And to help you with your decision-making, here’s our hourly rundown of the day:
Midday – 1pm
The History of Apple Pie v S.C.U.M
The History of Apple Pie are emerging favourites here at TLOBF, they will even play our Swn stage in October, so you’ll know where we’ll be. The band are shamelessly twee but with an effortless eye for melodies to back it up. But if your thing is more gothic, theatrical art-school post-punk, then Londoners S.C.U.M are your better bet.
1pm – 2pm
Pearson Sound v Junip
Pearson Sound also goes by the name Ramadanman, while his mother calls him David Kennedy. Kennedy’s brand of electronica deviates in and out of the Dubstep fringes and the producer has recently remixed the likes of Radiohead. Swedish-based Junip, featuring advert soundtrack king José González, produced one of the hidden gems of 2010 in their debut LP Fields.
2pm – 3pm
Roska v Ducktails
Roska is a dancefloor master, with the ability to send a crowd into a frenzy at the very whim of his beat drops. Let’s just hope the Bugged Out! stage doesn’t get too sweaty. Ducktails, on the other hand, is the solo project of Matt Mondanile. Lo-fi experimental drone for all those who prefer gentle head-bopping to jaw-clenched dancing.
3pm – 4pm
Matthew Dear v Ariel Pink
The day’s first near-to-impossible decision. Experimental dance master Matthew Dear or experimental art-rock maverick Ariel Pink. It is definitely a win-but-also-lose situation. Let your choice depend on whichever stage is less crowded or what one you find yourself nearest to.
4pm – 5pm
Mount Kimbie v Givers
Another tough call. Mount Kimbie were one of Field Day 2010′s highlights, while Givers have all the promise to really set the latter half of 2011 alight with their sunny-side-up outlook on life and the music to match.
5pm – 6pm
Benga v Zola Jesus
If Benga is to be to your already existent music tastes then he probably shouldn’t need any introduction. But for all those unacquainted: South London’s innovator of UK Garage and dub, recently experiencing mainstream success with Dubstep supergroup Magnetic Man. Okay, so you know who he is now. Good, good. Zola Jesus, conversely, blends synth-based electronica with an eerie industrial and gothic overlay. Her stage presence is also something utterly alluring.
6pm – 7pm
Omar Souleyman v John Cale
There is a general rule in life, passed from generation to generation like “Never eat yellow snow”, and that is: if you get the chance to see a former Velvet Underground member live, don’t even think twice about it! You may think that Lou Reed and co would be slips of their former selves by now but if John Cale‘s new material is anything to go by, there’s still a lot to see here beyond nostalgia. Maybe give now uber-Conservative former drummer Mo Tucker a miss though. The weird-yet-somehow-wonderful Syrian oddball Omar Souleyman recently corroborated with Bjork. And that is more of a successful advert for seeing him than I could ever come up with in words.
7pm – 8pm
SBTRKT v Born Ruffians
SBTRKT, or Subtract if you take out the vowels and are sloppy with your spelling, is a mysterious figure on stage. Instead of reveling in the limelight, or should that be spotlight, the masked producer instead lets the crowd get lost in their own world, piling them with track after track of eclectic future garage. Born Ruffians meanwhile are the exact opposite, the Ontario band are known for their fast and furious indie pop.
8pm – 9pm
Kieran Hebden / James Holden v James Blake
Why? Why do they do this to us? Why do they do this to us? Why do bad things happen to good people? We’re good people, right? Good people who deserve to see both of dance music’s most exciting acts at the moment: James Blake and Four Tet (going by his birth name and doing a DJing B2B with heavyweight producer Holden). Oh, life is cruel.
9pm – 10pm
Anna Calvi v The Horrors
The Horrors have had harder job than most at winning over detractors, like any post-teenage recovering-goth frantically trying to delete their old Livejournal account and find any morose poems that may be hiding in dark corners of the internet. But with new album Skying they seem to be just about managing it. Anybody still not convinced really need to catch them at Field Day; come with an open mind and forgiving heart free of any tabloid prejudice. Not convinced? Anna Calvi is a beautiful up-and-coming multi-instrumentalist, recently featured on the BBC Sound of 2011 list – oh and she made that Mercury Music Award list thing too.
10pm – 11pm
Wild Beasts v Gruff Rhys
What seemed like half of Twitter – well, those not busy tweeting slightly-chauvinistic hashtags – were in outrage when news broke that Wild Beasts didn’t make into the final Mercury Prize nominations. See what all the fuss is about with their headline slot. If you were with the Mercury panel and backed the controversial omission then there’s the Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys to keep you entertained while all your friends are swooning over at the Main Stage.