In lieu of this month’s gig guide, I thought I’d put together a little list of the acts you DO NOT want to miss at St Jerome’s Laneway Festival this coming Friday.
With the most extensive and diverse line-up for the boutique festival yet, this is going to be a toughie. It’s a fantastic sign of the times for Australian music that despite the first-class international acts on the bill, this list is dominated by Aussies!
5. CAMP COPE
This Melbournian, all-female trio literally screams “girl power!”
Frontwoman—and enrolled nurse—Georgia Maq’s cynical yet playful lyricism and storytelling ability, coupled with her breathtaking, heart wrenching vocals epitomise garage rock at its finest.
With comparisons drawn to The Smith Street Band and Luca Brasi, Camp Cope are in good company; their neo-Australian style has earned them a die-hard cult following all over the country – and abroad. This will be a set filled to the proverbial brim with passion, love, blood, sweat and tears (and, of course, infectious head-banging).
4. GANG OF YOUTHS
Similar to Camp Cope, these Sydney-siders have a one-in-a-million collective ability to uplift their audience with a combination of stirring synths, prolific drums and wonderfully poignant vocals. Flamboyant frontman Dave Le’aupepe’s stage presence and his confessional lyrics never fail to have a profound, goosebump-rousing effect on the masses.
Think The Killers served on a bed of Muse with a dusting of Bruce Springsteen – and whatever you do, don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it.
3. TASH SULTANA
This young lady has taken the world of social media by storm over the past year, starting with her bedroom-made videos giving an insight into her passion, her abundant talents and her artistic process. Putting on a one-woman show wherever she goes and combining soulful guitar lines, understated drums and ethereal vocals, Tash Sultana brings the X factor to Laneway this year. She’s been well and truly picked up by Triple J and for good reason; this girl is something special, and she is not to be missed.
2. NICK MURPHY (FKA CHET FAKER)
Nick Murphy’s revitalised and rebooted career promises to be at the very least intriguing. Chet Faker is dead and gone, but will his legacy be honoured at Laneway? Will we hear some of the dulcet tones that made us fall in love with the man behind the music (and the beard)? That remains to be seen; however, we’ve already heard two songs from Murphy under his new moniker and we’ll undoubtedly be treated to more fresh content when he hits the stage in February.
From what I can gather, the 28-year-old has infused his love of electronica with some more experimental, progressive sounds. Drums seem to have come to the fore of Murphy’s music, as well as some more prolific synth riffs. At the very least, I’ve got to check out his set and satisfy my curiosity – I suggest you do the same.
1. TAME IMPALA
If you didn’t see this coming, you should probably do a hell of a lot of binge-listening before the festival. Kev Parker’s experimental psychedelic indie pop—almost every sound you could possibly think of—brainchild has eclipsed, encompassed and enriched the musical world over the past few years. Their 2015 album ‘Currents’ won a host of awards from here to the US and Europe and is lauded as being one of the most comprehensive, in-depth releases of the past two decades.
There’s not much I can say about these guys that does them justice; their enigmatic, super-talented presence on stage is one-of-a-kind.
Special mentions must go to electronic powerhouse Tourist and the ever-groovy Glass Animals, both out of the UK, and Aussie thrash rockers Luca Brasi. With so much unbelievable talent on show, this is going to be one hell of a day out!
Limited tickets remain, so if you’ve been daft or lazy enough to neglect snapping one up as yet, do so here now and I’ll see you there!
Image sourced from Laneway Festival website