Laneway Festival Gallery

by

Who is St Jerome?

The patron saint of translators, librarians and encyclopedists sure puts on an epic laneway (ahem – ‘exhibition ground’) festival! With a myriad of bands librarians would no doubt really dig, our first impression entering was the style du jour: ladies must wear cut-off denim underpants, or ‘shorts’ as the wearers attempt to pass them off as. If you’re a fellow, sartorially roll your jeans up to just above the ankle and throw on an excessively baggy muscle tee.

The first act to command our attention was Daniel Johnston, clutching a mandolin against his familiar bulk, and strolling through his uniquely endearing lo-fi ballads in a noticeably stable and even happy way – a treat for long-time fans. Meanwhile, Mumford and Sons wooed audiences with number one hit ‘Little Lion Man’. Following which half their crowd absconded… After that it clicked – the music isn’t why most people go to festivals, one really goes only to draw attention to oneself by dancing absurdly whilst pretending to be high.

We’d barely managed to awkwardly avoid that barrel of fun when Black Lips from Atlanta, Georgia stole our attention. Their ambitious, engaging fuzzy grunge pop had them perched between Beastie Boys and Beatles, complete with slightly choreographed GuitarHero dance moves and an old school style which got the kids frothing. ‘Bad Kids’ left smiles tacked on our faces, and heading to the bar we had the eery realisation that it was exactly where they cage the prize chickens at the Ekka. We were soon astounded by a second realisation – it’s quicker to actually leave and pee at the Jubilee than to wait in the kilometres-long queue. Where we did, however, manage to catch the closing strains of majestic Melbournites the Dirty Three, and their wordless, grandiose anthems.

Our festival-induced grievances faded when Eddy Current Suppression Ring burst forth with their loveable brand of garage rock. We were immediately disturbed by vocalist Brendan Suppression’s apparent desire to make wildly passionate love to guitarist Eddy Current – who seemed uncomfortable. Interestingly, Suppression wasn’t as keen on the bass player (touring woes?). Only a DJ was still going when we departed, and after a long evening we were mostly left pondering whether or not the celebrities would actually go to the official after-party at the Embassy, or have their own celebrity after-party.


By Ili Tulloch and Emma Carroll. Photos by Lucy Iveson

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