the AU review is proud to present this special guest post from Andrew Smith, Destination NSW’s Chief Funster. In this piece, Andrew reports exclusively for the AU from the annual Country Music Festival in Tamworth, NSW, which takes place from the 17th until the 26th of January...
The last day is here. I write this in a state of both sadness and joy, because I have seen so many great bands perform in front of pretty enthusiastic crowds. NYC really likes to cheer and woo for their entertainment, and it’ll be something I really miss from this city. Then again, I’m sitting here from home writing this while relaxing with a pillow behind my head instead of some busy Starbucks or windy park. It’s a welcome respite.
With the evening upon us, it was time for Culture Collide to bring out the big guns on what was the final night of the three day event. King Kahn and his seven piece troupe The Shrines - featuring no less than three members making up a brass section - were the first band to enjoy a mass attendance; it was clear everyone who had come to Culture Collide had Khan on their mind.
Though there wasn't a Saturday afternoon block party to close things out this year, they retained an outdoor stage and made that the centrepiece of a day of fantastic music and comedy over eight stages. I kicked off the final day of Culture Collide with Japanese solo artist SiMoN, who accompanied lyrics in his native tongue with the electric guitar. It was quite slow and often reminiscent of Sigur Ros, both in pace and the tendency to combine random English phrases with the native language. An apt, if not surprising, way to start off the day.
It was a day of redemption today. I am not going to stay up any later than 1am. I am not going to fall asleep during gigs. I’m not going to be that insane bottle of a person who lies in the corner writing tour diaries in the press centre corner for two hours fixing grammar rather than enjoying music.
Staying up until 3am last night broke the record of staying up until 1am on the 16th October for me. The range of places that I went to varied insanely - too much probably. Going from living-room sized tiled rooms underneath restaurants to larger rooms that could fill hundreds of people was an experience and a half for a music lover like. But there was a downside, that being that my head was spinning, I'm getting a sore throat and I think I'm dying in one slow churning process because f it.
Considering that your dear writer was up until 1:25am last night, it would be good to assume that grogginess would take over on day two. But never fear! There is a feeling of invincibility in me at the moment. But it should be noted that there should be emphasis on the words 'at the moment'. Grogginess will take over sometime, but let us not dwell on that, there is music goodness to report on!
Having enjoyed the five bands making themselves known on the outdoor World Stage, it was time to head indoors. First up, I caught Perth's The Novocaines at the festival's newest venue addition, the Lot 1 Cafe.
SXSW’s little sibling has started off with a nice little bang with absorbing light shows, flamenco twang and a side dish of weird feedback and noise. A wide scope of bands have made their presence known to New Yorkers already and parties have begun in earnest. Here's our update of Day One.
The second night of festivities at Culture Collide proved to be a massive one, with the event introducing an outdoor stage as part of the weekend showcases. This in turn replaced what used to be a free all-day "block party" for the general public. The result is something more intimate, though capturing the great vibes that made the Saturday event so special.
Following another day of insightful panels - covering everything from aligning brands with bands to the spirits of the world - the music of day two of Filter Magazine's Cuture Collide festival kicked off with a couple of regional focused parties. First up were the Swedes, who brought with them some traditional Swedish herring and meatballs for our eating pleasure as we watched a couple of talented artists from their country!
As Filter Magazine's Culture Collide has drawn to a close, we wanted to take a look back at some of the bands we discovered over the weekend, and bring you a list of the five bands we experienced for the first time, loved, and think you should spend some time getting to know too. The reasons for each are self-explanatory. Amazing performances that shun bright above the rest, with fantastic songs to boot. In this instance, we'll let the music speak for itself. However, if you'd like to read more about what we thought of them, check out our day-by-day reviews in the Culture Collide hub.
Following on from the late afternoon parties, the rest of the day saw me jump from venue to venue trying to catch as much music as possible. First up, I caught the end of Wooster, a solid rock band from Santa Cruz, California. That's about six hours North of LA for those playing at home. The band were as tight as they come, and the music they were producing would please any ear that fancies some good rock and roll. Definitely will be listening to them on record - and stay tuned for my interview with the band!
And in the blink of an eye, Austin City Limits came to an end for yours truly for another year. But not before one more day of some incredible music, with Atoms for Peace (pictured) and Lionel Richie closing out the festival.
For those unfamiliar with Filter Magazine's Culture Collide Festival, now in its fourth year (and third year of exclusive Australian coverage on the AU) the best way to describe it is as a smaller version of BIGSOUND. Two days of talks as part of the Creative Summit, introduced last year, and three days of live music over several venues in Silverlake, Los Angeles - ending in a huge street party on the Saturday!