Bjork, 3D shows and Karen O? Here’s five things we learnt at All Points East…
Bjork is so powerful she can control the weather
The Sunday night ended with Bjork’s “utopian flute experiment”; her ‘Utopia’ project which merged nature and technology as delicate flute melodies merged with hiccuping techno. Of course, she took to the stage dressed as an orchid while a troupe of six flautists emerged from a giant pink flower.
The intricate and intimate show was a pastoral tech opera that was captivating though never earth-shattering. But there were wondrous highlights: she performed ‘Human Behaviour’ for first time in 11 years, yet Isobel was the only other hit. It mattered not, as she sang her arcadian poetry, fork lightning danced across the skyline in distance, looming ominously, yet Bjork’s magnetism kept the elements at bay, her omnipotence proven once again.
All shows should be 3D shows
On Sunday night in dark West Stage Flying Lotus was handing out 3D glasses (not personally, sadly). it was all part of the weird and immersive psychedelic journey through his imagination that he wanted to take us on – all backed by trippy 3D visuals. There are animated wild boars, space ships launching into the crowd and fire shooting from the screen, as the sharp, shapeshifting beats and thumping bass clatter around us. He even throws in his Twin Peaks theme remix. It’s a trip in every sense.
Karen O remains the best rock star we have
“It’s five long years since the Yeah Yeah Yeahs played London!,” shouts Karen O. Watching her own the stage at Victoria Park, a whirlwind of hypnotising, effortless exuberance, dressed in a silver bodysuit, it’s clear she’s still every inch the star we need but don’t deserve. Pink confetti fires out of a cannon in front of her, she gargles the microphone and emits a guttural, primal scream. This is a greatest hits set that starts with Y Control and only accelerates from there, taking in Zero and Pin. The only moment of tranquillity is when the majestic ‘Maps’ arrives – Karen talks of her son Django and dedicates the song to “someone you loved and lost, someone you loved more than life itself” as she pushes the mic close to her heart.
LCD on a downer are still perfect
Sure LCD’s set was downbeat – not reaching the highs of some of their other shows – but it still pulsed with a dark, heartbroken beauty. Some realisations from this set: Oh Baby is up there with the best songs they’ve ever written, Emotional Haircut is great to drunkenly shout along to and a set that finishes with the one-two of Dance Yrself Clean and All My Friends is the very best way to end a festival.
Dance Yrself Clean
The majority of the line up might have been as Indie as it comes, verging on the bland (hello Glass Animals) and bringing back bands best forgotten (Friendly Fires certainly seem a ‘time and a place’ band) but there was also some stellar dance music on offer. Hercules and Love Affair showcased delicious disco, there was a DJ-dedicated stage (featuring a great set from Yaeji) and James Murphy and Soulwax’s Despacio ran all weekend. But it was George Fitzgerald’s Full Circle which sounded particularly euphoric to these ears.
All Points East is a brand new ten day event in East London’s beautiful Victoria Park encompassing a three day music festival, community focused programme of midweek entertainment and three huge APE Presents headline shows.