’, surely you’re already maxxed out!), but nothing – not an overrunning stage time, not legions of people going "da da da da da-da-da-da-da", nothing – could stop that track. Set over, Lunice gleefully high-fiving audience members like a headlining pro, people’s cheek-wide grins sum up the fact that you’d be hard-pressed to find a more brutal, razor-sharp and downright satisfying set today. Laurie Tuffrey

21:20 – East India Youth, Shacklewell Arms stage

It doesn’t seem all that long ago that East India Youth was playing our much-belated Christmas party in a (now defunct) Stoke Newington bar/restaurant basement, using a carton of apple juice to secure an errant cable. Even less time – almost exactly a year, even – since he opened up our Village Mentality stage at 12 o’clock the previous Field Day. Given that, it’s hard to describe the inexorable pleasure, not only of his excellent year to date and subsequent high billing this year, but also of the ‘Youth’s well-honed TOTAL STRIFE FOREVER-centric set.  

Personal pleasures aside, the set itself is something more like a sweeping assault, albeit the kind of assault you can dance to in the manner of an exasperated shark in a bathtub, a tidal barrage, surging and receding; fluid and relentless, never once entirely static until the moment of its inevitable end. The lovelorn synth-pop of ‘HEAVEN, HOW LONG’, insistent, driving percussion on ‘DRIPPING DOWN’ and the eventual chaos of apocalyptic ‘HINTERLAND’ merge in to a single throbbing body of sound that seem to emanate not from the speakers – or from the darkling presence of William Doyle or his multifarious musical rig – but from the unearthly, all-encompassing smoke and light effects that fill the tent. Karl Smith

21:35 – Metronomy, Eat Your Own Ears/The Quietus stage

And so, Joe Mount and his white-suited compatriots pop their festival headline cherry on a humid, moonlit night in East London, corralling thousands into a corner of the park where they once kicked a football about on weekends before things got serious for Metronomy. They’ve upgraded the pound shop quirks of their stage show to a level that befits a headline band – inhabiting gleaming white podiums under an epic glitter ball – and when these elements synchronise with the best of their songs from The English Riviera and Love Letters, something thrilling germinates. Despite the slightly rawer aesthetic of their most recent album, songs like ‘The Upsetter’ and ‘Month Of Sundays’ are a welcome antidote to the Atari brand Euro-pop that starts the set, highlighting something louche and characterful, a hint of fleshy vocal beneath the tinny filter and a touch of the McCartney in Mount’s songwriting.

They make use of everything they’ve got in their arsenal to kick out a set paced with zooming computer disco, anthemic choruses and starlit slow jams; ‘Corrine’ is a high point, perhaps because it’s a perfect storm of these elements, but mostly because it shines a light on Anna Prior, the band’s secret weapon. Poised behind the drums, oozing buckets of yé-yé charm, she beams out bright, clear backing vocals, faultlessly thumping skins as she does so.

Perhaps the only thing Metronomy battle against on a stage this size are their very English idiosyncrasies that are sometimes more daft than deft. That Wurlitzer aesthetic is no accident and whether you buy into their ‘UK’s most spectacular holiday camp act’ shtick or not, you get the feeling they gave everything they had to transform Hackney into their very own sonic pleasure beach. Theirs is a local rather than a stratospheric spectacle and that’s just fine; "Forget Old Man Moon," says Mount, "it’s all about what’s going on right here." Amy Pettifer

21:40 – Danny Brown, Crack magazine stage

Danny Brown’s headline slot at the Crack stage requires a trek to the most secluded corner of the Field Day site. Located in the shadow of the main stage and hidden between bumper cars and fairground rides it feels like Brown is a poorly-kept secret addition to this year’s line-up. On arrival though the tent is rammed, for good reason too: through his live performances, Brown has found the perfect medium to the translate the adrenaline rush of his second album XXX together with more frenzied second half of last year’s Old.

Despite playing a sizeable tent with only his DJ for support, the set never lets up for a moment. In particular, it becomes apparent just how much Brown has transgressed the boundaries between hip hop and grime. Brown has collaborated in the past with ‘Cherryade’ producer Darq E Freaker and his latest album included an unexpected feature from West Ealing MC Scrufizzer. Here, the energy with which the crowd responds to Brown is almost instantly recognisable as the same charged-up atmosphere that is typical of grime live shows and club nights. His vocal skills do much to sustain the pace, switching continually from his characteristic squawk to a lower, equally-demanding, register with ease. At one point the DJ cuts the instrumental midway through ‘I Will’, Brown’s filthy paean to cunnilingus, revealing the intensity of his delivery and leaving you with no doubt why his live performances command such a loyal following. Adam Bychawski

22:20 – Fat White Family, Shacklewell Arms stage

It’s about thirty seconds before Fat White Family are due on stage and Saul Adamczewski is pissing up against a tree behind the Shacklewell Arms tent. It’s hard to imagine Metronomy, currently about to headline Field Day’s main stage over on the other side of the park, are following the same pre-stage rituals; no, they’re probably bickering about who gets the last go with the lint roller and sipping honey and lemon between pursed lips. It’s difficult to imagine them scratching at their genitals as they play, or tearing off their ostentatious matching suits in wild, reckless abandon. It’s unlikely, as they take to the stage, that anyone is turning to their friend in the crowd to ask when Joe Mount will be getting his dick out.

I can’t remember the last time I saw a band whip a crowd up into such riotous frenzy from the outset. Barely twenty seconds into ‘Auto Neutron’ we all surge forwards, beads of sweat already formed on brows, beer tops flying into the air, hair whipping back as cigarettes are caned beneath the sprinkling of ale that rains down from above. Tonight’s audience is peppered with boys in smart shirts from well-known indie bands, and there’s something of a sparkle of jealousy in their eyes, a dart of the tongue between their lips perhaps, as Lias Saoudi rolls his hips, snarling and spitting at the crowd, his entire body covered in a thin film of sweat. They raise their plastic bottles of lager in appreciation, a nod of celebration. Here’s to men, they say silently, real men, in their glorious, unadulterated form.

I’ve never been quite sure about whether I want to fuck Fat White Family or be Fat White Family, and tonight, despite not being able come to any sort of formal conclusion, I find myself silently echoing these sentiments of masculinity. Here’s to not being tainted by the trappings of Brylcreem, low cut T-shirts and pubic trimming. Here’s to men who like fucking in cars and stealing from off-licences. Here’s to being voracious, to never, ever apologising. As Fat Whites slink off the stage the crowd erupts one last time, singing along to the melody of The Fall’s ‘New Big Prinz’, arms raised towards the stage at first and then continuing as they march out of the Shacklewell Arms tent and into the darkness. Sophie Coletta

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