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All Points East day one: have we just found the sexiest festival on planet Earth?

All Points East day one: have we just found the sexiest festival on planet Earth?

All Points East Day One Stormzy, Kehlani, Sampha

There were yellow weather warnings yesterday, and to be fair, it was feeling a litt… don’t do it… come on man, nahhh… 

Fine.

Happy This Is What I Mean day.

It’s been a tumultuous summer, I don’t think anyone can argue with that. Refreshing the forecast daily, hoping to see even those partially sunny days. Outdoor plans are on hold until further notice, apart from last night.

You could feel it in the air. The impending downpour from the fierce clouds carrying so much water they look like a donkey pulling a cart of one million potatoes up a hill, but we’re all choosing to ignore them and collectively deciding to close off summer with a bang.

Probably a different kind of bang. Kehlani’s soulful basslines and reverberated snare drums line the air from the West Stage like the scent of an Italian restaurant when you walk past it hungry and her vocals are the sticky toffee pudding. She apologies that her show’s not for the moshers, but the seductors. 

She wasn’t wrong. It took a conscious effort to stop my hips from gyrating (sorry for the mental imagery there). Just her presence was all the crowd needed to tip them over the edge with many of them doing that finger-in-the-air-eyes-closed-sway kinda dance.

Thinking about it, it was quite possibly the sexiest music festival out there. Boasting the likes of Sampha, Knucks, Elmiene and Ms Banks on the Stormzy curated lineup, it’d be hard not to feel fruity at times.

Following Kehlani, everything points the opposite of the West Stage and what once felt like a relatively spaced-out festival soon turned into a mad dash for the East Stage as if we had to board the last ship from Earth before an asteroid hits. Stormzy must be on and I think there were about 50,000 people ahead of us.

He was self-reflective and extremely grateful for his UK headline exclusive homecoming show at All Points East.

Stormzy divided his show into two contrasting pieces. The first half being an extension of the day so far; soulful, vulnerable and thankful. 

“This is my hometown. You lot are my family,” he told the crowd. “As long as I’m here, and as long as I have a career, I will not stop saying ‘thank you’. You lot have changed my life. You’ve changed my family’s life.” he says during his succession of tracks from his latest album This Is What I Mean.

It was a live deep-dive exploration into his career. He had the nervous grin of a school kid and you couldn’t help but smile back as we experienced those feelings with him. He talked of the album coming from a period of stillness in his life; provoking those life-changing questions in the heads of thousands of people standing in a field in London.

“It was a beautiful thing: to look at myself in the mirror,” he said. “It’s a world of distractions… it’s a world built to distract you from your main goal: to know yourself.’

But then he left the stage. 

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And emerged a new man.

Now a powerful force that commands a new energy from the adoring fans. 

Listen, I’m not saying that Stormzy controls the weather, but it started to rain just as his performance of Rainfall started, I guess his enemies were there.

Not only did the rain start. It continued. And continued. And somehow kept getting heavier. Y’know those huge drops you get from a tree after a downpour? Yep, just a constant stream of these.

It was one of those things though. Like when everything is going so right that dropping your £10 kebab with extra doner on the floor before the first bite becomes a hysterical story rather than a hate-your-life disaster. 

We could experience the same feelings as Stormzy on stage. You can see the splashes from his trainer-less feet on the walkway and the drops spraying from his lips as he shouts into the mic for songs like Shut Up and exactly the same is happening to you. 

It felt intimate for a festival; no one has phones out when it’s pissing it down.

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