LIVE: All Points East @ Victoria Park, London

By Punktastic

All Points East festival returns to East London’s Victoria Park in 2019 with six standalone events spread over two weekends. The festival, only in its second year, has already won the award for line-up of the year at the 2018 UK Festival Awards, and in May 2019 won the award for Best Festival at the Music Week Awards. This year brought a huge line-up, including some of today’s biggest acts across a brilliant range of genres with Mumford and Sons, The Chemical Brothers, and The Strokes among the headliners on other dates. On the first day of Weekend Two, it was the turn of Sheffield rockers Bring Me the Horizon to top the bill.

First task of the day involved a trip to the North stage in time to catch the youthful quartet Yonaka. Today’s show also marked the release of the band’s debut album ‘Don’t Wait ‘til Tomorrow’. An impressive set, stand out tracks included ‘Lose Our Heads’ and ‘F.W.T.B.’ (listener discretion is advised). It’s clear why there is so much hype around this band, and they already have a loyal following that will surely continue to grow.

From here it was on towards the Firestone stage, one of the smaller stages of the day, to check out Vukovi. Lead singer Janine Shilstone had the crowd in her hands from the moment she stepped on stage, with captivating stage presence and energy. The show didn’t run as smoothly as the band likely hoped, with a few technical issues resulting in a slight delay to an already short set, though to bide time Shilstone led the crowd in singing a rendition of Oasis’s Wonderwall. What was really wonderful about this set was how genuinely humbled the band were by the response of the crowd; they deserve great success, and there’s no doubt that they will achieve it.

Back on the North stage, it’s time for an altogether more familiar name in Sleeping With Sirens. There have always been shifts in their genre as they have constantly evolved, and it was great to hear a mix of songs such as ‘Do It Now Remember It Later’ from 2011 album ‘Let’s Cheers To This’, to the likes of ‘Empire to Ashes’ from more recent album ‘Gossip’. The crowd were also treated to a live debut of new track ‘Leave It All Behind’. One thing that has been consistent with the band is the impressive vocals both live and on record by front man Kellin Quinn, and going by their new track, there is still much more in store for Sleeping With Sirens.

While She Sleeps formed in 2006, and in March this year released their fourth studio album ‘So What?’, which received a generally positive reception. Much like Sleeping with Sirens, the band offered a variety of material in their setlist, and clearly had a huge fan base with the crowd almost drowning out vocalist Lawrence Taylor. The likes of ‘Anti-Social’ and ‘Four Walls’ were definite highlights of the set, alongside penultimate track ‘Silence Speaks’ from 2017 album ‘You Are We’ – during which the band were joined on stage by Oli Sykes of Bring Me the Horizon, giving the crowd a little taster of what was to come.

Over on the East Stage, American hip-hop duo Run the Jewels made their entrance to ‘We Are The Champions’, and got the crowd going instantly. Though a different style of music to much of the rest of the day, it was a welcome retreat away from the heavier bands and enough to cleanse the palate ahead of the rest of the evening with an impressive set.

When this year’s line-up was announced, there was one band on the bill that stood out above all others. That band was the almighty Architects.  There are few front men better than Sam Carter – whatever IT is, he has it. Their set was torn open with the track ‘Modern Mystery’, and from there it just got better, and better, and better. The likes of ‘Naysayer’ and ‘Gravedigger’ went down incredibly well, but tracks from latest album ‘Holy Hell’ were also welcomed and well received. This band never fails to deliver, and this was certainly a headline worthy performance.

Joining the swarms of crowds heading towards the East Stage for the day’s finale, the atmosphere was electric. Something was brewing, and you could taste the anticipation. Bring Me The Horizon were about to take to the stage. Not only was this the band’s first ever headline slot at an outdoor festival, but to top it off they would be playing a mammoth set lasting two hours.

Bring Me The Horizon’s sound has drastically changed over the years and this gave them the opportunity to play songs spanning their entire career, ensuring that every fan in the crowd was catered for. As expected, the band put on a theatrical performance with matching jumpsuits, multiple costume changes and, of course, pyrotechnics and confetti cannons. The band was joined on stage by a variety of guests, including Architects’ Sam Carter on ‘The Sadness Will Never End’, and Lotus Eater’s Jamie McLees on ‘Antivist’ – but the highlight of the set was when Cradle Of Filth’s Dani Filth appeared to perform ‘Wonderful Life’ from latest album ‘Amo’. As front men go, Oli Sykes is well up there among the greatest. There is no point trying to second guess what is next for Bring Me the Horizon as they are constantly evolving and pushing the boundaries – whatever it may be, they are sure to once again out-do themselves. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.