On Saturday, the 25th of November, the Spilt Milk festival brought its A game with the weather, location and acts. Commonwealth Park in Canberra was beautiful with the lush green gardens in the sunshine with everyone’s sunny outfits to match.
Starting early was Mallrat looking super cute in a green baby dress with the moves to match. “Tokyo Drift” to “For Real”, then “Rush Hour”, got the crowd moving with the Brisbane artist so happy that everyone left their pre-parties early to come see her. Playing “Suicide Blonde”, the first song she released at 16 then a cover of Kanye and Drake’s “Pop Style”, she chilled out a little reminding everyone to remember water and sunscreen for the rest of the day. Ramping it up at the end with her new song “Better”, “Inside Voices” and of course, “Uninvited” she well and truly started the day off on the right note.
While everyone was pumped the day turned into a scorcher and zapped a lot of people early on. Large groups decided to grab some food and drinks and find a spot on the hill to chill out in the shade. I followed suit and sung along to Dean Lewis on the main stage while recharging. “Lose My Mind” was a favourite and when he performed “Waves”, he had me wishing there was some around to cool us down. Winston Surfshirt could be heard from the other stage while most were seeking shelter during the day time sets.
Remi and Sampa the Great got the crowd going with their upbeat tunes. All the rhythm and groove of “Fire Sign” with Sensible J had the colourful crowd feeling the heat in the mosh. They sound so good live and vibe so well together making music magic.
Back on the main stage, Vallis Alps ethereal voice mixed with the electronic beats had everyone feeling euphoria as they soaked up the sunshine. While that make have been the sunstroke setting it, it didn’t change the fact her voice held its own especially in her last song of her set, “Fading”, which we were all doing fast. (I’m not sure I can express how hot it was!)
There is always that part of the day at a festival where you lose your mates and venture off for a little adventure. That time had come for me but luckily, I had Kilter and a few other thousand fans to keep me company. So interesting to watch him perform with the intensity that he drums at, all of his effort being put into his art to produce something really cool. He worked the drums and keys together, dropping the beats early and layering the sounds. Getting guitarist Timi Temple to provide the retro soul vibe to “Treasure”, he kept the friends coming with Lanks on “Count On Me”, which was a great tune while finishing off with Micah Jey to help out on “Fool For You”.
Between sets I wandered to the third and smaller stage. DJ Casual had everyone with old school R&B hits like Informer’s “Snow” busting our their best moves right on the lyrics “I lickey boom boom down”. Everyone dancing reggae around a totem pole laced with flowers and fairy lights was such a mix just like when he remixed Ice Cube to keep it fresh.
San Cisco proved to be a crowd favourite providing dance breaks and all of their bangers like “Fred Astaire”, contrary to what the name would lead you to believe. Last song was dedicated to all the Isabella’s but it definitely had a good “Run” with everyone.
Late afternoon brought the breeze and Carmada brought the beats. Not stopping from start to finish “Maybe” and new stuff from their EP only got quicker and built up. Cashmere Cat right after had a good set but the crowd seemed drained from the day so a lot chose to sit down but he didn’t skip a beat, both figuratively and literally bringing the vibes with his harmonic harps. He wasn’t going to let people be done for the day so instead he brought his own heat sitting on his decks getting everyone moving with his remixes.
As the sun finally set, Illy absolutely killed it. Coming off a 41 day tour and being his 71st show in the last 12 months for his Two Degrees album you can imagine he would be “kinda crazy happy to be finishing,” as he said. He told Canberra to “lose their shit” on “Tightrope” and that they did. He performed his favourite Peking Duk remix of “High” and “Papercuts” was what all festivals are about. Hundreds of people on shoulders with their hands in the air, singing as loud as they possibly can. Was a tough act to follow but What So Not came on to his first performance since being in America to a crowd full of family, friends and fans showing him nothing but love for his new electronic creations.
Finishing off the night was no other than royalty. “I’m Lorde from Auckland New Zealand and I fucking love this place! I am ready to dance with you tonight Canberra” and she did just that. Thousands flooded the main stage where she exploded with the aptly named track, “Homemade Dynamite”. Playing a mix of old and new like “Magnets”, “Tennis Court”, “Royals”, “Liability” and “Team”, you can tell coming off her Melodrama Tour she knows what the people want.
Lorde stopped to tell a hilarious story about how she went on a bike ride past a construction site in the morning before she was performing to only realise that she had just ridden to the festival she would be later headlining. My favourite had to be “Buzzcut Season” which shows just how good she is live. Doing some new stuff with “Hard Feelings/Loveless”, you can see how much she has grown emotionally and musically. Even though I thought it was an odd choice she finished with “Green Light”, which seemed to go down a treat proving this is only a small slice of the fame pie she will get to enjoy. Perfect to go with some milk if you ask me and while there may have been many drinks spilt over the weekend certainly no one was crying over it.