Feb 5, 2017

Sydney Laneway Festival 2017

The Laneway Festival has always been on the cutting edge. It has grown in size but still managed to be at or near the forefront of modern music. I will say however that in recent years it has veered more into the territory of electro and pop with 2015 reaching its zenith. So much so that I didn't go. 2016 I had to skip as well as I had work commitments on that day. But 2017 I was back and even though the headliners didn't really interest me there were several acts I was very excited to see. Overall I had a great day despite it being very hot. Crowds weren't over bearing and easy to navigate. Food options were outstanding (Belle's Hot Chicken being a huge winner) and the Callan Park venue is nice and pleasant. Some of the acts I enjoyed (beside the three standouts below) were White Lung, who were fierce and hard. Their music isn't really in my wheelhouse but I enjoyed them live. I also enjoyed the beautiful stylings of Julia Jacklin. She has a wonderful choice. One act I wanted to see were Gang of Youths. But they overlapped with Car Seat Headrest so I only saw their last two songs. The crowd was loving them but I have to say the vocals were mixed way too low which was a disappointment.  Then there were three acts I loved in huge amounts.

Car Seat Headrest were easily the biggest talent on display on the day. Will Toledo is a musical prodigy and they really connect with their audience. Their songs have everything. They are epic, anthemic, thoughtful and emotionally and intellectually powerful. They are already great and really needed to be given a later slot than the one they enjoyed.

Set List
Fill in the Blank
Shivers (The Birthday Party cover)
Destroyed by Hippie Powers
Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales
Unforgiving Girl (She's Not An)
Motorway to Roswell (Pixies cover)

Whitney are just makers of beautiful music. Their songs are just laced with gorgeous melodies. The band fit in so well together. Guitar work is sublime and the trumpet tops off everything nicely.

Set List
Dave's Song
No Matter Where We Go
Red Moon
Golden Days
On My Own
The Falls
Magnet (NRBQ cover)
No Woman

Camp Cope are from Melbourne. Camp Cope are extremely talented. The three piece write songs of stark emotion and hit you hard in the head and the heart. Lead singer Georgia has a voice to move mountains. Whilst bassist Kelly-Dawn is outstanding. They really deserved a later slot than 12 noon. So much talent.

Set List
Jet Fuel Can't Melt Steel Beams
Keep Growing
West Side Story
Flesh and Electricity
Stove Lighter
Lost (Season One)


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