Victoria Park held the first ever All Points East festival as May came to a close. The festival, effectively the UK’s answer to Coachella, brought so much for fans of new and alternative music. Smoke Radio’s Sofia Loporcaro was on site for us recording a podcast and reviewing the festival. You can hear the podcast here.
All Points East came into the world last weekend, and proved itself a welcome newcomer to the UK festival season. With acts ranging from Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Flying Lotus, there was something for everyone over the three gloriously sunny days. Here’s a recap of some of the weekend’s finest performances.
On the smaller Firestone stage, Yonaka delivered one of the most explosive sets of the day, something they have become known for amongst their fans. Those very fans rocked up, jumped, headbanged, and sang/shouted along with the brilliant Brighton group. It was easily one of Friday’s most fun sets.
Young Fathers also left their mark, performing on the main stage earlier that day. It was clear from their performance that they give everything to their craft, pulling sounds from every source they can (member G Hastings even spent part of the set doing some really cool vocal effects). They have been ones to watch for a while (they won the Mercury prize back in 2014), and we shouldn’t take our eyes off of them anytime soon.
LCD Soundsystem were first up to headline, and set the bar high. Lead singer James Murphy sang with urgency, gripping onto the mic for dear life and pouring every syllable into it. The band behind him worked like a great big machine, churning out a massive sound that whizzed and buzzed. The overall effect was hypnotizing, ending Day One on an emotional high.
Saturday did not drop the ball, with plenty more brilliant acts taking the stage. Early in the day, Hackney’s Kojey Radical showed off his creative chops, weaving in genres from grime to Anderson Paak-esque jazz rap. It was also straight up fun, with Kojey dancing around the stage and encouraging the crowd to get involved.
That night, The xx took their turn to headline. This is the group’s second UK festival headline slot (following Bestival last summer), and their gratitude hasn’t been lost. Their love for their city and their fans is clear, and they delivered them an amazing set spanning their three albums.
Neck and neck with the headliners for the day’s best performance was Lorde, who put on a brilliant show. Everything from the choreography to the lighting to the outfits was on point and planned to a T. Yet amidst all of this, Lorde’s artistic brilliance and heart was not lost; I even began to well up as she sang Liability, a track off of last year’s Melodrama.
Byron Bay by way of Berlin’s Parcels warmed up the main stage on Sunday, launching a disco-funk boogie under the hot sun. Not long after Khruangbin kept the funk alive and well there too.
Sunday was also a day full of visual treats: Friendly Fires, returning after a long hiatus, were so much fun, offering up ridiculous dance moves and a bunch of rainbow confetti. Flying Lotus brought a 3D video montage, chock-full of weird, psychedelic images. Last but not least, headliner Björk put on a massive spectacle; this included her and a group of flutists dressed in flower-like costumes, nature videos, and some kind of weird woodland set. It was glorious.
All Points East went into its first year with a bang, and it will undoubtedly be back next year. If I can be, so will I.