Laneway Festival, Circular Quay, Sydney
Jonny joins The Festival Ladies...
...for this 'special report' of the 2009 Sydney Laneway Festival.
Gemma took photos. Jonny got drunk. They then joined forces and wrote a review of the day.
Jonny: Wasn't it supposed to be 48 degrees? I wore shorts. I shaved my legs (lady).
Talons - Park stage
Jonny: Talons absolutely crushed it. I heard some people say "they get better everytime I see them" and "they are cute and fuckable" and "holy shitballs they are rad!". Right on. We have been telling you that since about 1996. Glad to see you are NOW catching on. They shouted out mad love for yours truly. I got a stiffy. They didn't complain about the heat. Christian wore shorts. Little sexy legs. Mitch's 'stache is one of the most incredible things I have ever seen. They made a small plea for 'someone' to put out their album. Yeh, get on that 'people with large amounts of cash sitting under the beds and/or record labels'. The 'financial crisis' is a fucking hoax.
Gem: Talons played Squid and I lost it! I'd literally been waiting years to hear this song live. Hearing it live was awesome. The entire Talons performance was awesome. I really enjoyed hearing some of their new songs live. "This song is off our new album which you guys will be able to listen to if anyone decides to put it out" - Christian. With performances like that I'm sure will happen. The festival was off to a great start.
John Steel Singers - Reiby Place stage
Jonny: I was 14km from the stage. Where did all these people come from? Why weren't they watching Talons? One of the songs near the end (ie. the single) was catchy-as-fuck and nice. The kids down the front lost their shit. And danced.
Gem: Managed to only catch the last 10 minutes. They sounded good and the crowd really was into them.
Jonny: At this point I just wandered around for about an hour. People watching is the best! Lot's of youngsters were at the festival this year. I am getting older, they are staying the same age. I am getting more bitter about 'people', they all seem to be getting more positive and happy about everything. Hopefully, the recession will sort them out.
Gem: Standing in the line to get a bottle of water and Patience from the Grates is standing two people in front of me! I don't have the courage to talk to her in real life so I Twitter her. She twitters back recommending the burger!
Jonny: Speaking of star fucking - David McCormack totally owned the VIP area all day. Whenever people ask me who the coolest person ever is? I answer with D-Mac before they even finish thinking about asking the question. Especially now that his spiritual brother Bernie is no longer with us.
Papa vs Pretty - Park stage
Gem: I still can't believe how young these guys are? They barely look like they've hit puberty. The sound from the stage was too quiet or I was too far away. They seemed a little bit lost up there on the big stage.
Jonny: Last time I saw these guys they were about 14. They were cute then. They are old now (about 17) and the whole 'going for a record deal' thing is hard to shake. Good on 'em BUT fuck it was kinda bland.
Still Flyin' - Basement
Jonny: So much fun. Fat dude with a 'stache. The real winners on the day were folks with 'staches. Stache alone is an incredible word. Still Flyin' were stache-tastic. Colourful. Energetic. Pumping out seriously sweaty party jams.
Gem: The energy of these guys was amazing. Completely captivating. Having them play in the Basement was a great idea, although it probably meant a few people missed out on seeing them (the line for the Basement was massive). Their performance was epic! Definitely a festival highlight. How can you watch these guys and not dance? You can't! Total party times.
Jonny: Beer beer beer. Food? Fuck, I should have eaten breakfast. That's where I went wrong. I felt like shit for most of the day, always two or three meals behind where I should be.
Jonny: Caught this guy under the recommendation of Joe. Brilliant stuff. Not quite hip-hop, but not really dub-step or electronica either. Nice middle ground. Fantastically unpredictable with a whole load of changing soundscapes thrown out there. One of the highlights of the day.
Tame Impala - Park stage
Jonny: Caught Patience from The Grates rubbing lotion on her injured leg in the VIP room. She was probably Tumblring/Tweeting about it too.
Gem: Good performance. Although this is the third time I've seen them in the last few months. I knew what song they were going to play next, I think I've seen them live too much. Or maybe they need to change their play list...
Born Ruffians - Reiby Place stage
Gem: He (lead singer) looked emo! I wasn't expecting that!
Jonny: Beer beer beer. Some food. Still not enough. It's too late. My day is doomed. More beer will sort this out.
Gem: I decided to take Patience from the Grates' earlier advice and try the burger. It was fantastic. Best burger ever!
No Age - Reiby Place stage
Jonny: Soooooo much better than the other night. I somehow snuck into the AAA section. Told the security guard I was going to take photos with my phone. Lo-fi, because the band are lo-fi. Meta. He bought it for a bit and then he kicked me out. But the goods were done. No Age crushed. Rawkus-ey.
Gem: Whoa! Ok so I'd heard a lot of hype about No Age (mainly from Jonny) but I was actually blown away. I had a media pass so I was in the photographers pit close to the action. For a moment I forgot to take photos because I was too busy rocking out (hard). Whoa! Ohh I've already said that.
Jonny: I actually think my fly was undone during No Age's performance. Maybe it blew open due to the sheer radness. That has happened before. That's my gauge of how good a show is. But yeah, apologies to anyone unfortunate enough to see 'anything'.
Jonny: Beer beer beer. Fucking Angus. No, not 'making love to Angus'. Fucking Angus. He is the reason from this point on my day/night is a bit of a blur. He's cute as. Cuddly. But it's 1000% his fault I got even more drunk from here on in. We had about 75 beers while we waited for Spiritualized to start (and yes, we know they weren't playing).
Port O'Brien - Basement
Gem: These guys are great. Folky beautiful tunes.
Jay Reatard - Reiby Place stage
Gem: Hair, hair, hair. So much hair! The songs rolled out one after another, creating a non stop rock fest. Good times.
The Temper Trap - Park stage
Gem: They looked like the same band but for some reason they didn't blow me away like they use to. It was boring.
Jonny: I saw the lead singer somewhere in the hotel bitching about how he had to do an interview. Apparently life is tough. Not all hookers and cocaine. For realz.
Cut Off Your Hands - Reiby Place stage
Jonny: Still just hanging out somewhere not watching bands.
Gem: Angst, raw emotion. They had it all.
Tim Fite - Basement
Gem: I wasn't sure what to expect from Tim Fite. I'd heard good things. But nothing could prepare me for what I witnessed. He was completely insane! Moving around the stage like he was deranged.
Gem: His performance was like a story, evolving throughout the set with the aid of images projected up onto a screen. There was so much going on it was hard to keep up. His songs were a mix of hip hop, experimental, pop and just a little bit strange.
Gem: The highlights were when he got the entire crowd to participate in an eye test. The song Burn It Down was also great. During the song Tim Fite showed us picture of a place on the screen (like a police station) and then us (the audience) sung "Burrrrrn! Burn it down-down-down! Burn it down-down-down! Letís burn it down!" Totally fun times and catchy. For the entire gig, Patience from the Grates was in the front row losing her shit.
Note: you can download some of Tim Fite's song (for FREE) from here.
The Drones - Reiby Place stage
Jonny: We emerged from the inside world to catch Australia's best band do their thing. It was effing incredible. Well, decent at least. We were a fair way back, nestled behind the sound desk, getting into fights with dicks who were spilling their Red Bull wine spritzers everywhere. Wankers.
Gem: Apparently the house that some of the band members live in burnt down in the Victorian bushfires? Why is this all I can remember about their performance? I'm sure they played great songs but I can't remember.
Note: apparently the house survived.
Jonny: As we were leaving The Drones some girl said "you are going the wrong way, you are going to miss Girl Talk". I laughed and informed her he was "just some guy who is good at using GarageBand". I stand by that shit, untrue statement.
Toy Death - Red Bull Academy stage
Jonny: Beer beer beer. Jokes about hippies.
Gem: I was completely alone while waiting for Toy Death to set up. Not a single person was near the Red Bull stage. It seemed odd because I thought this band would of had the novelty appeal to attack many festival goers. I mean they play toys as instruments!! There was no need to despair though, by the time they'd played the first song there were many people crowded around the stage looking on in stunned awe. With the constant swapping of new and exciting toys (with their flashing lights and peculiar sounds) and those wonderful outfits I was somehow distracted from the actual songs. I can't tell you what a single one was like. The naked Jesus doll was a highlight.
Jonny: I think it was around this time I spoke to/harassed/fanboy-ed the guy from Architecture In Helsinki. I think it was about how I fetched him batteries once at a video shoot. True story. Urgh. Drunk.
Girl Talk - Reiby Place stage
Gem: With my media pass and camera I got access to the photographers pit for the Girl Talk set. It was a shit fight with the number of photographers outnumbering the space available. We waited patiently for Girl Talk to begin while battling for the best spot in the pit.
Gem: Girl Talk started his set off with a bang! He jumped around the stage like a mad man and then proceeded to jump down into the photographers pit, give 'high fives' to the crowd and then... PAT THE TOP OF MY HEAD AND GIVE ME A HUG! From that point on I was in a state of surreal happiness. I watched the slightly manic 'party' atmosphere take hold. I snapped a few shots and then security decided that he'd "played" 3 songs and we (the photographers) had to leave. Yes he is only a DJ but my God he is entertaining.
The Hold Steady - Park stage
Jonny: Ok, I GET it now. They were so much better than I thought they would be. Maybe, you just need to be really really drunk. No, I mean. They were great. Lot's of energy and a great attitude. They seemed just happy to be performing and totally rocking my drunk pants off. Incredible way to end the day.
Gem: I really wanted to like The Hold Steady because they seem like nice guys. I saw them at Melbourne Laneway and didn't get them. At Sydney Laneway not much had changed. I still didn't get them. During the set Patience from the Grates uploaded a photo to her blog of The Hold Steady. From the photo we worked out where she was standing and found her. Stalker, much?
Gem: Big day but a great day. Who knew that taking photos all day would be such hard work?
Jonny: The real highlight of the day was when I blew a... 0.212 on the breathalizer machine at the parking bay. Lolz? I made lot's of similar 'blowing' jokes at the time as well. Yep, I was kinda drunk.