AU ABROAD

Our Top 5 Performances from Falls Festival Lorne!


Photos: John Goodridge

Bundling ourselves up and hitting the road on a sunny Sunday afternoon, myself and fellow AU writer and music nut Bridget Hustwaite rolled on down the coast to Lorne for the 2014 Falls Festival. Hungover and still waking up, we drove back to Melbourne early New Year's Day morning, already discussing the hits and misses of the festival. Below are just a couple of thoughts on some of the stand out bands on the line up this year.

THE PRESETS

Bridget: The first time I saw these guys was back at Big Day Out in 2007; nearly eight years on and they are still KILLING it. An hour long performance that featured a fine variation of their epic catalogue, we were treated to an experimental set in which older favourites “Are You The One” and “My People” received a subtle revamp, whilst more recent tracks “Youth In Trouble” and “Promises” got huge love from the manic crowd, who were up for a massive night of dancing and celebrating.

It’s such a credit to them that despite the ever changing music scene we have here in Australia, Kim and Julian still remain at the forefront of this evolving electronic soundscape since their inception in 2003. A dynamic and highly energetic set, there was really no better way to start the year than with The Presets.

Sose: Some of my earliest partying memories have The Presets as their soundtrack. Beams still stands out as one of my favourite Australian albums ever and Kim and Julian's live shows since have developed into some of the more intriguing and entertaining shows I'd seen as I started hitting festivals. Saddled with the first set of 2015 at Falls Lorne, The Presets impressed in their ability to get and keep the party going, without showing any signs of complacency or reusing the same old tropes.

BLUEJUICE

Bridget: For a band that has been kicking around for a good 13 years, Bluejuice sure know how to turn it UP. Celebrating New Year's quickly turned into celebrating the life of Bluejuice, as Lorne was transformed into a giant send-off party full of crowd surfing, nudity, cussing and dirty jokes. Comics aside, Bluejuice do put on a legitimately insane performance and to be frank, it’s hard to think of another Australia act with such a strong stage presence. All expectations of mine were well and truly defied and to anyone who has ever questioned how seriously Bluejuice take their music, shut up. Just shut up. You obviously have not seen them live so zip it.

#RIPBLUEJUICE

Sose: There is no denying that the Australian music scene is suffering a big loss with the break up of this band. Yes, they get naked on stage. Yes, the antics are always wild. But strip (heh, heh) all of the entertainment on stage away and you've got a mean knack of crafting catchy pop songs, weaving both heartfelt lyrics and ones littered with clever self-deprecation through the uplifting beats and melodies. Their Lorne set was incredibly bittersweet and hilarious fun to be a part of. I may have shed a tear or two during "On My Own", but it was all love.

KIM CHURCHILL

Bridget: This guy is one you really need to see to believe. A one man show or as I told him, a modern day Bert (Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins) – Kim’s talent as a musician is undeniable. I’ve never seen anyone multi-task between instruments so effortlessly! Gracing the stage just after midday on Day Four, Churchill lured an impressive amount of punters who responded well to tracks “Single Spark” and “Fear The Fire” but it was of course “Window To The Sky” that saw people literally appear from seemingly nowhere, running down to the stage in an absolute frenzy. Churchill’s genuine joy to be playing on stage was contagious, the vibes were at an all-time high and I just could not wipe the smile off my face. It was such a cool thing to witness.

Sose: I actually couldn't handle this guy. I stood outside for about 20 minutes watching him before giving up any musical aspirations I'd held beforehand (yes, they may have been minimal already...). The way Churchill generated such a lively crowd and kept those beats going was insane, especially for one performer alone on a stage as big as the Valley Stage. I'm hoping to see him come through Adelaide soon, I feel like I've definitely been missing out on this talent live.

NORTHEAST PARTY HOUSE

Bridget: My darlings. My number #1’s. Although I’m starting to lose track of how many Northeast gigs I have attended, this was actually my first time seeing the boys on a festival stage and it was THE COOLEST THING EVER. Not many bands can easily take their sound from sweaty small rooms to giant outdoor stages but Northeast Party House make that transition like it’s a bloody walk in the park. Their live energy could rival any headlining act as they pretty much had the hysteric crowd eating out of their hands, chanting along to favourites “Embezzler” and “Youth Allowance” whilst their Like A Version of Violent Soho’s “Covered In Chrome” was also deemed a clear highlight for many. With the release of their debut album and a string of sold out shows, there could not have been a more perfect way to end such a successful year than playing on the Valley Stage at Falls. Onya Northeast.

Sose: When I told people I'd not seen Northeast before now, I got many 'Say wha...?' reactions. The Melbourne band have obviously carved a strong presence for themselves in their home city, but being in Adelaide, I've missed out on this specific party house of good times. They've got all the essentials going for them and more.

1. They're a brilliant live band.
2. They're incredibly good looking.
3. They ooze showmanship.

And they're still only young! Jesus, I can't wait to see what 2015 brings for these guys - their set here totally blew all expectations I had out of the water.

ALT-J

Bridget: One of my highlights from Laneway in 2013, it was so nice to see Alt-j back in their element on the main stage, this time with another stellar album under their belt and no dickheads falling from trees and interrupting their set.
It’s probably not the easiest thing to perform literally right between the likes of Bluejuice and The Presets and whilst they did provide quite an extreme change of pace, Alt-j were obviously an act so many wanted to make time to see.

Sose: I never got to see these guys at Laneway, so I was happy to finally see Alt-j perform now. I'm still not terribly familiar with the new album, though their debut really stood out for me and has since sent me on many a YouTube session of their gigs. Performing between Bluejuice and The Presets could have been seen as rather risky, but I think it worked for the most part; it gave the crowd time to regroup, get down with their fine selves and gear up for the end of 2014. A sexy, sexy sound boomed off the Valley Stage late on New Year's Eve night and we have to give Alt-j kudos for geting that vibe going well.

Honourable Mentions to...

Run the Jewels for donning bucket hats like no other, Asgeir for bringing some warmth to a freezing Tuesday and George Ezra for his merch shirt alone 'Good Girls Go to Heaven, Bad Girls Go to Budapest'.

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Check out all of our Falls Festival coverage from Lorne and Byron Bay this year at our official festival hub, with more material still to come! Instagram 'AUxFalls' for social media snaps and coverage.