Saturday at Wild Fields 2020
By Izzy Millen
We all thought festivals were cancelled this summer.
Wild Fields, the successor to last year’s inaugural Wild Paths Festival around Norwich, relocated down to the Showground for this years edition. It proved that even a pandemic couldn’t prevent a glorious end-of-the-Summer festival.
With the Saturday based more around alternative music featuring local musicians, bands and established acts, it was awesome to see the crowd discovering new favourites and singing along to the hits. Colchester four-piece Anorak Patch’s punky attitude and buckets of energy had the crowd shouting and jumping along to their catchy single 'Beans' and crowd favourite '6 Week Party' as well as teasing new songs which are due out later this year. Pin Ups, whose stonking Home Demos collection premiered on Soundcloud earlier this year, had songs which you could easily imagine being shouted at bigger events and captured the mood with new single 'Lunar Lines'. The Islas, a last-minute replacement for Scottish band Spyres, could easily fit into an Indie Bangers playlist and songs with tongue-in-cheek lyrics about Rock City in Nottingham and quips about local Norwich landmarks. The crowd moved along to their music, reminiscent of Catfish and the Bottlemen, Declan McKenna and Lauran Hibberd whose music straddles both Bedroom Pop and Bubblegum Punk with memorable melodies and aggressive guitar lines. UEA's very own Gail, who played the second stage in the early evening, spellbound the crowd with her intimate and honest lyrics about relationships and breakups. Accompanied by the setting sun It was glorious.
Amongst the more established acts, Indoor Pets produced a rollicking lineup of songs as the sun set featuring some phenomenal guitar playing and pure energy.They reinvigorated the crowd by preventing any chance of an evening lull and in any other circumstance would have probably started a mosh pit. Up-and-coming Another Sky, who have just released their debut album provided some spine-chilling vocals; somehow equal parts London Grammar, Florence + The Machine and Enya but still unique. Their beautiful songs 'Trees' and 'Fell In Love With The City' have a cinematic quality which was perfect for the open spaces of Wild Fields. However it was headliners of the night Gengahr who overcame technical difficulties to lead a set of crowd-pleasers including the audience chanting every word to 'She’s a Witch'. Their unique interpretation of Kendrick Lamar’s 'LOVE' featuring dreamy vocals and a beautiful bassline had everybody swaying together. The closing song and potentially biggest single to date Heavenly Maybe, had the crowd grooving one last time.
Although Wild Fields this year wasn’t a conventional music festival (and was put together in 5 weeks by the organisers!) it was perfect for 2020 – dreamy alternative music against the last of the summer sun, proving that this could be the future of music festivals. Roll on Wild Paths 2021.