I arrived to find the place already jumping to the fun and brilliance that is The Cuban Brothers. Talk about one hell of a show! Itâ€™s like hip hop, samba, Prince, funk and James Brown had a baby with The â€˜Motherfuckinâ€™ Time. These cats brought their A-game and owned the crowd from go to woe. In an age of hardcore artists and jaded musos, itâ€™s refreshing to see a group just ripping it up, as if the crowd wasnâ€™t even there and they were doing it purely for their own enjoyment. Take a bow boys. You left me with clapped-out hands and a screamed-out throat.
After a few well priced and easily accessible beers, I headed to see Freq Nasty. The arvo party had begun. This was purely a unique and singular experience, with everyone dancing to their own choice of angelic chunkiness being laid down. Freq Nasty honed a sound where only Hugh Hefner, Jesus and Batman hang out.
In case youâ€™ve been living under a planet, Beardyman is a beat-boxing, Kaos padding, joke cracking, YouTube phenom! I couldnâ€™t wait to see him live. I have to say as entertaining and talented as he is, I felt his set lacked the fun I have come accustomed to through watching him online. Musically it rocked. He glided over dubstep, glitch, drum n bass and even gabba with ease, but I left feeling a bit like Beardyman was bored.
Never fear! The dubstep explosion has given rise to a new idol. If there was one place where I could find my groove it was Excision. Heavy, womping basslines and glitching sequences took over my body and mind. I closed my eyes, let go of everything and the sound filled my blood. There is a certain place that you go when caught in the grip of great dubstep. I had found the escape. The door to Elysium. Excision held the key.
Nice work Blah Blah Blah. You came along right when I needed you and provided the escape that was essential. Great local and well run little festival. Cop that Santa.
What the heck is a 'boutique festival'? I envisioned the likes of Digitalism, Freestylers and Excision trying to sell me hand-made shoes and bespoke watches while a snotty shop assistant sniped that if I had to ask, I couldn't afford it. Big mistake.
This was less like Rodeo Drive and more like the kid with the lemonade stand who figures he's got it made if he can just convince five people to pay a hundred bucks for a cup. And when the lemonade is this good, why wouldn't you? Especially with the stand in such a scenic location (at the bottom of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs).
Close on a thousand people, spread out over a handful of stages, were treated to some of the finest music in the world right now, climaxing with a DJ set from German dance punks Digitalism. The bulk of their set was drawn from their debut LP, released in a simpler time when your mum didn't know what dubstep was, but that didn't affect the crowd's appreciation of classics like 'Idealistic' and 'I Want I Want', mixed seamlessly with new single 'Blitz' and epic Daft Punk and Gossip remixes, before they closed it all out by blending 'Song 2' into their own irresistibly catchy juggernaut, 'Pogo'. Then they went to BarSoma for the afterparty and lived happily ever after. If this is the 'boutique' experience, let's do it again next year, darling.
By: Rohan Williams
PHOTOs: CHRIS ZHANG