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Diary from UK #03|Yukitaka Amemiya

Yukitaka Amemiya is a photographer known for his works in artistic photography and music media including Tabito Nanao, Dengaryu, Suiyōbi no Campanella and others. From summer into fall 2015, he accompanied Basement Jaxx on their England tour as his “warrior training” and relocated his headquarters to England last fall. “Diary from UK” is a photo diary that traces Amemiya’s experience with photos taken in England.

text&photo_Yukitaka Amemiya / edit_Kentaro Okumura

Parklife Festival in Manchester

I went to the Parklife Festival that was held in Manchester the other day. A festival held in Manchester, the home of music festivals, that has produced many legendary musicians…I was excited for sure, and curious about what kind of show it would be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first thing that caught my eye was the horrible condition of the ground. It had rained the day before and the ground was muddy and slushy. To be honest, it was awful (haha). But this is the UK. In Japan, this kind of environment would be a buzzkill. But here, the youth were enjoying the mud and running around in it. I was overwhelmed by the good vibes and it hit me that this festival was going to be totally different from Japanese festivals. Yeahhhh!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of the music performed at this festival was club music. Powerful bass sounds echoed throughout the entire arena and it was as though people were dancing against the mud and rain and were trying to blow away the rain with their wild dancing. This was a crazy sight… I was completely blown away at the peoples’ passion for having fun. This festival was held over the course of 2 days. The price of the 2-day ticket was 150 pounds (22,000 yen). This is very cheap considering the fact that the line-up of performers was so superb.

I don’t know if the reasonable ticket price is the reason behind this or not, but no one seemed to mind a little rain or mud. Most of the songs were upbeat, and you can say that this festival has a specific purpoes of making the audience dance around and go wild.

The best part about it was the splendid line-up of performers that blew the audience away!

 

Moodymann

Coming down to the floor and giving drinks to everyone…His DJ-ing is always the best. If you’ve never seen him DJ before, you definitely should! He got a hold of my heart by playing Chidish Gambino with perfect timing….

 

 

Anderson .Paak

To say that Anderson Paak is one of the best performers of this generation is not an overstatement. He has been performing in music festivals all over the world this year and this particular performance had force that was on a different level. Rapping, singing, dancing, drumming….whatever he does, he gives stellar performances that are incredibly sexy and that satisfy his audience.

 

 

The 1975

The crowd went wild for this band whom I assume many people were excited to see, as they are from Manchester. The “Rock band sound”, which was a rare sound in this festival, soothed me in a way that was different from the other performances.

 

 

Run the Jewels

Another popular artist who has been performing at musical festivals worldwide this year They are not well known in Japan but are super-popular in the US and UK. They were fully entertaining the crowd with a sound that could be enjoyed even by people who are not fans of hip-hop. If you do not know them, I urge you to check them out.

 

 

Mick Jenkins

Amid all the upbeat performances, Mick Jenkins gave a refined performance. He exhibited a dope world view with his meaningful and powerful lyrics.

 

 

Flying Lotus

Flying Lotus, whose intimidating sound is capable of hushing crying children, was rocking the audience with their unique world view. They had made a transparent curtain at the front of the stage.The projection mapping, that made use of layers, was like a 3D image.

 

 

stormzy

Stormzy is an artist who leads the Grime scene, that originated in London. He is not well known in Japan but is currently taking the U.K. charts by storm and and is receiving massive support from UK’s youth. Before the show began I got asked by many people when and where stormzy will be performing next. Um…..I wonder why they asked me….? But anyways, this made me realize how popular stormzy is.

 

 

Sampha

Sampha blew us away with amazing vocals. Sampha is an artist from London who is currently gaining attention and who performed at Fuji Rock this year as well.

 

 

Muramasa

Muramasa, an artist from London who also performed at Coachella very recently. His sound is clear and he’s got great musical timing. If you’ve never heard of him before, you should definitely try listening to his music.

 

Frank Ocean

To say that I came to Parklife to see this person is not an exaggeration at all. That’s how much I was looking forward to seeing them. Being able to witness his performance, in which he presented a new form of pop music, was a priceless experience for me.

 

He appeared, 30 minutes late, on a circular stage located in the middle of the arena.Even though he was late, he re-sang his first song 3 times (haha). After that, he showed off his beautiful voice and sound. It felt like we had been invited to his house to listen to him perform. The atmosphere of the crowd, who were dancing like crazy until now, changed completely. Everyone was listening intently and trying to take in the spiritual moment. It was amazing.

 

 

The mayor or Manchester made an appearance at Parklife this year as a special guest.

It had only been about a week since the terrorist attack at Ariana Grande’s show in Manchester, which was still fresh in peoples’ minds.The mayor had come to express his will to fight against terrorism.

 

 

Fatboy Slim

Who better to close the show than Fatboy Slim, a representative dance music artist of the UK that the country takes pride in? Getting to see Fatboy Slim after seeing an entire line-up of amazing artists? This was too good to be true.

 

Everything about the Parklife Festival is powerful. There are so many music festivals in the world, but festivals like this that put such great emphasis on going wild is rare. I felt like I was able to get a glimpse of the musical history of Manchester and how the people interact with the music here.

 

Profile

Yukitaka Amemiya

Yukitaka Amamiya bought a camera with the goal of meeting musicians and started his career in photography in 2009. With a main focus on the Japanese music scene, he has photographed a large number of musicians, both mainstream and underground. His stint as a photographer for a 2015 Basement Jaxx tour led to his decision to move to London, England in September 2016. He currently works as a photographer from his base in London.

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