Bicep and Hot Chip headline Field Day at All Points East
For most of the bank holiday, Victoria Park played host to All Points East festival but Sunday was Field Day. It was a thinner crowd than the previous day, but the clientele was still young, thin and beautiful. One person with grey hair was seen and he was possibly security. The crowd probably would be stylish had fashion not seemingly taken a troubling turn in the last 18 months: clashing and swirling pastiches of the most eye-assaulting 70s/90s design are clearly in. Someone needs to take them out again; orange and pink translucent flares do not do anyone any favours, least of all the people looking at them. There were still the obligatory sequins though. One sartorial highlight was a man sporting a jewel-encrusted traditional Chinese suit with matching conical hat.
The staff and crowd were friendly, clearly wanting to ensure everyone had a good time. An urgently drunk man with the biggest sunglasses in the world and a gold front tooth was bestowing miniature bottles of Campari on those he felt deserved them.
The main (East) stage was where the best of the music was. Dad-raving festival stalwarts Hot Chip put in a typically excellent show; Alexis Taylor’s fragile falsetto is always strangely moving. The skeletal beat of Over and Over never fails to ignite a crowd. Fresh producer and DJ Floating Points played a set of his distinctive, glitchy tracks, accompanied by spare monochrome visuals that occasionally bloomed into moving, rainbow oil-slick designs. His dance music is cerebral, which is unsurprising for a man who has a PhD in Neuroscience and Epigenetics (answers on a post card for what that is). LesAlpx is a track of cute glitches that is unexpectedly soothing.
The headline act was Northern Irish electronic duo Bicep, who had an entire scaffolding constructed on-stage before their set. Perhaps because of this elevated anticipation, it felt like the hour-and-a-half-long set took a while to get going, moving off with a muted and subdued start. An extended and chopped up version of Saku felt like it should lead to more of a crescendo. Dance music is all about the anticipation and release, and this felt heavy on the former with not enough of the latter. As a result, large parts of the young and restless crowd started streaming out from the front, which was annoying for those trying to watch and/or dance. Their biggest tracks, the ethereal bangers Glue and Apricot, closed the set in a typically stylish way. And yet… there was something that felt a little perfunctory about the show. Their livestream was excellent in terms of production values, but a festival set by definition has to bring more to the table to keep the attention of people who have most likely been drinking all day, and this was lacking something in unexpected flair. The production, again, was great, with a stunning laser and light show beaming out across the crowd. Sonically it could have torn the place apart but it stopped short: it was good but not spectacular.
Still, sequins flashed, spirits were lifted, umbrellas adorned with fairy lights bounced, shoulders were ridden with varying degrees of success and lasers were reached for.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information about All Points East visit the festival’s website here.