AKA basically Primavera transferred to East London
When: 25th May – 27th May
What: Think of the biggest line up you can. No bigger. And a little bit bigger than that. That’s the All Points East line up. When they announced the festival last year they promised one of the year’s best lineups, and they weren’t lying.
It’s very much a statement of a line-up. There’s Björk, The xx, and LCD Soundsystem, Lorde, Beck, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Phoenix, Father John Misty, Lykke Li, and Flying Lotus. We don’t think you need it spelling out but that’s huge. And that’s just the three day festival. There’s also huge ‘APE Presents’ headline shows with Nick Cave, Patti Smith and The National. In all it’s a 10-day-long extravaganza – with free entry for its midweek community events. Basically it’s an attempt to bring Primavera to East London (probably minus the weather, Sangria and the tapas, but you never know). You just can’t argue with that many amazing acts.
You know all the headliners (we’re especially excited to see what Bjork brings to her Sunday night show) so here are five of our top picks from across the rest of the line-up – the mere ‘stars’ you might have missed them among all the megastars.
Hookworms (Friday, 4.30)
They’ve made the album of the year so far (yes, they have, don’t argue with us), an album of melancholy electro bangers – adding electronic textures to sound bigger and more confident than anything they’d done before, without losing any of their intensity. MJ’s lyrics explore depression, death and grief but the sound is dappled with light and hope. We can’t wait for the hug a stranger moment when Negative Space kicks in and we all sing ‘How long’s forever?’ in unison.
Young Fathers (Friday, 4.55)
Young Fathers’ latest album Cocoa Sugar was mere confirmation that they’ve become one of the most vital bands we have. It was chaotic but sleek, a showcase for the singular style they have perfected. That’s not say that their genre-spanning sound is easy to describe but this was them at their most experimental, vicious and intense and it makes their current live shows some of the most visceral and frenetic you’ll see. Most of all though it’s the three uncompromising members of the band who stalk the stage – “G”, Alloysious Massaquoi and Kayus Bankole – who make the shows what they are. Get ready for a short, sharp shock to your system.
Lykke Li (Saturday, 6.40)
Yeah, we know she’s mega famous but since Lykke hasn’t released a solo album in 4 years and isn’t playing a London show for a while we’re including her here. She’s an artist who has never stopped moving forward since her Youth Novels came out 10 (ten) years ago. Every album since then might have that melancholy beauty thing she does so well running through it but she keeps shifting her sound into new and interesting shapes. Her new album is called So Sad So Sexy and it’s both of those things adding a clipped RnB sound to her palette. And when she plays I Follow Rivers it’s all going to go off.
Octavian (Sunday, 2.20)
When Pitchfork says you’re ‘Shaping the Sound of Rap in 2018’ then you know you’re doing something right. Drake agreed. Last January he posted Instagram photos captioned by lyrics from “Party Here,” the 22-year-old singer-rapper’s breakout song. He’s now being tipped for greatness by a lot more people after a handful of thrilling tracks blending trap, housey 4/4 kicks and leftfield hip-hop. Just listen to Party Here or Jerk and then see him here, before he blows up.
Kelela (Sunday, 6.00)
Kelela released her debut LP, Take Me Apart last year, four whole years after her breakthrough Cut 4 Me mix-tape which got everyone talking. It was worth the wait, the sound of an artist who combines vulnerability, sensuality and passion into a potent mix. These were bangers with an emotional force, old-school vocals with forward looking music. We’ve heard LMK and Take Me Apart live and, trust us, you don’t want to miss them.
All Points East takes place 25th May – 27th May in Victoria Park, London.