Dec 9, 2007

Homebake Festival 2007

On a steamy, humid day I ventured to the annual Homebake Festival in The Domain. When the initial lineup was released I wasn't exactly compelled to buy a ticket. However when the second announcement added some talented artists I made sure I procured a ticket and ventured to the All Australian Festival. I am glad I did, for even though a majority of artists didn't provide musical stimulation, there was enough to keep me entertained. Without doubt the highlight occurred early in the afternoon as those precocious and ridiculously talented kids from Bridezilla (pictured above) played a great set in the Hopetoun Tent. Having just released their debut EP and gaining a fair amount of good press there was an enthusiastic crowd there to witness them. They cook up quite a maelstrom on stage. The undoubted highlight being the dueling saxophone and violin on stage. Violinist Daisy Tulley is an intense presence on stage, strutting all over the place with sometimes fervent passion. Singer Holiday Sidewinder has quite an ethereal voice, which has improved in strength since I last saw the band. I would say though that it is at times a little flat, detracting sometimes from the excellent music provided.

My other highlight took place later in the afternoon, when I made a return trip to the Hopetoun Tent to see Sydney instrumental trio Pivot. They played a mixture of old material and songs from their forthcoming new album. To say they were intense would be an understatement. Their mixture of syncopated prog rock and melodic instrumentals is fierce and passionate. Richard Pike is quite a resourceful and innovative guitarist, whilst his brother Laurence is as fine a drummer as I have ever seen. His huge frame can belt the life out of the drum kit, whilst in the very next song he displays meticulous and creative subtleties and textures. Pivot are quite a sight on stage.

The remainder of my day was spent wandering around the lush grounds, thankfully it didn't rain, taking in bits of sets here and there. Some good, some a little underwhelming. SubAudible Hum were good value for money with their intelligent rock licks. I especially enjoyed "Aaron's Western Assault". Took in the set of Sydney legend Ed Kuepper. He was enjoyable, boy does he like an extended jam. I left half way through Soft Tigers' set. I am afraid that their dance influenced Indie rock wears thin after a while. And the vocals don't help. But I then managed to catch the always fiery and rocking The Mess Hall. Now a trio they had the crowd rocking solidly on the Dome Stage. They always deliver live and made me think I need to check out their new album "Devils Elbow." To say I was underwhelmed by Angus & Julia Stone would be close to the truth. Charming and lovely to the extreme, the brother and sister act just don't have a collection of songs with any meat or substance. And I found Angus' voice barely audible. I can see why a lot of people find their music delightful, but it left me a little non plussed. So that was my day, after an early start I was flagging by the time Sarah Blasko and Gotye did their thing. So they had to carry on with out me. In summary, an enjoyable day in an ideal setting. There was enough good music to keep myself entertained through out the day.

I have more photos of the day at my Flickr.

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