Field Day 2016

Torrents of glitter, torrents of rain, torrents of talent, and lashings of politics as well as craft beer, turned Field Day into a truly heady brew.

Georgia, Field Day - pic Kitmonsters

Field Day 2016 - Saturday

Skepta was a complete powerhouse, storming through a set rich with incisive lyrical twists, while grime legend DJ Maximum poured out landmark beats. Crossover hit Shutdown chased the clouds away from the main stage.

Fellow Londoner Georgia was relishing her first festival set in her hometown and got a packed Jaegerhaus bouncing to her thrilling live drums and synth grooves with vocals punctuated by her growls. Her question ‘Who says that girls can’t do it?’ was a challenge that didn’t need a response.

At the other end of the site the Fader stage became new musos corner as lauded DIY-releasing rapper Little Simz had the crowd roaring at her fast, fierce and witty set, one that attracted East London bands like a mega-magnet.

Little Simz, Field Day - pic Kitmonsters

Dublin’s Girl Band (a band with no girls) summoned the noise rock faithful to the Shacklewell Arms tent for intense and ferocious visceral tunes that rooted people to the spot in awe.

The enigmatic Dean Blunt served up spine-chilling sounds at the Moth Club, wreathed in thick clouds of smoke. Compelling, disorientating and with a Union Jack paraded through the crowd, he kicked off with the hypnotic and unnerving Stealth Intro and its loop ‘This Makes Me Proud to Be British’, dragging the on-edge audience into his alternative art-hop provocateur reality.

Dean Blunt - Field Day

Across the way, Sleaford Mods headlined the Crack tent and the hour long set gave them the chance to flex their muscles and play some of the tunes that don’t get such a regular outing, like Showboat. Someone in the audience waved their crutch high into the air as if to testify to the Mods’ healing properties. Finishing with Tweet Tweet Tweet with its ominous chanting and ‘UKIP you’re a disgrace’ lyrics, they sonified the UK’s looming nightmares.

Sleaford Mods, Field Day - pic Kitmonsters

Field Day 2016 - Sunday

The crowd’s badge of choice on Sunday was blue, sticky, and from the referendum ‘In’ campaign, with reports emerging that up and coming grimester Novelist had been stoking up the ‘In’ vote the day before.

In the Jaegerhaus Kent’s Get Inuit whizzed up guitar rock with the sweetest of vocals faster than the latest go-to blender. They call it dirty pop but it’s a feelgood vitamin burst.

Get Inuit, Field Day - pic Kitmonsters

The real dirty popsters had filled their tent to overflowing. Fat White Family’s underpants-scratching performance was far more joyful than some of the early main stage action. They toss out superb guitar and keyboard licks so casually you don’t know what’s hit you until you’re totally lost in the moment and singing along to the sleaze-rock of Touch The Leather.

Fat White Family, Field Day - pic Kitmonsters

Back on the main stage, The Brian Jonestown Massacre played brilliant and luscious psychedelic rock, and the enthralled crowd didn’t need much encouragement to shout a cathartic Cameron-aimed ‘Pigfucker’, at Anton Newcombe’s request.

Swedish band Goat’s ritualistic vibes were another huge draw, a stew of psych, rock, worldbeat and shamanic stylings that summoned the faithful and casual observers alike to dance worship, led by two female singer/percussionists. You had to be there – experimental fusion doesn’t begin to describe it.

Field Day - pic Kitmonsters

Melbourne’s The Temper Trap too got the party going and finished with a spine-tingling version of Sweet Disposition, such a timeless beauty of a song that no amount of TV exposure can strangle it.

John Grant is a towering and joyful enigma. From tear-jerking ballads to the bellicose Motherfucker via hip-shaking dance anthems, he is a one-man genre-fucking festival.

There was a lot of anticipation ahead of French duo Air’s set, and they brought some musical sunshine to balance the downpours outside, including an incredible version of their classic La Femme d’Argent.

Enter the magic Queen PJ Harvey – if she’d been riding a fire-breathing dragon no one would have batted an eyelid. She was majestic and her band of dark knights powerful - growling guitars, stunning saxophones, and demonic drumming - in a performance that majored on new album The Hope Six Demolition Project. Intense, exciting, commanding, compelling. The thunderous clouds looked as if they had been shipped in as a set for her performance. Then as if choreographed, they slowly retreated. PJ Harvey won.