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Links to Video Clips from the Day in Green
It’s been quite some time since I went to a proper music festival, and the All Points East line up on Saturday 25th looked pretty irresistible so I got myself a ticket.
First band on my list to see was Demob Happy who I profiled a month or so ago here. They had just returned from the States and although it was great to see them, I thought they looked a little out of place as just the three of them on a massive stage, and the sound was pretty ropey to start with. I exited as they were playing their closing number (last single ‘Less is More’) to get over to the Yala stage, but hope I’ll get to see them in a more intimate setting next time.
Next up was Egyptian Blue, a bunch of young upstarts who’ve released 3 tracks thus far including latest single ‘Collateral’ and have a vinyl EP out in June. Despite the fact that they didn’t look as though they were particularly enjoying themselves I thought they were excellent - they have some really exciting material and all of their songs were well structured, so I’ll be straight onto that EP when its released and hopefully they’ll be gigging (and preferably not mid-week) before their next published London night in October.
As soon as that was done I shot back over to the main stage to see Viagra Boys. You can’t help but watch these guys with a smile on your face, so much energy and stage presence, and they rattled through their set, with ‘Sports’ the highlights of the set. I was chatting to a random stranger later on in the day and we both agreed on how good they were - ‘sick’ was his description.
I then went back to the Yala stage to see Feet. I’ve stuck a couple of their tracks on my playlists but didn’t have any major expectations of them, but I have to say I was bowled over by their set. They all jumped around the stage like a bunch of loons, played a lot of good stuff and ended their set by bundling on each other. Pure showmen are hard to find, so when you have a bunch of them on stage together it makes for great entertainment. A couple of days after I remembered that they are supporting Cage the Elephant at Heaven so I’ll get a chance to see them again in a different environment, which I look forward to.
Having seen four bands that I really wanted to see, I thought I’d check out the Fat White Family. They’re a band who I’m not that familiar with, but their set was entertaining and lively. Next up was Parquet Courts, again a band that I don’t know too well, but who were also entertaining, and it’s easy to see the appeal. I had wanted to go on to Psychedelic Porn Crumpets after them but they were playing in the indoor Jagerhaus stage which attracted a huge queue. I hope they ditch this stage next year, it was really annoying. Looking for an alternative I meandered over to see Johnny Marr. I didn’t get the chance to see the Smiths when I was younger so it was wonderful to see him cranking out ‘How Soon is Now?’ There was nothing wrong with what I saw of his set but it was a bit of a come down after seeing such consistent quality earlier in the day.
So by this stage, I needed a lift…and what better place to find it than back at the Yala stage with Yak . I am unashamedly a massive fan of Yak, who were my original inspiration for creating this blog site. I saw them at the Dome in April and they were outstanding, so I was curious to see whether they could replicate that performance here. Although a festival can’t compare with a venue I thought they were superb, Oli Burslem encouraging the crowd to ‘make a circle’ which gave a whole bunch of people an great opportunity to pogo and chicken dance to their hearts abandon, before he himself laid himself aloft the mosh pit playing his guitar on their shoulders. The band were again accompanied by brass and keys, not sure this worked as well as it did at the Dome but it certainly didn’t detract. Brilliant stuff.
Beyond this, it was kind of downhill. The Raconteurs were good, but the sheer volume of people watching them didn’t make for a particularly comfortable experience, so I went over to see Interpol who I wasn’t particularly impressed by. Finishing off the night was The Strokes. Again I’m not a huge fan and I managed to leave fairly early into their set, fighting my way through the massed numbers. Apparently the sound was really bad for the Strokes and some of the other bands but I really didn’t notice it – it seemed OK from where I was.
Concluding thoughts on the day – I loved it, particularly the earlier part w ith the young and up and coming bands. The event was brilliantly organised, I thought there was a really good atmosphere and it was really well laid out. For me the Yala / Ray Bans stage provided the best experience for all the bands that I saw there, mainly due to the fact that it was a smaller space, had crisper sound and you were much closer to the bands compared to the other stages which had about half a miles’ clearance. But overall I have no complaints, and if they continue to keep their finger on the pulse of all the latest up and coming talent as they did on this day I’ll be there again next year.
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