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Essential Festival @ Oxford St (Sydney), 25-4-09

April 29, 2009

Essential Festival 09

As soon as I saw the lineup for this festival, held at a few venues on Oxford St on Anzac Day, I immediately knew that I simply had to go. Dappled Cities, The Holidays, Belles Will Ring and The Jezabels! My gosh, what a good one, and I was not to be disappointed.

The Jezabels

The first band we saw for the night was The Jezabels, who I was dying to see again after their brilliant performance supporting Sparkadia, which I wrote about not long back. I think they were even better this time around, helped out by the enthusiastic, tight-knit crowd at Spectrum and the fact that I knew some of their songs this time (despite having my CD ‘borrowed’, I still managed to get a good listen in before the festival).

I just fell in love even more after hearing Disco Biscuit Love and Be A Star. Actually, I had Be A Star stuck in my head the entire night, except for one time when I had an ABBA song in there (no idea why). Seriously though, if you ever get the chance to see this band, DO IT. They are simply wonderful. They seem to be supporting Josh Pyke’s upcoming tour, so if you’re into him as well, I’d encourage you to go along.

After the Jezabels we managed to catch the end of Cloud Control’s set at the Oxford Art Factory. They seemed pretty lovely, but I didn’t get the chance to see enough of them to really make a judgement. I kept thinking I’d seen them before, but I think I only half did (pretty sure they supported Little Red a while back, but I was too busy chatting in the next room to notice much).

The Holidays

On after Cloud Control were the Holidays, who I saw support Little Red last August (different one to the Cloud Control gig). I’m still really digging their Holidays EP, and have been meaning to pick up their latest EP, and probably will sometime soon after hearing some of it live. They weren’t brilliant, per se, but I especially enjoyed the songs I recognised, and they put on a really good show. On another note, I was pretty impressed with the lead singer’s stage presence. He seemed very confident and friendly, but not cocky or anything like that. Just… Cool.

We then skipped back up to Spectrum to see Belles Will Ring, who I recently saw at the very same place. They weren’t all that different to last time, and the group’s combined hair cred has dipped even lower, with the drummer now sporting a weird ‘do as well (although I might’ve just missed it last time). That aside, I enjoyed their set, and I wouldn’t hesitate to see them again.

I think we went for some food, fresh air and a walk after that, and returned to see the end of the Red Sun Band’s performance. They seemed pretty cool, but I wasn’t paying too much attention (sorry!). One of the girls had very red hair?

Dappled Cities

After the Red Sun Band were headliners Dappled Cities, back from overseas and keen to play to an Australian audience. Boy, were they ever keen! They came out with giant balloons and the polar bear from their Fire Fire Fire video. The balloons got kicked out into the audience, and proceeded to be bounced around the crows and back onto the stage, only to be whacked back out by the band.

They were really energetic and enthusiastic the whole time, and it really came out in their music. Last time I saw them I was in the mood for something relaxing before LCD Soundsystem, which they gave me, and this time around they excited the life out of me at times. I don’t think I’ll ever get over Fire Fire Fire and Vision Bell!

The only slight disappointments for the evening were a couple of bands that I missed – Made In Japan and Flying Foxes – but I didn’t know either of them, just heard good things, so I’m not devastated. I’ll try to check them out at some point though.

P.S. I have videos of Dappled Cities on my phone somewhere, so when I get a chance to transfer them over I’ll upload them and post them somewhere. Keep your eyes open!

Essential Festival MySpace
The Jezabels MySpace
Cloud Control MySpace
The Holidays MySpace
Belles Will Ring MySpace
Red Sun Band MySpace
Dappled Cities MySpace

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. lexieee permalink
    April 29, 2009 1:04 am

    Awesomeee night…

    “borrowed” ah? I think you should start carrying a hand bag James….

  2. April 29, 2009 2:16 am

    Hey, I can’t help it if you’re very useful as a band merch storage utility! ;)

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