All points isLondon’s 10-day music festival and community extravaganza in Victoria Park kicked off last weekend, giving music-hungry Londoners alfresco revelry before the sun sets behind the clouds in the end of summer.
Gorillaz headlined the first Friday of the festival, opening the event alongside diverse and impressive artists like Turnstile and Yves Tumor. On Saturday August 20, APE teamed up with Field Day, a celebration of dance music that has been going strong since 2007, to welcome electronic idols including the chemical brothers and Kraftwerk alongside notable DJs such as Peggy Gou and Denis Sulta.
All Points East continues Thursday through the following Sunday, August 28, with artists like Tame Impala, Nick Cave, The National and Disclosure. GRAMMY.com attended the first weekend of APE; read on for some of the best moments and what you can expect from weekend two.
Squarepusher’s clever dance moves
Tom Jenkinson – best known for his erratic and eccentric electronic music project, Squarepusher – inhabited the North Stage tent for a live performance during Field Day. He is still going strong after the release of his first album Feed me weird things in 1996 on Warp, maintaining and championing the Intelligent Dance Music (IDM) genre with a voracious attitude.
Although it might seem difficult to dance to Jenkinson’s fast, random beats, he proved it was possible with contortionist movements on stage. It didn’t matter that Jenkinson had a six-string bass around his chest; he found time to dance as the jittery flashing strobe lights matched the music in speed and intensity.
Remi Wolf goes “crazy”
Californian Remi Wolf captured the full range of crowd emotions on Friday afternoon. She navigated the happy indifference of adolescence with the Sublime-esque alt-rock jam, “Liquor Store,” and into raucous female empowerment with the hip-hop soul of “Sexy Villain.” Both songs are from his 2021 LP, Juno.
At one point, she asked the crowd if they ever felt like badass before asking in the next breath if they felt like c—. Both requests received exuberant acclaim. But the highlight came in his coverage of Gnarl Barkley“Crazy,” an emotion the crowd was happy to exude when Wolf matched Cee-Lo’s power on the chorus’ high notes.
Fjaak during the day
Aaron Röbig and Felix Wagner, who produce and perform in the underground dance project FJAAK, usually play music suitable for the deep hours of the night in filthy industrial warehouses. They often trade between hard-hitting techno and twisting left-field breakbeats, and on Field Day 2022, they brought their late night jams at 4 p.m. to the main stage.
Devilish beats soared across the fields of Victoria Park as DJs played on a triad of LED screens. It was as if they were the lead singers of different rock bands inhabiting the same space at different times during the event. A full 180 that FJAAK is normally found from, but they definitely pulled it off.
Femi Kuti keeps it in the family
There are certain names that will live forever throughout the evolution of music, and one of them is Kuti. Since Nigerian master musician Fela Kuti pioneered Afrobeat in the late 1960s by combining traditional African music styles like calypso and Yoruba with funk, soul and jazz, his surname has never been far from musical conversation.
The first day of All Points East, Femi Kuti performed with his own Afrobeat ensemble. Just like his father, Fela, did for him, Femi welcomed his son, Made Kuti, into the group. Made performed the last song of the set in which he held a note on his saxophone for so long that people whipped out their phones to time him.
High School In The Quad
Along with the large stages, APE also had small stages for up-and-coming acts. One such act was indie outfit, HighSchool, who performed on the Firestone Stage for a quick 30-minute set consisting mostly of songs from their debut EP, Forever finally.
Circled in a healthy corner of the festival near a collection of tables and benches where attendees could rest and eat, the HighSchool name was rather apt. As the band played their very first set with a live drummer, it was like one of the bands would come and play in the quad during high school lunch.
Chemical Brothers created their own Avengers
The buzz around the Chemical Brothers headlining Field was palpable, to say the least. As the sun set and the other stages closed, thousands of people descended on the main stage grounds to revel not only in the music of British favorites, but also in the grand and intricate visual spectacle crafted by the members Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons.
“Block Rockin’ Beats” opened the set, which was particularly spectacular given Dig your own hole turned 25 in 2022. Classic favorites like “Go” and “Hey Boy Hey Girl” followed soon after. Each track carried with it a unique visual design that seemed to become more and more impressive and captivating, but a highlight in this regard was surely “Eve Of Destruction” from the GRAMMY-winning LP, No geography.
In a popular culture where superheroes are becoming more and more commonplace, the Chemical Brothers have managed to design their own team of superheroes and supervillains who have entered into epic battles live on screen. Kevin Feige and the rest of the Marvel Studios staff should take note.
Gorillaz brings Tame Impala (among others)
Given the nature of their recordings, every Gorillaz show is likely to have a special guest or two. Ahead of All Points East, Damon Albarn and company confirmed not one, but nine different guest artists, including Popcaan, Clash bassist Paul Simonon, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and Pharcyde’s Bootie Brown.
Yasin Bey took up vocals on “Sweepstakes” and “Stylo,” his two 2010s tracks plastic beach. Pos, one of three members of De La Soul, treated his verses (and a rather jovial introductory sermon) to the single “Feel Good Inc.” from 2005 demon days.
Still, even with so many friends reunited for Albarn’s hometown show, there was still room for a few surprises, one of which was Kevin Parker of Tame the impala who performed Gorillaz’s upcoming single, “New Gold,” for the very first time.
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