All Points East, Victoria Park, London
24th May 2019
East London’s Victoria Park gets summer started with a series of mouthwatering line ups. Louder Than War reviews The Chemical Brothers along with a few of the other high quality bands available to see during the day.
School’s out for summer!
The last bank holiday weekend before we tie our surfboards to the top of the campervan and hit the coast. Sandals are on, shorts are on, the cool kids are wearing newly acquired scalping t-shirts, and the people with evening jobs have new sunglasses that complete the look for those walking down Grove Road towards London’s Victoria Park for a day of dancing, drinking and queuing up for chips.
We get up early, hit the café for noon, spend too long on Instagram taking photos of our vegan breakfast, hot-foot through the metal detectors in time for Kate Tempest before we look at our watches and start moaning about the one person who is still wearing the same clothes worn whilst smoking something that didn’t look or smell right when we were walking back from the pub the previous night and is now helping the police with their enquiries.
“Don’t stroke the dogs” we said.
Too late, we’re all going our own separate ways already.
The line up looks great, everyone has different ideas about how the day will go anyway and today we’re so hardcore we’ve come to a gig in a park without our coats on.
By the end of the day some of us will have shed a tear whilst watching and listening to Kate Tempest, danced our socks off to Hot Chip and The Chemical Brothers and got soaking wet whilst either running away from Primal Scream or dancing in the rain with some good old British don’t-give-a-damn spirit. We do wonder as we scuttle away from the elements what sort of person it is that is so organised that they acutely have the foresight to bring along an umbrella when even the weather reports did not predict the downpour we witness an hour before The Chemical Brothers arrived. How they managed to get it through security without it being deemed a suspicious object, as it certainly could have been justifiably described a few hours earlier in the blazing sun, is anyone’s guess.
Kate Tempest has some new material for us and it’s incredible.
“There is so much love to be found on peoples faces” is the only bit we get around to writing down.
It takes until the end to remember some of us are there to take notes but this is mesmerising.
But it’s not poetry at all really is it? – It’s story telling whilst a young lady in the background knocks out some agreeable beats, tinkles at the piano and adds all the accompaniment required. Kate has a thousand Facebook statuses in her repertoire today, one liners we’ll not remember until the next time we see her. She’s saying nice things about the world, owning up to the confusion that surrounds us day to day and offering us as much to think about as Crass would have done to any post teen adults back in the early 1980’s. She’s eloquent, well rehearsed, obviously committed and well skilled in her use of the English language. This isn’t simply talent alone. This is a committed artist with strong observation skills with the ability to be able to work obsessively at her art. One of the good guys and one of the greats that needs to be heard by all.
Time for a walk and time to catch a song or two by Steve Mason, Spititualized, Roisin Murphy and Little Simz. A decent line up is already being conquered and we’re beginning to get our festival feet primed and ready for not only the next few hours ahead but for the next few weeks.
Hot Chip may just look like a bunch of old blokes nowadays (actually, have they ever looked anything other?), but they’re pressing the right buttons, and providing us all with some glorious arm-waving, foot-tapping, fist-shaking dance anthems whilst decked out in tie dye suits and even offering a little bit of synchronised dancing. They’ve always been great at any time of the day. The fortunate amongst us who have managed to keep up with this band’s activities can’t really remember them playing a dud show yet and this is no different. Over and Over arrives early and gets the main stage erupting. Conversations between associated friends have now come to an end and the real party has now really begun. The sun is slowly tucking itself away for the day, the stage lights are in full flow by the end and as a farewell to daylight they mess with our heads with a note perfect cover of The Beastie Boys’ Sabotage that has us confused yet delighted. It’s the first big moment of the summer that takes those of us who haven’t looked at Twitter recently by surprise, especially coming moments after Boy From School, Ready For The Floor and the fabulous Hungry Child, a song that has dragged many old men and women back to the dance floor this year. Give them Eurovision someone, one or two of us have an eye on visiting the ‘dam again next springtime.
Then the rain arrives and we get wet.
Summer 2019 has officially begun, however we are sure that by the time The Chemical Brothers come on the rain will stop.
We knew we couldn’t get wetter, we knew we could dance this off within an hour or so and we had faith in our predictions.
Go arrives early, Galvanise arrives late. In between we get the obligatory glitter cannons (No Geography), big balloons (Hey Boy Hey Girl), a minute of New Order’s Temptation and a field full of punters on each others shoulders or dancing with their beers and dancing like its 1999 without the drugs.
We came expecting the day to be good again after last years visits to see Bjork & Nick Cave as well as all that came with it and this first outside event of the 2019 summer calendar does not disappoint.
All Points East has delivered once again and yet its still only Friday night. Training for Glastonbury is over for one day, we know we can survive the summer ahead, we’ve splashed our naked toes in the puddles and tinkered with the glitter pot for the first time this year. Our knees are dirty, our clothes are wet and our wallets are empty.
The big guns we’ve seen today are still firing strong and the new tunes are already sounding promising. The bands in this line up have taken years to evolve and the acts we’ve walked into again are still at their best and still releasing great new tunes. There are no passengers living on past glories around here today. Every one of them we catch today is worth another look again over the next few months ahead and every one of them is certainly welcome to fill our local park with the music we sometimes take for granted in our quest for the next new thing.
It’s summer. Time for the fields to open up and provide us with the bands we can’t afford to see individually.
Don’t forget the sunscreen.
We’ll see you at the barrier.