After a scorching first day of Festival of the Sun in Port Macquarie, the temperature dropped and clouds came in for day two – which was a welcome change, helping ease an undoubtedly hungover crowd into proceedings.
Musically though, the artists wasted no time to bring the energy levels up, and Ivan Ooze hit the stage at lunch time to bring hip hop to the masses early, skulling a beer or two along the way, which the growing crowd was happy to support. Rapping over solid production – including a remix of “War” (What is it good for?) – at rapid-fire speed that would impress Busta Rhymes, the young artist proved himself to be one of the most exciting emerging talents in the scene.
Royal Chant: This messy, raucous four piece from Sydney brought a world of energy and fantastic rock tunes to the stage.
Strong melodic psych is the name of the game for The Belligerents, one of the few East Coast artists who have followed in the footsteps of the likes of Pond and Tame Impala on the West and gotten it right. There is truly promising material coming out of this group, and the added cover of Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You” – which they recorded for Like a Version on triple j – was welcome indeed.
Perth’s Tired Lion have had an incredible year. Their rockin’ grunge inspired music is some of the best rock in the country right now, and the triple j unearthed act of the year are a killer live band to boot. Speaking of boots, Sophie was convinced by the crowd to skull beer from a clown boot… don’t try that at home kids. Highlights included the catchy “I Don’t Think You Like Me” and “Suck”.
It was my first time catching Sydney’s ADKOB and I must say I was impressed. On a weekend delivering mostly straight forward rock or hip hop, this quartet felt like one of the more original entries into the lineup. Their music has elements of keys driven electronics with live bass, guitar and percussion. Lead singer Mark Piccles’ vocals are solid, and though the groove was softer than Tired Lion, there was an energy to it that pulsated and made it easy to connect with. A band to keep you eye on – check out the track “Glue”.
No festival is complete without The Fumes in my humble opinion. They deliver each and every time…
Three piece Woodlock delivered that sort of anthemic, catchy indie pop – really enjoyable.
Ecca Vandal‘a live show has gotten so much tighter in the last six months – there’s a reason we awarded her the Heatseeker award at the AU Awards this week. She’s fast developing into one of the best live performers in the country… Delivering vast amounts of energy and fantastic music along the way.
Polish Club – you’d never know this was just a two piece if you weren’t looking at the stage. Amazing vocals and solid tunes.
What is there to say that hasn’t already been said about Bad//Dreems. Simply a great live band. Can never get enough of tracks like “Dumb Ideas”, either.
I’m a big fan of Waax, they deliver just the sort of rock n roll I love – Marie is also one of the best leads in the country, or any band, of any genre…
British India delivered a set that focused primarily on their latest record Nothing Touches Me, which kills it live – I daresay its tracks are even better on stage than on record. And this was a solid record. “Vanilla” was a highlight from their earlier choices, and their cover of “Killing in the Name Of” may have just been the moment of the festival. “Wrong Direction” closed things out.
Jeremy Neale had an admittedly poor position on the stage between the festival’s two biggest acts, of varying genres. Sadly this meant he didn’t have the crowd support that the bands enjoyed either side – and they seemed to have a few sound issues to boot. But you wouldn’t have known it – Mr Neale (our Voice of QLD at the AU Awards) delivered as rousing a performance as ever, and the backing four piece, which included a saxamaphone, were solid. A particular shout out to the track “Lone Tiger” which went out to “all the Tigers and all the people who want to be Tigers”.
With his signature flow and great stage presence, Illy capped off a massive 2015 at Festival of the Sun in a big way. The sold out crowd ate it up and used it as their launchpad to party on well into the night. With its laid back vibes, solid lineup and enthusiastic crowds, FOTSUN is one of Australia’s finest regional festivals. Don’t miss it next year. Until then…