Parklife... All the people
Parklife Weekender 2013 round-up: Jurassic 5, Everything Everything, Disclosure and more!
Published on June 12th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
There were plenty of asses on show at this year’s Parklife Weekender in Manchester’s Heaton Park: not just those protruding from countless pairs of shorts, as if some serial wedgie-administerer were on the loose, but also a penned-in field of actual donkeys to greet us on the way in.
At this juncture, Rocksucker chooses to at once acknowledge the opportunity of grouping together some of the performing acts as a third category of asses, and decline to do so. Check out the bill above and make your own mind up.
First up, Saturday, and its attendant chaos. For some reason, a very good one we’re sure, the organisers decided that the best way to deal with Danny Brown‘s no-show would be to have every other act onstage one hour before their scheduled time…seemingly without announcement (at least, if there was an announcement, we must have missed the impromptu meeting it was delivered at).
Having concluded that the clocks hadn’t in fact changed, and that that was indeed AlunaGeorge who’d just departed the Sounds of the Near Future stage, Rocksucker ambled, sun-dazed, over to the Metropolis tent to see what Roni Size and/or Goldie had to say for themselves. We only caught the former, and it might have been during Mr Size’s set that some unfortunate girl’s hair became entangled in the button on the shoulder of yours truly’s shirt. Goodness knows why the shirt has a shoulder button, but fortunately another young lady behind us kept her head (half-pun half-intended) sufficiently to defuse/disentangle the situation. Perhaps she’d encountered the likes before.
Back off to Sounds of the Near Future we trotted to catch damn fine sets from Daphni (better known as Caribou), Four Tet and Disclosure. Talking of asses, many were danced clean off in the midst of this Holy Electronity – sorry – and they may well still be scattered around the field with all the ciggy butts, empty bottles of cider, used poppers and whatever else was, er, going down at the time.
Unless popper technology has come a long way since the year 2000, Rocksucker cannot advocate the fifteen seconds or so of sheer adrenaline followed by whacking great headache that you’ll get for your money. If you’ve had a good experience with a popper in the last thirteen years then feel to write in and tell us about it. The best entry wins a popper.
Getting home on Saturday night involved a long walk back into town via several ‘rests’ at unforthcoming bus stops, along with a legion of other shivering drones. Perhaps we should have exited the site the same way we entered; we did this on Sunday and arrived at a bus destined for the city centre, all for the measly sum of five of Her Majesty’s pounds. Given the £2.37 surcharge for using one of the on-site ATMs, we felt lucky not to have been charged ten times the price.
Before we move on to Sunday’s fare, we should make mention of both Delphic and Temper Trap, each of whom we heard from a distance while in and around the perimeter of the main stage, and neither of whom tempted us to venture inwards for even a moment. We’re sure The Maccabees later on will have laid on more of interest, but we had more dance-oriented concerns by that point.
Okay, Sunday: on Sunday, Rocksucker was keen to check out Iggy Azalea, somehow under the impression that she was someone else (and not Azealia Banks, since you ask). Upon arrival at the main stage, we quickly remembered who she was and how much we hate her, so we sat it out until the far more entertaining Wretch 32 came on. We dug the energy and Wretch’s FIFA analogy of his rags-to-riches tale; that is, having to save up for the ’97 edition but facing no such hurdle for the latest version, thanks to us apparently. You’re welcome, Wretch.
Soon it was time for arguably the weekend’s central attraction, Jurassic 5, for whom we stuck around in between acts to ensure a spot right at the front. As entertaining as they were – not least the laterally conceived DJ’ing gimmicks of Messrs Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark – the relentlessness of their ‘take it in turns in the verse, all together in the chorus’ approach reminded Rocksucker of why we rarely turn to their records. “Concrete Schoolyard” is a stone cold classic, while there’s some cracking stuff on their Power in Numbers LP, but they lack the variety and unpredictability of peers such as Blackalicious and Latyrx. Still, great festival act.
The downside of sticking around for J5 was having to miss all of Simian Mobile Disco, but them’s the vagaries. We then heard a bit of Rita Ora from afar – the best way to hear her, arf! – before deciding upon Everything Everything in the Now Wave tent as our final spectacle of the weekend in order to ensure a smooth passage home (thus missing The Horrors…sorry, The Horrors).
Rocksucker’s been harsh on Everything Everything but our criticism remains consistent even through this admittedly impressive showing: they are 90% a great band, full of originality, fresh ideas and downright ace tunes, but Jonathan Higgs’s laddishly spluttering Futureheads/Maximo Park lead vocal remains an ultimately frustrating irritant. It’s okay when he adopts a tender falsetto, as on the sublimely Blur-esque “Duet”, but that unfortunately appears to be his only other setting.
For the record, we would also have liked to see, but for various reasons didn’t, all of the following: Liars, Savages, King Krule and Toro Y Moi. That’s testament to Parklife Weekender’s ability to pull in such impressively all-encompassing lineups, but a little more organisation next time wouldn’t go amiss.
For more information, please visit the official Parklife Weekender website.