Dazzle Me This # 9 – Garden Squared

Croquet and Pimms and music, oh my! Last Sunday saw the perfectly manicured lawns of Government House turn into a playing field for some killer Aussie music and plenty of outdoor fun, otherwise known as Garden Music.

With a lineup that included Unkle Ho, Bridezilla, Dan Sultan and The Audreys, extra-curricular activities such as croquet, badminton and painting, and tall (plastic) glasses of Pimms and lemonade, it was all set to be a glorious day.

Unfortunately there was a super pesky wind that kind of hampered the vibe, at times blowing people’s picnic blankets up around their ears and just generally making everything a bit cold and difficult.

But, it was still a gorgeous afternoon, and when the wind dropped and the sun was able to uninterruptedly permeate your skin there wasn’t anywhere I would rather have been.

Now, unfortunately I missed Unkle Ho due to the fact that at approximately 11am I decided I just had to bake a cake to take. Whoa, rhyme-tastic. Anyway, I’m glad I did because it was 100% delish (thanks Eddie at Satellite in Newtown for giving me the recipe).

So first up for me was a bunch of pale-skinned, long-limbed, red-lipped, floral wearing kidlets otherwise known as Bridezilla. I think these guys are super talented, but I also think Holiday Sidewinder’s voice just wasn’t strong enough to break through the huge gusts of wind that buffeted them around the stage. I’m a sucker for a violin though, so enjoyed parts of the set, but they definitely suffered the most at the hands of Mother Nature.

Dan Sultan, by comparison, had his country, but not too country, stylings going on! He was all kinds of awesome and I’m possibly his new biggest fan. His band were equally spectacular and they had the most able bodied people not under five dancing away at the front of the stage for most of the set. Swoony, croony and energetic, Dan and his band were the musical highlight of my Garden Music experience.

Wrapping things up were a perennial favourite, The Audreys. I last saw them live at Blues & Roots Festival in 2008 but was stuck way up the back of a mucho-packed tent. So it was fantastic to be up close and personal this time around. These guys definitely had to battle with the wildest of the winds that swept through Sydney on Sunday in the late afternoon and they also had to battle to a dwindling crowd as lots and lots of picnic people packed up their things and shuffled off to go get warm. Taasha and Tristan were consummate professionals though and they kept up a really strong set and had the best dynamic with their (shrinking) audience.

All in all a lovely afternoon, and I think it sounds a bit twee to say, had the weather been better so would the day, but it’s actually just the truth. Although bonus points for using up so much energy trying to stay warm, I slept like a baby that night – couldn’t even stay awake for all of 007 Casino Royale, now that’s saying something!

I did a mixtape of picnic in the garden songs not all that long ago, so I’m doubling your green thumb experience in today’s mini-mix, enjoy! X

The Park – Feist

Someone inferred to me the other day that Feist features all too often in my mixtapes. Whatev’s. My girl crush knows no limits. This one is pretty, lingering, languid, and dare I say, melancholy.

[youtube k9jHNuH1gqQ]

Strawberry Wine – John Steel Singers

The opposite of melancholy. Because picnics and gardens remind me of champagne drunk out of plastic cups with chunky strawberries swimming in their bubbly and effervescent goodness. The Pimms and lemonade came a pretty close second though.

[youtube HW9Vi3YeHTc]

Park Benches – Belles Will Ring

Personally, I’m a fan of getting down and dirty on the picnic rug-cladded ground when I go for afternoon delights with friends in the garden. Park benches are what we gaze up at from our grassy knolls. And we’re all the better for it. I likes this track though.

[youtube JXwyw1dF8NQ]

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