In its 11th year, Field Day, moved from its home in East London’s Victoria Park to the equally lovely Brockwell Park in South London. With a change of home came the pressure for the festival to deliver and, in doing so, they announced their biggest lineup yet with Neo-Soul queen Erykah Badu being the biggest name on the bill.
We were fortunate enough to see Erykah Badu last year during her 20th-anniversary concert for the immortal Badiuzm in Hammersmith and given the brilliance of the show we were eager to see the queen again. Draped in an oversized cream suit, Badu, performed a string of her classics “On & On”, “Window Seat”, “Next Lifetime” and more. The classic tracks unified the dichotomy between the Field Day faithful with many being in their late teens/early 20s and many also being 30-somethings who remembered when Badiuzm was first released in 1997. Despite Badu arriving late on stage, the crooner had revellers in awe of her alluring vocals and band even banging sweet sounds on her MPC whilst performing the funky “I Want You”. She then leaves to do the classic ‘goodnight-everyone-but-comes-back-on-stage’ to which she performed her adored track, “Bag Lady” which took the Field Day crowd to new heights. But with the enjoyment came to disappoint immediately as Badu’s set was cut short due to the strict curfew imposed on Field Day, a set that was far less than an hour was what was meant to be for Ms Badu, but it was still loved and appreciated.
Other highlights on the day included Manchester’s IAMDDB who is easily becoming the UK’s most-loved up-and-comer – if we can even still call her that – who controlled her stage emphatically. The Manchester-singer whizzed through bangers from her EPs with “Conjuring” getting the crowd hyped for her closing song, “Shade”, this had revellers imploding due to the sheer waviness of the track. Nao was also a highlight who, might I add, maybe the best live singer I’ve seen in years, her vocals sound exactly like they do on record. The Notts singer, wowed fans as they sang word for word to her hit album For All We Know. Jazz and soul singer Jordan Rakei, Leicester’s Mahalia and R&B-crooner Masego, were also highlights to day one of Field Day.