Festival – Field Day

When? Saturday 2nd June 2012

Where? Victoria Park

How Much? Tickets are £45 here for the Day or buy a combined ticket for £76.45 here

Eat Your Own Ears know a thing or two about music. It seems, in fact, they know over 60 good things about music if the unbelievable line up of Field Day 2012 is to be believed. For one (hopefully) summer’s day in June, Victoria Park will be jangling with the sounds of sublime bands with the hip young things of Hackney and beyond dancing into the small hours (hat poised at a jaunty angle and skinny jeans are optional).


Expect aural as well as visual delights from the ever evolving Metronomy, the light show eponymous with sweet male / female vocals and a kick ass baseline.

Beirut are incredible live, playing every instrument you could imagine from an entire baltic orchestra with dreamy vocals and impressive songwriting that tells a thousand stories stretching from Mexico to Nantes.

Indie legends Franz Ferdinand make a much admired appearance. Feels like just yesterday I was leaping like a loon in the indie disco to “Take Me Out”. Expect jumping, and lots of it.

Also Andrew Bird fiddles his way into the line up alongside Austra, Gold Panda, Mazzy Star (who hasn’t performed for a few years!), Liars, Summer Camp, and Sleigh Bells to name but a few. Check out the rest of the line up.

Field Day is Saturday’s slightly scruffy teenage brother to Sunday’s more friendly, family pet The Apple Cart. But everyone knows that teenagers have the most fun, they drink the most drinks and also have the biggest hair, so get your ready-to-shake booty down to Victoria Park on Saturday 2nd June 2012 and celebrate the eclectic vision Field Day provides. And you don’t even have to leave the borough!


Interview: James Yorkston

James Yorkston made the loooong journey down from his native Scotland’s Fife to embrace the Apple Cart festivalness of Hackney. With a new band, he battled through the rain to reach dreamy vocals in in the ears of an attentive crowd over the thumping background bass.

He took the time out to speak to Hackney Bubble about the Apple Cart Festival, his music and his days in a squat in Hackney.

How was Apple Cart for you?
It was great fun, thanks. I saw lots of old friends and generally had a nice relaxed day.

I love a harp! Who is and how are the new band you were with? 
Well, two of them, Emma & Sarah, have played with me since around 2007 and the harpist – Serafina Steer – is a new recruit. I loved what they added as a trio, the blend of their voices and their playing. Very happy to have them involved.

What would be your dream collaboration? 
Holger Czukay [Can] producing Oumou Sangare.

You looked decidedly unwoozy – lack of cider at Apple Cart? 
Ha! I was on stage at 3:30pm – Believe me, I’d fallen off the wagon a few hours after that!

Not sure if you saw Chili Gonzales, but he got the audience to sing gospel style prayers for sunshine and it actually worked! What did you pray for yesterday?
I prayed for my daughter.

What are your memories of Hackney from when you stayed here?
Crazy times. I was 15 or 16, just out of the village, staying in a squat. I remember it as a foreign country. I had no idea what I was doing down there and probably shouldn’t have been there. Mostly fond memories? Perhaps. Pleased I left though.

Can you tell us a little about your book? How did it come about?
I was asked to write a piece for a magazine called Loops and I enjoyed the process so much that I wrote a books worth. That’s the short and long of it. It’s basically a book of tour diaries, but written retrospectively, using notebooks and such to nudge my memory. It’s supposed to be funny. Nothing happens in it. It’s not an action packed read – if you want that, buy Andy McNabb.

[You can buy the book HERE]

I always imagine that you write sitting on a rock, staring out to the sea – what landscapes or vistas inspire your music?
Ha! No, I sit wherever I am. Sometimes it might be a rock, I guess, but more often a comfortable seat somewhere. I just grab ideas from whenever they appear, then flesh the songs out from there. I used to say a hangover would inspire me but I am so rarely hungover these days. It tends to come from anywhere – but mostly I find from having fun and looking back on said fun.

How is the new guitar coming along? We’ve been watching it get built on Facebook. Looks lovely!
Yes, I’ve been very lucky there. It looks like an amazing guitar, but as yet it’s way over yonder in Australia (!) The guy is making it for me for free as he’s a fan of my music. I’m flattered and don’t think I’ll quite believe it until I have it in my hands!

What’s coming up? More books, more music, recording or live shows?
All of those things. Hopefully a new record first. We’ll see. My fingers are crossed.

The Apple Cart Festival Flies By

The Apple Cart festival came to Hackney, following on from promoter’s ‘Eat Your Own Ears’ ‘Underage Festival’ and ‘Field Day’ last weekend. And what a mixed up, jumped up, pulled around and start up festival it was!

In Victoria Park’s bosom there nestled tents, bandstands and stages awash with teatowels, haybales and gingham for the one day family fest full of comedy, cabaret and music.

Arriving just as the rain started, luckily, just in time to shelter in the folk tent to watch Peggy Sue. Would have been nice to wash their sultry style of harmonising down with a nice, cool, English cider (being Apple themed n’ all) but the entire place was in drought, deciding to serve only piss weak perry. The girls were lovely though, playing new and old songs with a heap of instrument swapping and some cute smiles picking crooning melodies.

The rain battered the tent, but we braved the outdoors to go and find our bearings in time for the Magic Numbers set on the main Apple Cart stage. With an ever-so-polite audience evenly spaced, it felt friendly and that’s what you want when watching the Magic Numbers! More sing-a-longs than you remembered so looks like it didn’t all go wrong! (sorry!).

On to James Yorkston in the Cabaret tent (an odd choice you might think!?). I was really excited about seeing him play again. He has created many a beautiful album and really should be better known. The tent was rammed, but the ethereal noise was immense so the acoustic four-piece were fighting to be heard over the top of distant base thumps. All acts played short sets of about half an hour slots, tops. Enough time for James to run through a few songs (showing incredible talent at finger picking) and to read aloud some of his book “It’s Incredible to be Here”.  He had said before that the set might be “erm, random” with the new band and it was a bit! Lovely harp, clarinet and violin creating beautiful complimentary, just wish I could have heard them properly!

Patrick Wolf, for me, was the biggest let down I had bigged up, but I have read a lot of positive reviews so maybe I am not the best person to listen to! He was very… red?

Taking some time out to explore the rest of the offerings it was clear that the acts that made it, not the atmosphere. Or art (neon painted milk bottles for a fiver!?). Some Hipster inspired Mac n’ Cheese was quite nice to scoff down. Though not out of a dumpster. The best part of the “extras” was seeing a policeman get repeatedly spanked while carrying on walking. I only got one girls reaction to that though, see orange car below…

Strangest act had to be Chili Gonzales – a piano player that could have been a muppet in a previous life spouting intricate comedy lyrics and furiously hammering on the keys, full of charisma and possibly martinis. One incredible moment was when the sun came out to gospel prayer from the audience… no, really!

Tim Minchin was the absolute STAR of the festival. This was the first time he had played a main stage slot at a festival and, by jingo, it worked! I don’t think I even need to say any more, but it was so much funnier than on the tele. Rocked it rude style. Nobody makes cancer more fun.

You’ve never seen hoola hooping unless you’ve seen Marawa! I think she eventually hoola’d about fourty seven hoops. Stunning! Loved the leopard print too!

And then a quick dash to catch the end of Soul2Soul. Lottsa fun. Lottsa soul and some diiiivaaaas with violins. And that was the end for me! Just time to get fish and chips on the way home from The Fish House. Yummy end to a tasty day.

As London festivals go, this was a really nice one. Exceptionally middle of the road middle classes, but nice. Y’know… nice. Just please remember to have cider next year!?

Festivals: Apple Cart

Apple Cart Festival, Victoria Park


Sunday 7th August, Victoria Park, Hackney

Victoria Park’s Apple Cart Festival is a feast for the eyes, ears and feet. Organised by the people that bring us Field Day, it’s got a more leftfield flavour including comedy, dance, magic (yes, magic) and cabaret as well as the usual, yet fairly unusual musical fare. There is promise of food and fairy tales, clothes sales and carousels as well as a load of balearics.

The line up goes a little something like this….


James Yorkston

Badly Drawn Boy

Balearic Folk Orchestra

Chilly Gonzalez

Magic Numbers

St. Etienne

Soul II Soul DJs

Giles Peterson


Tim Minchin


Doc Brown

Jon Richardson

Kevin Eldon

Mark Steel


Candlelit Matinee by The House Of Fairy Tales Charity.

“A live arts project for all ages from Gavin Turk and Deborah Curtis’ House of Fairy Tales. Under themes of light and shadow, young artists will make and present interactive art projects, workshops and performance exclusively for the Apple Cart audience to get involved in. The results – in a wide range of media, from fashion to film, painting to puppetry, gaming to gastronomy and much more”

Art Carboot Fair – “A fete within a festival”


Mawara the Amazing – Hoola Hooping as seen on Britain’s Got Talent.

Bourgeois and Maurice

Literary Death Match

The Erection Section

Find out the full line up and more information as well as how to get your hands on some tickets at http://theapplecartfestival.com/

Trying to find a new house in Hackney

Virtually impossible! I lived in the Guardian described “achingly trendy” London Fields, in an unfinished new build, but found it painfully trendy. Too much vintage fun with a retro feel for my ageing mind. These days, I’d like to find a home; ideally a house with a garden, a living room and a nice kitchen I can cook for my friends and family in.

Trying to find something that isn’t a dodgy ex-council hole feels like hard work. Only a few (well chosen) boxes to tick:

  • 3 bedrooms (one big one for my couple friends)
  • A living room (sounds simple, but a lot of the time a kitchen is shoved in the corner)
  • Outside space (ideally a garden, but a courtyard or balcony would be fine)
  • Under £460 a week
  • Near to Victoria park (not even the “village”, just the park)

Found a great little house with a shabby courtyard, only to find out 20 hours before the scheduled move in date that it hasn’t passed the gas inspection and needs further building work. Thanks Dimension Estates for being so amazingly good at your jobs. They were more than useless and I wouldn’t trust them one bit. In fact, we got our deposit back and ran! Dimension Estates didn’t contact us about this until Friday evening, after we’d moved out of our current homes, packed up all our stuff and were looking forward to moving in!

So far, just this week we have seen a tiny flat with tiny rooms advertised as “3 spacious bedrooms”, a shabby flat in De Beauvoir that it had been neglected for decades, a shitty council flat on Roman Road and a hospital conversion in Whitechapel, which is not close to the park at all and too far in studentville in the city.

The search continues , but as housing prices have risen so much in the last year or two, it’s getting more difficult to find something in our budget. Rant over.

Twitter @HackneyBubble

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 34 other followers