AU ABROAD

Parklife Festival - Kippax Lake, Moore Park (02.10.11)

Wow. The weather gods do NOT like Parklife. Is it just me or does it rain on the first Sunday of every October? Though we avoided a torrential downpour, the rain did little to stop the punters from jumping in the mud - and the extreme cold did little to stop the rest from taking off their shirts and wearing painfully short skirts. I guess you have to admire their conviction to adhere to whatever this festival mentality is... But I digress. Onto the music!

We arrived just as Kimbra was cranking out "Two Way Street", which was followed closely by "Cameo Lover". The energetic and well receieved set mirrored much of what I'd witnessed a couple of weeks ago at the Metro, though all musicians were notably cold - a feature which would be consistent throughout the day. Her set ended with "Samaritan" and a surprisingly apt version of Daft Punk's "Robot Rock", which naturally set the crowd alight.

Spending the next few hours running between interviews, I was only able to catch a splattering of the artists who performed during the remainder of the day - thankfully you have a couple of other Parklife reviews on the AU to give you the full story! French electronic artist SebastiAn

I caught Example briefly from up on the artists hill, and he seemed to be killing it. For many punters, he would be one of the highlights of the day (or so was the vibe on the bus back to Central Station anyway). One of my main drawcards of the day were the newly reformed Death from Above 1979, and though the sound should have been a lot louder, the set was energetic, the guys seemed to be having a great time and with most of their favourites being churned out, few would have left disappointed.

I caught The Naked and Famous performing "Punching in a Dream" quite early on, getting the dancers working overtime. Although that might have been just to keep warm. Digitalism ended their incredible set with crowd favourite "Pogo". I was impressed by the way the songs were translated in the live setting - it was very much a live show, and the Germans know how to get it done.

Santigold was wonderful, surrounded by a slew of backup dancers - and she promised new material was on its way. About time, I do say! My night finished with Gossip, who were as wonderful live as everyone has made them out to be over the years, while The Streets were saying farewell on a nearby stage (never been my thing, and Mike Skinner is no more impressive live than he is on record). Beth Ditto owns the stage and she's got a wonderful band behind her. The incredibly catchy and energetic "Standing in the Way of Control" was as good live as it is on record and kept the punters warm as the second song in the set. Unfortunately I couldn't stay for too much longer than this as I had to head off to run my own event at Oxford Art Factory.

From all accounts, however, the rest of the night went off with excellent performances from Lykke Li and MSTRKRFT (Jesse's second set of the day, having previously performed as half of DFA1979. In spite of the weather and a few douchebags who made it their duty to make my day difficult (who runs up to you and rips off your poncho!? Seriously!?), I enjoyed the sets I saw and the lineup itself was one of the best Parklife has seen in years! It was hard not to leave the festival grounds with a smile. Good music has a habit of doing that to you.