Well, well, well, what is this? Another bank holiday? Oh May, you really are spoiling us! It would be a shame to let the long weekend go by without filling it with fun stuff and/or hangovers, so here are a few bank holiday events in London to keep you entertained over the late May break.
First up it has to be Field Day. I used to think of Field Day as a bit of a pretender to the festival crown, a bit of an outsider. But judging from the lineup announced (and the price tag to go with it) it’s now a major player on the festival scene.
Their USP (unique selling point) was that compared to the other, more established festivals such as Wireless or Lovebox, they were bringing the lesser known artist to the fore. It was a festival for the indie kids, and it still is, but better. No Kanye West or Chemical Brothers for Field Day. But the acts they do attract and bring in are still top class and there is probably something for everyone (as long as you’re not into mainstream pop). Animal Collective and Bat for Lashes are the big players – well established quality artists. But also on the roster are some of the hottest new bands on the block – Everything Everything and Django Django. (That repeated name thing, purely a coincidence.) So far so indie. But wait – do they also have TNGHT making an appearance? And Julio Bashmore? Two of the names that have been on everyone’s lips and in every DJ set when wanting to get the bassline pumping and the danceheads where they belong – on the dance floor. Field Day have also been known to bring a few legends to the table as well. In 2011 they had John Cale (from the Velvet Underground,) play and the year before that they had The Fall (better known as John Peel’s favourite band). This year it’s John Cooper Clarke.
They still keep the essence of their village fete days – there’s still an area somewhat in the centre, called the Village Green, where you can get away from the music and indulge in some nostalgia for more innocent times. There are hay bales to sit on and the same silly games to sign up for. There are stalls in this part of the festival selling home baked goodies as you would expect of any serious village fete. Other, more serious food tends to be provided by the Venn Street Market, which can normally be found in Clapham. Expect things like seriously good pies and the ubiquitous hog roast to keep up the countryside feel.
If you don’t go to Field Day and fancy something a bit different, go to White Mischief’s War of the Worlds Ball. These guys are bringing steampunk dress up fun to Scala in King’s Cross and have The Correspondents, those kings of Electroswing playing, not to mention Sam and the Womp (who had a number one last year) as well as many other cabaret, circus and comedy acts. Think rope and aerial acrobatics, or macabre magic. Last time I was there I was delighted with the interactive ‘puppet’s that seemed to be wandering around. And, when all the acts are through they have DJs into the small hours to dance the night away to. The theme, sis c-fi, science and B-movies so you can dress accordingly, or probably in any other steampunk gear you might have lying around. Or, with face painting and mask workshops you can just make a costume while you’re there!
Sunday is the day of rest traditionally – time to get the papers and have brunch in bed. Well, why not do any different this Sunday? Except, this time, have the papers performed to you, with a lot of other people and head to Sunday Papers Live. Each section will be brought to life by performances and talks from writers, commentators, comedians the like. You can also have an extrasepcial Sunday Roast with meat provided by the Ginger Pig or brunch courtesy of The Breakfast Club. Then enjoy your surroundings at the lovely Cecil Park House where you can take a walk in the gardens if you normally skip the Sports section but that’s what happens to be on in the Lounge. Or venture into the surrounding area – re-entry is admitted. To complete the relaxation, they recommend you bring slippers, blankets or even your trusty smoking jacket, and mini massages and manicures are on offer for an added cost. Bring your Sunday routine to life!
This sounds like one of the coolest things you can do on your extra Monday – get into some zombie rockabilly action! The Lexington in Angel is hosting the Zombie Rockin Bank Holiday All-dayer. Kids are welcome in the day part, but after 7 pm it becomes an adults only venue. They’ve got ‘brainy cupcakes’ and ‘severed finger food’ as well as the chance to get your hair and makeup done – zombie style! There are stalls selling zombie related stuff and a chance to play zombie games in the nearby park. After 7 they are showing Night of the Living Dead, with commentary from the people behind the hilarious Science Theater 3000, and there will also be some magic, comedy and burlesque acts. And there’s a bit of a rockabilly twist with The Marksmen performing and music until midnight.
For something else to do with the kids, why not head over to Hampton court for the Big Picnic? This is going on all weekend, not just the Monday. It promises live music on stage and performances of the Canterbury Tales that you can become a part of. There’s also some more ‘gruesome’ activites such as meeting a leech and having a smallpox makeover or taking part in amputations! There will be food and drink on-site if you don’t want to bring any as well as some sports-day style events like an egg and spoon or sack race. And, best yet – kids go free!
Written by Gingle of Gingle Lists Everything.