Live Review: Southbound Festival: Day 2 – Sir Stewart Bovell Park, Busselton (05.01.13)

The second day of the Southbound festival saw temperatures rise well past the coolness of the first day and had the majority of festival goers opting for the shade of the Share Stage.

Jinja Safari (pictured) kicked off my second day of the festival in their usual vibrant style. It was an unsurprisingly fun set, gloriously chaotic at times, with the band dancing around the stage. Even venturing down into the audience for the final song. It was really the perfect musical accompaniment to the late morning, early afternoon sunshine. ‘Stepping Stones’ was one of the sets numerous highlights.

Up next Swedish sisters First Aid Kit delivered what was one of my favourite sets of the weekend. The band had a few sound issues to start off with (seems the sound tech hadn’t realised they’d started) but quickly moved past them, to deliver what was simply a sublime performance, replete with glorious harmonies and a cheeky Abba cover. ‘Emmylou’ and ‘Lions Roar’ were both distinct highlights.

By this point, I decided to head for the shade of the Share Stage, and caught some of Oh Mercy’s set. Everyone else seemed to have the same idea though, with the tent packed full of people lounging and listening to the music on offer. There was a great upbeat vibe, with a good portion of the crowd on their feet and dancing. The arrival of Millions on stage for the final song did nothing to dampen the crowd’s spirits, quite the opposite.

Best Coast brought a rawness and raucous edge to the proceedings with a great guitar driven set. I’ll happily I’m not hugely familiar with the bands work, but I certainly enjoyed what I heard. Given this was the band’s last day in the country, there was certainly an upbeat and energetic feel to the set, which the crowd seemed to feed off.

I decided to stick around the comedy portion of the festival once again, and whilst it was still somewhat disappointing, it was an improvement on the previous days showing. It was certainly edgier at times, with race a favoured topic for two of the comedians. The final act of the set was Sammy J & Randy. I had my reservations, their appearances on TV haven’t always won me over, but I found their set to be genuinely funny at times, and their Australian music song, which they closed the set out with, was fantastic.

Angus Stone was the next to take the stage. I stuck around mostly out of curiosity. It was certainly different to what I had expected. I had imagined that it would be much in the same vein as his work with Julia, but instead there was more of an edge to the performance. The inclusion of the electric guitar may have gone a long way to explain that though. I had grown somewhat weary of Angus & Julia, there was a period there when you couldn’t get away from them; they were on every festival bill. But I enjoyed his set, and though he’s still quite the lethargic performer, it was a solid performance.

Cosmo Jarvis gave what was perhaps the set of the festival, even whilst battling losing his voice. There were a few technical hitches in the early stages, with Jarvis managing to blow an amp during the first song. But it was clear right from the start that the growing crowd was right behind him. It was an all round impressive performance from Jarvis and his band, one which culminated with an immense version of ‘Gay Pirates’, with mass crowd sing-alongs and a few stage invasions.

Beach House performed a beautifully ethereal understated set. There are some out there who undoubtedly won’t have enjoyed it. But the bands dream pop sound was the perfect accompaniment to the setting sun. It was a chilled out set, one, which really perfectly matched the whole festivals vibe.

Hilltop Hoods seemed to be the main draw card of the evening, with many of the festivalgoers gravitating towards the main stage for their set. Whilst Two Door Cinema Club and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs closed out the festival on their respective stages.

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Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.

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