Best. Fan art. Ever.
Great Scots! Frightened Rabbit closed out the night to an appreciative audience of both ravers up the front, and hill-chillers up the back. With 6 members on stage the guitar licks were chunky and the William Wallace accents were thick. They gave the Melbourne crowd everything they had, and by the look of it had sweated out all the moisture within their talented bodies.
Technical difficulties: None
Best stage banter: “This song is designed for jumping around. I’m an old f$@*er, and I can jump to this. So you c#%^s should be able to.
Biggest sing along: 2013 hit The Woodpile got the arms waving.
The Moments We Caught Feelings
Just before James (aka Vance) played ‘Red Eye’ he looked out into that endless crowd gathered in front of him, took a big breath and sighed “this is awesome”.
When Danny Brown dropped mic, and walked off stage before his set even got under way. Sound issues = we need tissues. (NB: He made it back on stage eventually - read about it here.)
When Mount Kimbie invited their mate and recent collaborator King Krule up on stage to play ‘You Took Your Time’. Naww, m8s!
When teen impresario Lorde pumped out the jams and the entire crowd chimed in as she sang her huge tune ‘Royals’.
Australia’s leading ‘Turn of the ’90s Corporate Synth Pop’ duo Client Liaison proved they really are about dat lyf: they power-dressed, dedicated a tune to Christopher Skase and handed out Ansett yoyos.
Massages are the New Black
Solo artist James Keogh aka Vance Joy told us he felt like he’d “plummeted back to ground” post-his tune ‘Riptide’ making it all the way to Number One in the Hottest 100 of 2013. To boost his spirits, the Melburnian made the most of his first ever Laneway festival experience getting a massage in while he planned which new tracks to air in his debut in his set.
Meanwhile The Jezebels snoozed and losed their massage appointment, but their loss was Matt and Alex's gain! Hamstrings were rubbed down and triple j's live broadcast was able to continue on more limber than ever.
Having just jumped off the plane and headed straight into the Footscray Community Arts Centre, Reuben from Unknown Mortal Orchestra reflected on a drunken 24 hours, as well as his band’s recent return from a tour through Korea where they ate a bunch of food and were pleasantly surprised to know that the Seoul crowd could sing-a-long to their tracks just as good as they can at St. Jerome’s.
Sean and Andrew from Brooklyn outfit Parquet Courts showed us how to beat the heat and look tropi-cool. Sean was festival-ready; sippin’ an icey drink, wearing a huge hibiscus lei and had a well-needed dob of sunscreen on his nose. They also took time to dispell the misnomer that hotdogs are a native New York food (it’s a Chicago thing FYI) then jumped on stage and gave a shout out to local heroes and dole-wave icons Dick Diver whose set they were spied bopping along to from the shade of The Penthouse.
Danny Brown lit up like it was 420 while he sat with Linda Marigliano. He told us that he’s all about the leather clothing, even as the temperatures rise, saying “Im’a sweat anyways!” He’s stickin’ to black leather for the remainder of the tour, but he did let us know that he’s thinking about branching out to red if the vibe is right.
Honourable Leather Mention: goes out to Savages drummer Fay Milton who belted the skins to the British band’s post-punk rock in a PVC/leather top.
Run The Jewels let us know that once the tour finishes up they’re going back to the studio to record Run The Jewels 2!
Haim and Chvrches mutual appreciation society is in full force. When Chvrches weren’t discussing the band’s need for Factor 50 sun protection, Lauren divulged that she’d been watching Game of Thrones over Alana Haim’s shoulder on the plane. But the spying didn’t last too long - Alana was further ahead. (No spoilers!) We told Haim the goss and they agreed that it was “mutual creepering” and that Mutual Creepering might just be their brand new DJ name. Stay tuned.
Oh, and Haim also announced that three songs in the Hottest 100 wasn’t enough! After coming in 101 last year and just outside the top ten this year, the trio told triple j’s Matt and Alex they’re fired up to work even harder in 2014. They reckon they’ve got a techno dubstep dolphin noise project going on the side if all else fails. We’ll see….
It’s been an epic week for Lorde! Three songs in triple j’s Hottest 100, a huge make up show in Auckland and 2 Grammys. TWO Grammys! How can she not have jetlag? This woman is amazing. With 12 songs in her live set for Laneway, the crowd adores her and Ella could probably do no wrong.
Starts & Ends with… Bravado, then into Glory & Gore as the sun starts to set and the crowd starts to sway. ”Did you guys see CHVRCHES? Did you guys see Haim? I like them!”, says Ella and then belts out ‘A World Alone’ to finish the set
Dancing: Girlfriends AND boyfriends dancing on shoulders, tiny dancing up the front and larger, sweepier dancing up the back
Gotta Capture This Moment: The Cameras in the crowd came out during ‘Tennis Court’ & ‘Royals’.
Cover songs? ‘Easy’ by Son Lux, who Ella says is her friend Ryan. The Laneway crowd love it as much as her own songs. It has very large trumpet samples, and has lots of skirt swishing from the singer.
The bit where everyone got the words right: “Yeh ” in Tennis Courts and every bit in ‘Royals’ (where the audience’s singalong bounces off the warehouse walls and back along the Maribyrnong River.
"I wrote this song just for you": Ribs, especially the live version as they reworked it sound better outdoors.
Uh oh. Not a great start. Danny Brown walked out on stage to massive booming sub-bass, and 5 seconds into the set, the power cut-off. Danny threw the Mic in the air and stormed off.
People started walking away.. but then suddenly, he reemerged onto the stage…. And next thing you know, everyone was bouncing HARD!
Maybe it was for the best??: Cos the rest of the gig went off! He took a break in the middle to tell the crowd that the power outage had got him wound up and that he needed to party.
Smokin’ & Drinkin’ was a theme: Someone even offered this reviewer a joint (i declined… obviously). Speaking of which, ‘Dope Song’ was also a huge crowd favourite.
Spotted: Australian paralympian Dylan Alcott, crowd-surfing in his wheelchair / A dude in a white legionaires hat with the flap down, and ‘thug life’ written across the brim.
Points for repetition: Every sentence ended in ‘…and shit’.
No surprises: that he closed the show on ‘Dip’, but it still went off. Every person in the crowd bounced as the stage lights beamed out towards them.
The all-struttin’, all-singin’ HAIM family band rolled onto the Dean Turner Stage at St. Jerome’s in Melbourne and broke some hearts.
In a set that featured some huge tracks from their debut long player Days Are Gone, the LA sisters also dropped some epic bass-face and a killer cover on their adoring crowd.
Fan win of the day: A big fan of the eldest Haim, was front and centre wearing a homemade singlet with ‘ESTE’ scrawled across the front. He was pretty dang thrilled when Este herself demanded he strip down and throw it onstage for her to slip into.
Tip of the hat to The Mac: After smashing out ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’ the band delivered an awesome rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Oh Well’. Nailed it too.
Improv a-go-go: HAIM told the crowd they always jam out at home, but today was one of the first times they improved on stage, shredding it to the max on stage in front of a live audience for about 10 minutes.
You’re freaking HAIM out guys: Alana Haim told the crowd at St Jerome’s Melbourne that they were the “freakiest crowd they’d ever played for” and were “freaking her out”.
CHVRCHES rock too hard. This was evident when in the very first song the sheer power of the Glaswegian electro-pop trio blew the power on the Dean Turner stage, much to the disappointment of the packed crowd and especially front-woman Lauren.
Luckily after 15 minutes of scrambling around the black-laden roadie fairies managed to restore electricity to the stage and the rocking began once more.
Best dancing: The electricity may have been diverted from the sound system, but it found its way into keyboard player Martin for his lead vocal performance in Under the Tide. Dem arms be flailing.
Girls on shoulder track: Set closer The Mother We Share ensured some sore shoulders would be had in the morning.
Sing along moment: “AND IF I RECOOOOVEEEEERRRRRR!”
Overheard crowd quote: “CHVRCHES are THE SHIT!”
Blistering Brooklyn punk rockers Parquet Courts made their first Laneway appearance this year and judging from the consistency of audience fist pumping and boogying - made quite the impression.
Number of fluoro leis on stage: 1. Making bassist Sean Yeaton appear like he just stepped off of a jet plane is sunny Honolulu. In the 80s. Aloha!
Song that made the view of the band the haziest: ‘Stoned and Starving’.
Most punk moment: Guitarist Andrew Savage refusing to stop shredding despite losing a guitar string halfway through the set \m/
Best banter: What banter? These Brooklyn boys don’t kid around. It’s hard to small talk when you RAWK.
Homegrown heroes: Guitarist Austin shouted out Melbourne’s own/festival mates Dick Diver for their ‘awesome show’ earlier.
The artist who topped the Hottest 100 poll for 2013 had a little help from his friends today in his hometown Laneway Festival.
Crowd size: Epic. I actually couldn’t see where the sea of humans ended, there were so many of them packed in front of the Dean Turner Stage.
Singalongs: So many bro’s mouthing the words to set opener Emmy Lou. SNAG ALERT.
Moment my heart burst: Just before James (aka Vance) played “Red Eye” he looked out into that endless crowd, took a breath and sighed “this is awesome”.
Set up on stage: Drums, organ, guitar and James on acoustic guitar. Pretty sure the keys player used something that resembled a toilet brush, for percussion, on stage.
Highlight: Well “Riptide” of course. The huge crowd helped him singalong to the runaway ukelele hit, and dang it they knew every word. A great way to close.
The London foursome delivered a dark storm of jagged guitars and howling psychodrama, despite the glaring sun.
Do you have it any blacker? No floral dresses or sunny bonnets for these lasses. Mirroring their shadowy, serrated post-punk, the band dressed all in black despite the scorching heat. Special props go to drummer Fay Milton who belted the skins in a PVC/leather top. Brave.
Dark souls in the daylight: You get the sense that Savages are best suited to dark places and tightly confined spaces (like an underground club after midnight), but they still shone with fierce intensity despite the wilting mid-arvo sun. Singer Jehnny Beth was a captivating sight as she stalked the stage, her voice as sexy as it was sinister, while Gemma Thompson tore howling sounds from the abyss with her guitar.
Set highlights: ‘She Will’ and ‘Shut Up’
Everybody needs good neighbours: Hats off to the older ladies watching from the balcony in the nearby apartment just 10 metres away. They hung around for the full set so they’re obviously fans.
Can you sexy dance to Savages? No, not really, but that didn’t stop people from trying.
Australia’s leading ‘Turn of the ’90s Corporate Synth Pop’ duo Client Liaison turned back time at the Moreland St Stage.
Memorable Shout Outs: To Christopher Skase and Clive Palmer.
Strong Looks: Power blazers were thrown to the stage floor mid-set, in favour of showing some skin. Singer Monte’s alabaster skin gleaming in the Footscray Sun.
Moves: Ambitious, angular dancing was observed both on stage and in the crowd - with plenty of deep shoulder action.
Most likely to: Need to stop down mid set and call their brokers/ use a pager.
Highlight tracks: ’Free of Fear’ + ‘Groove the Physical’.
Question of the day: what is a ‘Tuck Norris’?
For Christmas this year, triple j’s Lindsay “The Doctor” McDougall pulled together some of Australia’s best musicians, singers and bananas for a Christmas Charity single to go straight to the top of the charts!
Buy ‘Christmas Number One’ on iTunes now http://tripj.net/1js5rBE - all proceeds go to Red Cross.
Blackman, Thomas Rawle (Papa vs Pretty) Elizabeth Rose, Andy Bull, Abbe May, Phil Jamieson (Grinspoon).
Piano and keyboard: Andy Bull, Bree Tranter
Guitar: Lindsay ‘The Doctor’ McDougall, Abbe May
Bass: Touch Sensitive
Drums: Lawrence Pike
Choir: Tom and Alex, Zan Rowe, Nina Las Vegas, Linda Marigliano, Tom Tilley, Dom Alessio, Amelia and Ange from the triple j newsroom, Asta, Lunatics On Pogosticks, Doctor Karl AND BANANAS IN PYJAMAS!
The triple j family just got a little bigger… We’re now powering Dig Music. Playing new stuff and classic j tunes. Help us build it! http://digmusic.net.au/
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.