Words by Elliot Struck, photos by Life Without Andy.
Field Day lit up the new year yesterday. It was hot, like every year, but the kinda hot that gives everyone an equal stickiness, strips backs all the trimmings and, in a festival setting, means togetherness. The domain in the heart of Sydney is an excellent festival setting, really; lush greenery surrounded by skyscrapers (Centrepoint Tower stands almost directly behind the man stage). If the genre that Field Day caters to is your jam, then the lineup was stacked.
Aeroplane, who Stab‘s v fond of (much office airtime was given to We Can’t Flyin 2012), was about as good an opener as you could hope for. His Italo grooves (like the Sébastien Tellier remix that y’heard in Modern Collective) sparkled like the first spritz on a hot afternoon. Breakbot, on a similar tip, is an eccentric Frenchman who’s disco pop bubbled perfectly after lunch.
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs’s highlight was, unsurprisingly, Your Love(if you’ve ever been to Japan, watch this jam’s film clip for a nostalgia hit). Hot Chip’s equipment was lost on their Virgin flight, so two members played a DJ set. Disappointing, but all wasn’t lost – it was soon announced the festival would be extended half an hour, and they’d be playing their live set to close. More on that soon. Danny Daze rolled into Left Field at 6:30, and tripled the size of his crowd within three songs. Dude’s from Miami and cut his teeth with booty music, but his house set grew and pulsed, and everyone swooned. Erol Alkan has been a dance music tastemaker for a long time. He does techno, house, electro and disco in equal parts, slung together like they were meant to be. His rightful place, on the Centre Field, was well-received by the bumping crowd who, by this point, had long forgotten their hangovers and were ready to go.
At this point, your Stab correspondent headed for The Island for two of the day’s highlights: Disclosure, followed by SBTRKT. Disclosure are bros Guy and Howard Lawrence, aged 18 and 21, from the UK. Their single, Latch feat. Sam Smith, is one you should know. Their roots are in old school UK Garage, but it’s all accessible and a little more housed-up. The sample pads and Ableton triggers brought way more than a DJ set ever could. And, everybody dug. Before VSTR, there was SBTRKT, the brainchild of Aaron Jerome, vocalised by Sampha. Look up Pharaohs for an entry track. Jerome’s drumming livened the whole thing up perfectly, and there was much enthusiastic crowd participation where backup vocals were concerned. A good time was had by all.
It was then back to Centre Stage for Hot Chip’s half hour set. Walking on a little after they were supposed to, singer Alexis Taylor mumbled: “Hello Field Day, we’ve got 24 minutes.” Thankfully, there was no bitterness at the shortened slot in their performance. You either love Hot Chip or hate ’em, and those that love, fell in love again. The special set time also meant that there were no competing acts, so the whole remainder of the crowd were there to watch. Kinda the perfect, feel-good finish to the first long, hot day of the new year.
See Life Without Andy‘s full gallery, here.