Splendour in the Grass, the holy grail of Australian camping festivals, is now upon us once again. While a lot of people will miss out on enjoying this year’s lineup, which includes Smashing Pumpkins, Jack White, Bloc Party, At The Drive-In, and The Kooks, it’s not all bad, as Music Feeds will be bringing you live updates, photos, video interviews and podcasts right here from the festival site.
This weekend we’re going to try our best to give you the full experience lived through our own eyes at the festival, with regular updates around the site, interviews with Explosions in the Sky, Metric, Kimbra, Django Django, Lanie Lane, Hypnotic Brass, and San Cisco to name a few, and photo galleries fresh online after the band’s sets.
So here we go with Day One of the festival, including last night’s pre-Splendour events, which saw Zulu Winter busking in the street and triple j’s Splendour party at the Great Northern Hotel.
Day One Coverage has ended:
Photos Jack White: view full gallery here!
Photos At The Drive-In: view the full gallery here
At The Drive-In front man has a kettle on stage with a steaming hot cup of tea. Now that is what I call bad ass!
Reformed At The Drive-In take the stage!
Photos The Shins: view the full gallery here
The shins jumped head first into their set, exploding on stage with kissing the lipless and caring is creepy. leading into Simple Song, the six set effortlessly recreated their melodies with an added kick for their live version. Despite the recent band replacements by frontman James mercer, their on stage chemistry was infectious. Showcasing a collection of tracks from their back catalogue, old favourite New Slang attracted the most applause and my personal highlight of the day.
Interviewing Lanie Lane
To our surprise, Howler performed with only four of its five members, but collectively they still looked like they walked from the pages of your favourtite boy band catalogue, or from the set of “Stand By Me” if John Hughes was the director. Howler’s sound of an American’s punky sun soaked summer was more than welcomed as punters struggled through colossal mud pools and a sudden winter chill.
Howler burst through their first two songs faster than teenager popping pimples, before playing the refreshing punk throw back “Beach Sluts” much to the crowd’s delight.
On record, Howler’s sound can be branded as ‘same-same’ however their live show proved their versatility. The long guitar drones were exaggerated; the swift garage inspired riffs were crisp and sharp while Howler’s highly-strung guitar solos were more electric than AC/DC jamming in a storm cloud; which successfully displayed each song’s individuality, making their melody more distinct and totally awesome!!!
During a routine Q&A (lol) Howler grabbed a female fan to dance on stage. She looked like Courtney Love. She then rambled on, (something about an organ?) like Courtney Love and no one could comprehend what the fuck she was talking, so much so Howler’s guitarist asked if she was from New Zealand. All things considered and after successfully avoiding security on stage, I am certain it was Courtney Love.
Before closing their set with “Back of Your Neck” and “Wailing” Howler gracious covered the crowd with Jack Daniels and left the crowd wet and happy.
Watch: Yacht Club DJs Interview
Photos Bertie Blackman: full photo gallery here!
Last year the BBC crowned Michael Kiwanuka the sound of 2012. After witnessing his magic first hand this afternoon, I can say with confidence – if this is what 2012 sounds like, I don’t want it to end. His 70s inspired tunes injected a whole lot of much-needed classic soul into the festival. The only word to describe his set is ‘timeless’.
Joined on stage by a 3-piece band, including a guitarist with the most marvelous Afro I’ve ever seen, he commenced with the spine tingling I’ll Get Along. From there on in, the goosebumps didn’t subside. His cover of Hendrix’s Waterfall transported the audience back in time, making it feel more like Woodstock than Splendour. Favourite Home Again had the entire crowd singing along. Walking out of the G W McLennan tent, I couldnt wipe the smile of my face, and looking around, everyone else seemed to be under the same mesmerising trance.
Once a young up-and-coming artist from Idaho, Youth Lagoon has risen at a meteoric pace to the international stage. Performing at this year’s Splendour in the Grass, we got talking shop with Trevor Powers, the man behind the music.
Giving insight into the scene from which he rose, the local Idaho music scene that is, Powers explains how the movement of music currently in process in the region is incredible. With no discernible sound attributed to the area, an array of talent has been flooding out of late.
After being signed to Fat Possum Records, momentum has picked up greatly for the young musician. Initially planning on releasing the debut for free online, sheer demand resulted in an official physical release from the label. The single July was labelled by Pitchfork as Best New Song, a claim that saw many ears prick up surrounding Youth Lagoon.
Photos Yacht Club Djs: view full gallery here
Big Scary – Side stage
Big Scary review
Following the destruction of DZ Deathrays, Super Top was graced with another dynamic duo, Big Scary, who was welcomed by a thunderous applause. After wondering how Big Scary’s gentle Jeff Buckely-esque sound would translate across a big stage, the band didn’t hesitate and created an enormous amount of sound for only two band members.
Vocally carrying more strength than a Gospel choir, lead singer Tom Lansek momentarily transformed Super Top into a colourful church, unifying fans and converting the non-believers with crashing cymbals and a fast paced version of ‘Leaving Home’. But as Big Scary easily built a huge sound, they also pushed it down again to showcase their musicianship during tracks like ‘Mixtape’.
Between two new songs and a highly favoured B-Side, ‘Falling Away’, Big Scary created a moody, heart felt atmosphere which initially provided a welcomed variety to their set but unfortunately saw the band get a little lost and lose some momentum and the crowd’s attention.
By the time ‘Purple’ was played, a sense of “Hurry up and play ‘Gladitor’” was present and rest assured Big Scary closed their set with the anti-hero anthem.
Surrounded by swarms of long – haired young kids straight out of Puberty Blues, amongst the plumes of funny smelling smoke, you know its time for POND.
Boasting a strong palette of 70s inspired rock, POND eased the crowd into their set with an organ heavy slow burner, saturating the Super Top with comforting free spirit and love.POND effortlessly flowed from one track to another, easily transitioning between multiple genres covering bluesy rock to a touch of synth. After tastefully riding out tracks from their recent album “Beard Wives Denim”, POND also road testing a new track from their upcoming album titled, “Hobo” much to the crowd’s liking. But it was the lead single “Fantastic explosion of time” that united the crowd and I secretly hope ALL Tame Impala comparisons will stop here!
Although POND’s musical talent is beams ahead of their Australian contemporaries, it’s their frontman Nick Allbrook who leads the show. His powerful howling vocals and sometimes obscene dance gestures are equally impressive and entertaining, making band mates look like session musicians. Allbrook will soon be as iconic as his favourite vintage red Adidas tee.
Interviewing Chet Faker
Listen to the interview: