In pictures: Field Day 2017

Heading down to Victoria Park in East London for Field Day proved to be a great start to this summer's festival season. The event also provided the perfect opportunity to see headliners Aphex Twin at their only UK festival performance this year on the Barn Stage, alongside other favourites including: Arab Strap, Run The Jewels, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Slowdive

Aphex Twin were the talk of the day amongst dwellers, with Warp Records setting up a merchandise stall selling limited edition mini albums. 

After last year's disappointing rained out 10th anniversary event, things were certainly looking positive for a scorcher of a day with record number of crowds attending the East London shindig. 

Slimming down this year's affair to just one day to focus the efforts of world class talent accordingly seemed like a good move compared to the two day event the festival was in previous years.

Heading to the Shacklewell Arms tent for a 45-minute Flamingods set, things were kicking off in the packed out tent. Crowds threw themselves without care at the front of the stage.

After the recent release of their 'Kewali' EP, psych rockers Flamingods didn't disappoint with their live set and even brought out special guests in the form of Dan Leavers and Elliot Arndt. 

Halfway through the excellent musical affair lead singer Kamal decided to throw himself into the audience for some crowd-surfing action, whilst the sea of faces joined in and cheered him on. 

 Over on the Eat Your Own Ears stage, Rae Morris slowed the pace and calmed things down a notch with her mellow, dance-inspired set, which was just the ticket to sit down with and enjoy a cold beer and a slice of organic pizza from one of the many award-winning food stalls on offer. 

Next up were King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, currently touring the UK, who certainly pulled a large crowd in the evening at the Shacklewell Arms tent. Filling the area to capacity in no time, the band engaged with the audience from the off, whilst shouting: "Rattlesnake, Rattlesnake, Rattlesnake!"

Slowdive played plenty of their back catalogue during their set and it easy to notice that Nick Chaplin wore a Kite Base t-shirt during the performance too. Certainly one to remember, the band only recently reformed for a successful fourth album and have a stack of festivals to play this summer. 

Aphex Twin's closing set was mind-blowing. The huge Barn stage was filled to the brim with revelling, dancing crowds in a way that Field Day has never seen before, whilst their mesmerising lazer show played out for all to witness.

One disappointment to mention was that they didn't play more of the older 90s classics that the older generation in the audience longed to hear. 

2017 produced an undoubtedly memorable Field Day, although the evening also saw the tragic events of the London Bridge attack, which left many stranded in fear. 

Field Day might be one of the smaller major festivals on the UK scene but they know how to put on an unforgettable event and provide value for money, which is something that will ensure their longevity in years to come. 

Take a look at the rest of the pictures from the day below.

Words and photos Michael Hundertmark

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Lorde displays continual brilliance on 'Melodrama'

The follow-up to any hit debut album is by no means an easy feat. Choosing to base her second release around the concept of a house party and the events that follow throughout the night, some might argue Lorde had her work cut out but most will agree that the young musician pulled it off without a doubt. 

'Melodrama' charts the highs and lows of a big night. From the opening bars of 'Green Light' to the final throes of 'Perfect Places', Lorde has covered it all and it's an album that will resonate with many. 

Opening track, 'Green Light', is euphoric to the core. The first cut to be released from the album, the pressure was on but this was a track built to thrill. It sees the record burst into life and it'll have you kicking and screaming, before the second track has even begun. 

Continuing the brilliance on 'Sober', the track is polished, dramatic and devilishly charming - all descriptions that could easily fit Lorde herself. "We're King and Queen of the weekend/ain't a pill that could touch our rush/but what will we do when we're sober" sings the star on the chorus that serves as a timely reminder that the 20-year-old is no longer the same teenager who shot to fame on 2013's 'Pure Heroine'. 

Lorde quite clearly has a knack for memorable, festival-friendly verses too. On 'The Louvre' she states: "They'll hang us in The Louvre/down the back, but who cares-still The Louvre". The track is indicative of Lorde branching out and trying bold new tactics and it paying off tenfold. 

One of the album's finest moments comes in the form of 'Writer In The Dark'. A deliciously bitter anthem for those who need it, it's honest, universal and almost lullaby-like at times. The track also succeeds in blending sweet melodies with pop hooks that results in a spine-tingling moment or two. 

The sad but grand 'Supercut' is also up there as a high point amongst an album brimming with highs. The sub-five minute number tells off Lorde recalling memories of a past relationship that have been condensed into a highlights reel. It's realistic and something that so many listeners will be able to relate to, after all the element of universal connection is what Lorde has always done best. Standout lyric, "In my head I do everything right" shows how selfish and flawed humans can be at times too.

Arguably one of her greatest tracks to date, Lorde completely triumphs on album closer 'Perfect Places'. It's a song that makes you want to dance in places, weep in others and grab your friends for one giant hug. It's a major bop that recalls the end of a night, feeling a little woozy and when you're at your most honest. "What the fuck are perfect places, anyway?" Lorde asks. What a superb question.

A strong contender for album of the year, 'Melodrama' proves that anyone can try their hand at writing a pop song, but few have what it takes to make a good pop tune; Lorde is, of course, one of the talented few and this album is one to be treasured. 

Words Lauren Wade

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Wolf Alice set to play Brighton Dome in November

Wolf Alice are back in full force and taking no prisoners on their brand new single, 'Yuk Foo'.

Having received its first spin on Annie Mac's BBC Radio 1 show as her hottest record, news also followed of their second album and upcoming tour dates, including a show at Brighton Dome. 

The follow-up record to their 2015 debut, 'My Love Is Cool,' will be titled 'Visions Of A Life' and will be released on 29th September via Dirty Hit.

Speaking about 'Yuk Foo', vocalist Ellie Rowsell said: "We wanted to make it open to interpretation, so that anyone who was frustrated at something could have it as their anthem.

"For me, a lot of it is about being a young woman. Even the shit, everyday wolf-whistle thing. As I get older, I feel like 'Why have I always put up with that?' When I sing that kind of song, it's everything that I want to do when that happens."

Wolf Alice will bring their storming new sound to Brighton at the end of the year on 20th November. Tickets for the show are available from 9am on Friday 16th June. 

Take a listen to 'Yuk Foo' below

Words Lauren Wade

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Voodoo And The Crypts showcase undeniably tropical grooves on 'Feeling'

Hailing from Essex but now based in Brighton, Voodoo And The Crypts are a four-piece who are making an impressive name for themselves on the South Coast scene.

Their recent debut single, 'Feeling' showcases undeniably tropical grooves and shimmering guitar hooks. Sharing the same summer-ready swagger that The 1975 possess so well, Voodoo And The Crypts have cited the indie giants as inspiration in the past and this much is evident on their initial offering.

Their soaring melodies and thrilling instrumentation has gathered them a decent following already and it's only set to increase in the coming months. The quartet have got a strong summer lined up, with performances at a number of festivals including Truck, Tramlines and Y-Not. 

Take a listen to 'Feeling' below

Words Lauren Wade

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Watch: Loz Keystone reveals video for debut single 'Livid'

Loz Keystone has revealed the video for his debut single, 'Livid', a slow and contemplative number that will easily worm its way inside your mind. 

Dealing with introspection and elements of moral philosophy, Keystone describes the track as being about: "An internal conversation from someone in their lowest point.

"At that point, the acute sense of failure that you experience reveals to you the things you might treasure about yourself, your values, the things you believe that make you a good person - are no longer represented in the actions you're taking. 

"Instead, you might discover that you've become defined by your vices, things about you that used to be just one side of you but are now wholly out of control." 

'Livid' is set to feature on Keystone's upcoming album, 'To Feel Love'. Keep an ear out for more music from him soon.

Watch the video for 'Livid' below

Words Lauren Wade

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Declan McKenna reveals 'Humongous' new track ahead of album release

Hertfordshire musician Declan McKenna has revealed his new track 'Humongous' ahead of the release of his debut album, 'What Do You Think About The Car?', next month.

Produced by the well-known James Ford, the new cut combines striking lyricism with anthemic guitars, whilst the utterly infectious chorus steps it up a gear. It's hard to bottle the euphoric live energy of McKenna's shows but 'Humongous' pulls it off. 

Speaking of the track, McKenna said: "This was the last song I wrote for the record, not to pick a favourite child but I think this might be, definitely a step in the direction I'm heading in, I love big powerful choruses that you can just scream, and I wanted this to be one of those.

"I remember writing it just sat home alone with my sister's guitar in complete euphoria with only a chorus written and nothing else, just shouting the words which are super vague but just summed up all the confusion and frustration I've had the last two years."

With his star firmly on the rise, Declan is set to play at a number of festivals this year including: Glastonbury, Latitude, TRNSMT and Reading & Leeds Festivals. 

Watch the video for 'Humongous' below

Words Lauren Wade

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In pictures: Pumarosa launch their debut album 'The Witch' at Rough Trade East - 24.05.17

After announcing a show at the Oval Space back in April with the special guest dancers Fernanda M-N & Co performing an incredible live set, Pumarosa finally released their highly anticipated debut album 'The Witch' on 19th May. 

The video to the bass heavy song 'Priestess', which is on the album, is available online to watch and was produced by Polly Hunter. 

Tonight the five-piece, with lead singer Isabel Munoz-Newsome's passionate vocals, bring their new songs to their album release show at Rough Trade East in London with a special record signing session afterwards.

Pumarosa sound like nobody else with their melodic brit-pop style synths, whilst more trip hoppy vocals enhance songs such as 'My Gruesome Loving Friend'. 

Plenty of time was set aside in the set to perform songs from the new album, such as the likes of 'Dragonfly', 'Lion's Den' and the newly released track 'Cecile', right through to the catch, dance-infused song 'Snake' to finish off the evening nicely. 

Pumarosa have announced a tour starting in November, so we can all dance the night away to their excellent and inspirational songs. See you there.

Words and photos Michael Hundertmark

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Amelia Caesar makes us weepy for all of the right reasons on 'Weep Like Giants'

Ambient-folk singer-songwriter Amelia Caesar has just dropped her debut EP, 'Weep Like Giants', that's making us weepy for all of the right reasons. 

The Brighton-based musician has been working on her debut offering for quite some time and the four-track EP is a striking and unforgettable collection that brims with rich sounds and thoughtful musicianship. 

Title track 'Weep Like Giants' is instantly engaging, sensitive and profound. Clocking in at just over the five minute mark, Caesar's acoustic style on the track recalls the darker hues of fellow folk artist Ben Howard, although Caesar's breathtaking voice is quite unlike most other artists of her kind. 

'We Will Be One' features a wistful croon and steady strum, whilst 'Skin and Bones' is a genuine soul-baring tune that shines with distinct beauty. Backed by super smooth vocal delivery throughout, Caesar isn't afraid to tackle the issues commonly faced by young people today and this works in her favour. 

'Weep Like Giants' is a stunning listen from start to finish and proves that Amelia Caesar has a clear ear for a melody. This exquisite EP also demonstrates exactly why Caesar is one of the most exciting young talents of the Brighton scene at the moment. 

Take a listen to 'Weep Like Giants' below


Words Lauren Wade

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Live review: Thee Oh Sees - De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill 17.05.17

Arriving in the tranquil town of Bexhill on a rather rainy afternoon all seemed peaceful, however it did not seem as if the town was soon to be descended upon by hordes of fans for the only UK show this year, aside from their Field Day appearance, by San Francisco's Thee Oh Sees.

When discussing train times with the station guard and how best to reach the De La Warr Pavillion for tonight's show, the guard offered a bewildered response at the band playing, saying: "Who are they? Never heard of them!"

The poor organisers had a hard tie trying to re-arrange the show after a let down from the previously booked Brighton venue they were due to play at initially. As a result of this mishap, coaches were laid on for most of the fans arriving from Brighton. 

Support band Riddles play the most energetic and psychedelic set with a stage performance to match. It's certainly a good way to get the crowd warmed up in preparation for the main event. 

Thee Oh Sees kick their set off with songs like 'Lupine Dominus' to long guitar riffs that sound vaguely reminiscent of fellow psych band, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. 'Carrion Crawler' reeks of 70s style rock and roll - a theme that continues on 'Contraption/Soul Desert' and 'Tidal Wave' too. It's possible one might confuse tonight with Woodstock with this style of music and atmosphere in mind.

The two drummers in tandem and the whirling guitars provide for an excellent stage set up and soon the audience erupts into a crowd surfing frenzy. The De La War Pavillion becomes a teenage sweat box of bodies with beer flying over one's head and being squashed against the safety barriers on occasion; security certainly had a hard time keeping the crowd in check.

You know you've had a good night when you're limping home, all black and blue and bruised with the sound still ringing in your ears at the end of the night. 

Words and photos Mike Hundertmark

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St. Jude The Obscure triumph on 'Ruins'

Photo credit: GloryBox Photography and Creative Imaging
Liverpool electro art-pop duo St. Jude The Obscure are back and sounding bolder than ever on new single 'Ruin'. The duo appear to have got on board with the 80s synth revival trend on the sub-six minute cut that comes across as one of their most stylish tunes to date.

'Ruins' is a dance-able slice of electro pop with shimmering beats and sublime vocals. The high-octane energy featured on the track is testament to the duo's growth, whilst lyrics such as "my heart beats without you" translate as thrilling, raw and triumphant. 

St. Jude The Obscure are a musical outfit that are daring and exploratory and 'Ruins' sees them forge into new and exciting territory - it's a statement that shows undeniable innovation and notable progress. 

Take a listen to 'Ruins' below

Words Lauren Wade

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Salvation Jayne make a ferocious return on 'Burn It Down'

Kent four-piece Salvation Jayne have made a ferocious return on their new single 'Burn It Down'. Armed with a new line-up, the group reek of a band with a point to prove and their new cut is a powerhouse cut with the potential to propel them far. 

Lead singer Chess Smith's killer vocals are backed by unrelenting riffs on the new number, whilst Tor Charlesworth's intense drums serve as the essential backbone to the sub-five minute track. 

Sounding undeniably huge, it appears Salvation Jayne have snapped back in fine form and are trying on some new tricks for size. If you like thrashing rock numbers, this one is for you. 

Take a listen to 'Burn It Down' below

Words Lauren Wade

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Live review: The Cribs - First Direct Arena, Leeds 20.05.17

Photo credit: Rebecca Downing
Ten years ago three brothers from Wakefield released what will go down in history as one of the greatest album ever made. 'Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever' shaped The Cribs' career and it was down to this phenomenal album that Leeds Arena was the venue of choice. 

The first band to kick off proceedings was Leeds four-piece Pulled Apart By Horses, who took the task of playing to an arena within their stride. The crowd may not have been theirs but the band sure converted a few to their fan base. Mosh pits were in full flow as the band charged through tracks such as 'High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive'. 

Second on the list were punk duo Slaves, who played a lengthy set spanning both of their albums. Guitarist Laurie Vincent took some time to implore the crowd to register to vote in the upcoming election and were subsequently met with cheers. Sadly, the arena's size only pointed out the simplicity of Slaves set-up and whilst songs like 'Beauty Quest' were riotous, it did feel like a step too far.

Photo credit: Matthew Plumtree
Finally The Cribs took to the stage to play 'Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever', kicking things off with the incredible 'Our Bovine Public'. Ryan and Gary both looked overjoyed as they played the album in its entirety. To not mention 'Be Safe' the highlight of this record and this particular night would be a crime!

For the special night we lucky fans got to see Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo join The Cribs on stage to perform. After 'Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever' was performed in its entirety the hits just kept coming with the likes of 'Mirror Kissers' and 'Different Angle' being offered up. The night finally came to a close and confetti burst over the crowd during the wonderful 'Pink Snow'. 

Now as much as this is a review of the band's gig, and not the state of popular guitar music, it would be wrong not to mention something. With the likes of Arctic Monkeys (particularly Alex Turner) changing accents with each album, it's refreshing to see an unashamedly northern band take their rightfully earned time at the top. Let it be remembered that The Cribs turned up to play their biggest gig in a minivan rather than a tour bus. 

Words Jack Winstanley

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