Foals, Arlo Parks and Caribou wow crowds on bank holiday Monday at All Points East
After 18 months since live concerts were last staged, it feels great to be back in the open, dancing like no one’s watching. This bank holiday saw the likes of Arlo Parks, Caribou and Foals brighten the fading summer rays.
Winning an array of awards including Breakthrough Artist at the Brit Awards, Arlo Parks is wholly unafraid when it comes to her poetic lyricism. Parks is open and honest to the point of being heartbreakingly so, connecting with Gen Z through her music, which evokes a certain angst particular to her generation. Large sunflowers adorn the stage as the singer and her band emerge. The thrumming bass of gem Hurt fills one’s very being and, as with most live shows, the arrangements have been reworked to create a funkier style. Parks and her band are on full form for first single Cola, while Caroline sees the audience joining in with the chorus. The vocalist is effortless on stage, her songs a perfect accompaniment to the downtempo vibes. They finish off with You’re Not Alone, a euphoric belter, leaving the crowd energised.
Canadian composer Caribou is a definite highlight. Tracks from the latest album Suddenly (performed alongside earlier hits like Odessa) include iridescent tunes such as New Jade and You and I – both twinkling, melodic breaths of fresh air. Caribou is at home on the stage, performing without shoes, blue socks flashing as he traverses the space. New single You Can Do It is a cheerful, boisterous banger, with the repeated chorus backed by the artist’s signature synth sounds and echoing cymbals, while Never Come Back and Can’t Do Without You are the perfect picks for a festival gig. His set ends with a spectacular light show.
Foals are the headline act, and take APE by storm with their heady mix of alternative and indie tunes. The Oxford band are dynamic and lively, though many audience members leave, disappointed at the decreased sound, likely due to the festival’s setting in a residential area. Despite this, Foals give it their all, and the result was still pleasing. The ever-emotive Mountain at My Gates from 2015’s What Went Down is anthemic and all encompassing. Taking listeners back to the relatively early 2000s with Olympic Airways, Foals show they can just as easily play dance-punk, and segue effortlessly into the heavier tracks. A stunning explosion of pink confetti and streamers released during In Degrees is enough to invigorate the crowd further. Frontman Yannis Philippakis’s demeanour is naturally rock‘n’roll as he descends from the stage to get his cigarette lit by a fan, shouting “London baby”. He shows his gentler side, exclaiming, “It would be meaningless without ya,” and Two Steps, Twice goes down a treat, leaving audiences with the final shower of confetti and streamers, overjoyed to be together once again.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information about All Points East visit the festival’s website here.