Field Day Sunday music festival: The art of “fucking up perfect”

5’o’clock. Red Hot Sunny June day in Victoria Park, sweet old England. Field Day.

Four farmers (Aka Mac de Marco’s band) appear on stage. One of them has long blond hair, a sexy fluffy moustache and is shirtless, revealing a hot tanned body which could make Red Hot Chili Peppers jealous. The other guitarist seems to just have arrived from a hot sunny sweaty day on the beach with a big old blue t-shit, an old pair of swimming suits and slick hairy legs.

Mac De Marco, the frontman, is wearing an army coloured overall. His hair, naturally, effortlessly, looks like it just stood an electric choc.

Mac De Marco, right and his guitarist in blue swimming suit, left

Mac De Marco, right and his guitarist in a blue swimming suit, left

Mac De Marco’s music is mesmerizing. Simple as folk, catchy as pop, dreamy as Mac and rock’n’roll as De Marco.

Some of the acts playing previously should learn from Mac’s band.

Firstly, they know how to communicate with a 20 000 + crowd. A big feat by itself.

Step number 1: Smile.

Step number 2: Say hi. Talk to the crowd.

Step number 3: Be funny.

What’s special about Mac De Marco’s band is they have three clowns. Not one. If music didn’t work for them, they could definitely be good stand-up comedians. Worry not, music will work for them.

As shows it the two pairs of bras that were donated to them by the crowd. One classic, white, the other, funkier, covered by flowers patterns. All sort of things were actually donated to the band by the crowd. Bread, which De Marco couldn’t eat because he’s gluten free. (Difficult to tell whether he was joking or not). Footballs, that were jumping from the stage to the people. Watermelon slices, which ended up crashing the face of the sexy shirtless guitarist, who was already having a hard time, poor boy, fixing his guitar. But sexy moustache guitarist didn’t let this guitar “fuck up” his concert. He improvised with humour, dancing, moving his hips and flexing his legs with the music.

As if all this was not enough, Mac De Marco ended up jumping in the mass of people and crowd surfing. Don’t know if he knew where it would take him, because it took him very far, kilometres away from the stage, finally coming back after ten minutes through muscly fans arms and perceived unanimously as a rock star, Macaroni cheese Mac De Marco.

Patti Smith " The sun is not yellow. It is CHICKEN!" "I never did anything perfect...I just fucked-up perfect"

Patti Smith ” The sun is not yellow. It is CHICKEN!”

Up next was Patti Smith. Patti Smith, known as the godmother of punk, poet, lyricist, rock star, writer. If it still doesn’t ring a bell, she’s the one who sings “Because the night”, although it would be alienating to define her by this song as she has a large, rich repertoire of great songs.

Patti Smith was going to cover the entirety of her debut album, Horses, in the original order of the songs. Which means she opened the concert with “Gloria”.

“Jesus died for somebody sins but not mine”. Is there a better opener for a concert? She went on to scream, the crowd joining in harmony, united: “G….L…..O……R…Ayayayayaya Gloooria”

It has to be the best concert opener ever as it was one the best songs of rock’n’roll played by one of the great ladies of rock to an over excited crowd on a sunny day in a park.

Patti Smith then sang “Redondo Beach” which sounds like the perfect beach songs although the lyrics are much deeper and meaningful. Then she went on to sing Birdland & Free Money and the rest of one of the greatest rock albums in history. She did mess up at some point on one song, after which she immediately said. “I’ve never done things perfect…I only fucked-up perfect”, which made the crowd laugh.

What is striking is how relevant the Horses album still is today.

Patti Smith screams, splits, and pronounces the words of her songs in a way that give them full meaning. She lives the text, she feels it and wants you to feel it too. Through her words alone, spoken with clear passion, she shook the crowd, told them to follow their dreams, to stop being the slaves of money, of the government. She urges them to use their voice, to have the power. She delivers with the innocent rage of a teenager discovering the world. But she is sixty something, and she is telling us the crowd, young crowd, to wake up, not to fall victim of the society but to build a better society.

The crowd had the highest respect for Patti Smith. Although music fans were loud and dancing under her upbeat songs, they were completely quiet on the slow and quiet songs, listening to each word the poet delivered.

“Back in 1969, there was a massive concert in Hyde Park. But I was working in a bookshop, watching the concert on TV, wondering what it would be like playing to so many people. And I can tell you, it feels awesome.” Patti says.

After singing happy birthday to the bassist with the 20 000 people crowd, Patti moved on to songs from other albums, and ended with a cover of “My generation” by the Who. A symbol of the message delivered by Patti Smith, engaged artist. A message to rebel with ourselves, to take control of our lives and follow our dreams.

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