Jubilee Celebrations: East London

Apologises for the belated post and for how long it’s going to be! Brace yourselves for a Jubilee Overload! Let’s start with a quick debrief… To mark 60 years of the Queen’s reign, the Diamond Jubilee takes place in June, 2012. Communities all around the country came together to celebrate over an extended bank holiday weekend. There were many ways to get involved in local events and as a ‘temporary’ Londoner, I was glad to hear that the capital was bursting at the seams with events to choose from and take part in. From street parties to festivals, to Jubilee-themed nights and even Anti-royal affairs, there really was something for everyone.  I know this is a brave one, writing about how I spent my Jubilee weekend after it’s happened, but oh well I still feel like sharing with you.

Friday 1st June

Jubilee Celebrations at work, with royal decorations from bunting to card board cut outs of the Queen, the office congregated in the downstairs kitchen and seating area to enjoy Pimms’, Buck’s fizz, Scones, Finger Sandwiches and Cupcakes. It was a great way to kick off the long weekend and share your jubilee plans amongst friends and colleagues. Here’s a snap shot of the office decorations!

Saturday 2nd June

Field Day Festival in Victoria Park, East London. It was impossible to be calm in the run up to Field Day 2012, having been last year I knew what to expect in terms of the layout of the day and the acts you’d expect to see. For months I’d been scanning the line-up, catching up on the bands I didn’t know and making countless must see lists. According to londonist.com ‘Over the past six years it’s grown to become the highlight of the hipster calendar, and a showcase for the bands you’ll be following over the next 12 months’.

As well as up-and-coming artists Field Day also hosts established acts with the right amount of cult pizzazz to warrant inclusion at such a cutting edge event. This year Field Day organisers prepared an interactive site map and line up prior to kick-off which was great for festival prep! My priority acts included Friends, an American band from Brooklyn, New York. The band, originally named Perpetual Crush, consists of Samantha Urbani (vocals), Lesley Hann (bass, percussion, backing vocals), Nikki Shapiro, Matthew Molnar, Oliver Duncan (pictured below).  The group released the singles “Friend Crush” and “I’m His Girl” in 2011. On April 10, 2012, BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens selected the band’s third single, “Mind Control”, as his Hottest Record in the World. Their music has been described as eclectic; “One moment it’s indie-pop, the next it’s mutant funk, then disco – something that sounds only of itself, even as the echoes of the past flit through the songs.” Click here to listen to some of their sounds.

I’m also a big SBTRKT fan, so I was looking forward to seeing them for the second year running. SBTRKT (pronounced as “subtract”) is the stage name and project headed by Aaron Jerome, a musician and producer from London. SBTRKT’s music is a mixture of two-step, UK funky, dubstep, US R’n’B and Chicago house. His music has been placed in rotation by BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 Music, have a listen to some of sounds here. I was also interested in seeing Blawan, Eats Everything, Hudson Mohawke and Julio Bashmore. When Field Day’s set times came out, it was obvious I’d be spending most of my day in the Bugged Out! tent.

A new addition to my music playlists since Field Day is hip hop soul duo The Internet, consisting of DJ, singer and producer Syd tha Kyd and producer Matt Martians of OFWGKTA. According to Wiki their debut album, Purple Naked Ladies, was released on December 20, 2011 to “mixed reception”. It will be the first physical release on Odd Future’s own record label Odd Future Records.

Guardian photographer David Levene captures the buzz of the main stage at Field Day festival in Victoria Park, east London. The camera automatically shot one photograph every minute from Friday evening to Sunday morning, showing light tests, crowds coming and going, and then a clean-up of the park. The time-lapse is run at 25 photos per second. Click here to relive the main stage in 60 seconds thanks to this time-lapse video from The Guardian!

Sunday 3rd June

BENGA Live at Koko, Camden. I’ve already blogged about this venue before, as it’s where I went to see Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs the other week, click here for a refresher. For me, this was an unplanned night, I wasn’t sure if I could hack another night out or whether my bank balance would allow it. Nevertheless, I ended up joining the guys who had already purchased tickets in advance. When we arrived I asked whether it was any problem purchasing tickets on the door, thankfully it wasn’t – loads of people were doing so which was lucky!

Benga Live was his first ever live set, the likes of Joker and Dismantle supported him plus special guests, P Money and Goldie. If you want a low down on the music played and a detailed event review then check out my housemate’s blog post on NG to E3 #Benga Live @ Koko 03/06/2012, as he knows what he’s talking about a lot more than me!

Monday 4th June

Monday was the day of the East London Street Parties! With too many to choose from in and around London, we decided to try out two within close proximity of one another.

The Water Poet hosted a good old East End knees-up along its cobbled street in honour of the Queen’s diamond jubilee. Street food, commemorative ales, Pimms and live music from the ‘Royal Variety Stage’ were all on offer. According to the press there was meant to be an appearance from a mystery Dame at the event, whether or not this was so I’m not sure. Nonetheless, the pub itself and cobbled street was buzzing. A little too busy for my liking, as we’d arrived right in the middle of the day we couldn’t really find a place to pitch ourselves (being in a group of 8) we kept having to walk single file through the families and friends drinking, eating and laughing together. It was a brilliantly British atmosphere but we were after something a little more spacious.

Heading a little further north in the direction of Shoreditch and Old Street we arrived at The Rivington Street Party. The event was a lot more controlled than that at The Water Poet, i.e. the street was tapped off and to get in you had to have your bag’s checked. Watch the following YouTube clip for a taster of what the event was like…

I enjoyed the atmosphere in Rivington Street, the event brought together local venues, local promoters and local creative talent, The Rivington Street Festival was a celebration of music, art and all things creative!

Tuesday 5th June

Indoor Picnic to top off the weekend! Tuesday involved replaying all the BBC Jubilee coverage accompanied by an indoor picnic in the afternoon. Seeing as the weather wasn’t great we thought it’d be safest to layout the picnic spread in our front room as appose to Victoria Park. My housemate Polly (@Pol29) baked cherry scones, her recipe has previously featured on Daydreamer here as well as some of the crockery displayed in the photo below.

That concludes my East London Jubilee celebrations. Sorry for the information overload but I know some family members out there would have made it to this bottom paragraph :). I hope you all enjoyed your Royal celebrations too!