Jet lag is real man. I'm still feeling the effects as I try to re-piece an already blurry week and the change in time zone is really not helping.
The first thing that really kicked me into gear after our arrival in London was cracking a breakfast beer on the second day. Before you knew it we were charging through the London streets, Luke-warm Red Stripe can in hand, on route to day one of the All Points East. The first day of the festival was a kind of feel-out, sus what it's all about kind of day. There wasn't anyone any of us were dying to see, but a number of enticing acts nonetheless.
Due to getting a little carried away with the breakfast beers, we arrived just after Danny Brown had finished, which was a bit of a bummer. This bum out was quickly forgotten as a pedestrian-dressed girl from an area not far from where we were standing, started turning heads and filling the area in front of the stage. The girls name is Kate Tempest, a name we quickly became acquainted with... and you should too. It was like watching a contemporary Shakespeare dressed in track-suit pants while hip-hop and techno inspired beats played in the background. Equal parts hip-hop and spoken word poetry, with the lyrics challenging a broken global political system. It was one of those performances where everyone is dead silent until the song is over, then everyone erupts into applause.
After Kate Tempest and a couple more tall tins, we headed to another stage to catch Hot Chip, dressed to a tee and getting the people moving. A real highlight was their cover of the Beastie Boys' Sabotage.Sadly we missed dance giants The Chemical Brothers as we bailed shortly after to head to a warehouse party... more on that later.
Day two of the festival was the day we were there for. Blowing off the cobwebs from the night before (at said warehouse party) we headed in early to catch Amyl and The Sniffers. Watching those guys light up such a massive stage without all the fancy pants stage stuff that other acts had was a real treat. Amy absolutely dominated the set (as always) aggressively strutting her stuff back and forth, keeping everyones eyes firmly stuck to their band at all times. It was clear that a lot of the crowd had heard the hype about the crazy new Australian rock gremlins, and it's pretty safe to say that expectations were met. Heads were a-banging and toes were a-stomping.
We spent all day at this stage (save many trips to the bar), which was good for giving the old legs a rest. New York post-punkers Parquet Courts got everyone going, with such a large discography, they did an excellent job of balancing crowd pleasers with their ripper new material. It was one of the more energetic sets I've seen these guys play, and the crowd responded well with crowd-surfing galore, and sing alongs throughout the whole set.
We then went to watch Australian folk rock sweet heart Courtney Barnett who always puts on an awesome live show. She had everyone singing along and swaying to her modest and uniquely Australian anthems. After that I remember glimpses of Jack Whites head tearing solos, and an ear blasting from a huge crowd singing along to "Last Nite" by The Strokes and blurs of Julian Casablancas zoomed in face plastered across the big screen.
I must have been singing along too, because I woke up sounding like Tom Waits. After smashing a quick brekky and telling each other we all looked and felt great, we headed in for our final day. Rocking in late again, we got there just in time to see steazy American, Toro Y Moi. Toro definitely lifted our spirits, he had everyone dancing to his smooth synth beats and tasty vocals. It was exactly what we needed.... that and a couple of Vodka Redbulls. Beach House and Kurt Vile kept the mellow vibes going, providing sing alongs and swaying, it was exactly what we needed. Then to up the vibe a little bit the incredible contemporary jazz man Kamasi Washington and his band hit the stage. This really got us in the mood for a couple more beers. Some rain had started to set in but the crazy sax solos, blasting trumpets and a powerful voice, Kamasi and his band had us jumping around and feeling the vibe in the wet. The Vodka Redbulls were probably kicking in too.
We were pretty wrecked, soaked and in need of a sit down after Kamasi, so we opted to bail for some food and a drink at a near by pub. All in all, the festival was spot on what we had expected, great music by great musicians with a medium to large mood, right in the middle of Londons most iconic park. What more could you want?
Stay tuned for more London shenanigans.