A weekend away at 2019’s All Points East Festival proved to be a veritable gold mine for some music and chill time.
With the sun in full beam and the smell of freshly baked pizza in the air, for the second year in a row, All Points East Festival returned to Tower Hamlets’ Victoria Park. For ten days the park was swarmed by all variety of music fans and acts ready to kick back and enjoy the early summer haze. Consisting of two festival weekends and a whole range of free community midweek entertainment, All Points East provides the perfect depiction of why day festivals are becoming so popular and accessible so having attended the final two days, I thought I would share with you all some of my top highlights!
:: SATURDAY ::
With Mumford and Sons headlining Saturday there was a distinct sense of folky acoustic-ness in the air however, if I were to define it even further I would probably be forced to use the horrific phrase ‘girl power,’ in the sincerest use of course! At every turn another brilliant female artist was owning the stage in a unique manner.
My first stop was to check out the awesome Marika Hackman whose low-key yet utterly captivating performance on the North Stage was the perfect mix of minimalist aesthetic and head banging. A particular highlight would have to be her rendition of new single “i’m not where you are” which will feature on upcoming album Any Human Friend, out on August 9th . The song is a real deep dive into the complexity of human interaction and is sure to strike a chord with all manner of listeners.
Watch: “i’m not where you are” – Marika Hackman
Moving over to the East Stage my absolute highlight would have to be the incredible Jade Bird whose gutsy set totally got the crowd moving. The sheer energy she brought to the stage was infectious and her completely authentic presence radiated with vocal versatility and uniqueness of tone. Definitely one of the most impressive live performances I have seen in a while!
Watch: “I Get No Joy at Great X-Pectations LIVE” – Jade Bird
As ever The Staves and their gorgeous harmonies shone out as one of my top musical moments of the weekend. Their utterly polished set performed entirely in white outfits only made their open defiance to the festivals ‘no cursing’ rule more amusing and felt like an endearing glimpse into their world of close harmony and lyricism.
Watch: “Tired as Fuck” – The Staves
I have been entirely obsessed with the raw and untouched sound of Maisie Peters since hearing her on the Firestone Stage. Her single “Favourite Ex” is completely enchanting and thrives in its simplicity and understated beauty. She’s certainly one to watch and will surely only grow in recognition as the year continues.
Watch: “Favourite Ex – Live at the Pool Recording Studio” – Maisie Peters
:: SUNDAY ::
The following day showcased a very different musical ambiance, one I quickly coined as being the peak of lo-fi. With artists such as Ry X, Phosphorescent and Mac DeMarco carving out the musical landscape, headliner Bon Iver generated a day of chillaxation that saw the entire audience swaying at half speed.
The lovely Charlie Cunningham absolutely set the mood on East Stage with his beautiful acoustic set inspired musically both by the flamenco classical guitar of Spain and the traditional pop acoustic set up. Speaking to Cunningham, he explained further the importance of flamenco guitar techniques in diversifying his playing “dynamically, from the soft arpeggiated stuff to the more percussive,” something clearly evident in recent album release Permanent Way and a real testament to the gorgeous atmosphere his work creates. It truly is music with craft and beauty at its core.
Watch: “Permanent Way (Live Session)” – Charlie Cunningham
Part of an exciting wave of new indie talent, the soothing and chilled out vibe of Snail Mail is totally refreshing. With the ability to write a killer love song and a totally impeccable electric guitar riff there is little to fault about the talented young artist whose debut album Lush might as well be the soundtrack to the modern day shoegazer.
Watch: “Heat Wave” – Snail Mail
The real hero of the indie kid internet generation Mac DeMarco performed an awesome set, fabulously showcasing his down to earth manner and vibey, vintage, psychedelic synth pop. After walking on to do his own soundcheck, refusing to buy in to the hype of his own reputation, his set was filled to burst with hilarious hijinks, gags and great music making it easy to see why he remains just as popular as ever!
Watch: “Chamber of Reflection Live @ All Points East Festival” – Mac DeMarco
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