When Pigs Fly
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When Pigs Fly Review – All Smiles at Melbourne New Year’s Festival

When Pigs Fly took place at Collingwood Children’s Farm in Melbourne/Naarm on Sunday, 31st December.

Collingwood Children’s Farm – a working community farm on the banks of the Birrarung river – was an ideal place to avoid the mess and confusion of New Year’s Eve. The farm is home to goats, sheep, cattle, pigs, peafowl, ponies, horses and more. For 12 hours on NYE, the animals were moved to be safe from the noise coming from When Pigs Fly’s two stages: the outdoor Paddock stage and the indoor Barn.

The lineup for the second annual When Pigs Fly was an even split of DJs and live performers. Leah Senior followed Welcome to Country with a set of folk rock and psych-pop that drew from her 2023 album The Music That I Make. There was not a cloud in the sky as local DJ Stick Mareebo joined Trojan Sound System leader Daddy Ad for a set of reggae classics.

The Paddock stage was situated in front of a tree-lined hill that separates the farm from the Birrarung river. The grass in the paddock was a rich and healthy shade of green. Lying down and rolling around in it allowed you to exhale and unwind. Surprise Chef’s brand of instrumental funk-soul was right at home in this setting. The Coburg band’s performance was cinematic and upbeat, big on repetition and vintage sounds.

Over in the Barn, Disco Mediterranea DJs had limbs flying around, while some punters went in search of goats to pet. After a tofu burger and some Jamaican patties, we settled in for the sunset, soundtracked by the rootsy and soulful sounds of Torquay-based musician Immy Owusu.

Local legend Adriana – who’d been the MC on the main stage all day – ushered in the nighttime with an hour-plus of recognised and obscure dancefloor sure-things. The Paddock filled up with excited, energetic bodies who were getting down to everything from Arrow’s ‘O’La Soca’ to Afrika Bambaataa’s ‘Just Get Up and Dance’.

Andrew Wilson and Oscar Slorach-Thorn, aka Andras & Oscar, were making a comeback after close to a decade in the wilderness. The pair showcased the soulful and lo-fi house music that defined their two albums, 2013’s Embassy Cafe and 2014’s Café Romantica. The new single, ‘Temperature of Love’, indicated they’ve got plenty left in the tank.

Japanese DJ Chee Shimizu significantly raised the temperature in the Barn ahead of Colleen “Cosmo” Murphy’s headline set in the Paddock. Murphy is a true giant behind the decks, with her career dating back to David Mancuso’s New York City Loft parties.

Murphy was the perfect selector to carry us into the New Year in good spirits and with a warm buzz of empathy in our hearts. Murphy manoeuvred from the likes of Soul Central and Alan Dixon to the Dimitri in Paris edit of Prince’s ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’.

Someone I barely know grabbed me, looked me in the eye and said, “You’ve had a good end to the year.” I wasn’t about to disagree.

Further Reading

Andras & Oscar Release First New Single in Nine Years, Playing When Pigs Fly This NYE

Andras & Oscar Lead the Lineup for Melbourne New Year’s Festival When Pigs Fly

A Guide to Every Australian Music Festival Happening in 2023/24

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