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Come Together (Day 1) @ Big Top, Luna Park
06/06/2009

As posted on the Festival Ladies.

Gemdilem: We arrived at Luna Park just before midday and were greeted with the beautiful smiling face. What a great way to start the day!

Ambascamba: Vodka - check. Paper and pen - check. Attire suitable for both rides and cutting loose on the dancefloor - check. Super early, super organised. Bring it on, Luna Park.


Luna Park face

Megastick Fanfare

Gemdilem: Megastick Fanfare - what a name! This was my first Megastick Fanfare experience. They play experimental, psychedelic, instrumental style music. I was captivated from the minute I walked into the Big Top by the energy exuberated (whoa, big word!) by this band. The drums got the heart started and before long my whole body was dancing to the tribal-like beats. I loved it and was left wanting more.

Ambascamba: Immediate reaction - Where are the outfits? I just assumed there would be outfits. Despite this initial disappointment, Megastick Fanfare come good with some outstanding drumming. There was a distinct lack of anything that could be described as a 'megastick', but I have since heard that they begin each set with a unique fanfare which we missed today due to sussing out security. (Never underestimate the value of a little recon.)


Megastick Fanfare

Cameras

Ambascamba: Outfits! Hairdos!! I loves me some keyboard action. The drummer was serious and was wearing a hat - I liked him immensely. The last song was called Horizontal, and I like it immensely also.

Gemdilem: Shiny pants. I was completely mesmerised by the shiny pants worn by the keyboarder / singer.


Shiny pants

Made in Japan

Gemdilem: There's nothing crazy or unusual about Made in Japan. They are just a nice band with catchy indie songs. I bop along to them while drinking my vodka and coke. Happiness sets in.

Ambascamba: Made in Japan is on next, and features that most delightful breed of 'slashie', the drummer/singer. Otherwise unmemorable.

Rides - Part 1

Gemdilem: We head out of the Big Top to take on the rides. I'm not very good at rides. I have a weak stomach and I am somewhat of a scaredy-cat. But I felt I had to at least go on a couple of rides for Ambascamba. I told her she was going to be held responsible for any spew.

Ambascamba: Ride time!! This is what I'm here for, truth be told. Wild Mouse. Dodgems. Coney Island. Bliss.

Gemdilem: Ambascamba convinces me to go on the Wild Mouse, I think vodka also helped to give me some extra courage. On the ride all I can think about is whether or not the cart will make a good floatation device if we end up in Sydney Harbour. I survive the ride and even enjoy it. Zero spew! Success!

Pez

Ambascamba: On re-entering the Big Top I get a pat down from security and they find and confiscate the spare bottle lid in my pocket, but miss the 300mL of vodka concealed on my person. They'll get a Certificate of Participation only.

Gemdilem: We got back into the Big Top in time to see Pez perform the “Festival Song”. I so did not know that Pez was a white surfer-hippy guy. WTF? I had a completely different image in my head. As much as I don't want to like the song it does bring a smile to my face, after all it's about festivals and we are the Festival Ladies.


Pez (yellow t-shirt) the surfer-hippy guy with his posse

Leader Cheetah

Gemdilem: I'm not usually a fan of the rock music with country and folk influences. But somehow Leader Cheetah combines vocal harmonies, emotional and soulful ballads, and melodic acoustic guitars in a way that sounds really good. Great live band. But I have to ask, what is with the ear muffs?

Ambascamba: Seriously, what's with the industrial strength ear muffs? Unless you have a note from your doctor, please take them off. The drummer is hairy in a good way. I seem to have a drummer fixation today. I enjoy the fast songs. During the slower songs I lose interest and vague out. I usually do, though.


Industrial strength ear muffs


Leader Cheetah


Leader Cheetah

Fire! Santa Rosa Fire!

Ambascamba: No outfits. I am in need of outfits. They don't seem to be earning those exclamation marks. Um, is blondie special needs? Red shirt is my favourite. I can't remember why. I suspect vodka may have been a factor.

Gemdilem: The blonde guy from Fire! Santa Rosa Fire! seriously looks like he's having an epileptic fit. I am concerned. One hour until SPOD. I have heard that the theme of SPOD's performance is Egyptian. I am excited!

Ambascamba: Bring on SPOD!


Blondie


Red shirt and the rest of Fire! Santa Rosa Fire!

SPOD

Gemdilem: SPOD takes to the stage with the Orsumators (aka the band aka the Lot's Of Tucker B's). It's not long before the Orsumettes (aka the back up dancers) also join the stage. The Orsumettes look fabulous in Cleopatra costumes. The use of toilet paper is also fabulous. It is party time!

Ambascamba: Makin' party indeed. Props - ace! Outfits - ace! Hairy man from Tucker Bs - ace!

Gemdilem: SPOD plays song after song from the album Superfrenz. He proves that white guys can rap, throws streamers into the crowd, and whips out the Gameboy (Nintendo DS?) for a quick jam. It's beautiful. I love you SPOD.

Ambascamba: There is almost a run-in with a girl barging her way to the barrier, but Gemdilem makes it clear that it's not gonna happen, makes peace, and ultimately makes a friend for life, as said girl goes on to recognise and greet her enthusiastically throughout the rest of the day.

Gemdilem: I hate people who try to push their way to the front after a band has already started. Amazingly no fight breaks out. Probably because she was scared of me. Now back to SPOD...

Gemdilem: I'm literally losing it. Dancing like a crazy person and singing along to all the songs. SPOD ends with the song Dead. Highlight. It was fantastic. The Orsumettes spell it out D-E-A-D with big letters, dance egyptian style and then ultimately 'die' on stage. I can't believe what I just witnessed, I can't believe it's over. Epic!


The Orsumettes


SPOD and the Orsumettes


SPOD


Fabulous egyptian style dancing


SPOD

Rides - Part 2

Ambascamba: We skip Astronomy Class on principle. They were rude during SPOD doing their sound check… really, really loudly. We head back outside for more rides. More slides!!! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!! The giant slide is almost my favourite place in the world. More Wild Mouse. More dodgems. I dominate.

Gemdilem: Ambascamba is a psycho behind the dodgem wheel. She is brutal, hitting my car from every angle. Luckily the vodka has made me like gumby and I bounce back into shape.


Ambascamba - dodgems psycho

Art vs Science

Ambascamba: Vodka-smuggling is getting a little tiresome, and uncomfortable. Obviously I should just drink faster.

Gemdilem: Back in the Big Top with more coke-vodka mix for Art vs Science. The kids are going crazy.

Ambascamba: The kids are LOVING it. No one seems to speak French though, as shirts remain visibly on.

Gemdilem: You have to admit their songs are catchy. And they have inflatable pengiuns on the stage. Nice.


The biggest crowd of the day turns out for Art vs Science

Dukes of Windsor

Ambascamba: There is markedly less love for the Dukes as there is a mass exodus of kids from the Big Top heading for, presumably, rides. Can't blame them.

Gemdilem: We spend most of the Dukes of Windsor's set debating whether or not the lead singer is a man, a lady or a cross between the two and appreciating the delightful symmetry of the guitars. One's a leftie and one's a rightie and they have matching clothes and hairdos. It's like they are a mirror image of one another. I wonder if they did that on purpose?

Ambascamba: I don't think they're real dukes. From this far back the lead singer resembles Anthony Callea. Please rethink your outfit.


Guitar symmetry

Rides - Part 3

Ambascamba: More dodgems!! Super short line. Score. Dagwood dogs. Self-serve sauce complicates things, but we manage, and capture the moment with an impromptu photo shoot with the funny mirrors.

Gemdilem: Dagwood Dogs, funny mirrors, and headless cut outs... entertainment for hours.


Dagwood Dogs and funny mirrors


Dagwood Dogs and Ambascamba

Gemdilem: Full of Dagwood Dog goodness we head back into the Big Top. We walk past the security guards for the last time with our vodka carefully concealed. Festival Ladies 4 - Security Guards 0.

Ambascamba: A quick shout out to my favourite security guard of the day who is 100% carnie. Little man, huge moustache, tiny voice. I wish I got a photo.

Gemdilem: We purchase some bottles of coke and finish off the last remaining bit of vodka. Dagwood Dog burbs!

Ambascamba: Finally the vodka's all gone and I can finally regain some comfort in the rack area.

Datarock

Ambascamba: Datarock, where have they been all my life? Matching outfits. Lovely hair. A little choreography here and there.

Gemdilem: Despite their many trips to Australia I have never managed to see Datarock live. I was very excited about having the chance to see them and they were one of the main reasons why I came to Come Together. They come out onto the stage with all the enthusiasm I had hoped for and start with hit after hit. They sound great and I instantly start dancing. Love the tracksuits!

Ambascamba: They are the first band to do anything with the big screens on stage, but boy do they make up for lost time. Molly Ringwald footage!! Fully sick BMX action. I think I see a flash of Patrick Swayze, but put it down to a vodka-related hallucination. But no. Towards the end of the set the closing credits start to roll for Dirty Datarock Dancing. Sweet baby jesus, I'm in heaven.

Gemdilem: BMX is better than sex! Genius lyrics, genius!

Ambascamba: There are horns! (Good sax!?! And they said it couldn't be done.) Delightful accents. Shirtless starjumps. Audience Overcoming technical hardship so smoothly I wasn't even aware of it until they apologised for it (needlessly).

Gemdilem: Datarock have the crowd eating out of their hands. We don't even notice the 'technical difficulties' as they more than make up for it with star jumps, running man, improvisations on the sax and crowd participation. Legendary stuff.

Ambascamba: I am dancing up a Category 5 storm and I don't want it to end. I love you, Datarock. They achieve the impossible and claim the title of Highlight of the Day, brutally knocking the Giant Slide from #1.


Datarock


Datarock - we salute you!


Datarock

Midnight Juggernauts

Gemdilem: Midnight Juggernauts finally take to the stage and they are lame. The sound is off, the vocals shot. It is terrible. We stay for a bit hoping it will get better. It doesn't and we leave. Unfortunately all the rides are closed so we wave goodbye to Luna Park and head home.

Dear Midnight Juggernauts,

A couple of kids dancing the heel and toe are more captivating and entertaining than you. Please rectify before headlining another festival.

Do not bitch about technical difficulties when Datarock have just dealt with the same set-up and dominated. You did not need to make people wait while you claim the entire stage and proceed to use 1/3 of it. You are not worthy. Go away.

Regards,

Ambascamba and Gemdilem

Summary

Ambascamba: Combining rides and bands is genius. I was in huge amounts of pain the next day, but I still want to go back and do it again. Four stars.

Gemdilem: It was a massive, fun filled day of rides, vodka, bands and antics. The highlights were Spod, Datarock, dodgems, Dagwood Dogs. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!


The Big Top


Cool indie kids


Ambascamba blogging


Worst / best fringe ever


Gemdilem


Coney Island!


Luna Park - we love you!


Giant slides!


Sound desk

Filed Under
Articles
megastick fanfare
Cameras
Made In Japan
Pez
Leader Cheetah
Fire! Santa Rosa, Fire!
SPOD
Art vs Science
Dukes Of Windsor
Datarock
Midnight Juggernauts
Come Together Festival

 

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