Preview: Dark Bell’s on Field Day at Victoria Park
- Credit: Archant
“It’s these times that you’ll look back on one day” say Dark Bells’ Luke Richardson. “One minute there are these people you don’t know from the other side of the world, the next you’re suddenly sharing these amazing moments with them.”
It is the sort of situation Field Day thrives on providing. Taking new bands with that special something and giving them a platform to build on – a recipe that them launch Mumford and Sons, the XX, Temper Trap, Florence and the Machine, to name but a few.
Now, as festival founder Tom Baker readies Victoria Park for Field Day 2013, bands like Dark Bells are hoping they can be the next link in a long chain of success stories.
“Playing this festival to thousands of people in your back yard is very special” Clapton resident Richardson continues. “Things like seeing flyers with our name in it when you walk down the street, it can’t help but get you in the mood.”
Originating from Sydney, Australian duo Teneil Throssell and Ash Moss formed the band before relocating to the UK in 2011. Here they met Richardson, who was working in Hackney’s Mouse and De Lotz café. With Throssell settling in Hackney Downs and Moss in Newington Green, they found a base in which to nurture their distinctive brand of psychedelic, shoegaze pop.
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“We try to write songs that are melodic and rhythmic, atmospheric and full of intention, rather than simple chord progressions” says Richardson, previously the drummer in The Draytones. “There’s nothing frivolous about our music, every part is thought out and there for a reason.”
Adding ‘old school Turkish psychedelic’ to the band’s eclectic mix of influences, Richardson stresses how much the band cherish the challenges of a live show.
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“One of the best things about being in a band is that you’re not planning your career projectory, it brings you into the here and now. When you’re playing a gig, you forget your worries – you’re purely concentrating on that next five seconds. It’s about trying to create a world, a little world that you can bring everyone else into.”
On May 25, that little world will be Field Day. With acts that include Animal Collective and Kurt Vile, as well as up and comers like Palma Violets and Savages, this year’s offering highlights why the festival a staple on the festival calendar.
“I’m looking forward to seeing everyone I can at Field Day, but I really love just coming across a band I haven’t heard off and finding myself blown away by them. I’d like to think that would happen when people see Dark Bells of course.
“We’ll also go and check out Jagwar Ma specifically, they’re from Australia too so know Teneil and Ash. I’m a massive fan of Cream as well, so obviously I’ll have to go and check out Ginger Baker.”
Praising the benefits of living in Hackney and being able to bounce off fellow artists, Richardson pays particular tribute to Eat Your Own Ears – the London Fields-based company behind Field Day, also started by Dalston resident Baker.
“To be a brand new band and be asked to play Field Day is more than we could ask for” says Richardson. “Eat Your Own Ears are really creative and like-minded, so it’s great to be involved with such a local yet established promotion group.”
Much like Dark Bells, Baker himself had to work from the ground up when starting both Eat Your Own Ears and Field Day. Having established the gig promoting company back in 2001, the 35-year-old put on a night called ‘Return of the Rural’ at The Griffin pub in Shoreditch.
Whilst it was a commercial failure, bands and record labels found its hay bale-themed charm a refreshing twist on a normal live music event. This encouraged Baker to approach Victoria Park with the idea of Field Day – a free festival he describes as an urban take on a village fete. How though, did it become so successful?
“I think we’ve had a constantly good booking policy” says Baker. “I’ve become braver when thinking outside the box too. So along with the more traditional indie, we’re getting more experimental jazz and new electronica weirdness. It’s a real mixed bag.”
A true music fanatic, Baker is excited by Dark Bells as much as anybody, noting that he can’t actually get away from the band with Throssell working at his local coffee shop. He also makes clear that they were asked to perform based on the only requirement he’s ever looked for.
“With a business like this, you have to go for what you like and listen to. It’s the only way you can find the passion needed to push the artist. Keep your ears and eyes to the ground, that’s always been at the heart of our ethos.”
Such a simple approach has served Baker well so far. With ambitious bands like Dark Bells under his wing, keep your ears to the ground at Field Day 2013. It’s bound to spring a few more names into popular culture before the summer is out.
Field Day takes place on May 25 at Victoria park. For more information visit fielddayfestivals.com. Dark Bells also launch their new single, ‘Wildflower’, at a free night at Electrowerkz in Angel on May 1.