Monday, February 02, 2009

St Jerome's Laneway Festival

Yesterday I went along to the St Jerome's Laneway Festival, in the laneways of Melbourne. After 4 sweltering days of heat, yesterday promised to be a cool 31C...hmmm, perfect for battling the crowds at a music festival!!

Upon arrival I did a quick wander about to figure out the lay of the land. One stage was set up in Little Lonsdale Street, with one entrance from Swanston Street. Another stage was set up in Lonsdale Street, again with an entrance from Swanston Street. Both with long lines. Having studied the line up, I joined the queue to get my wristband, and into the Little Lon stage, for the first of the bands on my list.

The John Steel Singers were first up here, and I settled in just back from the stage and enjoyed a new band to my ears. At the end of their set I went out to grab some food, and to meet Dan.

Back in to Little Lon for a few beers, we watched and were impressed by Canadian Born Ruffians. The drummer calls the shot for the band, and they had a great presence with the audience.

We left the fenced off area then, for the Library stage and little Melbourne band Oh Mercy. Having seen these guys last year, they were one of my main attractions for the festival. So cute, and a great sound. Seemed Like A Good Idea was a stand out....but I still want Eliza to sing to us!!

Here we caught up with Mary and Anna, and consulted on our plans for the day. Dan and I parked on the grass and took in a chilled set by Pikelet, before working our way back into Little Lon stage for more beer and Cut Off Your Hands.

A Kiwi band that comes recommended, sadly from halfway down the lane, we couldn't hear much of them. Back to the bar, and then out of the sectioned off area again to the Library Stage, we sat on the grass as the sun started to set behind the city buildings for Holly Throsby. Having heard One Of You For Me, hearing in live just made me love this track more. She was great, very folkie, and sweet.

Next up was the main dilemma for me for the day, with AIH and Augie March scheduled at different stages at the same time. Having seen AIH many times, I chose Augie, having never seen them live before and not really hearing any of their new album.

Slightly bigger stage over at the Lonsdale Street set up, it was clear when making our way through crowded Swanston Street that the Little Lon set up was packed, to overflowing, with a massive line all the way down the street. We got into Lonsdale with ease, plenty of room, and time for another beer.

As twilight descended, Augie came on stage and mixed new album with their big release from 2007. Stumbling over words for the first few tracks, Glenn admitting to being hungover and almost with it, The Cold Acre stood out from their country flavoured new tracks. Ending their set with the disarming One Crowded Hour.

Dan and I then worked our way down Caledonian Lane, where the festival started 5 years ago, to get a look at the Red Bull stage, and what the concept was all about. Inadvertently bypassing the line up for this section, we walked down the back alleys to an near empty and eerie little stage pocket. The sweeping lighting and music here painted a picture of what the festival was like when it was all back here.

Back to the big stage within the Lonsdale side of the festival, an announcement urged patrons to stay for The Hold Steady, as the Little Lonsdale stage area was now full and closed - to the boos of clearly tired, hot and frustrated fans disappointed at not getting in on the other side. We stayed for maybe half of this final set of the night.

American, this band had an assertive and abrasive presence and manner. Loads of crowd participation here. We stayed till Sequestered In Memphis, which has a great sound, before we left the festival.

Down the road to Fed Square, we sat with some couple of hundred people, and I watched a set and a half of the Men's Final of the Australian Open between Federer and Nadal, before making a dash for home and the last set. Great match, and a new champion...

1 comment:

  1. Eliza has such a beautiful singing voice too! I always wish she'd sing more in oh mercy. Those five years of choir we did together can't just go to waste! (we went to highschool together and are still best friends- you should tell her at any good china gigs you see her at that she should sing more!)

    -mit, the good china

    p.s. thankyou for the lovely comments about the good china. you may not realise how great it feels for a little melbourne band to be acknowledged and to even read that they bring a smile to at least one person's face :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...