The War On Drugs review at All Points East Festival, Victoria Park, East London | Music | Entertainment



Or to close your eyes in the drizzle and imagine you’re in the sun, as is more often the case here in the UK. 

So against a backdrop of a setting sun 25 degree heat, Saturday’s set from the band at All Points East festival was several shades of perfect. 

The brand new music event – set over just two weekends of summer to appease the angry residents who surround Victoria Park, East London – featured an eclectic line up of rock and indie. 

Compared to its predecessor, Lovebox, which has this year been shifted to a park 12.6 miles west, there was less glitter and narcotics and more beards, halloumi and craft ale.

I went down to check All Points East festival on Saturday, with Cat Power, Future Islands and Public Service Broadcasting on the bill, as well as headliners The National.

But I’m going to talk about The War On Drugs. 

Heading up the smaller North Stage, a structure which looked a bit like an enormous tyre that had hit the ground at speed, and a bit like a bucket, there were times when the sound seemed off. 

Perhaps it was those pesky neighbours, but it could have been louder. 

Furthermore, either frontman Adam Granducie loved to mumble, the speakers used had been bought out of the back of a van, or I had partaken in one too many frozen margaritas, but there were a couple of times I couldn’t make out a word he was saying. 

But despite this, the band played a beautiful set full of heady riffs and soaring summer tunes. 

With harmonica and saxophone, there was more than a touch of Bruce Springsteen to their sound. 

Starting with Eyes To The Wind, they treated the crowd to Pain and Strangest Thing. 

Yet the song of the night was Red Eyes, the band’s biggest hit to date, which got even the dads in the crowd dancing. 

When the song came to an end, having heard what they came for a large chunk of the crowd slinked off to catch the start of The National, leaving the lucky few of us who remained to get closer and soak up the sunshine for two more songs. 

Ending on In Reverse, the band blessed us with a final guitar solo and we wandered home in the setting sun. 

Now, to book that road trip. 


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