Playground Weekender Part 1

Karen might have a new favourite band.

I was completely bowled over by Elbow tonight. I knew a couple of songs from the set list, but other than that I was totally unfamiliar with the music. This actually didn’t matter an ounce. There was a touch of Doves to their sound, but I can completely see how many indie bands site them as major influences – it’s a big sound, and lyrically driven, as well as being melodic and ambient. Gary Garvey, the lead singer, has a really friendly charisma on stage and it’s clear they all love what they do.

Consider me a new Elbow fan. I have a lot of years of catching up to do.

Other highlights from today were –

Mercy Arms from Sydney, who while not really breaking any new ground sound-wise (is it just me who thinks a bunch of these new indie bands sound alarmingly like Interpol?) were very solid.

The Presets – This is not the sort of music I usually seek out to listen to, but I’m here to say that The Presets are wicked good. So much fun. The crowd was psyched about the set as well, and they look like two of the nicest guys you’d ever meet in rock and roll.

Bridezilla, an all-girl-bar-the-drummer band I’ve seen live before (supporting Gerling), really caught me by surprise. I liked the first set I saw of theirs at the Metro, and tonight I was only really going to stop for a few minutes on my way from eating to seeing the Avalanches DJ set. Well, I kinda stayed for the whole thing, because there’s something so engaging about the music they play. A lot of it is instrumental, and the sound is dramatic and very well developed for a band so young (I read tonight none of them are over 18??). The mix of violin, saxophone, guitar, drums and vocals is a really good one. I am going to seek this band out and see them live again – I think we’ll hear a lot more of them sooner rather than later.

It’s nice to know that no matter what festival you’re at, you can count on the following things –

  • Someone throwing up into the bushes.
  • Fairy wings.
  • Full frontal male nudity (what IS it about guys getting drunk and taking their clothes off?).
  • Mud and/or dust.

Today was fancy dress day at the festival. I’ve noticed that you give people free reign on fancy dress and this is what happens – the girls dress up as various things, from nurses to school girls to fairies to skeletons to soldiers or whatever, but the guys do one of two things. They either dress up as a superhero, or they put on a dress. There were honestly so many guys in dresses there today. Give them any opportunity and they’re all about the skirt.

It is really a beautiful location. Just glorious. I love the Hawkesbury river, but this particularly part of the river, and Wiseman’s Ferry, is just beautiful. I’m really looking forward to heading back there tomorrow.

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4 Replies to “Playground Weekender Part 1

  1. i too went to this splendid event… reviewing it as we speak

    it was out of this world fantastic, for anyone sublime enuf to know the bands who were playing, it was a real treat!

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