Mumford & Sons curate a beautiful day of music at All Points East featuring The Staves, Rosie Lowe, Dizzee Rascal and of course, Mumford & Sons.
Entering into Victoria Park on the hottest day of the year the festival atmosphere was present both inside and outside of All Points East official site, and it was hard not to get a bit giddy for what was programmed to be a day of high-quality entertainment. The festival, which is in its second year is renowned for bringing together diverse heavy-hitting headliners but at the same time playing host to a mix of semi-established and upcoming artists in the heart of East London, all for a very reasonable price.
The staves proving to be the first major act to take the (North) stage, and doing so dressed all in white. This impactful presence seemed to match their sound with their dulcet tones filling the open-air and setting the standard and tone for the day. For the most part, their set is made up of beautifully crafted melodies but there were occasions, where in contrast to their recorded music the sister rock out on stage with heavy and fast-paced guitar strumming. This is sincerely appreciated by a core group of fans who crowd at the front part of the stage whilst serving as an apt backing track for other festivalgoers who are preparing for the evening ahead.
It was now time to venture to the JägerHaus, a double-story structure that boasts two bars specialising in Jägermeister cocktails, an intimate stage, DJ set-up and outdoor dance floor. The large queue outside suggesting this was the place to be and inside not doing anything to debunk that assumption. The music at All Points East as with the festival itself changes each day but on this occasion, those lucky enough to gain entrance to this club within in a festival were throwing it down to chart classics from the ’80s and ’90s in between hearing live sets. The most accomplished of these live sets coming from Rosie Lowe, a serious talent who is back gigging and recording music after a break for the last few years. She filled the venue with her soulful voice and performed with such humility, at one stage she could have been mistaken for someone who was just at home singing in the mirror and dancing in her bedroom, it felt very real and personal. With her third album dropping this year, this is someone to watch for the future.
We could all hear that the sirens were coming at this point so over we headed over to the main (East) stage where Dizzee Rascal was taking very much taking over. I am not sure if it was the sunshine but something had been hinting that this was going to be a high-octane event and we were not disappointed. The vocals were crispy clear and each track brought a new level of excitement to the crowd, and often singing along to songs we had forgotten we knew. The highlight was the performance of Baseline Junkie which sent the All Points East crowd into rapture and confirmed that the boy in the corner has now very much become the man on the stage.
Finally, the moment had arrived for the headliners to take the stage, who incidentally had curated the music for the whole day including choosing Dizzee Rascal to be their main support act. In some ways, they had set themselves a hard task as we were all in full hype but straight away Mumford & Sons, led by Marcus Mumford, took up the mantle with ease and the lead singer leapt and danced across the stage with equal vigour. The production level was high as we were treated to an array of their hits from the last decade only punctuated by heartfelt words from Marcus who assured us that it was good to be “home”, and after five months touring the world, I suspect that he really meant it. In true folk style, we were encouraged to enjoy an acoustic segment that included a cameo from up and coming to talent Gretta Ray. After this lull, we were roared back into dancing by classic hits such as ‘little lion man’ and the energy that had defined the whole day returned. For the closing track, the stage was invaded by an explosion of talent that included the Vaccines, Dermot Kennedy and the Staves who played out the festival with a gospel style rendition of The Beatles’ With a little help from my Friends, many of the those on stage with a tambourine in hand and wide smiles.
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Photo supplied by organisers