Melbourne band Sunnyside and five other acts to see at Fuji Rock 2019

You know Sunnyside, right? The Melbourne six-piece that bring all kinds of funk and jazz wherever they go, slithering through the pits of sweaty nightclubs and steamy jazz clubs with misshaped textures and hypnotic time signatures. Yeah, those are the guys. And they’re about to make their exciting debut in Japan, heading on over to show those from the land of the rising sun just how funky Aussies can get.

If you haven’t heard of them, think of BadBadNotGood, then think of Thundercat, throw in a bit of The Cat Empire (minus the vocals), and take your mind all the way back to Kool & The Gang. You get the vibe. It’s wild.

As purveyors of good music, one of the outfit’s mainstays, saxophonist Archibald Jacobs took some time out of his busy schedule to let us in on a few secrets. Namely, who he is looking forward to seeing as Japan’s world renowned Fuji Rock festival, an event the band is playing twice this year in addition to a string of other shows across the country.

We’ve kept it in Archie’s words, just because. Here goes:

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

These boys rock harder than anyone we’ve ever seen. Archie, our sax player had the pleasure of growing up in his home town with the two drummers for this band so we’d be reminded if we didn’t hype them up, not that they need any more hyping. They are next level and will leave you pumped after their set! They’re so prodigious it is impossible to name just one track to listen to leading into it, but Archie reckons their song “The River” is about as good as it gets.

Hiatus Kaiyote

Some more Melbourne locals with the talent to speak for themselves. Rhythmic and harmonic complexity topped off with Nai Palm’s vocal prowess will leave you inspired. They blend elements of jazz with neo-soul and funk and the result is spellbinding. Their track “Shaolin Monk Motherfunk” encompasses all of the above and more.


If you are looking for a consistent sound that will leave you with feelings of serene bliss, then Khruangbin will be your best bet. It is incredible the range of expression delivered from just three instruments, whilst remaining a consistent level of musicality that will take your breathe away. Let your worries slip away when listening to “Dern Kala”.


Bouncing techno and epic production, he’s headlining the Planet Grove stage for a reason! We have never seen him live so he is one we are particularly keen to see what he delivers. We just know he’ll live up to the reputation. You can’t go past his track “Lite Spots”, which mixes in some Portuguese samples. Amazing artist.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Another artist from our side of the globe, we have been enamoured by his left-of-field style of song writing. He has a crude romanticism to his work that is complemented by his virtuosity on the guitar. We anticipate a tight performance and are excited to see him play his crowd favourite “Huneybee” from his latest album.


We would love for you to come see us play! Luckily we are going to play two sets for you, both on the Saturday 27th. Our first set will be at the Café de Paris stage, but if you miss that one we will bring the funk to the Crystal Palace Tent later that evening. Funked up Jazz that will put grooves in your feet and a smile on your face. Check out our song “Disco Bananas” to best prepare yourself for the groove.

Fuji Rock 2019 will be headlined by The Chemical Brothers, Thom Yorke, Sia, and The Cure. For the full line-up and tickets head on over to the official website HERE.

For a full schedule of Sunnyside’s Japan tour see below.

July 18 440 Shimokitazawa, Tokyo
With Elle Shimada Band, Minakekke, Miyake Haruka

July 19 Nanahari, Tokyo
With Kitazato Akihisa (ex. Alfred Beach Sandal), Wool + the pants.

July 20 Nui, Tokyo
with Osaka Monaurail

July 22 Urbanguild, Kyoto
with Wa Yo Set (Osaka), Elle Shimada Collective

July 23 Namba Bears, Osaka
With blanka (Nagoya), Natural Killers

July 24 KD Japon, Nagoya
With Penguinrush, Elle Shimada Collective

July 27 Fuji Rock Festival

Feature image by Guy Heath.

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.