Harvest: The Gathering kicks off this weekend - So, Who Will You Be Seeing?

Although the Melbourne timetable for the festival is M.I.A, the much anticipated Harvest Festival is almost upon us. With Portishead headlining each night with no opposition, our dedicated Harvest team took a good hard look into the timetable and indeed, our very souls, to come up with the best decisions for the rest of the clash-laden schedule.

The Flaming Lips VS The National
The Flaming Lips: 7:30-8:45, The National: 7:15-8:15

Andrew Wade: this is the big one, considering Portishead are running unopposed. Although The National were spectacular at Sunset Sounds earlier this year, there’s something about the utterly euphoric nature of a Flaming Lips show that means Wayne Coyne has my heart forever and ever. Swoon.

Perri Cassie: This is the kind of clash that breaks hearts (rips shirt off dramatically while on his knees). Do you choose the whiskey in the dark anthems of The National, or the intense visual spectacle that is The Flaming Lips? The National were only here in January, but apparently were spectacular. And even though I missed them, I think I’m going to have to see Wayne Coyne and co. I mean who could miss such a musical circus? The National are a great, great band, and one massive swing in this argument for them is, if you see them, you’ll be able to get a cracking spot for Portishead, but is that really enough for you?

WINNER: The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips VS Holy Fuck (Sydney)
The Flaming Lips: 7:30-8:45, Holy Fuck: 7:45-8:45

Chris Singh: Whenever they have come out here I have always missed Holy Fuck - as bad as I want to see them live. Now, I have seen The Flaming Lips before but the reason they win out is obvious if you have witnessed one of their performances before (or seen countless YouTube videos of it). There are only a handful of big bands around today that really give you a completely unique experience in a live setting - Flaming Lips are probably at the top of this bunch. Everything from an amazing light show, trippy visuals, confetti cannons, and let's not forget the infamous bubble will cause widespread hysteria - you need to be there for this!

WINNER: The Flaming Lips

Seekae VS Mercury Rev (Sydney)
Seekae: 3:45-4:30, Mercury Rev: 3:30-4:15

Andrew Wade: my ousting as a Flaming Lips Fanboy (Flipsanboy?) would make you think that Mercury Rev is a shoe in, right? Wrong. Seekae rules and everyone should go and see them for some midafternoon delight.

Perri Cassie: While Seekae are our hotly-tipped new comers, who have released a fantastic album in Dome this year, but surely the vintage international act wins every time. It’s got to be Mercury Rev.

Larry Heath: If you haven't had the chance to experience Seekae yet, or don't get to very often, this is the place to do it. Having caught them in New York a couple of weeks ago, I can tell you that these are going to be very special shows.

WINNER: Seekae

Seekae VS Mogwai (Brisbane)
Seekae: 6:15-7:00, Mogwai: 6:00-7:00

Andrew Wade: Although I just kinda ranted at y’all that Seekae rule, Mogwai rule a little bit harder. Tough choice, but some sun-setting post-rock seems like it’s a dandy way to lead into The Flaming Lips. Also ensures a front row position for the glee/confetti cannons!

Perri Cassie: The Scottish post-rockers might be named after cuddly creatures, and have clearly eaten after midnight in this battle, as they flex their sharp teeth and claws to a cowering Seekae (Gremlins, if you aren’t quite following where I’m going with this). While only just here for Splendour, it’s undeniably Mogwai any day of the week.

WINNER: Mogwai

TV On The Radio VS Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
TV On The Radio: 4:15-5:15, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: 4:45-5:30 (Sydney)
TV On The Radio: 4:00-5:00, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: 4:30-5:30 (Brisbane)

Andrew Wade: Not a super huge clash like the others listed here, but boy it’s still a tough one. Catching half an hour a piece of these rad bands would be my advice; spread the love around.

Perri Cassie: Clap Your Hands Say Sorry Guys, But I’m Going To See TV On The Radio. CYHSY are a formidable band, but TOTR are one of the bands of 2011, from the brilliant heights of much acclaimed fifth album Nine Types Of Light, to the tragic lows in the death of member Gerard Smith. The bands have kicked on from tragedy, and I think are deserved of your attendance. Fantastic attitude. Fantastic music. Fantastic live act. Fantastic choice.

Chris Singh: One listen to any of their albums, and you will see why TV on The Radio is one of the best things to happen to music in the 21st century (if not the best). I'm heavily biased towards them already, but how can you not after their intelligent indie-rock (with hints of pretty much everything else) surrounds you and lures you into their sometimes dark, sometimes bright world. As good as Clap Your Hands are, this a no-brainer.

WINNER: TV on the Radio

The Family Stone VS PVT (Sydney)
The Family Stone: 2:45-3:45, PVT: 2:30-3:15

Chris Singh: This goes to The Family Stone. Although, PVT have pretty much won us all over with their most recent LP Church With No Magic I'm going to have to recommend The Family Stone (even without Sly Stone) because, well, you may never get a chance to see them here again. The overwhelmingly influential super-group are celebrated veterans when it comes to performing, and as George Clinton and his band proved earlier this year, nobody does it as well as the oldies.

WINNER: The Family Stone

Of course, we can only help you so far; check out the time tables and make up your own mind! Check out the Harvest Timetables here on the official Harvest website:

Harvest Festival: A Civilized Gathering
Saturday Nov 12: Melbourne, Werribee Park
Sunday Nov 13: Sydney, Parramatta Park
Saturday Nov 19: Brisbane, Botanical Gardens