BY CHRIS ROBERTS VIA THE QUIETUSA sunlit summer park in East London might be a million miles from grimy 1970s New York, but Chris Roberts finds true wonder in Patti Smith’s performance of Horses on the Quietus/EYOE main stage at Field Day. There’s life in the old nag that is rock & roll yet. Photos by Valerio Berdini ADD YOUR COMMENT » The last great rock & roll performance takes place on a hot sunny Sunday afternoon in a flat green field somewhere near Mile End in East London, and many notice it, and feel a tingling in their senses and a stirring in their blood and almost cry with joy, and some don’t notice it, and wander off for chips. The last legend still being legendary, the last myth being mythical, Patti Smith once again delivers the best her genre could give while simultaneously transcending it. Like rock & roll, Lou Reed is dead now, but he once said that he “harboured the hope that the intelligence that once inhabited novels and films would ingest rock”
. It didn’t pan out that way; the redirected red herring of punk made it uncool to use long words or have ambition, and those misfits with ideas different to the herd moved into other genres, other modes of expression. What’s now left of rock & roll – oof, the pungent cheesiness of those three words – is mimicry, karaoke, at best the occasional talented idealistic young person trying to recapture the childish dreams of paradise they discerned in their parents’ record collection.