It was the perfect day for a day of live music at Hart’s Mill in Port Adelaide for the St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival. Having gone to the festival nine out of the last ten years, the taste making music festival has grown from strength to strength. Featuring a line-up consisting largely of up and coming artists, the presence of impressive Aussie acts this year was a delight to see.
Always one to cram as many acts into the day as I can, there wasn’t much time for a break throughout the entire day with the quality of musicians this year.
Starting the day with a lilting set from Sydney’s Julia Jacklin, the crowd swayed to the critically acclaimed tracks from last year’s album Don’t Let the Kids Win. Halfway through, Jacklin played a cover of The Strokes’ “Someday”, putting her own alt-country spin on it.
Camp Cope rocked the main stage next, with the melodic rock of single “Done” kicking of their set and getting the crowd pumped.
British R&B/electronic newcomer Nao wowed her audience with her impressive set of pipes and funky beats and Chicago indie-rockers Whitney brought some brass to the stage.
Then came the incredibly talented Tash Sultana. From busking origins, she used a guitar, looping machine, pan pipes and her powerfully emotive voice to create her one-woman band sound. Chills were had during her hit song “Jungle” and a few punters had tears in their eyes from how beautiful she sounded.
Aurora, the electropop wunderkind out of Norway, provided some great background music as we perused the many food trucks looking for a bite. The culinary delights available has definitely improved over the years, with food options from all across the globe suitable for today’s discerning foodies.
Gang of Youths gave a rousing set in the afternoon on the main stage. Lead singer, David Le-aupepe thanking the audience for their support of “an album about cancer” playing tracks from their lauded album The Positions, about his former wife’s diagnosis and treatment.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard lived up to their hype as “best live band in Australia”. Their psychedelic rock got everyone jumping around – with their creative film clips featuring as a backdrop.
Over on the Future Classic stage, the UK’s Tourist mixed it up as the sun set over the port.
Nick Murphy (formerly known as Chet Faker) was one of the disappointments of the festival for me. He didn’t seem to get the crowd going as much as I had anticipated.
Tame Impala also started out a bit weak. Their Currents heavy set list warmed up in the second half, however, and it’s hard to not get fired up when there are three confetti bombs within the one set. Kevin Parker’s cheeky banter in between tracks is always a treat, although this time around it was bittersweet as Tame Impala go on indefinite hiatus.
Capping off the day, I caught the last half of Jagwar Ma and I am converted to fully-fledged fan. Their genre-defying music moved from indie-banger to 90s-rave up, definitely ending the night on a high.
With the absence of a lot of music festivals in Adelaide (in comparison to years gone by), Laneway could almost be the new Big Day Out. I’ll definitely be back next year.
Reviewed by Josh van’t Padje
Photos by Kay Cann