East is east: Field Day previewed

Chris Swindells previews Victoria Park's Field Day 2011 festival and asks what canvas shoes should he wear?

What is this Field Day?

It’s East London Armageddon; get your corduroy slacks, waistcoasts and pubic facial hair ready, we’re going to make a festival and all in the name of irony.

So this is a festival not to be taken seriously?

Not at all, the people might be kitsch, irrelevant and down right misguided but the music is far from it. Wild Beasts and The Horrors play main stage roles and together are responsible for delivering arguably the two greatest albums of the year so far. 

Do I have to wear American Apparel?

There’s no formal dress code but a Beyond Retro receipt will get you a discount on the door (Ed. It won’t).

Sounds perfect, but what should I watch out for?

The sound in fact, can be a little moderated, for our East London neighbours Victoria Park has to keep it turned down to -11db. Also every local lager and ale has a price tag, roughly £4 if last year’s prices are anything to go by.

So I can’t afford the tipple, what can’t I afford to miss?

Factory Floor 

About as intense as a cold shower, this trio will leave you shaking, shivering and wondering where your junk has disappeared to. It’s a visual and visceral show, full synth and guitar, with recent production credits for former New Order and Joy Division stickman Stephen Morris.



So lets deal with the Swedish elephant in the corner, it’s José González on vocals. This trio pack more punch than his solo reworking of ‘Heartbeat ‘and whilst they’ve moved away from the hardcore music they played together as teenage children, Junip haven’t lost their experimental and darker half.


Zola Jesus

Imagine our beloved Christian messiah and the Italian football-playing Stamford Bridge hero were to collide and play music, it would sound nothing like Zola Jesus. An Russian American singer-songwriter talent, Nika Roza Danilova has a passion for the gothic soul inside of all of us and as a prolific artist she is scheduled to release her third album in three years this September.

Omar Souleyman

Relations with Syria might be strained as William Hague threatens further sanctions against the regime but still their hailed musical maestro Souleyman is free to enter the country for Field Day. Thank your deity above his mix of frantic and intense ‘Dabke’ music, with Kurdish and Arabic influences can transfix your Saturday afternoon at Field Day.

Wild Beasts

This band, like The Horrors, have only one thing to feel guilty about – releasing three albums, each greater than the previous. Their third ‘Smother’ was a shoe in for the Mercury Prize but again like The Horrors was blanked for other more mediocre options. Hear it in all it’s splendour at Field Day for a show that you can’t afford to miss.

So I’m down and hipster enough to get that, but where can I get tickets?

Put the Vice magazine down, and head to Rough Trade East to get personal service, a ticket for £39.50 and a sheet of vinyl for the road. Otherwise buy your Field Day Festival 2011 tickets here

I’m too cool for school, what can I do when I play truant tomorrow?

Listen to our Field Day Spotify playlist.