If there’s something I noticed this year at Laneway Festival, is that more and more it’s becoming a hub for indie dressers and a chance to flex your fashion senses. Glittering up your body was the main thing, as were sheer dresses over barely there underthings. The festival is changing, but the mainstay has been a great diverse line up and this year seemed to up the anti on the latter.
It’s a wonder Banoffee is still playing the opening slot at festivals, as she’s quickly becoming a familiar face (and sound) in the music scene. Those early morning slots are hard to really draw an impressive crowd, but with the amount of early showers there she had most of them engaged. Japanese Wallpaper was in a similar position to Banoffee a little while ago and it’s good to see him moving up the ranks on the line up.
Having not seen The Smith Street Band play before I had high hopes, as musically and morally I agree with everything thing the band touches – it’s almost as if Wil Wagner has some musical midas touch going on. Granted, his ability hadn’t worn off, perhaps it was his love for playing in his home town which he confessed to the crowd was about a two minute walk from the Footscray location. FIDLAR were also a highlight, as was hearing the crowd yell out the often indistinguishable lyrics in drunken slurs. That’s what festivals are made of.
Despite the odd choice of name, The Internet are a band I’ve been following pretty closely. They’re cruisey, soulful tinged tracks are the kind of thing that may be hard to recreate live: will people really be in the mood to slow things down as the night kicks off? They certainly were, and the crowds were broken into clusters of groups getting down. Knees were bent, thrusts were thrown in and it was a good time for all (a good time more for some others). Hearing ‘Girl’ and ‘Special Affair’ live pretty much had my day made. Props to the keyboardist Jameel Bruner for his killer dance moves on stage, there were times where the crowd wasn’t sure what he was doing (perhaps he didn’t either) but we loved every moment. We only wished you’d thrown your pants out when everyone else threw something and you had the suggestion. No one likes a tease.
I’m still not sure whether having Violent Soho play the Dean Turner stage was genius or a mistake. One of the smaller scale stages the crowd was squeezed to the front, and naturally being at all Violent Soho shows, there were death circle pits breaking out through the duration of the 45 minute set. Playing through all the hits and the newies, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t love it. Special mention goes to the punter who threw a joint up on stage for ‘Saramona Said’ for the band to enjoy.
With so many clashes – Flume, Chvrches and Purity Ring all at the same time – I left the hopes of closing my festival on a high to Chvrches. I’m glad I did, as with all the media surrounding Lauren Mayberry it was great to see her in the flesh. She’s the kind of performer that utilises the whole stage and isn’t afraid to pull out any ol’ dance move. While tech problems are never great to see on stage, when her mic went out halfway through the set for the beginning of a song, you’d think you were the one with hearing problems as Lauren performed as if there wasn’t a problem at all. If there’s one thing I will say about Laneway, it’s what’s up with the lack of fresh coconut? Getting one of those bad boys and sitting at the Mistletone Stage was one of my favourite past times. Coconut ice creams just don’t cut it. But overall, from the food to the music and the fashion, Laneway still stands as one of my favourite festival. I’ll see you next year.
Footscray, February 13
Reviewed and photographed by Amanda Sherring