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Photos: My Filthy Riot 21-22 March 2009

My Filthy Riot must be the most apt name for a festival I have ever heard. Arriving on the first day at around noon, I was drunk by one and covered in a fine sheen of sweat, tar and fatigue soon after.

With over 50 bands, playing across two days and three stages at The Annandale, arguable Sydney’s filthiest venue, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I signed up to cover both days.

Shit got out of hand pretty early with cunts getting well wasted in early afternoon and bands running on and off stages faster than I could keep up. Eye Of The Spider, an indie supergroup including members from Warhorse, Atrocities and the enchanting Aleesha Dibbs, knocked me off my feet like a Tasmanian girl at a family reunion.

Zeahorse also had me on the floor convulsing in spasmodic bliss with their effects laden visceral assault of grungy glory. I fell in love with both Sherlock’s Daughter and No Art’s Asian singer/guitarists, as well as each of the bands unique style and obvious talent.

Fire! Santa Rosa Fire! fused influences such as At the Drive In and Joy Division to great effect, playing a fiery set to a packed crowd despite being from Adelaide and only having arrived that morning around six after playing a gig in their hometown the night before.

Local favourites The Laurels proved not only why they have a reputation of being one of this city’s best bands, but also that volume can almost induce vomiting as it almost did to me.

Ghosts Of Television, Asleep In The Park, Fait Accompli, The Scare, Papa vs Pretty Made In Japan and Traps all showed that they could make a 30 minute set into something magic and Warhorse fronted by the inimitable and often inevitable Jasper proved once again that you can encapsulate the sound of a violent schizophrenics inner monologue through frenzied garage rock.

Melbourne’s Teeth & Tongue were a surprising find for me, having been led to believe they were a laid back folk pop band; I was wowed by their loud, dirty and passionate performance.

The aforementioned Aleesha Dibbs knocked me off my feet like Don Juan would do to a Hispanic chamber-maid, rocking out at her piano while ‘Amish Rasta’ Ray from Fait Accompli pounded his drums like… well like Don Juan would pound a Hispanic chamber-maid.

Ariel from Eye Of The Spider was face painting, ‘Amish Rasta’ Ray was always popping up with a big smile and positive words, there were more than a few dogs let loose outside and Tony, one of the festival organisers was handing out Dumplings at lunch. I even had a bit of a snooze on a sofa-bed that we unfolded out the side of the venue, what other festival can offer such an experience let alone such a diverse mixture of local talent, both musical and female.

I did see a lot of other bands but between spending over $200 on beer (despite being given a more than generous allotment of drink tickets), smoking weed with Killer and Cowboy from Fait Accompli while they shouted at some NRL game on the TV upstairs and stealing beers from The Scare’s rider, my memory is understandably a bit foggy, but hey I can always remember next year.

Photos by Kurt Davies

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