Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Laneway 2009 Brisbane Alternate Version

Went pretty well actually. The new site was laid out very well and all three stages were next to each other but no noise bleeding between them. Cheap draught beer and, early in the day at least, real mixed drinks. No lineups for food, toilets etc. Sound was OK on the covered stage and in the dance stage inside but the street stage was not real loud unless you were right up near the front.

Lineup was promising. Most delivered. The three that didn't for me were No Age, The Hold Steady, and Girl Talk.

No Age may be great and under the right circumstances could be fun. On the day the sound was dreadful. The guitar was a wash of noise. Underneath you could hear something interesting trying to get out but overall they were disappointing.

The Hold Steady are terribly over rated I think. Pretty standard stuff. The bass guitar amp broke down halfway through the set and we waited for what seemed like forever while the band noodled around and the roadies tried to fix it. Seemed excessive to me. Why the singer didn't just give him his guitar and let him improvise, it's not like he was using it. They are supposed to be professionals. I took the opportunity to visit the first aid tent for headache pills.

Headache under control I went round to the other stage to see Girl Talk to finish the night off. And it did too. One guy on stage with a Mac and maybe a couple of other buttons on a big desk that seemed to be more for him to stand on than work at. I generally don't record guys who play recordings, no matter how inventive they make it sound. Dunno why, I just can't bring myself to do it. The only way he could think to make it interesting was to get 30 people on stage to dance around. You could play "Spot The Muso" cause most were from bands that had played earlier but the sound was terrible at the back so I went home.

Before all that though I saw Still Flying, Pivot, The Drones, Spiral Stairs, and Jay Reatard who all played great sets. The Drones had gear problems as well but that which does not kill them makes them stronger. Spiral Stairs was much more entertaining with a full band [who are Gersey but I still know the guitarist from somewhere else]. Still Flying were fun and for serious stuff Pivot impressed me no end. The Pivot drummer is so good.

Jay Reatard played a long set and I loved it. The sound was average on the street stage but it I'll go again. Except I now hear he will not be appearing at Primavera in May. Damn.

So anyway, because one [or more I suppose, it isn't specific] of the acts has complained I can't give you the recordings.

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