The Liars Have It: Field Day Festival 2012 Reviewed

We had another rare old time at Field Day in London, curating the Village Mentality Stage and hurtling around the far larger, better sounding site catching all the other ace stuff that was on. John Calvert, Angus Finlayson, Matthew Foster, Rory Gibb, Emily Mackay and Julian Marszalek pick up pens and pieces of their minds, and review the best of the day. All photographs by Jenna Foxton

Julia Holter

BleeD/Lanzarote 12:30

Compared to the delicacy of Holter’s performance the night before at Cafe Oto, her show to open the BleeD Stage today is a disappointment. That’s thanks partly to the drums, which are mixed a tad too high and drown out the intricacies of Holter’s songwriting. But the greater issue – and something that her Oto performance also suffered from – is that in the live area, with muddy sound and only three pairs of hands, it’s hard to replicate the complexity and depth of her recorded songs. Which would be fine if most of the material from this year’s Ekstasis album, which dominates proceedings today, didn’t prove to be so deceptively straightforward once shorn of its careful arrangements. What on record comes across as flighty and delicate, multi-layered composition instead arrives as straightforward singer-songwriter material, recalling, by turns, Joanna Newsom, Ariel Pink, Kate Bush and, rather less vogueishly, Enya. Holter’s far from the only underground concern currently channeling the Irish MIDI-surfing sprite, but live the connection is made particularly explicit, leaving her music feeling markedly less distinctive and original than her recorded output. Nonetheless, a doomy take on Tragedy‘s ‘Try To Make Yourself A Work Of Art’ fares better than the Ekstasis material, with great peals of cello and keyboard gradually escalating in intensity to an extended crescendo. Rory Gibb

Here We Go Magic

Laneway Stage, 13:00

Like any combo facing down the cocktail-hour-in-Chernobyl vibe of the early Festival set, the indie Brooklynites play with a mixture of deflation and defiance. Which is kind of apt in the context of this year’s A Different Ship, Luke Temple’s account of battling the quicksand malaise of loneliness with musical helium, and losing. Live, their ever-building songs don’t so much climb as evaporate, in a cloud of reverb and zoetrope-blur musicianship. If initially ethereal jam ‘I Believe In Action’ seems stilted, on the arrival of keening synths the back-line hit their boogying stride, suspending us in a clasp of light fantastic. Tension dissolves, shoulders relax, hold… exhale. In its residual vapours Temple unfurls the bubble-light ‘Over The Ocean’ – a musical sea view – followed closely by the Deerhunter-esque ‘Alone But Moving’, with its tired, synthy lolls. By this point, the ambience is low and gorgeous: emptied minds and the sound of wellies shuffling on scrunchy grass. So it’s testament to their knack for seaming watercolour serenity with driving rhytyms that the barrelling finale only enhances the analgesic high. As closing one-twos go, the motorik-jangle combo of ‘Collector’ and ‘How Do I Know’ is manna-from-heaven for indie fans. Bunched together as a medley, they form a tenderly extended clarion-call to go out and take the festival in style. It’s just a shame that so few were privy to the gospel. Maybe though, delicacy needs a quiet corner to really flourish. John Calvert


Bugged Out! 13:15

The vast confines of the Bugged Out tent, around 2pm. Looking down on a handful of mismatched punters, Lewis Roberts is filling every square metre of the tent with the sugar-crush textures of drowned 2-step. Just a baby at 20 years of age, his curly skull but a black pea against the leviathan AV projection. As you’d expect from a fan of The xx and “the morning sunrise”, Koreless uses future garage as a vehicle for introspection and soft light. Funnelling into the shaded emptiness out front, it’s 2-step in its turn-of-the-century form yet reassembled almost beyond recognition. UKG-pop emotions like lust and envy are smudged and sliced into abstraction, creating pockets of machine-heightened human courtship which, with the aid of 20ft amp stack, feel like love itself. Digital love, you might say. If the melancholy in his recordings is, here, bullied out by the tents’ gargantuan bass-bins, the feminine elegance anchoring ‘MTI’ holds fast, contrasting beautifully with tom-thumpin’ house finale ‘Up And Down’. The latest in a long line of of neo-garage pleasure-smiths. JC


Eat Your Own Ears Stage, 13:40

It’s always slightly daunting watching a band who’ve been hyped to the gills for the first time. The sensation is heightened when it’s at the main stage of a festival, despite the fact that they’ve yet to release a physical single, have only been operational for a few months, and have a reputation for their club shows’ whites-of-the-eyes intensity. Will Savages live up to all the excitement surrounding debut single ‘Husbands’ and the few small shows they’ve played so far? For the most part they acquit themselves rather well, despite a small crowd and a stage whose size feels purpose designed to swamp any inter-band chemistry. Band aesthetic – all in black, naturally – matches the music to a tee, all terse rhythm section interplay recalling some of Factory’s finest, cheese-wire guitar lines and Jehnny Beth’s vocals, which veer from husky bark to manic, high-pitched chatter. ‘Husbands’ itself is a snarling beast of a song, its swampy guitar lines and low-slung sleaze making like an adrenalised reboot of Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster’s ‘Psychosis Safari’. But after a blistering opening salvo culminating in ‘Flying To Berlin’, their set sags a little, the slower material largely lost on a large outdoor stage. It’s definitely possible to tell they’ve only been making music together for a few months – they veer back and forth between variations on a core theme, but some songs feel markedly less developed than others. The best they have to offer, though, shows a great deal of potential, suggesting that given time to develop and a step back from the hype machine, the Savages of mid-2013 could prove a remarkable prospect. RG

The Internet

Bugged Out! 13:45

Accompanied by full band plus keyboardist, O.F. back-room enigma Syd The Kid is a revelation. Light years from the Odd Future universe, the difference lies not in the music’s studious class or the teen’s poise and bafflingly assured performance on stage. Rather it’s the depth of soul on display. While Tyler and co’s trash nihilism becomes increasingly shallow with every new release, her performance here – with producer Matt Martians in tow – is all about genuine emotion, leading a mid-afternoon slot that’s every bit in the tradition of Stevie or Lauryn Hill or Janelle Monae. Its a real McCoy deal, demonstrating an old hand’s understanding of R&B in all its tangled junctures of tease, torment and consummation; “the intersections” as ‘Fastlane’ puts it. Not only that, but in stark contrast to her boyish physicality and severe buzzcut, she sports a singing voice as sweet as it is true. The word we’re looking for is authenticity; a quality her fellow OF members are either resisting or are incapable of. Either way, if The Internet are proof of anything, its that a bit of sophistication shouldn’t mean losing your edge. Listen up, fellas. From hooded skate rat to counter-culture icon in waiting; that she knows the coming generation as well as she does the complexities of sexual love makes her a very hot commodity indeed. The sleeper hit of pre-sunshine Field Day, until Liars pull rank and demolish everything in their path, as Victoria Park sizzles in the sudden ambush of 25 degree heat. JC

Papa M

Quietus Village Mentality Stage, 13:50

Ex-Slint man David Pajo seems singularly unconcerned by the heat and noise of a festival in full swing. Navigating through a set of quiet but compelling songs, Pajo and his bassist companion struggle to project against the background throng outside the Village Mentality stage. An appreciative audience crowd in closer, forming their own little demilitarised zone in which to stand in mute appreciation. Pajo’s vocals barely feature at all, supplying only the occasional wordless melody. Instead, the focus is on delicately elongated guitar lines, earthy drones and austere improvisation, drawing as much on Steve Reich’s blissed-out minimalism as on the desolate expansiveness of Americana.  The duo close with a long-form, Reich-esque loop pedal workout, guitar lines overlapping, interlocking and refracting into endlessly varying shapes. The resultant structure has an understated but stately sense of purpose: a peaceful, hermetic world in which to be absorbed. Angus Finlayson

Blood Orange

Laneway Stage, 13:50

Dev Hynes is like the girlfriend the UK got bored of, who went to America, got a makeover, started hanging out with Jay-Z and then we were all, like, ‘Dev, we miss you… can we hang out sometime?’ Here he is back on our street, and damn, he’s sounding fine. ‘Champagne Coast’’s smouldering mix of early Prince-ish quaver, heart-in-mouth beats and squalling guitar soon has us in thrall, and even the arrival of guest bassist Kindness, throwing his hair and vibes around, can’t put us off. ‘Forget It’ becomes something far more tense and thrumming live, almost remiscent of the torrid fretting of Of Montreal’s ‘The Past Is A Grotesque Animal’. If Dev doesn’t quite bring Kevin Barnes’ level of showmanship to this afternoon, he’s certainly growing into the sexy frontman role, swooning the microphone stand and closing with quite-brilliant smoochy slow jam ‘Telling (What’s Wrong With Me?’) and a final squall up his guitar’s fretboard. He’s producing Solange Knowles’ album, y’know. Ah, the one that got away… Emily Mackay


Eat Your Own Ears Stage, 14:40

Frazzle-haired, frazzle-headed bouncy brainwarp types Pond are Tame Impala but even less cool, which makes them even better. I mean, quite literally – in keyboardist/singer Nick Allbrook and guitarist Jay Watson, they share two members with the pronking psychers, but are a a rawer, ruder iteration. All shifting rhythms and chugging riffs and pow-pow-wheeeee space-rock guitar that’s more Sega than Sagan, they open with the ‘Xanman’, far more fun than it deserves to be for a song about anxiety. The bucking ‘Leisure Pony’ is a fine example of how they splice psych-freak out with the muscular indie-garage of Antipodean forebears like The Datsuns or The D4. ‘You Broke My Cool’, meanwhile, adds some melancholic grace, a bratty weedhead’s take on ‘All The Young Dudes’. “Anyway, we’ve been INXS, it’s great to know you,” concludes singer/keyboardist Nick Allbrook. Well, Pond might not mystify us, but they’re certainly a diverting afternoon. EM

R Stevie Moore

Quietus Village Mentality Stage, 14:45

An impressive renaissance over the last couple of years, thanks largely to the success of Ariel Pink (whose own uber lo-fi bedroom recording approach was largely inspired by Pink’s obsessive fandom), has landed R. Stevie Moore a cover slot on The Wire this month. It’s clearly not lost on the man himself, as he holds up the latest issue – whose cover consists entirely of Moore’s face, bordered by his acres of silvery, uncropped beard – to use as a mask.

For all his set’s chaotic generally chaotic vibe, Moore (assisted by his backing band) keeps everything under control, even as songs are punctuated by extended periods where he ambles around the stage, sits down, invites Charlatans singer Tim Burgess onstage to play tambourine and flips the lenses in and out of his glasses. Musically it’s all over the place, wheeling from the sort of scorched guitar jams that suggest he may well have been an influence on mid-period Sonic Youth to spaced-out, beachy pop. RG


Eat Your Own Ears Stage, 15:00

At exactly 4pm on the main stage under blazing sunshine, Liars begin their slow intrusion. An album of serpentine electronica, today WIXIW creeps, surreal and disorientating against the to-and-fro of summer merriment. It’s a sobering rendition of the album, both deformed and fortified by megawatt amps of the impressively bassy main stage: ‘Fuck your pleasant afternoon’, seems to be the message.

Above them, blue skies; below them, burning people. The eastern-tinged ‘Octagon’ shimmers queasily in the thermal updrafts, while ‘Who Is The Hunter?’ packs a disquieting new intimacy, its pulse beats and Andrew’s angelic coo drawing you closer than you ever planned on going. Elsewhere ‘No 1 Against The Rush’ is re-adjusted so that the sighing sequencers and mewing synths haunt, as opposed to propel, the motorik beat, while the title track, a highlight of the set, is played with aggression. Over its whirling fairground modulations, Andrew shakes his finger reproachfully in the general direction of the crowd. You almost feel like apologizing, for, I don’t know, not phoning your mum enough.

If Sisterworld was a lethal downpour, then WIXIW is the swelling deluge in its wake, flowing in an implacable black ooze towards our mutual destruction. As is the Liars way, catastrophe is a foregone conclusion. Never stopping for breath lest they disturb WIXIW‘s inexorable suction, the trio lead us all the way to a devastating finale; an electrical storm to rid us of this terrible, mouth-drying curse. ‘Scarecrows…’ flails suicidally, a nightmarish farce as electrifying as it was on release, two years back. ‘Clear Island’, meanwhile, emerges as a metallic glam-rock stomp for all your totalitarian needs; a blitzkrieg bop evoking accelerated footage of marching stormtroopers and spiralling drones.

Andrew, like a shorn Wookie overlord, lifts his massive hands to the heavens, as if if summon fire from the malign sun-god overhead. His voice manipulator reprocesses his scream as the sound of ten men dying. It’s a massacre. By the time we get to the tech-house ‘Brats’ the wheels are well and truly off, in the best possible way. WIXIW‘s most frenetic cut injects a stiff swing to Andrew’s perma-shaking skull. And finally, after staring at the trio in a state of mild confusion, people begin to move their feet. For the umpteenth time Liars drag the pace into a coiled bind of pregnant stasis, before administering a shotgun facelift to Field Day’s unwitting revellers. As ever, chaos is their speciality. JC


Bugged Out!, 16:00

Gracing the cavernous Bugged Out! tent relatively early in the day, Blawan doesn’t let the levity of an unexpectedly sunny afternoon distract him from his mission – namely, to roll out a set of murky, dystopic but irresistibly funky techno. Over an hour and fifteen minutes, Jamie Roberts shows how far he’s progressed from the skeletal garage of his 2010 debut – from the fringes of the UK scene into the heartland of the European techno underground, going toe to toe with the weightiest of the Berlin set. An initially disinterested crowd are by turns pummeled and seduced into submission, each stylishly executed drop eliciting a slightly larger ripple of excitement than the last. By the closing ten minutes everybody’s on side, Roberts wisely steering away from the more oppressive corners of his record bag (dropping Pangaea’s remix of West Norwood Cassette Library’s ‘Coming On Strong’ is a particularly brave move) into altogether sexier territory. Still, if we were tempted to judge Roberts as anything other than a singularly uncompromising DJ, that temptation is dispelled by the closing number: Shed’s slow-fast, obscenely swung remix of Joy Orbison’s ‘Ellipsis’. Most of the crowd aren’t quite sure what to make of it – the look on Roberts’ face suggests that’s just the reaction he was hoping for. AF


Quietus Village Mentality Stage, 16:55

Pick a festival. Go on, pick a festival, any festival – it could be Glastonbury, Reading, WOMAD, whichever one you like – and the one thing that’s always guaranteed is that something that’s so off your radar will grab you by the lapels, have you dancing as if your life depended on it and end up seared on your brain forever. Field Day is no different, and it’s over at the Quietus tent (where else?) that the Cuban-Malian collective that is Afrocubism is causing an unrestrained outbreak of swinging hips, waving arms and grooving feet. Their music is a joyful fusion of Malian music – ebullient singing, koras, guitars and talking drums – and Cuban rhythms powered by strummed guitars, brass instruments and, once again, ebullient singing. A flamboyantly potent mix of musical styles, this is music that’s utterly impossible to stand still to, and so it proves as those audience members who start moving at the start of their set are soon joined by the curious who have picked on the infectious music as it wafts outside. The cheers between songs are loud and heartfelt and deservedly so; this is music that’s instinctive, passionate and honest, and makes for one of the true highlights of the day. Julian Marszalek

Laurel Halo

BleeD / Lanzarote 17:30

After swift introductions and thanks, Laurel Halo’s set immediately rumbles into action, sending a rippling wall of sound tumbling from the speakers that barely lets up for the full hour she’s onstage. Like previous performances, recognisable songs and tracks occasionally coalesce from the surrounding chaos, taking structured shape before being washed away in the fray once again. Songs from debut album Quarantine are delivered out of their recorded context, with lyrics low in the mid and sung into electric-blue ambience that occasionally crackles and sparks like an overhead cable gone haywire. Though her recorded output is uniformly excellent, it’s in the live arena that Halo’s music really shines – its sheer physical presence hits the body in a way that’s simultaneously unsettling and bucolic, like hanging suspended in the open ocean. When its interweaving basslines finally resolve to a climax, the screaming high frequencies of ‘Carcass’ tear raggedly at the eardrums. Later in the set a four-to-the-floor pulse bubbles up from somewhere deep within the murk. Rippling through the storms of interference, it feels more like a muffled heartbeat, with the tent now full of dancers tracing slow arcs through amniotic fluid. RG


Quietus Village Mentality Stage, 18:15

“GRIMES!” yells some drunken bell-end. “GRIMES! GRIIIMES!”. Minutes pass, and Claire Boucher has not yet responded to the call of her people. Our bellower is at a loss. “GRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY!” As well as giving us a smashing headline to store away for when she goes shit, our friend has given a fairly accurate legal summation of the experience of being in the heart of the crowd for Boucher’s early-evening set, a tent spilling over with hammered, desperate bodies. Once she gets started, though, you’d have to be a grouch beyond all hope to begrudge Boucher any of her sudden huge success. The rippling, snaking-beat spine of ‘Circumambient’ loops in the shrieking revellers, and we’re all a polychromatic party beyond genre, beyond hipness. The taut, moody, sexy ‘Be A Body’ seals the deal, and if the skippy trascendence of ‘Genesis’ and the the doe-eyed squelch of ‘Oblivion’ (accompanied by white-clad, Catwoman-masked dancer) still bring the biggest screams, there’s not a dropped ball or a dull moment here – Boucher works her massive, maniacal crowd expertly. GRIMES: NO PUNISHMENT. EM


Laneway Stage, 18:30

Poor old Fred Macpherson, patted down at every turn for traces of irony smuggled in in his sharp-suit pockets, because having committed the sin of not only having been in some bands but – I shit you not – being friends with some other people in bands, he can’t possibly be taking music seriously, right? I mean, sure, the comedy Arthur Askey glasses don’t help, but give the kid a break. The audacity of daring to admit that The Killers and The White Stripes might, y’know, have had some good songs, rather than banging on about Can and The Birthday Party and how much he loves R&B (or whatever else is the critical hot-shit right now) should result in some kind of bravery award, not ostracism and pelting with disdain. And even though we missed almost all of their set because we were off watching critical-hot-shit-right-now Grimes, the closing arms-aloft sway to the glorious, late-Britpop dandy romance of ‘Never Fade Away’ and its radiant chorus tells us all we need to know. EM

Kassem Mosse

BleeD/Lanzarote, 19:00

It seems criminal that Gunnar Wendel’s set is scheduled for the smallest stage of the festival. Nonetheless, from inauspicious beginnings (namely your correspondent chowing down on a polystyrene cup full of mac’n’cheese while a handful of punters stand around looking listless), Kassem Mosse succeeds in filling out the BleeD/Lanzarote tent, in the process shaping one of the most ecstatic performances of the day. Wendel’s live set – a densely woven mesh of drum machine syncopations, ceaselessly building and mutating, re-imagining itself in ever more danceable forms – is a rare thing in the dance music world in several respects: firstly, it doesn’t compromise on sound quality, retaining the tactile warmth of his records in spite of its laptop origins. And secondly, there’s no sense that dancefloor effectiveness has been sacrificed in favour of a few exhibitionist gimmicks – in fact, compared to the often murky abstraction of Wendel’s productions, this set is crisp, sleek and punchy as fuck. Wendel has a knack for teasing elastic grooves out of grid-locked patterns, serving as a much-needed reminder that machines can be sexy too. Long live The Bosse. AF


Quietus Village Mentality Stage, 19:20

Thanks to legions of copyists wearing the sound threadbare thin, most 90s post-rock hasn’t weathered the last couple of decades too well. Slint have remained an obvious exception; Tortoise are the other. With Thrill Jockey reissuing some of their best-loved records on LP this year – in particular the still-stunning Millions Now Living Will Never Die – it feels like a decent time for the Chicago band to remind people how it’s supposed to be done. They do a good job – the Quietus Village Mentality Stage is well attended considering the non-immediacy of Tortoise’s material and the time of day. (Outside, a thunderstorm threatens, and the party hour is approaching; a fair few punters appear to have lost control of their lower jaws.) Like Canada’s Do Make Say Think, who again have weathered the test of time, they excel at creating a sense of rhythmic freefall, with their two drummers tracing parabolic arcs through a stream of chiming guitar figures. Tortoise’s firm emphasis on maintenance of groove, drive and jazzy modality has always prevented them from lapsing into straight quiet-LOUD-quiet territory, and while the set suffers (to these ears) from arriving after a stunning exercise in dancefloor restraint from Kassem Mosse, its continual shifts between earthy and cosmic are a nice match for the darkening skies outside. RG

The Men

Shacklewell Arms Stage, 19:40

When a band’s soundcheck has the ability to raise the hairs on the back of your neck and ramp up the sense of anticipation to almost unbearable levels, it’s a fair bet that you’re on to something special. By the time The Men leave the Shacklewell Arms stage approximately 30 minutes later – along with the debris of a mass of sweating, grinning faces – it becomes abundantly clear that they are the greatest rock & roll band in the world right now. A bold claim, perhaps, but let us count the ways. The Men don’t fuck about. Playing music at 150mph through ear-bursting amplifiers and speaker stacks isn’t necessarily a guarantee of quality, but when combined with killer melodies and an attitude that sees every spare second used on music rather than say, catching your breath, then it’s a sure bet that the results are going to be something special. And, as evidenced by the heaving moshpit at the front the stage that sees jumping, dancing and crowd surfing, they sure are. The combustible ‘Bataille’ becomes a rallying call for those in need of unexpurgated excitement while a frantic reading of ‘Turn It Around’ threatens to come apart at the seams, such is the velocity of the delivery. Gloriously chaotic, The Men are untouchable. JM


Shacklewell Arms, 20:30

Toy don’t so much write songs as create frameworks upon which to hang their extended and

heavily treated psychedelic wig-outs. It’s certainly at this point that Toy become most interesting, when their effects pedals are set to warp factor speed and their riffs mutate into a cosmic disco that aims for the centre of the brain. A mass of flailing hair and motorik rhythms, the likes of ‘Motoring’ find them locking into murderous and trance-inducing grooves and the Shacklewell Arms tent nods its head in stoned unison. They’ve certainly tightened up since their early afternoon slot in the Quietus tent at last year’s Field Day. Singer-guitarist Tom Dougall is an immobile figure who deadpans his way through the songs, before hunching over his instrument to deploy a volley of solid rhythms that coalesce with bassist Maxim Barron’s growling and hypnotic low end and guitarist Dominic O’Dair’s fretboard gymnastics. This combination is both their strength and their weakness, but with a greater focus on the framework of melody Toy have the potential to become main stage contenders. JM


Bugged Out! 21:40

Headlining the vast Bugged Out! tent is probably a daunting proposition – but if there’s anyone who can manage it, it’s Modeselektor. A combination of the rain outside and an advanced state of collective inebriation means that the tent is packed to the gills and buzzing with anticipation. Opening with fifteen minutes of intimidatingly muscular hip hop, the duo proceed to romp through an array of tempos and ideas, showing that they haven’t lost their knack for presenting the innovations of the contemporary underground in uniquely accessible forms. Berlin-ish techno and the rhythmic tics of the post-dubstep diaspora feature heavily, and a slightly lumpen sense of pace (the silences between tracks are an odd choice, given the context) is compensated for with searingly pronounced loud-quiet dynamics, each barely-there breakdown giving way to a yet more trouser-flapping barrage of kickdrums and bass. The pair haven’t skimped on stage dressing either, with a pair of giant projection screens, framed with bars of blinding fluorescent light, flashing up lyrics and visual cues. Sebastian Szary’s attempts to hype the crowd, piped through a comedy voice-shifter for that instant cough syrup effect, are almost unintelligible – nonetheless, the sentiment is appreciated (in an inchoate sort of way) by an audience who are clearly on side for the duration. Modeselektor may not be all that interested in the seamless contours of a conventional DJ mix, but their dedication to evangelising dance music culture is undeniable. The frenzied euphoria induced by their set is a bonus, too. AF

Mazzy Star

Quietus Village Mentality Stage, 21:50

Though their softly smacked-out sound may have been ripped off a thousand times since, and they themselves are often misunderstood as fey swooners, Mazzy Star’s first gig on these shores in 15 long years soon serves reminder that they’re torn from a harsher cloth. Come expecting the cradling softness of Beach House’s shoegaze lullabies or the inulgent bee-stung croon of Lana Del Rey and you will be met with the infinite inky-eyed frostiness of Hope Sandoval. Once we’re past the delicious opneing amble of ‘Blue Flower’ with is sexily lazy tambourine-bangs, or the stoned coutnry croon of ‘Halah’ and into darker, snarling beasts like ‘Ghost Highway’, a few (well, OK, a large few) fainthearted and fluffy souls decide that they’re better off out in the dark and the rain. They’re gorgeous, Mazzy Star, but they’re definitely hard work. Rewarding, yes, from the gently world-weary sweetness of new track ‘Lay Me Down’ to the howling gothadelica freakout that crowns it all, but they don’t make it easy for you, the stage smokily low-lit, no chat, sombre backdrops of constellations and seascapes cycling slowly past. They are beyond such things as stage presence, but you can’t blame one wag when during the peerless wallowing twang of ‘Fade Into You’, he decides to stage a fight between two shadow-puppet dinosaurs onto the nice projection of a crumbling grayeyard statue. Still, stop tittering at the back – levity, as Mazzy Star’s dark grandeur has reminded us in the strongest possible terms, is for the weak. EM

Franz Ferdinand

Eat Your Own Ears Stage, 21:50

Franz Ferdinand round off the night, headlining the Eat Your Own Ears main stage and turning the crowd into boozy football terrace-singers. This is done with a judicious mix of 2004 rabble-rousers and the best moments of You Could Have It So Much Better and under-rated last record Tonight. Alex Kapranos’ journey to becoming the perfectly-cheekboned Jarvis Cocker of his day is now thoroughly complete, and while it’s strange to think of a band you spent your teenage years with as old hands, they know by now exactly how to headline a festival.

The new tracks mix well, with one seemingly about fresh strawberries and another about being king of the animals (thank me later). A genuinely touching nod to Donna Summer during ‘Can’t Stop Feeling’ and the following cover of ‘I Feel Love’ sends a shiver down the spine that, admittedly, could also be due to the now-torrential rain. “Look at the steam rising off you,” Kapranos purrs, “you’re all so hot”. Franz aren’t so bad themselves. Matthew Foster

Thanks to all the artists on our stage; Tom, Marcus, Beth, Lucy, Mimi at Field Day and Eat Your Own Ears; Jack and Hari at Orange Dot, Tom Phillips and the French fellows who melted cheese so well

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