It's a Whirlwind

It’s been a while. From memory, it was the end of the 2007 since my last real post, which also happened to be the same time my folks decided go on a vacation and leave the house to my responsible self. Drinks were had, photo booth got raided, steaks for breakfast, and gigs (and parties) were attended. I managed to see two really promising acts, Die! Die! Die! and Gameboy/Gamegirl.

Melbourne trio, Gameboy/Gamegirl, finally hit the shores of Sydney to share the party times that Melbourne have been enjoying for a long time. Their performance was enjoyable nearly bordering crass, proving their light, provocative filth can get a party happenin’.

Gameboy/Gamegirl @ OAF

Gameboy/Gamegirl @ OAF

A few days later, I saw New Zealand’s Die! Die! Die! Supported by The Scare. Both are raw and intense on stage and off in the crowd.

The Scare @ OAF

Die! Die! Die! @ OAF

Die! Die! Die! @ OAF

New years came and gone, and the crazy music month officially started with the Sydney Festival Free night – probably the biggest party I have ever seen invade Sydney. Between crowds, slight rain and long queues for beer it felt like every other festival…but free and in the CBD. NY duo, Chromeo provided the overtly enthusiastic crowd with an energised set, that wasn’t as explored or reached as I had pictured. Apathetic towards the first few songs, we left to catch the Lost Valentinos, who on a smaller stage were making the most of the situation. The quintet with a new drummer, Stella Mozgawa, gave it their all even throwing in a Joy Division cover in the midst.

Lost Valentinos @ Sydney Festival Free Night

The Spank Rock posse hit Sydney for as many times in the last two years as I can remember. To refrain from keeping the next few sentences clean, let’s just say that 12-year-old kids with their folks had an awesome time too and we all know a Spank Rock set is nowhere near smut-free. Spank Rock delivered the hype I wanted from Chromeo. With asses shaken, speakers climbed, bumpin’ and grindin’ all round, it was a memorable way to kick in the Sydney Festival.

Spank Rock @ Sydney Festival Free Night

The decision behind Operator Please as the replacement act for Bonde do Role was unforgivable. It slowed the great vibe established by Gameboy/Gamegirl earlier that evening. In no way am I blaming Operator Please but obviously the creative minds behind this weren’t exactly thinking clear. Thankfully there was decent support from the sold-out crowd to avoid embarrassment. Girl Talk erased any awkwardness set by Operator Please with his ‘reworkings’ of songs covering classics to recent releases. If evaluated in terms of bruises gained (most likely due to my forced jaunt on stage), then Girl Talk at the Beck’s Festival Bar was tonnes of awesome.

Gameboy/Gamegirl @ Beck’s Festival Bar

Girl Talk @ Beck’s Festival Bar

Girl Talk @ Beck’s Festival Bar

The Sunday evening that closed that week was greeted by an eagerly, awaited musician. Sufjan Stevens, was playing one of the most highly adorned venues in Sydney, the State Theatre and rightly so. Caught in an obscure world of analogies, bird watching and observation, Stevens’ presence is humbling and honest. The narrator and gifted musician he is, was truly compelling. The sight of seeing Sufjan Stevens with his band play was ever so sweet, aided by the fact I was in row B and his set list now resides with me.

Sufjan Stevens @ the State Theatre

Week two of the Sydney Festival and I was back at uni doing summer school. Since tickets are non-refundable purchases, I ventured out to see Jens Lekman and Low even with assessments due the consecutive days. Yep, my priorities are clearly in the appropriate place.

The intimate venue, the Vangaurd, played host to the lovely, Jens Lekman – now a Melbourne resident. Tracks from all his releases were combined and contrasted with his humorous banter, one of which including a story behind a new song he composed on departing Kortedala in Sweden titled, “New Directions”.

My tight schedule at uni made seeing Low rather difficult. On the notification that an exam was to greet me the following morning, I found myself sitting in the Famous Speigeltent anticipating the appearance of the Californian trio. Earlier that day, I made every intention to remain absent at this gig but it obviously got the better of me. And good thing it did because the beautiful (and at times, haunting) melodies were something to behold – strong yet with a little apprehension.

The third and final week of the Sydney Festival needs a post on its own.


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