That's if you weren't busy playing beer pong with Sorry
On a small field in Hackney Paddock, a group of people have formed a circle around a group of dogs and their owners, in the shadow of St John’s Church. However, instead of the vicar and maybe his wife – who is also the chairwoman of the local W.I. – judging the show, it’s members of Savages, Happyness and Blaenevon. A dog dressed as Vladimir Putin riding his horse wins.
This is the opening gambit for Visions Festival, happening in and around Hackney and London Fields, at several venues scattered around E2 and E8 – a day’s worth of music, from up and coming Porridge Radio (pictured below) at the Sebright Arms to the toast of pretty much everyone, IDLES, headlining the dark, dank and sweaty bunker of Hangar. Visions is a parade of music, food, colour, light, beer and laughter up and down the main drag from Bethnal Green in the south to leafy London Fields in the north. Collect your wrist bands at Oval Space, traverse the railway arches and the edges of the River Lea, up the road following the brick raised rails to Space Courtyard, Hangar and LFB The Arches. Then there’s the Sebright Arms pub with its East End brick facade and stained glass; cold beers upstairs, a hotbox venue downstairs.
I start at Oval Space, on the sun drenched balcony looking over the gasholders, now empty with their giant metal rib cage stretching into the bluest of skies. Inside the stark exhibition room Alaskalaska are opening up the day’s music. It’s pleasurable enough. A mix of Brand New Heavies and Zero 7 ambient grooves and sweet vocals. New single ‘Monster’ has a bit more fury with the lyrics clashing with the sax and looping guitar hooks.