The day after Neil Young at the O2 started out damp and got wetter; by late morning we were actively putting off going over to Hackney for Field Day. Fortunately, friends who’d attended the first day sent warnings to wear walking boots… In the end, though the ground was heavy going in the busiest places, it wasn’t too bad. We didn’t get to do much lying around on the grass listening to music this year, though: standing pretty much all day.
A huge downpour arrived while were in a tent watching Blossoms (who could probably count themselves lucky to have a captive audience for a while), but otherwise somehow we stayed dry. Steve Mason was a bit disappointing, I thought, but maybe I wasn’t really in the right mood for that kind of swagger at that time of day – and maybe any act would have seemed underwhelming after Neil Young the previous evening; Ben Watt and band (inc. Bernard Butler) were really good, even if I’m not sure the songs would stand up to much listening in the long run; Moon Duo were great, and PJ Harvey delivered something very different and pretty special to close it out.
It’s a really good event – the food and drinks work – and I was struck by just how excellent the sound was, particularly for PJ Harvey (helped no doubt, but the absence of any breeze for most of the day).
My abiding memory of Field Day from a few years back is the lack of sound from the Sun Ra Arkestra as the music drifted off on an unrelenting northern wind…that, and a horde of drunk teenagers…
Neil C said:
I went to the first ever Field Day, which was fairly terrible – impossible to get food, drinks, etc without massive queues – and returned with some trepidation last year and found they had improved all the organisation massively. The sound for PJ Harvey wasn’t particularly loud, but the clarity was something else, compared to any other outdoor gig I’ve been to.