Monday, January 10, 2011


So after some helpful hints of how to get drinks into a festival ....

...which clearly ended in pain...

Our high level journalistic skill led us to a few young punters who shows us how its done

"It's called stanema"..... "Stamina?"

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Vegemite Is Better Than Marmite

Entering the stage in simple jeans and a t-shirt a man began introducing the audience to our next act, Beardyman. He was not dressed to impress and had a strong Australian accent so we assumed this was just one of the organisers. Then he started cracking jokes, he was fast, funny and soon enough the accent dropped. This was Beardyman and we were in for one hell of a ride.

Despite being a solo act, Beardyman aka Darren Foreman, dominated the audience and ensured everyone shut the hell up and gave him their full attention. It was pretty cool to watch this one man have such control over the audience. But then again anyone who rips on the English and starts chanting anything even remotely ‘aussie’ will be well received, even if it is just “Vegemite is better than marmite”.

Having twice won the world beat boxing championships Beardyman soon made is way in to homes world wide via YouTube. Famous for using live loops that sample his vocals this man is incredible to watch and when beat boxing he can even bust out two different sounds out once – no idea how he does what he does. From drum and bass beats to material that would lead you thinking this man is a professional comedian, Beardyman was an unexpected highlight of falls. And what’s more, this man could even sing (when he had to).

He is a taste of what this mind-blowing pom can do

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Falls Day 3

Inside our hotel with the air con on we were oblivious to the fact that out side it was already (at Midday) about 30 degrees. The air was thick and the wind just as intensely hot. The max temp for the day was heading towards forty and all we could think was thank god I’m not trying to sleep off this hangover in a tent. .

We made it to the festival much later today and as we jumped on one of the usually empty shuttles back to the festival, it was full. Punters had left their camp site in search of the Lorne’s stunning beaches. Wise move.

The festival seemed empty as we walked in, there would have been about 200 or so people on the hill or in the sun, the rest of the people were trying to cram under what little shelter they could find. Next to food vans, under the one actual sun shelter, inside the Grand Theatre or staying back at their tents (although with the strength of the wind many had already been blown flat). Looking around the festival this wind also caused several dramas for the girls - blowing dresses up (to which the guys cheered) and blowing dust on to freshly applied lip-gloss/pawpaw resulting in what is now known as the female festival tache.  

Inside the Grand Theatre the comedy was on again, only this time drawing a massive crowd (thanks partly to the heat).

First of our musical act today was California four piece, The Morning Benders, who were hitting our shores for the first time and were clearly thankful to be here. With only one LP out, The Big Echo, this set felt as though their material had to be thickened out with extended instrumentals. Whirling pop and soaring electric grooves, this band showcased elements of surf pop that is true to California while also incorporating experimental elements akin Animal Collective.   

Attempting to brave the elements back out in the blistering heat we caught the first few tracks of Beautiful Girls. They were good but not so inspiring that we wanted to stay, so we retired to the shelter of the Grand Theatre to catch another previously unheard of artist, Tijuana Cartel. Playing an impressive mix of musical genres this set showcased an eclectic blend instruments. 

Back out in the sun no heat would make us miss Cold War Kids. People again doing what they could to cool down, umbrellas, tarps, getting hosed down at the medical tent and one group of geniuses even brought a kiddie pool. No idea how they filled it. 

Cold War Kids introduced their audience to some new material off an album they assured us would be out in early 2011. Classic tracks like Hang Me Up To Dry and Red Wine Success has people singing along with every world. The powerful vocals of Nathan Willet and his stunning piano chords (sadly only played on keyboard this time) made this indie blues set what it was.

I had been told about an artist called Beardy Man when I was overseas and somehow I had always managed to miss him. Not this time, I dragged Rowan along to see this unique beat boxer and although this is a style that would usually not interest us, we were freaking blown away. This dude needs his own blog – more soon.

Front and centre for Perth psychedelic four piece, Tame impala. Their musical mix of 60’s and 70’s has turned many heads since releasing debut album Innerspeaker, produced mostly by lead singer, Kevin Parker. What is great about seeing these youngsters it that they are still grounded and still in awe of how far they have come. Unfortunately yesterdays set, with drawn out instrumentals boarded on boring. Tracks off the bands EP including Half Full Glass of Wine and Sundown Syndrome still managed to steel the show.

 (festival parade)

Up next, The National, who put on a chilling performance of brooding vocals that made this performance almost addictive. The set list was heavily comprised of material off recent album High Violet with single, Anyone’s Ghost was clearly a crowd favourite. The Brooklyn based group’s set was genuinely flawless and a highlight of the festival. 

Highly anticipated NYC dance-punk outfit, The Rapture, hit the stage next. With an explosive set list consisting mostly of tracks off Pieces of the People We Love, these scenesters proved they know how to get a crowd going. Highly infectious groves and sax breakdowns ensured The Rapture’s set was another festival highlight and a perfect lead up to the new year.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 

Inside the Grand Theatre, Casio Kids counted down those final seconds before midnight. With streamers flowing and balloons dropping from the roof our cheers combined with those outside at main stage to create a boisterous celebration. As many turning to who ever was closest and leaning in for that iconic NYE kiss the Casio Kids geared their electro-pop set back into full swing. During this celebration some guys began to climb the tent and made it on the roof for one last dance before security caught them on their way down and dragged their sorry asses out.

Joan Jet and the Heartbeat playing the village stage put on a killer performance of I Love Rock and Roll as we made our way down the front for Sleighbells.

This set blew our freaking minds and needs its own blog too, sit tight.

Falls Day 2

Half the festival seemed to go a little too hard on the first night and this resulted in a sluggish start for Falls day two. Unfortunately we were among them. Unable to even look at the bar lines or think about alcohol we took this opportunity chill out and take in some local Australian acts, first on our agenda - Ball Park Music. Regrettably we only made it in time for their final number but it was by far their best track.

Dedicating the song to anyone who enjoys playing with themselves, BPM entertained the gathered horde with Sad Rude Future Dude.
I haven't had a friend in years, I only have sex with myself….
Those lyrics are just brilliantly funny.

This set was followed by an electric performance by Jinja Safari at the Grand Theatre. With instruments and mic stands entwined with lush green vines the stage was set to introduce us to these five, fresh faced and charismatic performers. The energy of their set was intoxicating and the audience soon became lost amongst the layers of pop infused afro-beat rhythms.

Back on the main stage, Middle East was experiencing some awkward technical difficulties. With long breaks between their textured harmonies people began to loose interest and opted to battle the hill as they made their way to get in a good position for Boy & Bear back in the Grand Theatre. And by the time the Sydney quintet entered the stage the tent was over flowing.

Delivering a solid set of both old and new material including Blood to Gold, the Storm and Rabbit Song, Boy & Bear were simply beautiful to watch. This performance only topped by their spine tingling cover of Crowded House’s Fall at Your Feet.

Remaining in the tent for The Jezabels the Grand Theatre was once again packed out, only this time the performance was not quite as note worthy. The Jezabels played their hits and the vocal ability of Hayley Mary stunning however the bands energy was lacking and did not manage to hold the audiences attention. 

Still in the Grand Theatre, punters were treated to the gut splitting antics of comedians Dave Thornton, Tommy Dassalo and The Bedroom philosopher.

They were hilarious, flooring the audience with comical songs, punchy one liners and jokes such as……

How many WolfMothers does it take to change a light bulb?

None, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin already changed it back in the 70’s

They had the tent chanting ‘Megan Turn It Down’ as you could hear Washington's indie pop set and The Bedroom Philosopher followed this up with Megan the Vegan, a comical parody about the lovely lass.

Less than enthralled by who ever was playing on main stage we took a gamble at the 4.40 mark and tried on a band we had never heard of before: Junip.

“Sounds like Jose Gonzalez”…. Holy Shit, it is Jose Gonzalez. From Gothenburg, Sweden, this three piece band is a stunningly melodic side project of the talented musician. With long instrumentals and layered musical textures, this group is a new found love.

With an album produced by Xavier de Rosnay (Justice) and Daft Punk’s sound sngineer, Peter Franco we expected big things from French duo, Jamaica. However their set was less dance and more pop/rock (with tracks even sounding more surf rock influence). Nothing wrong with that, simply not what we anticipated.

Back out in the sunshine our rug was sprawled, our wines were poured and nearing sun set this was the perfect time to be treated to the gentle boy, girl harmonies and beautiful lyrics of Angus and Julia Stone. The stage was decorated with hanging hot air balloons and their performance was as always, striking. Playing the usual crowd pleasers Big Jet Plane and And The Boys the graceful brother sister duo also treated us to a remarkable cover of You’re The One That I Want.

Earlier in the day we spotted Flavor Fav with entourage in tow exploring the festival, wandering the site wearing matching Public Enemy shirts, he and his posse were hard to miss. We hung around to see the first few tracks. Amused by the matching camo jumpsuits, semi choreographed dance routines and Flav’s Clock the rest of the performance did nothing for us. And judging by the masses heading back out to the campsite as we did, we were not alone in that though. 

Returning to the main stage as the Cuban Brothers were wrapping up a set (with lycra unitards and overly predominant junk) there was hardly a sole in sight. Temps dropped massively again over night and while I spent $45 on hand warmers and beanies Rowan whipped out a Hyperthermia blanket from her ‘Festival Survival Kit’ that her Nan gave her to survive the night. 

Having just finished their self titled fourth album, Interpol returned to our shores and put one hell of a performance on Thursday night at Falls Lorne. Barricades, Try It On, and Success all just as intensely powerful as the last as these New York City rockers delivered a performance was powerfully moving yet dark at the same time.

Finally we reached the psychedelic live show that the Klaxons are most well known for. Again playing tracks from both Myths of The Near Future and 2010 release: Surfing The Void their performance was a stand out and judging by the dancing mass moving as one, the entire audience agreed.

Under The Covers

Over the course of the festival there was a real mixed bag of material both old and new, but the some of the biggest musical stand outs at Falls were covers.

Boy & Bear’s chilling rendition of Fall At Your Feet by Crowded House

Tame Impala’s usual crowd pleaser – Remember Me by Blue Boy

Angus and Julia Stone’s version of You’re the One That I Want from Greece

And a gorgeous cover of Fleetwood Mac, Dreams by Californian quartet, The Morning Benders