Following the festival on Saturday, it was time to move onto the showcases for the evening. Rather than sticking at one, I decided to spread my time between two. Like I mentioned in a previous review, these showcases are great because they provide an opportunity to see new and varied music in some pretty weird and wonderful locations, though they do predominantly seem to be car parks.
First up was Canadian Singer-Songwriter JP Hoe, by this point I had already seen one set by him this festival, but I decided to see what he would be like in an infinitely more intimate setting and with an earlier billing. I think it’s says something about the showcase venues when you can get more intimate than the Amplifier Beer Garden. It was a strong and varied set much like previously. But he seemed much more upbeat and energetic on this evening, though I imagine the conquering of jetlag may have had something to do with that. Also I think he sounded great in the more intimate environs of the Dilettante car park, his music seems to lend itself really well to those great smoky bars, which Dilettante is closest to in size. My favourite moment of the set came at the end, with a sublime cover of The Beatles Cry Baby Cry in celebration for a certain Beatles’ 70th Birthday.
Up next it was across to the Wolf Lane Car Park for what should have been a set by Georgia Fair, I was hoping to catch their set at the showcases so I could see them play a set in a more close and intimate location. However on arrival, I discovered that they had pulled out of the showcase (reasons unknown), which was a bit of a shame. But in their place was the brilliant Perth band Split Seconds, and as the lead singer said, it was bad for Georgia Fair, but good for them. And good for me I suppose, if they hadn’t cancelled I may never of ended up hearing the Split Seconds. They put on a great set, full of energy and enthusiasm; they have a great poppy, indie-esque sound, a sound that seems to be extremely popular at the moment. Instrumentally they were strong and solid throughout, but vocally there were moments of real brilliance with some sublime harmonies and vocal work.
Next on stage were The Holidays from Sydney. Theirs was a wonderfully energetic and fun set, like many of the other bands on the bill over the weekend, they have a great pop sound, a sound which to some extent references the music of the sixties but also has a really fresh new sound to it. They have a brilliant jangly guitar driven sound, reminiscent of bands like Vampire Weekend and newcomers Surfer Blood, with some brilliant vocal work from lead singer Simon Jones. The sheer quality on show over the festival from Australian bands such as The Holidays is testament to the vitality and vibrancy of the Australian music industry at the moment.
The final band of the night were fellow Sydney residents Richard In Your Mind, I caught a small section of their set at the festival and decided to catch more of them. They are probably one of the most interesting and wonderfully quirky band’s playing at the festival this year. They have what is arguably a great 60s feel to them, singlehandedly bringing back psychedelic to rock and roll. I certainly can’t see any other band writing a song about birds quite like Richard In Your Mind. Rather annoyingly they were cut short a little by curfew restrictions, largely because it took them a while to get all set up on stage. But once they were on, it was high energy and plenty of enthusiasm from start to finish. I think the most interesting aspects of the band are the vocals, they aren’t what you would call atypical, he has quite a distinctive vocal delivery, both when singing and when talking to the audience; he is certainly enthusiastic at any rate. They drew a pretty large crowd, with quite a few other bands coming along to watch, with the previous bands being in the audience as well as the likes of Cloud Control. RIYM are a band I would definitely like to hear and see more of.