Friday, 6 August 2010



Something doesn't feel quite right about the 1-2-3-4 Festival. Tucked away behind Hackney Leisure Centre, this arid part of Shoreditch Park struggles with its juxtapostion of young punk and the uncompromising sunshine. Throughout the day the tents remain half empty and with many of the audience sporting free passes it would be easy to accuse the Hackney crowd of being too cool to care, but really there's only so much anger you can believe on a steaming hot Saturday afternoon in London.

We got there early, specifically to catch the ever delightful La Shark. Their early billing pulls in only a small crowd but the morning heat doesn’t stop us dancing. Next we head over to the Artrocker tent for Pull In Emergency. They’re full of teenage zeal and harbour a real sensibility for pop writing that would leave people twice their age green.

After being denied a Converse tote bag (too bad, Converse) and bumping into friends in the dance tent it was time for the most controversial act of the day – Peter Hook playing Unknown Pleasures. It was obviously going to be strange and in between all of Hook’s arm waving and gurned COME ON’s it resembled an embarrassing karaoke episode. The most surprising thing was how many people enjoyed it. Later in the day Silver Machines – a Bobby Gillespie ego stroking project - also played the mainstage, an odd fact meaning two of the supposed main draws here today were cover bands.

Highlights of day included the Vivian Girls with their lo-fi Brooklyn noise pop and We Have Band, who had the audience baying for more. By 9pm the Rough Trade tent was teeming with people gathered to see These New Puritans and for about 30 seconds we did, then the power cut out and like a sign from the skies we knew it was time to go.