Field Day is at the forefront of small festivals; bringing dance and alternative rock together harmoniously at London’s Victoria Park. As the festival rapidly approaches, and stage times are announced, its time to make those life or death decisions: Yeasayer or Girl Band? The Avalanches or John Grant? How exactly do you choose between Mystery Jets, The Thurston Moore Group or Fat White Family? Charlotte Teakle investigates...
ROUND ONE: YEASAYER VS GIRL BAND
Stemming from Brooklyn, Yeasayer are a genre-bending outfit that borrows elements of alternative rock, dub, folk and psychedelic pop. Take all those components, mash them together with hazy harmonies and a fun vibe and you’ve got Yeasayer. The quartet have been known to give electric performances; creating an entrancing atmosphere whilst showcasing their talent of blending a fusion of genres cohesively. They released Amen & Goodbye in January which has received critical acclaim across the blogosphere.
But then you have Girl Band. With bangers like ‘Pears For Lunch’, ‘In Butter’ and ‘Lawman’, Girl Band are bound to be a set to remember at Field Day. Their clunky, violent sound works brilliantly with Dara Kiely’s raw vocal, and provocative lyrics. Girl Band are definitely worth a watch this weekend. However, for us, Yeasayer just nip the band this time.
ROUND TWO: MYSTERY JETS VS THE THURSTON MOOR GROUP VS FAT WHITE FAMILY
English indie faves, Mystery Jets, have played Field Day multiple times in its years. Their homecoming set is marked high on the bill following the release of their latest album, Curve Of The Earth. After a three year hiatus, the debut single ‘Bubblegum’ has nostalgic lyrics but registers that they’ve evolved since their ‘Young Love’ days. Back with a vengeance and a set list of crowd favourites, Mystery Jets aren't making this decision easy.
Another special highlight of Field Day is undoubtedly The Thurston Moore Group. With incredible musical roots tied to the iconic, Sonic Youth, and often referred to as trailblazers of alternative rock, seeing Thurston perform is going to be magical. Their diverse sound ranges from harder hitting collectives like the Psychotic Hearts album, to tender acoustic tracks like, ‘Benediction’ and ‘Illuminine’, from 2011’s Demolished Thoughts. The Best Day, released in 2014 is regarded as their strongest yet - which begs the question what could The Thurston Moore Group pull out of the bag on Sunday?
Fat White Family are Peckham’s answer to post punk. Their debut album, Champaign Holocaust, makes reference to the injustice within the music industry and split critics across the board. What initially caught people’s attention was their debut single, ‘Is It Raining In Your Mouth’, which made for a sexy, alternative rock anthem with a grubby feel. Songs For Mothers was self released from Fat White’s own label, and carries their distinctive edge with a little more grooming. Their slot at Field Day is bound to be outrageous; fused by their defiant nature and dark sense of humour.
WINNER: THE THURSTON MOORE GROUP
ROUND THREE: THE AVALANCHES VS JOHN GRANT
Electronic moguls, The Avalanches have finally returned to the music scene after a 15-year break. Their supreme debut album, Since I Left You, blends over 900 samples and exhibits their definitive talent of creating beauty within a sea of genres. The Avalanches production is meticulously fine-tuned, yet still comes across as impulsive. After working with acts like Beastie Boys and Public Enemy - 2016’s Wildflower has been in the works since 2005. ‘Frankie Sinatra’ is an explosive and absorbing introduction to the new album. Featuring Danny Brown and MF DOOM, the track prominently utilises Wilmoth Houdini’s Bobby Sox Idol - where he famously hollered for Frank Sinatra to “sing calypso”. After such a long hiatus, their set is pretty unmissable.
John Grant will inevitably draw in huge crowds at Field Day. After the conclusion of The Czars, John Grant made his solo debut with Queen Of Denmark - an LP powered by heartache. After experimenting with synths, Pale Green Ghosts and Grey Tickles, Black Pressure are still filled with self-deprecation, but he doesn’t wallow. Both laced with synth pop, 2015’s electronic rock album is his most playful yet. Infused with elements of eighties pop and an indie feel, stronger than ever before - John Grant will not disappoint.
WINNER: THE AVALANCHES
So, we've given you three acts you absolutely must-see if you're at Field Day this weekend. Now you've got to fill up the rest of your planner, and trust us when we say there is plenty to be tickled by. Get planning!
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