Sounds of Spring Run Down!




Editors note: We kinda forgot to organise a photographer (So sue us, we’re new to this whole blog thing…). So instead, the author decided to illustrate the article herself. Rock on Kathleen, Rock on.

As I entered into the showgrounds for Sounds of Spring I was greeted, much to my delight, by an array of food stalls, most notably the Hare Krishna stall, a staple of any good festival. After my first (of three) visits to this stall, I wandered over to the green stage where Mary Trembles were playing. They didn’t get off to a great start but succeeded in putting on an entertaining set which was unfortunately stopped abruptly in the middle of their third song because of the heavy rain. There may have been some consolation provided by the fact that they were playing at the official after party. The rain continued throughout the day and into the night making me ever so grateful for my gumboots and creating an interesting sea of raincoats, garbage bags and disposable ponchos. trash

Eventually the rain subsided enough for the music to resume, although The Galvatrons and Children Collide had to be cut from the line-up. The Red Paintings provided an aural and visual feast for which they’ve become renowned.  The band were dressed completely in Japanese inspired white gowns with white faces and extravagant head wear – frontman Trash McSweeney’s was so tall that he needed to bend over and have someone thread the strap of his guitar over it. The band was assisted by a number of ‘human canvasses’, painted entirely white, used to promote the band’s new album by painting blood red letters on each person. Additionally, on either side of the stage were two artists painting large canvases using black and white paint and eventually abandoning paint brushes for their hands to create very unique paintings. Their profound lyrics, radiating vocals and piercing instrumentation climaxed with the ensemble of human canvasses throwing red paint around and a number of instruments being destroyed, most notably an embellished and expensive looking guitar, an ironic move, considering the bands earlier plea for donations towards their records.

Immediately after this began Young and Restless who were an unexpected powerhouse. Singer Karina Utomo was a welcome antidote to the traditional rock girl stereotype providing unbridled vocals which ranged from very deep to an almighty scream (not to mention an enviable confidence enabling her to adorn her white lycra outfit). They belted out their screamo infused pop-rock tunes with real intensity and were joined by Children Collide frontman, Johnny Mackay, for one song. They finished with popular ‘Police Police’ in an eruption of audience participation.

I managed to catch a few songs from Bluejuice, who didn’t fail to provide a high energy set as people have come to expect. Not only were they entertaining and impressive with their tunes which just make you want to dance, but they gained a significant amount of respect on my part after one of the singers (which one I don’t know) told two guys who were fighting to leave.

Parkway Drive are a band which I’ve never really payed much attention to – they are quite heavy, a style of music I find difficult to appreciate unless live. I was really impressed by this band, especially by vocalist, Winston McCall’s incredible roar. He seemed like quite an unassuming guy until he ripped out those lyrics and his effort and subsequent exhaustion was obvious – good effort guys. british21

Crowd pleasers British India were dressed uncharacteristically formal in black suits. However, it wasn’t long until frontman, Declan Melia, lost the jacket to reveal a casual slogan t-shirt. They pumped out the tunes with ease including radio frequenters ‘Run the Red Light’ and ‘I said I’m sorry’ to a very responsive audience. My personal favourite, ‘this ain’t no fucking disco’, garnered a massive amount of audience participation with the whole crowd chanting in unison.

Perth band Gyroscope were unashamedly patriotic performing their tune ‘Australia’ with unrestrained enthusiasm.  Again they attracted a massive crowd. By this time of the night I assume everyone, like me, was at that stage where the day had done its damage yet they trooped on. The audience embraced the enticing sounds of the bands more slow paced songs until they erupted at the end with favourite ‘snakeskin’.

Cog were so much more than I would have ever expected. I revelled in frontman Flynn Gower’s epic vocals as the crowd immersed themselves in the atmosphere. A fellow audience member begging for ‘My Enemy’ was rewarded with more than he could have possibly imagined. This is one band who is definitely not done justice by their recordings.

My night ended on a high note, both literally and metaphorically, with Dappled Cities. The crowd was small as they had to compete with headliners Grinspoon, but it was intimate and allowed for great conversing between the band and the audience – it was one of those great settings where you felt really connected to the band. During the first few songs they experienced some bass issues but recovered with jokes and a short appearance by ‘Kate the bubble girl’. Their high vocals and experimental instrumentation resonated over the audience as they swayed to the haunting melodies. Their impromptu stage theatrics entertained, reinforcing themselves as an unpredictable force. They performed well known hits like ‘Fire Fire Fire’ as well as a few new songs which indicated a very promising and interesting future for the band. 

The first Sounds of Spring festival was an amazing exhibition of Australian talent. The bands were diverse, catering for all tastes. Although there were a few problems encountered, overall the festival succeeded and emphasised the need for us to support our incredible musicians.



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