Laneway Festival 2017, Port Adelaide
St Jerome’s Laneway Festival is rapidly becoming my favourite Australian music festival. For one day only, the event is held at the historic and atmospheric Harts Mill in Port Adelaide on the banks of the Port River amongst the old mills and warehouses decorated with Wonderwalls mural artwork. The up and coming line-up draws an equally up and coming youthful, crowd, more interested in new sounds and genres than the musical palaeontology of some other festivals. Electro, hip hop and various cross-overs feature highly, and decks and keyboards sometimes outnumber guitars. Legs also featured highly, as this year’s festie goers eschewed jeans in favour of shorts on an idyllic sunny day. You could call it Legway. I’ve never seen so many legs.
Local rockers and typographic pioneers Bad//Dreems set our afternoon going with a riff-laden set to their enthusiastic home following, taking this year’s Aus-rock mantle vacated by the Smith Street Band.
One woman band, Australia’s answer to Jack Garrett, Tash Sultana impressed with her layers of looping, although I can’t but feel that technique alone cannot replace the interactive dynamics of a live band.
A personal highlight was indigenous rappers A.B.Original (pictured). Often critical of a perceived lack of musicality and originality in some hip hop, this was my first genuine live experience of it – and I loved the raw energy and crowd participation.
Another highlight was undoubtedly Nick Murphy, his name curiously changed from the more exotic, not to mention hugely well-known, Chet Faker. With a full and versatile band which perfectly offset his rich, manly vocals, Murphy played an intense and emotional set. Perhaps the running order could have been better, with headliners psychaedelic prog rockers Tame Impala not quite able to maintain the tempo, despite their lush and layered orchestrations. But despite that (and not playing my favourite song) their finale was spectacular. Another great festival of new music.
Laneway 2016 review: City of CHVRCHES
Other Reviews from Dr D in Oz.