Big Day Out Tag Team Review

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Never ones to settle for a regular article, Zedblog decided to bring to you a tag team overview of Sunday from the juxtaposing perspectives of a 18 year old fresh faced Big Day Out virgin to a seasoned, some may even say haggard, 23 year old BDO vet. For their experiences,

Kathleen – Don’t get me wrong, I’m no stranger to festivals. In fact since I “popped my festival cherry” (as my friends like to put it) at Splendour last year, festivals have taken a significant portion of my pay packet. However, Big day out seemed to be on a whole different level – massive, MASSIVE crowds, an intense twelve hours straight of music plus the pending threat of killer sunburn (a very real and painful threat as it turns out).

In my naivety I neglected to organise any sort of accommodation until the week before and consequently we ended up doing the commute from Brissy and back. No biggie though, we got up early, made it to the train station (despite our ride bailing on us) and arrived at the parklands with about 30 minutes to spare. One word – woo.

//www.flickr.com/photos/ashkyd/

Image by techtoucian at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ashkyd/

Mungo – I’m on the train, and running about an hour late. Its overcast today, which is far more preferable than the usual blazing sun. The first BDO I went to, I came out a nice Lobster red, and am now vigilant in my application of sunscreen.

I was hoping to catch Mr Laneous, but that doesn’t seem likely at this point. If I did, I’m sure I’d make a reference to him becoming a Brisbane institution, and make some lazy Jamie Lidel allusion, so it’s probably best for everyone all around. It’s a highly unprofessional attitude, but the first thing I learnt about Big Day Out is you will not see everything you want to, ever. I’m just going to chill and play today by ear, literally.

So I had planned my day pretty precisely. I was prepared, no one was going to pike or die or run out of energy. The night before I made tasty blueberry muffins and forced my companions to stuff their bags with muesli bars. My day started, as planned, with Sparkadia who failed to disappoint. Their lush harmonies resonated over the carefree morning crowd with particular impact due to the subtle female vocals provided by the beautiful (and brave – adorning a lycra onesie while pregnant) Tiffany. They bolted out tunes like Help Yourself and my personal fave The Kiss of Death with an unbridled enthusiasm that gave drowsy punters a boost. But it was popular releases Too Much to Do and Jealously which really got the crowd going. There were enthusiastic bouts of tambourine, giving Tiffany an opportunity to get her groove on, before they wrapped the set up with Animals, leaving all in attendance with empowering start to their big day.

Smart people, who know that they’re supposed to be taking photographs of the event, make sure they have a Media Pass organised so they can get behind the barriers. I am not one of these people. Shit.

Ah well, who’s on at the local stage?

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Kate Bradley and the Goodbye Horses did well in the recent Uncharted finals according to the little book, but that doesn’t have much context for me. At times, Kate Bradley looks like the illegitimate daughter of Dee-Dee Ramone & Patti Smith, and comes across about as unapologetic & self assured. The other members of the band are easily able to keep the pace up, and while they never really boiled over, they simmered along nicely. It’s not the most experimental Rock you’ll hear in your life, but it knows what it wants to be and how to do it. Good start to the day.

The team quickly dashed over to The Getaway Plan who were mid-set and had garnered a significant crowd considering the early morning timeslot. Their mellowed out rock fitted the setting perfectly with the heavier interludes providing a gentle introduction to the day which lay ahead. Tunes Streetlight and even more so Where the city meets the sea received a massive response from the audience, the guys performing with intense energy.

When these fellas finished we bolted back to the main stage just in time to catch the last couple of songs from Children Collide. Arriving half-way through Farewell Rocketship, the audience at this point pulled more attention than the band, screaming along to the chorus – how could you resist? They finished up with single Social Currency, the trippy guitar sounds swimming over the audience making sure you couldn’t stand still.

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Oh Lily world, don’t you ever change.

Due to my very bad positioning I didn’t really get into Birds of Tokyo until about four songs in when they ripped out new single Wild Eyed Boy and drowned out the miscellaneous chatter of the drunken punters around me. I am assured however that those in the D barrier were having a fabulous time. Their rendition of Silhouettic was awesome and did motivate me to get a bit of a dance on, and the slow motions of Wayside were engulfing and infectious. It was at this point where we thankfully had a bit of break and were able to replenish our energy stocks with, in my opinion, the ultimate festival food – Hare Krishna – mmm God bless those lovely vegos. (Tacky Editors note: Don’t you mean Krisha bless Kathleen?)

Anyway next we were off to Little Red who kicked things off with the catchy Coca-cola. Honestly, how could you not adore these boys and their lovely brand of nostalgia? One of their massive strengths is that each of the fellas sings, not only back up harmonies, but lead vocals to – with the exception of drummer, Taka Honda, but he has got to be one of the delightful rockers known to man. They belted out 60’s inspired tunes like It’s Alright, Witchdoctor and LittleAnnie, this last one being particularly awesome due to Tom Hartney’s deep vocals and “rebel without a cause” charm which make you want to scream like one of the chicks from old 60’s concert footage.

I’d like to tell you how the Ting Tings went, but it was impossibly packed in the tent. I think Kathleen had better luck. It’s worth noting that it’s a very poppy feeling BDO this year so far, which is nice. The headlining act isn’t of the usual breed I’m wondering how that changes the dynamic of the event. The crowd certainly seems to be a little mellower than previous BDO’s past, less Metalhead-y? Or maybe I am, it’s hard to tell sometimes.

As much as I was melting from these boys, I couldn’t help but be drawn to The Ting Tings over at the next stage. From my obscure position to the side of the stage and outside the tent, I could see a drum kit with a blurry figure attached and the occasional appearance of songstress Katie White in a striking green dress. The crowd was phenomenal to say the least and responsive to boot. Their rendition of That’s not my name was enjoyed by all and they wrapped up with an energetic Shut up and let me go, in which Katie bashed a bass drum which such enthusiasm that I’m surprised she didn’t smash it. I have to say though I did appreciate drummer Jules’ vocal contributions to mix things up a bit.

img_4205Been camped out at the front of the stage for the last half hour. In this book I’m reading, it’s put forward out that “Authentic Rock & Roll” is a bit of an oxymoron, due to all the posing and posturing etc. Which is true, I guess, but I think there is a case to be made about there being a more Substantial Rock & Roll out there; case in point, TV on the Radio . The opening song ‘Young Liars’ is a HUGE departure from the album track, exploding with a sense of immediacy to match “Wolf like me”. Layered, grunty yet articulate, you can pick out the little allusions to acts like Prince or Pixies, but it’s never a straight lift out. Tunde Adebimpe is just as guilty of dancing around the stage and striking a pose, but it feels there’s more layers to what’s happening, an undercurrent of needing to express something beneath the surface entertainment. Bloody good show, a definite highlight of the day.

On the way out of the tent, I see a girl in a shirt that reads “Who the hell is Neil Young”? Oh dear.

Part Two of the review coming in the next day or two. All Photo’s by authors except where noted, used as per Creative Commons agreements outlined here.

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4 Responses to “Big Day Out Tag Team Review”

  1. Anna T Says:

    awesome review.

  2. glenn Says:

    woot go kat.. see you at the next festival i promise n

  3. giordy Says:

    great review guys, almost like being there, actually better cause i didn’t break a sweat reading it!

  4. BIG DAY OUT ROUND UP Pt 2! « ZEDblog Says:

    […] UP Pt 2!  Oi You! Yeah you,  Johnny/Jaynie come lately, we started this whole thing back here! Caught up? good, click here […]

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