Monday, August 17, 2009

Splendour 2009

The Great Northern Pre Splendour Party
Dananananackroyd - 3 Songs Live @ The Great Northern - 24 July 2009

Yves Klein Blue - Live @ The Great Northern - 24 July 2009

Bloc Party - Live @ The Great Northern - 24 July 2009


Every year now i say I won't go but I go and find enough for it to be worth my while. I think the problem the Festival has for the last couple of years is that it has a reasonable set of headliners but not much good second division overseas stuff. Lots of good local bands and Local is OK but most of them I have seen over the last year or so anyway. This wqas the first festival for a long time where i wandered between tents without watching a full set. Maybe it needs to get bigger to afford that kind of bulk. But that won't happen at the current site.

So without further ado here is what I saw.

Polaroid Fame - Live @ Splendour - 25 July 2009

Deer Republic - Live @ Splendour - 26 July 2009

Jack Ladder - Live @ Splendour - 26 July 2009

Dappled Cities - Live @ Splendour - 25 July 2009

Kram - 3 Songs Live @ Splendour - 26 July 2009

The Beautiful Girls - Live @ Splendour - 26 July 2009

White Lies - Live @ Splendour - 26 July 2009

The Middle East - Live @ Splendour - 26 July 2009

Children Collide - Live @ Splendour - 27 July 2009

The Gutter Twins - 4 Songs Live @ Splendour - 26 July 2009

Doves - Live @ Splendour - 26 July 2009

Happy Mondays - Live @ Splendour - 25 July 2009

The Specials - Live @ Splendour - 26 July 2009

Flaming Lips - Live @ Splendour - 26 July 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Step Inn in July

Ric's is free but the Step Inn is cheap and the beer is cheaper. So two weeks in July upstairs at the Step Inn local garage pop punk stuff is on display with first a set by Sweet Dreams which is advertised as a combination of various other bands but which looks suspiciously like eat laser scumbag with a different drummer. This is quite a good thing.

Sweet Dreams - Live @ The Step Inn - 11 July 2009

The next week it's a big night. The Sips release the 7'' that's been cluttering up the underbed space for nigh on a year now. To support them they have gathered the cream of local bands including the newly formed Undead Apes which really does have members of various other bands Sekiden, Eat Laser Scumbag, Dick Nasty, Gazoonga Attack, and Fancy Boys [one from each], Blank Realm, and The Heels.

It was great. Though the sound upstairs at the Step Inn is iffy.

The Heels - Live @ The Step Inn - 18 July 2009

The Undead Apes - Live @ The Step Inn - 18 July 2009

Blank Realm - Live @ The Step Inn - 18 July 2009

The Sips - Live @ The Step Inn - 18 July 2009

As a bonus I will throw this one in. Early in the year Eddy Current Suppression Ring did a show at the Step Inn downstairs and it was excellent. My recording gear decided to only record one channel properly and I filed it away. I have now produced a mono file. It's actually quite listenable.

Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Live @ The Step Inn - Feb 2009 - MONO

Primavera 2009

I had a great time. The quality of the acts was superb and they all played great sets. The venue is one of the best I have seen. Maybe a liitle too much concrete but its better than the Gold Coast Parklands dustbowl. The Spanish smoke more than I could have imagined possible and on Friday night it actually made Debbie and I ill enough to leave early.

My only real complaint was the sound, mainly at the ATP stage but also Vice. The bass sound was overwhelming sometimes. It made Jesu almost unlistenable. I could see a guy playing guitar but could barely hear him. I could however feel the bass and the backing track in my chest. The mix for the Drones meant you could barely hear Gareth's guitar [when it worked] and you could hear every note the bass played. Same with Jay Reatard at Vice and to a lesser extent Oneida. The Rockdelux and Pitchfork stages were OK. Didn't see enough on the Main Stage to make much comment but it seemed alright.

On the Primavera Forums when I mentioned it few had similar comments. Some mentioned sweet spots but really you should be able to get listenable sound anywhere except close to the speakers and maybe right down the front depending on what is coming off the stage. We have sound guys in Australia who think their mission in life is to let everyone hear the drums, I mean really hear the drums, but this was ridiculous.

Anyway I saw

The Vaselines
Jesus Lizard
The Bats
Jay Reatard
Sleepy Sun
Carsick Cars
The Drones

and at the Joan Miro Park on Saturday
Sleepy Sun again

The park show was magic. 150 people maybe under the palm trees in the early afternoon with a couple of beers.

All of those I recorded except SunnO))) for battery reasons and The Bats where I don't know what happened really, the first 4 minutes are fine then it just disappears. Pity, cause they wee excellent.

Debbie [my wife] saw Shearwater, and Daisy Kitty & Lewis and thought they were great.
I saw most of Lions Constellation from a ticket line so i didn't record them but they were pretty good.

We went to see Bat For Lashes but just didn't find it interesting enough to stay. Magnolia Electric Company was the same. The set started off quite slow and did not grab me at all and in any case I have a set from Splendour a couple of years ago which is quite good.

Tried to see Neil Young and MBV and Sonic Youth but the crowds were terrible. As in large. Young and Sonic Youth I have seen before but MBV would have been good.

I am beginning to think I would be no good at the larger festivals like Roskilde or Rock Wetcher. Or the US shows like Coachella.

I will return for Primavera as soon as I figure which rich aunt is least likely to be missed.

Life After Spain

How to get back into the swing of things in Australia after spending all my monies in Europe. Why, go to Ric's of course, it's free. Drink Coopers Green and see great bands like Mum Smokes up from Melbourne where the other good bands come from. Crewed by The Ancients’ Jonathan Michell, Karl Scullin of KES Band fame, Julian Patterson from Minimum Chips and Zond’s Justin Fuller the band play a wide range of styles but all of it engaging.

Mum Smokes - Live @ Ric's - 10 July 2009

Couple of weeks later back to Ric's for local band Teeming With Wildlife who now sport a vocalist and keyboard and who are all the better for it. Not that they were bad before. Far from it.

Teeming With Wildlife - Live @ Ric's - 01 Aug 2009