Field Day 2008

Laura Marling, Foals, Lightspeed Champion
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The poor old promoters of Field Day festival in east London must be sick of putting their festival on by now, and it’s only the second one. Last year it was dogged by complaints of not enough bars, no sound and no toilets, this year they sorted all that out and it pissed down for the entire day.

As the indentikit indie kids realised that skinny jeans, torn vests, really irritating sunglasses, ‘neath a Doherty trilby are actually crap at keeping the rain off their miserable, callow, shivering bodies, Clash realised it could have been worst – a lot worse. We could have been stuck at Wimbledon in the rain with Cliff Richard singing at us, while middle age Home County women get the dirty damp. Because, ignoring the miserable British weather, there was actually a really decent line up of new and seasoned bands to go and watch.

Laura Marling was on the main stage early doors and was excellent – her voice beating the sound of the rain, which was pretty handy as all the raised umbrellas made it pretty much impossible to see the young lady of the moment.

White Lies, with their powerful, kinda melancholic Interpolesque sound benefited from playing in a big tent where they had a capacity crowd trying to stay dry and belted out a great set. American nutcase electro, shouty rock quartet The Mae Shi followed on the same stage and they made up for a couple of programming hiccups with boundless energy and careered around on and off the stage.

Lightspeed Champion manfully stepped in, back on the main stage to take the slot left vacant by Mystery Jets after their frontman had to go to hospital and, as always, delivered a strong performance.

Foals are darlings of the pretty-young-things that the festival is aimed at so it was no surprise that they were headlining, but in reality Les Savy Fav – the penultimate band – should have taken the top spot. Beardy bear-like frontman Tim Harrington stalked around the stage, shouting, screaming and singing in the rain. If ever there is a band you need to go and watch in person, it’s this New York based group.

Maybe next year it’ll be third time lucky, Field Day will get the sun and finally fulfil it’s potential, after this one they deserve it.

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