1. The Best of Splendour

    OUTKAST

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    The headliners of this festival showed anyone and everyone why they are still held in such high regard after such a lengthy hiatus. Outkast drew everyone to the Amphitheatre, possibly the biggest Splendour crowd in history, and delivered hit after hit of insanely fun hip hop goodness. If there were naysayers before the show, we couldn’t find them afterwards.

    YOUNG ACTS RUN FREE

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    Seeing young artists make the step up from the clubs we usually see them during the year is one of the best things about any festival. Splendour was no exception.

    Both of our triple j Unearthed winners – Airling and Tora – absolutely dominated in their opening Amphitheatre shows.

    DMAs looked and sounded like they came pretty much fully-formed. Tkay Maidza sent things into a dinoriffic frenzy early on day one. New Zealand’s Broods are likely to threaten the best Kiwi pop acts around at the moment (and there are stacks of them). Wave Racer had the Mix Up Tent grooving and Brisbane’s The Creases were a noise pop delight on the final day.

    COVER FRENZY!

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    The Preatures dropped a ruling version of The Angels’ ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’ and dedicated it to fallen Aussie rock greats Doc Neeson and Chrissy Amphlett.

    As mentioned, Tkay Maidza gave us Violent Soho’s ‘Covered In Chrome’ early in the day, which sent the crowd bananas.

    The Kite String Tangle’s rendition of Flight Facilities’ ‘Clair De Lune’ got the crowd moving after a somewhat sleepy start.

    Ball Park Music ended their set in the most epic fashion with a cover of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. It was a massive talking point for the day and a highlight for heaps of people.

    Ásgeir joined in the fun with a version of Nirvana’s ‘Heart Shaped Box’, played in his typically low-key style.

    Saskwatch double-dipped into the covers pool. Firstly they brought back memories of Splendour past by playing sadly defunct Aussie band Little Red’s ‘Coca-Cola’, before a great version of Jagwar Ma’s ‘Let Her Go’.

    The warm and wonderful Vance Joy set ended with a hearty rendition of Ben E. King’s ‘Stand By Me’.

    Danny Brown smashed out an awesome version of A$AP Ferg’s ‘Shabba’ in between chucking toilet paper at everyone in the crowd.

    Skaters slipped a little bit of Violent Femmes’ ‘Kiss Off’ into the end of their set, while Kingswood slipped some QOTSA ‘Field Good Hit Of The Summer’ into the middle of theirs.

    A CAVALCADE OF SPECIAL GUESTS

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    Some bands got famous friends on stage. Peking Duk’s star studded set was a first night highlight, featuring cameos from 360, Ben from SAFIA, Yeo and The Kite String Tangle. Dan Sultan got up with both Spiderbait and the Hilltop Hoods and a DMAs cameo leant even more awesomeness to the Sticky Fingers set.

    There were a few not so famous friends on stage as well. Bender, the Mayor of Splendour, got up and did the running man during Ball Park Music’s set (check out the video of that here), Violent Soho bassist Luke Henery got his three-year-old son Oscar on stage during their massive main stage set and Outkast dragged a whole swarm of ladies up to dance to their smash hit ‘Hey Ya!’.

    HAPPY BANDS = HAPPY FANS

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    Check out the look on Grouplove’s faces. Bands say this kind of stuff all the time, but this has truly got to be one of the best places in the world to play.

    Honestly, the crowds who go to so much effort to pack out events like Splendour are the reason we get to see bands of this calibre returning year after year.

    So, who’ll be on the bill for 2015?

  2. Splendour Day Three: Wrap Up

    The final day is done. It’s all over. It’s sad, of course, but some damn fine memories have been made.

    Here are a few of the best bits from day three.

    SHOUT OUTS!

    Quite a few acts have been giving props from the stage.

    Today Kingswood gave Queens Of The Stone Age and Sticky Fingers shout outs, adopting some of their musical styles into their own songs.

    Mikhael Paskalev gave little old triple j big ups, saying he loves waking up to see the triple j plays twitter account mentioning that we’ve played one of his songs on the radio.

    Mark Foster from Foster The People gave a shout out to A$AP Rocky before ‘A Beginner’s Guide To Destroying The Moon’ this evening. The band sample the track at the start of the song.   

    Of course, if we go right back to Friday afternoon (it seems so long ago now) The Preatures dedicated their ripping version of The Angels’ ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’ to the memory of Doc Neeson and Chrissy Amphlett.

    FORGET FESTIVAL FATIGUE

    Splendour is a massive undertaking for even the keenest live music lovers and that showed on the faces and body language of the punters out there today. Eyes were bleary, the walk up the massive Amphitheatre hill was a little sluggish and most people took advantage of the dry ground for a bit of a sit down.

    But once the sun started to dip below the hills, it was like we were back at the beginning. Hands were flailing for Grouplove and Hilltop Hoods’ sets and the grins around the site were bigger than ever. Well played, Splendour punters.

    RISE OF THE SLACKER

    Among all the awesome rock, hip hop, electro and folk music that has been at Splendour this weekend, it was great to see a couple of bands playing slacker pop songs packed with heaps of character.

    Parquet Courts were brilliant with the Velvet Underground meets Pavement songs from their last two records Lighten Up Gold and Sunbathing Animal.

    On a local note, Courtney Barnett continued her absolute world domination with a huge set at the GW McLennan stage this afternoon. Her songs are among the best of anyone else at the festival and tonight her and her band played them with serious guts.

    BONFIRES!

    The bonfires around the Splendour site have been pretty great all weekend, but tonight they were a godsend. The temperature got down to something far cooler than comfortable, but those big roaring flames kept us nice and warm. Plus, there are some pretty interesting characters to be met in those situations. 

  3. Splendour Day Two: Wrap Up

    Another day done. Here are some of the best things Splendour had to offer on day two.

    THE FASHION:

    A few of the acts really stepped it up in terms of fashion on stage today.

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    Wave Racer’s desktop wallpaper shirt was next level.

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    Sticky Fingers’ use of mink coat, no shirt, huge moustache and short shorts was to be admired.

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    Sky Ferreira just looked amazing. She couldn’t make up her mind about whether she’d keep her sunnies on or off though.

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    Samuel T. Herring from Future Islands kinda looked like a preacher.

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    This was the best the audience could come up with…

    ENTERTAINMENT PLUS:

    Awesome songs can be enough to make for a great set. But when you add in spectacular onstage antics, then it becomes incredible.

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    James from Violent Soho stabbed his amp with his guitar.

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    Samuel T. Herring from Future Islands was the best frontman of this festival so far.

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    Art Vs Science know how to create, then destroy their audience.

    AUSTRALIA: THE CENTRE OF THE SPLENDOUR UNIVERSE

    City and Colour and Foals may have been the headliners on day two, but the Australian showing today was a beautiful reminder of just how damn good this country’s scene is right now.

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    There was the madness of Violent Soho, Sticky Fingers and 360 on the main stage. The charming folk of Dustin Tebbutt, Gossling and Vance Joy at the GW McLennan Tent and the brilliant electro of Art Vs Science, Wave Racer, Touch Sensitive and RÜFÜS in the Mix Up Tent.

    THE PROPS:

    You know what’s good to do if you need a break from seeing bands? Looking at cool, weird shit.

    Splendour has really come to the party on that front this year, with a whole heap of wild props littered around the site to make you laugh, freak you out or just take your mind somewhere you weren’t expecting it to be.

    A giant, inflatable whale with ten breasts, a giant Lionel Richie head and a terrifying, bloody mouthed shark among the highlights.

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    There were some pretty sweet onstage props as well.

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    Art Vs Science had tall crystal topped pillars onstage that Zan Rowe said looked like “kind of a cross between Stonehenge and the Labyrinth”. While 360 had a confetti cannon that looked like a machine gun (though he reckons it ended up being more like a baby farting than some kind of sweet gangster prop).

    THE PEOPLE:

    Punters at Splendour are here to party and to see some killer live music. When that’s your goal for the weekend, it’s no wonder the mood is so good.

    From the moment we saw (and heard) the swarm of people bolting down the hill to catch local triple j Unearthed winners Tora first thing this afternoon, we knew it’d be a special day.

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    They come out in droves to dance and scream along to great bands and DJs.

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    They have no problems helping a robot Mayor feel on top of the world.

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    They share when it gets rainy.

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    Some people even make their own toilets (actually, that’s kinda gross).

    See ya tomorrow.

  4. Splendour Day One: Wrap Up

    Friday at Splendour In The Grass is done. An exhausting day full of everything that makes a festival awesome.

    Special guests, secret covers and super weather.

    You can’t ask for more than what happened today. The weather, the music and the vibe at the festival were sweet. Keep your radio on and you’ll get a sense of that wherever you are for the rest of this weekend.

    Here are the highlights from today’s action.

    YOUNG BLOOD:

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    The day kicked off with sterling performances from some Splendour debutantes.

    This year’s triple j Unearthed Splendour winner Airling was oh so smooth in her Amphitheatre opening set. ‘The Runner’ had more than a few hips swaying among the early punters. At least those who weren’t having fun rolling down the massive hill in front of the stage.

    Tkay Maidza dominated the Mix Up Stage early. ‘Brontosaurus’ and a cover of Violent Soho’s ‘Covered In Chrome’, as well as some gnarly visuals ft psychedelic cats, got people very excited indeed.

    People are going to compare DMAs to Oasis for a long time. We prefer to think of them as a good band playing great pop songs (and wearing oversized winter clothing, even if it’s a glorious, sunny 26 degrees at the time).

    It’s always so exciting to see this fresh talent do so well. There are surely plenty more Splendours in store for them.

    EVERYONE LOVES A COVER:

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    The Preatures dropped a ruling version of The Angels’ ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’ and dedicated it to fallen Aussie rock greats Doc Neeson and Chrissy Amphlett.

    As mentioned, Tkay Maidza gave us Violent Soho’s ‘Covered In Chrome’ early in the day, which sent the crowd bananas.

    The Kite String Tangle’s rendition of Flight Facilities’ ‘Clair De Lune’ got the crowd moving after a somewhat sleepy start.

    Ball Park Music ended their set in the most epic fashion with a cover of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. It was a massive talking point for the day and a highlight for heaps of people.

    Ásgeir joined in the fun with a version of Nirvana’s ‘Heart Shaped Box’, played in his typically low-key style.

    Saskwatch double-dipped into the covers pool tonight. Firstly they brought back memories of Splendour past by playing sadly defunct Aussie band Little Red’s ‘Coca-Cola’, before a great version of Jagwar Ma’s ‘Let Her Go’.

    SUNNY DAYS:

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    If you’ve ever done a muddy Splendour, you’ll understand why we were so stoked to be in full sun all day. Let’s hope this doesn’t jinx things for the next couple of days.

    FRIENDS HELPING FRIENDS:

    How good are guest appearances at a festival? It’s even better when whoever appears by surprise isn’t even on the bill. Today a few bands got their mates on board for a bit of help.  

    During their barnstorming main stage set, Spiderbait dragged the brilliant Dan Sultan onstage for a powerful cameo.

    It seemed like Peking Duk had half of Australia’s best talent on stage with them tonight. 360 dropped some rhymes, Yeo sang his guts out in the world premiere of a brand new track, The Kite String Tangle came back to the Mix Up stage after his earlier set to lend a hand, while Ben from SAFIA rounded out this cavalcade of talent.

    Matt Okine started a rumour that Chance The Rapper would be joining Childish Gambino on stage. This is despite him continually saying “I’m not starting rumours”. Alas, the closest we got was a shout out to the Chicagoan during one of his songs.

    WE GET TO COME BACK TOMORROW:

    And we’re bringing you with us again. Check out the acts we’ve got lined up for you tomorrow afternoon, kicking off with a replay of tonight’s very classy Interpol set at 12.15pm.

  5. The British boy with a love of bass returns to Splendour for a sophomore set.
Set in a sentence: Sumptuous synthetic slow jams.
Voice: Of an angel. Best thing about Blake though, is his restraint. He brings it when needed but applies a beautiful subtlety to the songs that demand it.
Moves: James seated, at his piano, shimmying to his slow jams in head to toe black suit. Best.
Mix Up tent vibes:  A stage that normally requires big drops had a contemplative hour with James on stage but the packed tent loved it. It’s been a big weekend, we needed to reflect. And body roll.
Personal highlight: ‘Lindisfarne’. Simple lighting, folk music with a twist and a crowd slow clapping mid-song that united us all. Just beautiful.
Crowd highlight: ‘Retrograde’. A full Mix Up tent singing “ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh oooooh” with Jimmy. Sunday bliss. Better than church. Thank you James.

    The British boy with a love of bass returns to Splendour for a sophomore set.

    Set in a sentence: Sumptuous synthetic slow jams.

    Voice: Of an angel. Best thing about Blake though, is his restraint. He brings it when needed but applies a beautiful subtlety to the songs that demand it.

    Moves: James seated, at his piano, shimmying to his slow jams in head to toe black suit. Best.

    Mix Up tent vibes:  A stage that normally requires big drops had a contemplative hour with James on stage but the packed tent loved it. It’s been a big weekend, we needed to reflect. And body roll.

    Personal highlight: ‘Lindisfarne’. Simple lighting, folk music with a twist and a crowd slow clapping mid-song that united us all. Just beautiful.

    Crowd highlight: ‘Retrograde’. A full Mix Up tent singing “ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh oooooh” with Jimmy. Sunday bliss. Better than church. Thank you James.

  6. A relatively small but appreciative crowd at the GW McLennan stage had their ears bludgeoned by Australia’s best rock band. Bathed in red light and covering the most devastating cuts from this year’s I See Seaweed album (‘Laika’ and ‘How to See Through Fog’), The Drones reminded us that if there’s a hell below, we’re all going to go.
The highlight: A majestic version of ‘The Minotaur’ rounded out by the vicious “veni vidi vici” refrain.
The classic: ‘Shark Fin Blues’, introduced tongue-in-cheek as the greatest song in Australian music history. The band then corrected themselves and said ‘Friday On My Mind’ by the Easybeats is 400 times better.
The cover: Kev Carmody’s ‘River Of Tears’ is a staple of the band’s live set and they made it their own again tonight.
The closer: A raw ‘Six Ways To Sunday’ gave way to the maelstrom of ‘I Don’t Ever Want To Change’.  The band left the stage in a squall of feedback.

    A relatively small but appreciative crowd at the GW McLennan stage had their ears bludgeoned by Australia’s best rock band. Bathed in red light and covering the most devastating cuts from this year’s I See Seaweed album (‘Laika’ and ‘How to See Through Fog’), The Drones reminded us that if there’s a hell below, we’re all going to go.

    The highlight: A majestic version of ‘The Minotaur’ rounded out by the vicious “veni vidi vici” refrain.

    The classic: ‘Shark Fin Blues’, introduced tongue-in-cheek as the greatest song in Australian music history. The band then corrected themselves and said ‘Friday On My Mind’ by the Easybeats is 400 times better.

    The cover: Kev Carmody’s ‘River Of Tears’ is a staple of the band’s live set and they made it their own again tonight.

    The closer: A raw ‘Six Ways To Sunday’ gave way to the maelstrom of ‘I Don’t Ever Want To Change’.  The band left the stage in a squall of feedback.

  7. At just 23 years of age, Laura Marling is four albums into a critically-acclaimed career. Her fourth LP Once I Was An Eagle was released in May and she’s returned to the country, playing a handful of sideshows in churches and now her second ever Splendour, rounding out the GW McLennan tent line up.
Opening number: A 12-minute epic medley of “Take The Night Off”, “I Was An Eagle”, “Where Can I Go?” and “Breathe”. 
Closing number: "Saved These Words".
Mud level: Extremely high.
Number of Cellos: 1, played by lifelong friend Ruth de Turberville.
Most Common Phrase Shouted Out By Crowd Members: “We love you, Laura!”
Songs Played (By Albums): Alas I Cannot Swim (2 - “Ghosts” and “Alas, I Cannot Swim”), I Speak Because I Can (4 - “Rambling Man”, “I Speak Because I Can”, “Blackberry Stone”, “What He Wrote”), A Creature I Don’t Know (1 - “Sophia”), Once I Was An Eagle (7 - Opening Medley, “Master Hunter”, “Little Bird”, “Saved These Words”)
Choky/Laughy Bit: During “Ghosts”, Ms. Marling coughed a little bit going into the chorus, then laughed to herself. At herself.
Guitar changes: Like, 5, including a 12-string.
Couple Canoodling Level:  High.
Filthy language: Despite avoiding the F-bomb in “Master Hunter” at her church shows, LM LET RIP tonight.
Verdict: Stunning. Marling sums up the best of the folk tradition: beautifully crafted, story-telling songwriting, acoustic performance and a singular, transfixing voice. The half-full tent thinned out throughout the show, but the true fans who remained were treated to a prodigious talent at her best. Laura even acknowledged the less-than-party level of her set, telling her fans to go “dance the night away” as she concluded, as we “hadn’t had much of a chance to dance here”. Screw that - this songstress, stripped back and assured, is always worth admiring.

    At just 23 years of age, Laura Marling is four albums into a critically-acclaimed career. Her fourth LP Once I Was An Eagle was released in May and she’s returned to the country, playing a handful of sideshows in churches and now her second ever Splendour, rounding out the GW McLennan tent line up.

    Opening number: A 12-minute epic medley of “Take The Night Off”, “I Was An Eagle”, “Where Can I Go?” and “Breathe”. 

    Closing number: "Saved These Words".

    Mud level: Extremely high.

    Number of Cellos: 1, played by lifelong friend Ruth de Turberville.

    Most Common Phrase Shouted Out By Crowd Members: “We love you, Laura!”

    Songs Played (By Albums): Alas I Cannot Swim (2 - “Ghosts” and “Alas, I Cannot Swim”), I Speak Because I Can (4 - “Rambling Man”, “I Speak Because I Can”, “Blackberry Stone”, “What He Wrote”), A Creature I Don’t Know (1 - “Sophia”), Once I Was An Eagle (7 - Opening Medley, “Master Hunter”, “Little Bird”, “Saved These Words”)

    Choky/Laughy Bit: During “Ghosts”, Ms. Marling coughed a little bit going into the chorus, then laughed to herself. At herself.

    Guitar changes: Like, 5, including a 12-string.

    Couple Canoodling Level:  High.

    Filthy language: Despite avoiding the F-bomb in “Master Hunter” at her church shows, LM LET RIP tonight.

    Verdict: Stunning. Marling sums up the best of the folk tradition: beautifully crafted, story-telling songwriting, acoustic performance and a singular, transfixing voice. The half-full tent thinned out throughout the show, but the true fans who remained were treated to a prodigious talent at her best. Laura even acknowledged the less-than-party level of her set, telling her fans to go “dance the night away” as she concluded, as we “hadn’t had much of a chance to dance here”. Screw that - this songstress, stripped back and assured, is always worth admiring.

  8. After the release of their acclaimed fourth album Hyperparadise and a bunch of killer remixes, the anticipation is high to see what Sydney duo Hermitude will bring to a live show. People are crammed into the Mix Up tent, all the way to the outskirts. Lights drop. They walk on stage. Will they include new tunes? Will they drop the bass?
Setup: El Gusto and Luke Dubs on vocals, synths, vinyl scratching, MPC drum machine and a very special moment of El Gusto playing a keytar!
Perfect moment: El Gusto doing a flawless Herbie Hancock synth solo and showing off that they make beats AND beautiful melodies.
An example of how seamless their set was: ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ vocal intro into hit single Hyperparadise into the much-loved Flume remix into the Hermitude remix of The Presets' Ghosts.
How in sync was Hermitude’s dancing with the crowd dancing: perfectly hunch-back bopping with the crowd bouncing.
They revealed: they’ve been in the studio recording a new album, and they played a new song. They put the mental in instrumental!
Best banter: Luke Dubs yelling “bass” into the mic right before the bass dropped in their Ghosts remix.

    After the release of their acclaimed fourth album Hyperparadise and a bunch of killer remixes, the anticipation is high to see what Sydney duo Hermitude will bring to a live show. People are crammed into the Mix Up tent, all the way to the outskirts. Lights drop. They walk on stage. Will they include new tunes? Will they drop the bass?

    Setup: El Gusto and Luke Dubs on vocals, synths, vinyl scratching, MPC drum machine and a very special moment of El Gusto playing a keytar!

    Perfect moment: El Gusto doing a flawless Herbie Hancock synth solo and showing off that they make beats AND beautiful melodies.

    An example of how seamless their set was: ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ vocal intro into hit single Hyperparadise into the much-loved Flume remix into the Hermitude remix of The Presets' Ghosts.

    How in sync was Hermitude’s dancing with the crowd dancing: perfectly hunch-back bopping with the crowd bouncing.

    They revealed: they’ve been in the studio recording a new album, and they played a new song. They put the mental in instrumental!

    Best banter: Luke Dubs yelling “bass” into the mic right before the bass dropped in their Ghosts remix.

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    10 things you need to know: Splendour Day 3

    Lorde had to ask her Dad if she could play Splendour

    It’s easy to forget the New Zealand songwriter is only 16 when you watch her perform live. Oozing confidence, Lorde was the consummate professional on stage on Sunday.

    So it’s nice to get the odd reminder that she’s still got school tomorrow.

    “I got a text on Friday at midnight,” Lorde said of her last minute call up for Splendour.

    “My manager was like, ‘Do you want to play Splendour on Sunday?’ and I didn’t even know what Splendour was.”

    After replying to her manager that she was keen she then had to check with her boss.

    “My Dad was like, ‘sure go for it!’ So here I am”

    Lorde will be back at school in New Zealand on Monday. Her debut album, which she’s just finished, will be out at the end of September.

    Elvis from FIDLAR almost drowned in Byron

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    When Zan asked what sort of antics the renowned LA party-starters FIDLAR had been up to, she wasn’t expecting this…

    “Elvis almost got taken out to sea this morning,” revealed bandmates Zac and Brandon, giving new meaning to their band title Fuck It Dog, Life’s a Risk

    “He went in the ocean and went out way too far and got caught in a current. We were waiting in line for breakfast and he showed up looking like hell. He got his ass kicked by the ocean. He was like, ‘I just threw up man’ and it was like 9 in the morning.”

    Passion Pit: I’m so tired of writing really, really sad songs

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    Michael Angelakos, singer for Passion Pit, told triple j he always loves coming to Splendour.

    “I always say it’s one of my favourite festivals in the world.”

    But a lot has changed since their last Australian visit. Angelakos is making his first trip here since being hospitalised with depression in 2012.

    His recovery forced the band to cancel their Gossamer album tour and still has an impact on his travel plans.

    “I have to come to Australia a week early to deal with my circadian rhythm,” he told Richard Kingsmill.

    But Angelakos said the experience has helped him look on the bright side when approaching Passion Pit.

    “I’m so tired of writing really, really sad songs. I’m excited because I’m in a fantastic relationship and I feel so many wonderful things again now. So possibly that could come through in the music and I would love that. Because quite frankly I’m very tired of being so unbelievably depressing from a lyrically stand point.”

    Everything Everything are enjoying arguing about their new album

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    The Manchester lads told Zan Rowe backstage they’ve come up with a foolproof way of dismissing demos they don’t agree with.

    “A lot of the songs are controversial. Some of us don’t even like them. If someone doesn’t like a song they usually just say, ‘that sounds like…’ and then you just place a terrible band in that gap. That instantly makes the song go away.”

    Of Monsters & Men are done touring

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    It’s been two years since the Icelandic outfit released their debut in their home country and they’ve been travelling around the world playing it in the 18 months since. Bandmates Raggi and Brynjar told Kingsmill they’re ready to go home.

    “After this tour we’re going to go home and work on the new album.”

    “We have a lot of ideas… the ideas often come to us like a puzzle. One might bring an idea and someone might bring another one and then two different ideas become a whole song.”

    The bands that stay together, play together

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    Brissie 4-piece The Jungle Giants have been staying in the same tent together. All weekend. And while Alex Dyson admitted he couldn’t smell them from where he was standing at their show, the close living arrangements didn’t seem to have any impact on their performance. It took just two songs for their bass player Andrew to crowd surf (see success above) during new track ‘Skin To Bone’, described as “a song about f**king”.

    The Rubens had a stage invader…

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    …from space!

    triple j’s Mayor of Splendour wrapped up the weekend of his life with an on stage collab with The Rubens. As promised during his election campaign, Willis was still dressed in full Wookiee attire when he made the appearance. The partnership came about when his brother – dressed as Han Solo of course - realised he went to school with one of the boys in the band.

    alt-J trolled the Mix Up tent

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    Splendour’s worst kept secret, the Sunday night mystery band, had one last laugh before heading out to greet fans underneath the Supertop. They strode out onstage to Daft Punk’s ‘Harder Better Faster Stronger’ as a nod to one of the first bands rumoured to be filling the secret Sunday night slot.

    While no one in the tent was surprised to see UK lads alt-J, theywere definitely happy.

    Airbourne’s on stage set up puts Metallica to shame

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    The Warnambool rock outfit are as big on stage props as they are hair products. Behind the ferocious hair whipping and their super tight jeans were no less than 28 amps.

    At least 4 of them were plugged in. Not that anyone in the mosh cared. They were too distracted by that massive air raid siren they just wheeled out on stage to signal the growing need to rock.

    Drapht will release a new album if his cafe lets him

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    The only hip hop act on the Splendour bill made time to chat to “his favourite radio presenter” Zan Rowe. He said his festival slot has been the only thing that’s managed to pull him out of the kitchen recently.

    “I am doing absolutely no music and haven’t for the past month because I’m working 16 hours a day at my new cafe back in Perth. It’s taking up every waking moment. Even coming to Splendour was a daunting thought because the cafe is my baby. This is what I’ve been doing for the last year and a half.”

    Despite the distraction, Drapht said his next album - which features production from Suffa, Trials and Ta-Ku – is “nearly finished”.

    “I feel like I’ve finally found my feet within the music that I want to create. I just have to figure out how I’m going to release it.”

  10. Frank Ocean’s understudy steps in for a reserved but powerful performance.  Her band (laptop/keyboard and drums) are dwarfed by the main stage, but serve up sparse beats and that huge voice for one of the biggest Splendour crowds of the whole weekend.

Crowd size for her last Australian shows: 200+

Crowd size today: 10,000+

Lorde’s age: 16

Average age of the first 10 rows: 16.5

Best audience comment: ”She’s got so much hair”.

Best Lorde on stage comment: “Thus uz mintal”.

The verdict: Lorde proved she’s got the voice, the beats and the fans to be one of the biggest acts of 2013.

    Frank Ocean’s understudy steps in for a reserved but powerful performance.  Her band (laptop/keyboard and drums) are dwarfed by the main stage, but serve up sparse beats and that huge voice for one of the biggest Splendour crowds of the whole weekend.

    Crowd size for her last Australian shows: 200+

    Crowd size today: 10,000+

    Lorde’s age: 16

    Average age of the first 10 rows: 16.5

    Best audience comment: ”She’s got so much hair”.

    Best Lorde on stage comment: “Thus uz mintal”.

    The verdict: Lorde proved she’s got the voice, the beats and the fans to be one of the biggest acts of 2013.

  11. Mystery solved, you guys! Turns out it was Alt-J all along playing at the Supertop on the final night of festivities, bumped back in the running order a tad after the Frank Ocean cancellation / Lorde replacement. They clearly like it Down Under, having ventured out here for two club shows mid-last year, then coming back for Laneway Festival and now their own headline tour, showcasing the much-loved, Mercury Prize-winning tunes from their debut An Awesome Wave.
Walk-on Music: Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”, in a lovely nod to all the Mystery Band speculation. #troll
Opening Number: "Intro" (appropriately enough), into "Ripe & Ruin", into "Tessellate"
Closing Number: "Taro"
Did they do that Dr Dre/Kylie Minogue mash-up cover that they debuted on triplej’s Like A Version last year? Yep!
And did they say they’d played the cover all over the world and whenever they did it reminded them of playing in Australia and how beautiful it is here? Right again! 
Any Other Covers? The penultimate tune was a cover of College’s “A Real Hero”, which you might know from the Drive soundtrack
Spotted Watching Side Of Stage: Surfer Blood lead singer John Paul Pitts and Byron local PETE MURRAY
Percentage of Banter: Joe Newman (0%), Gus Unger-Hamilton (100%)
Seen in the Crowd: One dude on top of another dude’s shoulders on top of another dude’s shoulders. The top dude was exposing a lot of butt.
Best Lyrical Substitute: "This is for you, Matilda" became "This is for you, Splendour" (cue huge cheer)
Biggest reaction: The crowd erupted when “Breezeblocks” began, and this reviewer was caught in a shower of glowsticks being thrown towards the stage. Also absolutely everyone got involved with the “LA-DA-DA-DA!” bit.
Verdict: It’s no mystery that Alt-J put together intricate, gorgeous tunes that are to be appreciated by careful listening and contemplation. This is no party festival band, but through the combination of a dynamic lighting show, the tightest of harmonies and the peppering of big hits throughout the set, the group managed to hold the Supertop’s attention for the whole hour. As Newman raised his guitar above his head in victory at the conclusion of the show and thousands of tired but appreciate punters hollered, it was clear to see that Australia’s still got plenty of time for Alt-J and is well keen to hear more from them soon.

    Mystery solved, you guys! Turns out it was Alt-J all along playing at the Supertop on the final night of festivities, bumped back in the running order a tad after the Frank Ocean cancellation / Lorde replacement. They clearly like it Down Under, having ventured out here for two club shows mid-last year, then coming back for Laneway Festival and now their own headline tour, showcasing the much-loved, Mercury Prize-winning tunes from their debut An Awesome Wave.

    Walk-on Music: Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”, in a lovely nod to all the Mystery Band speculation. #troll

    Opening Number: "Intro" (appropriately enough), into "Ripe & Ruin", into "Tessellate"

    Closing Number: "Taro"

    Did they do that Dr Dre/Kylie Minogue mash-up cover that they debuted on triplej’s Like A Version last year? Yep!

    And did they say they’d played the cover all over the world and whenever they did it reminded them of playing in Australia and how beautiful it is here? Right again! 

    Any Other Covers? The penultimate tune was a cover of College’s “A Real Hero”, which you might know from the Drive soundtrack

    Spotted Watching Side Of Stage: Surfer Blood lead singer John Paul Pitts and Byron local PETE MURRAY

    Percentage of Banter: Joe Newman (0%), Gus Unger-Hamilton (100%)

    Seen in the Crowd: One dude on top of another dude’s shoulders on top of another dude’s shoulders. The top dude was exposing a lot of butt.

    Best Lyrical Substitute: "This is for you, Matilda" became "This is for you, Splendour" (cue huge cheer)

    Biggest reaction: The crowd erupted when “Breezeblocks” began, and this reviewer was caught in a shower of glowsticks being thrown towards the stage. Also absolutely everyone got involved with the “LA-DA-DA-DA!” bit.

    Verdict: It’s no mystery that Alt-J put together intricate, gorgeous tunes that are to be appreciated by careful listening and contemplation. This is no party festival band, but through the combination of a dynamic lighting show, the tightest of harmonies and the peppering of big hits throughout the set, the group managed to hold the Supertop’s attention for the whole hour. As Newman raised his guitar above his head in victory at the conclusion of the show and thousands of tired but appreciate punters hollered, it was clear to see that Australia’s still got plenty of time for Alt-J and is well keen to hear more from them soon.

  12. A sunrise set on the final day of Splendour was a perfect fit for one of our national treasures.

Set opener: The spine-tingling ‘Wiyathul’
Most impressive stage gear: The massive black baby grand piano the Splendour crew brought in especially for Gurrumul’s set
Familiar band members: It took a few songs to realise the organist Stephen Teakle is the man behind Barry Morgan
Best song intro: Came from Gurrumul’s long time friend and collaborator Michael Hohnen before the track ‘Baru’, which means crocodile in Gurrumul’s language
"This is all about Gurrumul’s totem. He’s born with a lot more identity than us… His totem is a Baru."
Dedications: One to Angus Stone, who Gurrumul toured the country with last year. ‘Gathu Mawula’, a track Gurrumul wrote with Blue King Brown, was sent out to Stone as a shout out for his track ‘Wooden Chair’

    A sunrise set on the final day of Splendour was a perfect fit for one of our national treasures.

    Set opener: The spine-tingling ‘Wiyathul

    Most impressive stage gear: The massive black baby grand piano the Splendour crew brought in especially for Gurrumul’s set

    Familiar band members: It took a few songs to realise the organist Stephen Teakle is the man behind Barry Morgan

    Best song intro: Came from Gurrumul’s long time friend and collaborator Michael Hohnen before the track ‘Baru’, which means crocodile in Gurrumul’s language

    "This is all about Gurrumul’s totem. He’s born with a lot more identity than us… His totem is a Baru."

    Dedications: One to Angus Stone, who Gurrumul toured the country with last year. ‘Gathu Mawula’, a track Gurrumul wrote with Blue King Brown, was sent out to Stone as a shout out for his track ‘Wooden Chair’

  13. Unearthed High alumni Snakadaktal convert their floaty dream pop to a 3-day old festival crowd.

Pre-show chant: “Snakas Snakas Snakas Snakas” and so on
Most popular track: ‘Air’, by far. The crowd’s “oh oh ayo’s” almost completely drowned Sean and Phoebe out.
Smoothest operator: Their bass player Jarrah. Head down, hair over his face, no chit chat.
Equipment volume from loudest to quietest: Drums, Bass, Guitar, Synths, You Am I roadie out the back, passing food truck, vocals
Main piece of criticism directed towards the sound tech: “Turn it up!”
Distance you needed to be from the stage to drown out the crowd murmur: 15 metres
Most popular audience headpiece: The homemade floral number
Chunk of crowd that left after second last track ‘Dance Bear’: Sizeable
What they missed: A big clap-along for their building and brilliant set closer.

    Unearthed High alumni Snakadaktal convert their floaty dream pop to a 3-day old festival crowd.

    Pre-show chant: “Snakas Snakas Snakas Snakas” and so on

    Most popular track: ‘Air’, by far. The crowd’s “oh oh ayo’s” almost completely drowned Sean and Phoebe out.

    Smoothest operator: Their bass player Jarrah. Head down, hair over his face, no chit chat.

    Equipment volume from loudest to quietest: Drums, Bass, Guitar, Synths, You Am I roadie out the back, passing food truck, vocals

    Main piece of criticism directed towards the sound tech: “Turn it up!”

    Distance you needed to be from the stage to drown out the crowd murmur: 15 metres

    Most popular audience headpiece: The homemade floral number

    Chunk of crowd that left after second last track ‘Dance Bear’: Sizeable

    What they missed: A big clap-along for their building and brilliant set closer.

  14. ART-PROG-ROCK-POP TIME. This Manchester four-piece were nominated for the Mercurcy Prize for their debut record Man Alive, triple j featured their follow up Arc and now they’ve arrived in Australia to play shows for the first time, hitting up the Mix Up Tent at 5pm.

Opening number: Atmospheric brooder “Undrowned” from Arc

Closing number: Latest single “Don’t Try”, featuring a festival-appropriate “woah-oh-oh-oh” hook

HOT FASHION: Singer Jon, bassist Jeremy and drummer Mike all wore matching futuristic grey jackets with yellow sleeves. 

Audience Participation: Hand-claps over the head, lead by the band’s touring keyboardist so we could all keep up with the tricky time signatures.  

Big Moment #1: Jon Biggins’ powerful voice absolutely soaring on “Duets”, climaxing on “If it’s gonna happen let it happen NOWWWWWW!”

How many punters in the crowd: Shitloads.

Big Moment #2: Huge sing-a-long for Hottest 100 hit “Cough Cough”, the crowd fulfilling their echo part with aplomb

What went wrong: In his ferocious drumming on a floor tom during “Cough Cough”, Biggins dropped a drumstick LOL

Big Moment #3: “HEY! KEMOSABE I AM A-LO-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-NE!”

Nawww Moment: Halfway through the show, an obviously flattered Biggins took the time to thank the crowd for rocking up: “It’s f*&king amazing to come all this way and have people singing back these old tunes of ours, so thank you”.

Surprise of the Set: Pretty torch song “Radiant”, encouraging us all to “take whatever [we] can” was the perfect soundtrack to the final day’s sunset.

Verdict: When a band is so ambitious on record, they face the not insignificant challenge to replicate that experience on the live stage. These Mancs do that and then some. They’re so tight, they hit all those harmonies and Biggins’ voice – the star of the show – never fails, whether it’s a screeching falsetto or a powerful mid-range bellowing. The only thing wrong with this set was it wasn’t long enough, the guys leaving the stage ten minutes before their allotted time was up. Before they brought their final tune home, Jonathan promised that they’d return soon, and this reviewer for one can’t wait.

    ART-PROG-ROCK-POP TIME. This Manchester four-piece were nominated for the Mercurcy Prize for their debut record Man Alive, triple j featured their follow up Arc and now they’ve arrived in Australia to play shows for the first time, hitting up the Mix Up Tent at 5pm.

    Opening number: Atmospheric brooder “Undrowned” from Arc

    Closing number: Latest single “Don’t Try”, featuring a festival-appropriate “woah-oh-oh-oh” hook

    HOT FASHION: Singer Jon, bassist Jeremy and drummer Mike all wore matching futuristic grey jackets with yellow sleeves. 

    Audience Participation: Hand-claps over the head, lead by the band’s touring keyboardist so we could all keep up with the tricky time signatures.  

    Big Moment #1: Jon Biggins’ powerful voice absolutely soaring on “Duets”, climaxing on “If it’s gonna happen let it happen NOWWWWWW!”

    How many punters in the crowd: Shitloads.

    Big Moment #2: Huge sing-a-long for Hottest 100 hit “Cough Cough”, the crowd fulfilling their echo part with aplomb

    What went wrong: In his ferocious drumming on a floor tom during “Cough Cough”, Biggins dropped a drumstick LOL

    Big Moment #3: HEY! KEMOSABE I AM A-LO-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-NE!”

    Nawww Moment: Halfway through the show, an obviously flattered Biggins took the time to thank the crowd for rocking up: “It’s f*&king amazing to come all this way and have people singing back these old tunes of ours, so thank you”.

    Surprise of the Set: Pretty torch song “Radiant”, encouraging us all to “take whatever [we] can” was the perfect soundtrack to the final day’s sunset.

    Verdict: When a band is so ambitious on record, they face the not insignificant challenge to replicate that experience on the live stage. These Mancs do that and then some. They’re so tight, they hit all those harmonies and Biggins’ voice – the star of the show – never fails, whether it’s a screeching falsetto or a powerful mid-range bellowing. The only thing wrong with this set was it wasn’t long enough, the guys leaving the stage ten minutes before their allotted time was up. Before they brought their final tune home, Jonathan promised that they’d return soon, and this reviewer for one can’t wait.

  15. The Dublin band venture to Australia for the first time having spent many months touring USA and Europe since the release of their debut album in March. Having met at high school, the 5 piece worked with producer Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire) in the making of their album.
Lineup: Five high school friends with five microphones in front of them. Confirming the cliche that the Irish are natural born singers.
Harmony highlights: The Kitchen Floor was a standout ballad. Masterful and mature and the voices shone through.
Instruments: The norm. Except often three guitars are featured. With the surprising lack of any guitar solos.
History: A lot of emphasis so far has been placed on touring the US. With their rich West Coast harmonies, and Faye O’Rourke’s vocal similarity to Stevie Nicks, there’s good reason success may well await them there.
Verdict: With a few more driving hits like Harper Lee (second song in) and The John Wayne (the finale), Little Green Cars will win over any festival crowd.

    The Dublin band venture to Australia for the first time having spent many months touring USA and Europe since the release of their debut album in March. Having met at high school, the 5 piece worked with producer Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire) in the making of their album.

    Lineup: Five high school friends with five microphones in front of them. Confirming the cliche that the Irish are natural born singers.

    Harmony highlights: The Kitchen Floor was a standout ballad. Masterful and mature and the voices shone through.

    Instruments: The norm. Except often three guitars are featured. With the surprising lack of any guitar solos.

    History: A lot of emphasis so far has been placed on touring the US. With their rich West Coast harmonies, and Faye O’Rourke’s vocal similarity to Stevie Nicks, there’s good reason success may well await them there.

    Verdict: With a few more driving hits like Harper Lee (second song in) and The John Wayne (the finale), Little Green Cars will win over any festival crowd.