Posts Tagged ‘festival review’

The crowd that gathered at the Alexandria St stage for Irish indie lovelies Two Door Cinema Club easily surpassed that which was there for Beach House. Kicking things off with ‘Cigarettes in the Theatre’, the opening track from last year’s debut Tourist History, everyone instantly went off. The four piece (though officially only a three-piece, with drummer Ben Thompson only listed as a touring member) smashed their way through the album tracks, with each received as well as the next.  ‘Do You Want it All’ and ‘Come Back Home’ proved to be sing-a-long favourites, and the band showed that they can really bring the energy to their live performance. Sharp, dancing guitar riffs and slick basslines were backed by steady precise, rhythmic drumming keeping the performance at a high intensity throughout. The arrangement of ‘What You Know’ was gorgeous, starting off slowly before building up to normal speed. Vocally, lead single Alex Trimble was average, sometimes sounding breathless, but made up for it in his energy. Overall, a very tight performance from the band.

Despite receiving the warning of “whatever you do, don’t go see Ariel Pink” from my co-worker the previous week, I was still intrigued to see what all the hype was about. Dressed in a red jumpsuit, complete with sunglasses and a rubber snake draped around his neck, bizarre is really the only would that comes to mind. The first song I witness had to be started again because Pink “forgot the lyrics”. Even ignoring these factors, it was still a lacklustre performance from someone who put out such a good album last year. Needless to say, I didn’t stick around.

Opening with the immediately catchy, ‘O.N.E.’ New York’s Yeasayer took the stage. An even set of older and new material pleased the mixed crowd and had most dancing throughout. ‘Wait for the Summer’ was warmly received and there was an interesting attempt from the crowd to sing the oohs of ‘Madder Red’. The energy, charisma and all around stage presence of frontman Christ Keating could barely be matched. Naturally the highlight of the set was ‘Ambling Alp’, with hundreds of people singing along to the familiar ‘look out for yourself son’ chorus, ending the set on an extremely high note.

I rushed over to catch the end of Deerhunter’s set, obviously coming in a bit too late to become engrossed in the atmosphere. Or shoegaze was probably just a bad choice after the high energy performances of Two Door Cinema Club and Yeasayer. ‘Nothing Ever Happens’ and ‘Helicopter’ were entertaining, but I couldn’t help but think that these guys were a lot better better on record.

Oxford five piece Foals took Alexandria St stage next, opening with ‘Blue Blood’ from their latest release Total Life Forever. ‘Olympic Airways’ struck a chord with older fans, and ‘Spanish Sahara’ delighted the newer ones. However, the band’s breakthrough single ‘Cassius’ received the warmest reception of all. Though their stage presence and ability to entertain weren’t exactly spot on, their music certainly was. The band played extremely tight, and can’t really be faulted in that sense.

Cut Copy have never been a band that I’ve been particularly interested in, but figured I would give them a try to see if they redeemed themselves live. Opening with latest single ‘Need You Now’, the mood towards the back of the crowd remained fairly placid. They meandered through ‘Where I’m Going’ and ‘Corner of the Sky’ before I lose interest and left to see !!! (who were basically the reason I was at Laneway in the first place). Despite the music not sounding too bad, Cut Copy put forward an incredibly boring performance.

!!! (Chk Chk Chk) could have easily done with a bigger stage, but performing inside the Inner Sanctum definitely set the mood for a party, closing off the sounds coming from the rest of the festival. Still suffering from a mediocre sound mix, the group certainly worked well with what they had. Fronting the stage with some short shorts and killer dance moves, lead singer Nic Offer could have easily entertained the crowd on his own. Delivering just as much energy as you would expect, and then some, the band worked through their dance punk classics ‘Must be the Moon’ and ‘Heart of Hearts’ as well as newer tracks like ‘Jamie, My Intentions are Bass’. A barely recognisable cover of Prince’s ‘U Got the Look’ was a reminder of just how talented the musicians who stood in front of us were. Despite being utterly exhausted from the day’s events, I still felt a bit sad when the set came to a close and we all shuffled out of the showgrounds, feet sore but spirits high.


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Wow. Didn’t think it would be this long between posts. Apologies about the delay all….not long after my last post, my internet was disconnected and I’ve spent the last couple of week frantically trying to find a new roof to put over my head. Thankfully I’ll be moving house next week and I’m hoping that the Internet will be set up soon after! In the mean time…..finally, the second installment of the Sunset Sounds review.


The rain was pouring before most people even set foot inside the gate, but looking amongst the sea of ponchos it was obvious that everyone came a little bit more prepared for the weather. Laneous and the Family Yah started proceedings, and you have to give them credit for the amount of energy they poured into their set.

Up next were Boy and Bear, who delivered a lacklustre set that was barely audible.  Their most popular song by far was their cover of Crowded House’s ‘Fall At Your Feet’, but their Triple J spins ‘Rabbit Song’ and ‘Mexican Mavis’ both received generous applause as well.

A great deal of the crowd charged up the muddy hill and over to the River Stage to witness the Children Collide set. The group powered through their more popular tracks ‘Across the Earth’, ‘Farewell Rocketship’, ‘My Eagle’ and ‘Jellylegs’. The band held themselves well against mediocre weather and fairly complacent crowd, but didn’t seem to try and go above and beyond their regular entertaining set. ‘Social Currency’ was the biggest hit with the crowd, as would be expected, and one of the few tracks that really got the small mosh at the front of the stage going. Unfortunately the set really should have ended on this high note, but the band launched into an extended grungy instrumental that paled by comparison.

By the time The Morning Benders took the stage, most of the crowd was ankle deep in mud. Surely this would have been a worry for the band, who were on their first tour of Australia, but if they were concerned about the reception they certainly didn’t show it. The band delivered a mostly mellowed out set, suiting the atmosphere of the afternoon perfectly. Those less familiar with the band enjoyed a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ before finishing off the set with a sing-a-long rendition of ‘Excuses’.

Expectations for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts were mixed. Some were dying to see this legendary artist perform while others were sceptical that it may end up as a lifeless performance done solely for the cash at the end of the night. However from the opening bars of ‘Bad Reputation’, Jett and her backing band had everyone simply captivated. Her energy throughout the set far surpassed many of the younger bands playing before her today and it was without a doubt that she still loved rock and roll (and the love seemed to be rekindled in most watching judging by the amount of fists pumping in the air). Jett and her backing band powered through their classics ‘Cherry Bomb’, ‘Do You Want to Touch Me’ and ‘I Hate Myself For Loving You’, ending a set that would be very hard to follow.

At this point in his career, there’s not much to be said about Paul Kelly, apart from the fact that you know you’ll be guaranteed a fantastic set. Relaxed and natural, Kelly and Co delivery an almost greatest hits style set that can’t be faulted. ‘From Little Things Bit Things Grow’ and ‘Song from the Sixteenth Floor’ were well received, but ‘To Her Door’ can only be described as magical. It was a little disappointing that there wasn’t a larger crowd to witness iconic performer, but those who stayed were able to witness an Aussie music legend at his best.

For someone who has never been particularly a big fan of Klaxons, this is a great re-introduction. Despite the muddy conditions, the English quartet got a lot of people dancing. ‘Golden Skans’ was pulled off surprisingly well, with that vocal melody sung spot on. The group finished with ‘It’s Not Over Yet’, marking the end of the festivities. Similar to Interpol’s set the night before, Klaxons’ performance flew by with no real stand outs, and no real complaints. It wasn’t a perfect end to the night, closing with either Joan Jett of Paul Kelly would have left everyone on a nice high, but it was good enough. 

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