IN DEPTH: Field Day 2019


So, the Friday kicked off how a typical British summer day should - with torrential rain. Did that stop us? No.. no it did not.

Day 1 - Friday

Arriving at the new festival venue site, The Drumsheds in north London., and having been searched down to my boxers, we were finally inside for the first day. We kicked things off in classic fashion with 4 beers, a shot of tequila and a live performance from Mahalia. At this point the sun finally joined us. Her Hip-Hop beats and soulful melodies broke through the grey skies and was the perfect way for us to begin our festival coverage. She sang Sober, the crowd went wild. She had a cup of green tea, the crowd went wild.

Photos by Khayam Shah

Photos by Khayam Shah

Then it was a brief respite before we were graced by Earl Sweatshirt or Mr Sweatshirt to you and I. The Hip-Hop G.O.A.T was on top form, giving us tracks like Ontheway! and 20 Wave Caps, but if you wanna know every track he played then you should’ve attended. We can only do so much!

Next up were the experimental Hip-Hop group Death Grips - and good lord help us! Hip-Hop has always been about the push and pull of culture and hearing something this fresh was gnarly and impressive. A mood that would make the emo teenager inside me miss Linkin Park. Death Grips shouty flow and hardcore drum beats had us ready for anarchy in the UK.

Photos by Khayam Shah

Photos by Khayam Shah

Having yet to move from the main stage, Jungle turned up - with the more smooth side to Hip-Hop. Their funky beats, soothing flows, and classic feeling songs made them an easy contender for 'Khay’s favourite'.

Then It was the big dawg himself; the top boy of grime, the head honcho, the big cheese – Skepta! With his latest album Ignorance Is Bliss finally being released, we were all anxiously anticipating his set. He arrived on stage all mysterious like, hooded up with his back to the crowd, dropping banger after banger. Starting the set with Going through it and ending on Greeze Mode and yeah, don’t worry - he played Shutdown. Hearing him live was a real treat. Impeccable timing and consistent flows - Skeppys come along way and If you haven't seen his growth as an artist, it might be time for you to go to Skeptsavers for an eye test...

After this we milled about, enjoyed some funfair rides, got chatting and went to Maya Jane Cole for personal reasons. Press need to party too!

Day 2 - Saturday

When we finally pealed ourselves off our respective beds, we headed straight back to the site. The weather was kinder, which was not the same for everyone else in other parts of the country. We were receiving messages from the Wordplay team telling us that Norfolk looked like Armageddon. All the while we were complaining how hot it was in Enfield.

The first artist to catch our attention was Chanel Tres, armed with two dancers - he provided what was easily one of the best shows I've seen to date. With quirky lyrics, flow smoother than a Baileys drank from a shoe (Old Gregg reference there!) and bags of style – the crowd lapped it all up. Sexy Black Timberlake has been added to a list of songs I (Khay) now love. Give it a listen.

Photos By Khayam Shah

Photos By Khayam Shah

Then it was time to reload and prepare ourselves for the big finishers. We filled ourselves with coffee tequila, (a serious drink contender for festival season - caffeine and alcohol, major win!) Then we made moves like Usain Bolt and sprinted to Pusha T, a fan favourite. It was hard not to start dancing and rapping along with the main man himself in the press pit. His performance was tight. Stage presence, perfect. He hit us with wave after wave of classic songs, only stopping to pray!

We went back to the Boiler room stage for the tail end of Jpegmafia’s set – and what a messy one! After receiving an elbow to the face from the big man himself whilst taking photos, we thought it might be best to give him some space for the rest of his set. He’s a jumpy performer, not quite hardcore, but perfectly at home on a Boiler room stage.

Photos By Khayam Shah

Photos By Khayam Shah

Then came Octavian. Performing experimental songs from his upcoming album. The dude did his thing - high energy vocals combined with determined flows and beats.

Then came the show stopper. The birthday girl – Jorja Smith. Dressed to kill, Jorja owned the festival from start to finish. With her slow soulful rhythm, heavenly voice and sheer passion - this set was a pleasure to be watching. A profound array of R'n'B, Soul and Hip-Hop. Her most stand out song was I am, taken from the Black Panther album. Her voice carried across the crowd and venue space and as it settled, was soaked up and appreciated by a multitude of different people.

Hyped to see what next year's Field Day has installed for us!

Words & Photos by; Khayam Shah
Special thanks to; Beatrice Bonino, Teraza and Charlie at We Are Full Fat.

Josh EldrawComment