All Points East 2018: Festival Preview
Ahead of the inaugural All Points East festival, we take a look at ten acts you'd be out of your mind to miss, from LCD Soundsystem and Björk to Hookworms and Young Fathers
Given the frankly ridiculous line-up, it would be safe to say that London's brand new All Points East festival, from the people who bring you Coachella in the States, is one of the most hotly anticipated weekends of the festival calendar, and it's only on over the late-May bank holiday weekend! APE has taken over the Victoria Park slot previously held by Field Day (which moves to Brockwell Park in South London, the following weekend) to host a similar vibe, attracting a massive three-day line-up with a huge array of great names you won't want to miss.
As well as the main weekend's festival (25-27 May), APE have gone a step further by curating a week's worth of events, such as All Points Equal, a free celebration of 100 years of women's suffrage including film screenings and talks on Bank Holiday Monday (28 May) and a hand-picked concert series the following weekend including Catfish and The Bottlemen (1 Jun), The National (2 Jun) and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (3 Jun).
With all that in mind, we look at the ten acts not to be missed over the All Points East festival weekend:
The Leeds-based psych quintet have always been a phenomenal force to be reckoned with live, but this summer they are coming off arguably their best record yet in Microshift, the band's first top 20-charting record which promises to see them explode into headline territory in years to come. Catch them now while they're still heading up smaller stages, because it's not going to stay this way for long, especially with a huge date at Kentish Town Forum booked later in the year with Ought and Sauna Youth in support.
It's a well-known fact that German techno is the best techno, right? Well if you didn't know, now's the time to find out. Frankfurt-based veteran Roman Flügel has been one of the leading innovators of the genre for over 20 years now, and with no signs of quitting anytime soon, he actually seems to be hitting something of a career peak right now on recent full-length players Happiness is Happening and All The Right Noises. If you're in need of something of a pick-me-up on the way into the night ahead, you could do a lot worse than spending it in the presence of Flügel.
This is an easy one for The Skinny as we share a home with the Edinburgh trip-hop/alternative/punk/whatever trio Young Fathers, but given their game-changing third record Cocoa Sugar coupled with the fact that, well, they're quite possibly the best goddamn live band in the world right now, this is a no-brainer. If you've never experienced Young Fathers, go see them. If you have, go see them again.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
They're finally back! After a handful of live shows at the end of last year and a recent residency at the Hollywood Bowl alongside Young Fathers and APE headliners LCD Soundsystem (more on them next), APE marks YYYs' first show back in the UK in FIVE LONG YEARS. They are also celebrating the 15th anniversary of their landmark debut Fever to Tell, so expect lots of that to feature, but either way, it's just a pleasure to have them back on these shores at all, and here's hoping it won't take so long until the next time.
Again, this one kinda speaks for itself. The Skinny are noted fanboys and girls of James Murphy and co (although for this particular writer, it will be the first time seeing them, so extra excitement there). This one is simple, LCD Soundsystem are going to cap the first night of the festival off with two hours of unparalleled joy, and are not to be missed.
Moving onto the Saturday, one of last year's breakout artists – London's own Sampha – is already encroaching upon sub-headlining spots. Given all his hard work leading to his debut LP Process, it's not hard to see why. This should be a particularly special set for the grime-cum-pop superstar as he gets to celebrate the riches of his determination to a loving, hometown festival crowd.
Perhaps the most out-and-out pop act of the whole weekend, but given the accolades this still exacerbatingly young artist received for her sophomore record Melodrama last year, it's no surprise she can fit into an "alternative/indie" line-up as much as she can a pop one. Following on from a massive US tour, where she took Run the Jewels and Mitski on the road with her, the 21-year-old (!) Kiwi kicks off a busy summer schedule here.
Similar to Sampha, The xx's Saturday evening headline slot will largely go down as a homecoming celebration for the dub-pop trio. After a few years in the wilderness, last year's I See You brought the band back into widespread love and acclaim from fans and critics alike, and it's heartwarming to see things going well for this much-adored group once again.
Flying Lotus 3D
Moving to the final day of the weekend, where heads will surely be starting to feel a little sore and fuzzy, perhaps the all-out trippy psychedelia of Flying Lotus' wild 3D live show will help? OK, this one might truly depend on how you're feeling by this point in proceedings, but if you can stomach it Steven Ellison's fully-immersive experience is well worth the festival ticket alone.
It is fitting that the Icelandic legend closes the first edition of All Points East as there aren't many artists of her stature who could possibly hold that mantle. Another first for this writer (and I cannot WAIT), Björk always promises an experience to go along with her incredible, decade-spanning, shape-shifting, genre-defying music. Put in short, this promises to be a really special close to what is looking to be a very special weekend.
All Points East takes place at Brockwell Park, South London, 25-27 May with further events running up to and including 3 Jun