Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bluesfest Day Four Review

(Byron Beach. Photo: Reebajeeb)

I am never able to sleep in when I go camping and camping at music festivals is harder.

Sunday morning I was up at 7am and hitched a ride in to Byron town center to check out the markets. They were amazing and I managed to blow the rest of my weeks budget on two new tops.  

(Byron Markets. Photo: Reebajeeb)
 After getting back to the festival I had another early start with acts I wanted to see.

eMDee are the end result when you mix traditional indigenous instruments with modern technology. Producing a show that skillfully rages from the ambient numbers to jungle/drum and bass tracks. This electric four piece from Darwin put on one hell of a spectacle.

With four digareedoos mounted upon a stand the speed and skill of Mark Hoffmann is insane. On stage he is joined by James on bass, Lukas on Drums and Shayote on vocals. eMDee were a great way to start the day and I would have hung around longer except I just HAD the catch The Break

The hype surrounding this newly formed band has been intense. Every time I open a magazine I am greeted by yet another article about the quartet - and with good reason. The surf rock group is comprised of former Midnight Oil members Jim Moginie, Rob Hirst, Martin Rotsey and is fronted by Brian Ritchie of U.S band The Violent Femmes.

(Rob Hirst. Photo: Reebajeeb)
The Break are an instrumental act and for me Rotsey stole the show. Playing with an effortless easy that only his back catalog could have shaped.
Next act on the APRA stage - Tribali. Hailing from Malta this group encapsulated the very best world music has to offer. Although only catching the first half of their set I had already seen drums, didgeridoos, flutes, guitars, sitars, bass, harmonica, various other percussion instruments and a few weird instruments I could not name for the life of me! What intrigued me to check these guys out on the first place was the fact they have a support slot lined up for a Prodigy concert.

(Steve Merry. Photo: Reebajeeb)

Sydney alternative rock/blues duo The Fumes were up next. Producing a mammoth wall of sound The Fumes were welcomed change of pace. The raw vocals of singer and guitarist Steve Merry were perfectly matched to the duos filthy blues/rock melodies. They are just about to head off on a tour around OZ so if this sounds like your thing make sure you get along to a gig, they will not disappoint.

I later caught Rodriduez and finally  Roger Hodgson!

"Pardon me if you loose your mind"

Hodgson was utterly brilliant! His voice, exactly how I remembered it growing up when the Supertramp album was playing around the house. The set was a dreamy soft rock progression through the Supertramp classics and some other songs I did not recognize.  Take The Long Way Home, Give a Little Bit, Dreamer, The Logical Long, Along Came Mary and Breakfast In America all being played to perfection.

On stage Hodgson was joined by a very talented young musician by the name of Aaron Macdonald who managed to fill the void left by the nonexistent band. With Hodson on guitar and keys, Macdonald played inspiring renditions of the former groups famous instrumentals and sax solos, most notably the one in Along Came Mary. The audience sung along to every lyric and I was surprised at how many younger children seemed familiar with Breakfast in America. Then again Gym Class Heroes did use a sample of the song in Cupid's Chokehold. The performance was spine tingling and for the first time in my life I teared up during the set.


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