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Laneway Festival 09 in Melbourne, 1/2/09

February 2, 2009

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A lot of people have been having a whinge about this years Laneway festival down in Melbourne but besides a few stupid decisions on the part of the organisers I had a really good day. Started off with the last 10 minutes of Luluc’s set at the really nicely set out Library Stage, where I got a good view sitting on the steps. They were lovely, vulnerable and one day I’m going to marry Zoe Randell. Made my way to the indoor Lounge Stage and watched Kitchen Knife Wife who were not bad. Playing the sort of pop rock a lot of bands seem to do but doing a fine job of it and were really enjoyable when they stepped outside the box a little bit.

Spiral Stairs were playing on the main stage next and didn’t seem to draw much of a crowd. They were good but a little unengaging. Like Pavement but not really… except when they played that Pavement song. Probably would have been better if I knew more material from them. Raced over to the Little Lonsdale Stage next to see Born Ruffians(detoured via food court to buy a big cookie too). Laneway admitted they have a thing for Canadian Indie but these guys don’t really sound that Canadian. Sort of a brit pop sound but spikier, a few good songs and the band were excited despite the heat but not really anything amazing. Still fun though.

Saw some of Oh Mercy who seemed fun but quickly headed back over to see No Age. They were really fucking loud and really good. I’m not a huge fan of their albums but they take their sound to another level live. Good noisy two piece punk influenced rock. The drummer was pretty awesome and they played many many songs in only 35 minutes or so. I think I have a new appreciation for them.

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The QV Stage was set up on some fake grass near the food court and open to the public (no ticket needed); it was perhaps a bit noisy for Grand Salvo but Paddy, with the help of Zoe (yay!) put on an amazing show. I couldn’t hear well so I moved to the very front and creepily sat (well I was lying down actually) possibly way to close to stage. A pretty magic set and the crowd watching was enthralled and my favourite moment of the festival was when Paddy asked a little girl dancing up front if she liked “morose folk music”. A pity about the background noise but it wasn’t really an issue until stupid Cut Off Your Hands started playing nearby and by then they were nearly done.

I thought I would be able to quickly make my way back over to the Lounge Stage to catch My Disco but apparently the Laneway organisers decided to be stupid and stuff things up. A huge line was present and it didn’t seem to be moving at all regardless of the fact it was servicing two stages. In short I missed them which sucks but I’m sure I’ll see them again one day. I was at a bit of loss on who to see next so I wandered back to the Library Stage and watched a little bit of The Crayon Fields who seemed alright playing some shimmering indie pop. A little too shy though.

Had to line up forever to see The Drones and they seemed good as usual but the sound was way too low and I think they played the exact same set as at Big Day Out. I would have stayed there to watch Girl Talk later but there was no way I was going to suffer through Architecture in Helsinki so I left. Tried to watch El Guincho but the line was too long and then tried for Fabulous Diamonds but their power went out! Grrrr. Instead I went to go get a good spot for The Hold Steady, which was surprisingly easy as I think everyone was still trying to get into Girl Talk and getting really angry about it.

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The Hold Steady killed it. Craig Finn is a madman and the whole band was a ball of energy. Played an awesome set spanning all their albums and I cannot wait to go see them again tonight so I’ll write some more about them tomorrow. So the festival was good but it could have been so much better if only there less people or better organisation. Maybe next year don’t let so many people in? I wouldn’t have minded paying a little more for more room. Oh well I still had a really fun day and I’ll probably try again next year.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Philippe permalink
    February 2, 2009 9:14 am

    I’m sorry I didn’t come up and say hi Nick.

    Next time I’m down there I’m sure!

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