June 5, 2015

Cairobi’s brilliant EP Distant Fire has been holding our record player under a heavy spell for the last few weeks. We’ve been a fan of the record’s otherworldly sounds since it dropped last year, but with the band getting ready to play Field Day this weekend, its gone back on to heavy rotation here at UO HQ. And we can’t think of a better record to get in the mood for a festival. Which got us thinking. While we’re getting ready to go to Field Day by listening to Cairobi, what are Cairobi doing to get ready to play Field Day? We caught up with them in between rehearsals and gave their brains a picking.

Alright lads. How are you feeling about playing Field Day?

We are very excited! I have been there a few times as a spectator and always loved it, it’s a great feeling to go back to play.

Will you be sticking around to watch any of the other acts? Who are you excited about seeing?

Definitely! I’d like to see Bernard + Edith, Viet Cong, Jane Weaver, Mac Demarco, Patti Smith, Toy and Ducktails.

Do you have a favourite festival?

We played Womad some time ago, and that was really great. I remember an epic Femi Kuti set.

Is there a big difference between the experience of playing festivals and regular gigs?

It’s quite different. At festivals you usually don’t get a soundcheck, unless you are headlining, so you need to be well organised and ready to set up and do it. Another big difference, which affects both the performer and the audience, is the fact that festivals are often open-air, which affects both the sound and the energy.

How do you get ready for a festival performance? Do you have any preparation rituals?

I guess finding the right set-list is particularly crucial when you play a festival, so we put a lot thought into that to try and get it right.

What’s been your best festival experience?

Latitude was really good. We were part of a brilliant line-up and the backstage looked like a small village where each band had their own little shed and everyone was hanging out together and it all felt good.

And what’s been your worst?

The worst was definitely the first one we ever did. We were so excited to play a festival; I think it had been my dream since early puberty. We rented a van and left London around 2pm, considering the journey ahead of us was about an hour and a half. But when we hit bad traffic on the motorway we started realising that maybe we should have left earlier. In the end we got there half an hour late and missed our slot. That was disappointing.

What’s the rest of the summer got in store for Cairobi?

We’ll lock ourselves in the studio and finish off our record; it’s about time!