Sunday, September 26 @ Wellington Square – Review by Kaitlyn Offer
Summer and festival season seem to creep up earlier and earlier each year, and 2010 has been no exception.
Parklife was a relaxed introduction to what is going to be a hectic next few months for music lovers. After herding through two queues just to get in, it was quite open and spacious once inside; its four stages were set nicely apart, so it wasn’t a mad dash from one end to another.
In time to catch the tail end of Darwin Deez, both band and audience appeared to be having a good time, with all four band members getting together for a little choreographed dance a la Beyonce before launching into another song. It was hard not to notice just how skinny the New Yorkers were though (surely if someone can afford to fly them over here they can afford to buy them a burger or ten). Over at the Sahara main stage Midnight Juggernaughts launched into a mid-afternoon psychedelic set. Reactions were best to tunes from the group’s first album ‘Dystopia’ but the whole crowd cheered and danced away when a saxophonist came on stage and all four musicians launched into the cheesy 1978 song ‘Baker Street’ by Gerry Rafferty. It was a moment of sheer brilliance really, capturing everyone’s attention.
Back at Kakadu, The Wombats had drawn a happy and eager crowd, keen to dance to their hit ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division.’ And the band did not disappoint. Playing the song second last, most of the crowd went wild, then quickly dispersed at the end satisfied with what they had just danced along too. DJ Petrosex had the tough job of trying to warm up the crowd for Bloc Party singer Kele, out on his solo work. Petrosex’s mixes left a lot to be desired, mind you it wouldn’t have been easy to try and hold people’s attention while roadies were doing sound checks and setting up his gear in front of a crowd that were not really that interested.
Thankfully, that awkwardness only lasted 20 minutes and at 5pm, Kele took to the stage. Backed by his three-piece band, he was in a good mood, something most of the bands shared on the day. He joked and chatted with his audience, and shared a rather crass story about headliner Missy Elliot, the plane flight to Perth and the on-flight toilet (and no it has nothing to do with the mile-high club).
With only one solo album behind him, Kele knew what his audience wanted so not only did he play songs from his album ‘The Boxer’, but mixed in some Bloc Party tunes as well. In a move that maybe other established musos should follow, instead of dedicating half of his 45 minute set to Bloc Party, Kele mashed four songs into one running one: enough to keep the punters satisfied but short enough to dedicate time to his own stuff. He climbed the speakers and threw himself into his enthusiastic audience who lapped it all up, going wild for ‘Tenderoni’ and the finisher, ‘Flux’.
By this time, the lines for food had gotten longer as the evening munchies set in, but for those keen to dance the hunger pain away, Busy P, (aka Pedro Winter) not only had them dancing but laughing too. On the Sahara stage, the former manager of Daft Punk took photos of the crowd and having a mate on a laptop, the screen onstage became an interactive mix of photos and messages including “Pedro is staying at the Hyatt. Room number…”
While the DJ warming up for Missy Elliot got everyone eager, three songs into her performance the atmosphere just was not there. Maybe it was just the stereotypical Gen-Y short attention span in me, but while the stage looked interesting, and tracksuit-clad Missy talked to the crowd and the sound was fine, something was missing. Eager to be entertained, it was over to The Dandy Warhols to see what they had to offer. The band has been a festival fixture for more than a decade and it was easy to enjoy songs such as ‘Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth’ and ‘Every Day Should Be a Holiday’.
In what was to be their last live tour, Groove Armada later took to the stage all lasers, lights and hairy costumes, and performed a mash-up mix of all of their hits. Cut Copy also impressed, making sure the punters kept on dancing until the very end, with songs that have become festival favourites such as ‘Lights and Music’ and ‘Hearts on Fire’.