GPX — MARCH 12-14 2016
GPX — MARCH 12-14 2016
Oh jeeez. How do you even start to sum that up. Special, magic, off the scale…I dunno, none of those fully cover it. I heard a few ‘best evers’ thrown about. Certainly my favourite, and there’s been a few. I’m throwing my hands up in the air here at my typewriter trying to explain it. Almost every artist exceeded expectations. That’s impossible.
If you have any words at all I would really, truly appreciate hearing them.
Can’t thank you enough for being Here. Must thank you for being so much fun and for being extremely wonderful guests here on the Nolan farm for GPX. Good people.
Some photographic highlights can be found here and below, with thanks to Theresa Harrison, Ty Johnson and Dane Tucker. Video highlights can be viewed below including Eddy Current Suppression Ring, C.W. Stoneking, Built To Spill, Freddie Gibbs, Gold Class, Sampa The Great, Tyrannamen, friendships and Buzzcocks – with thanks to Rob McCafferty and his team.
Oh boy. I’m shaky and my brain’s working left-handed, but I’m so happy.
“America’s best rock band” Greil Marcus, Time Magazine
“America’s best punk band ever. EVER” Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone
“The best band in the world” Greil Marcus again, Esquire
“Sleater-Kinney are, without question, the best rock band to come along in the past two decades. (Who’s their competition? Seriously, who?)” Tom Breihan, Stereogum
Some of the biggest music news of the past year has been the return of SLEATER-KINNEY. It’s astonishing to think how much this band has permeated the zeitgeist in recent times, considering they have been on hiatus for a full ten years.
“..we were left with a Sleater-Kinney-shaped hole in our musical cosmos for nearly a decade. Like Fugazi, Nirvana, or Bad Brains before them – so singular a force, so powerfully perfect – there was no replicating what or who they were.” Jessica Hopper
Sleater-Kinney are incredible. They always were, of course, but the passing of time, and new album No Cities To Love have served only to fully reveal the true awesome power of all that they are.
“their story is one of constant reinvention: Raging declaration-of-self basement-punk into emotional-whirlwind power-pop into twinkling soft-quilt warmth into strutting glam into furious feet-planted leftist humanist screeds into way-out unhinged psych-rock.” Ben Treihan
Freakishly, No Cities is their eighth album in a streak that started hot and has only gone upwards – no dips, no lulls; they just keep getting impossibly better.
“Catchy as all-clashing hell…The album has the particular aliveness of music being created and torn from a group at this very moment – tempered, but with the wild-paced abandon that comes with being caged and then free.” Jenn Pelly, Pitchfork
There’s been so much written about Sleater-Kinney, how good they are, how important they are, what they mean, and I can’t put it any better than this, this, or this. If you know them, you’ll know all that. If you haven’t checked them out before, this line sums it up for me:
“This is the sort of music that makes you shake your head in awe that human beings can create anything so powerful.” Greil Marcus
“America’s last truly great punk band, the last bridge out of Something Pure…the girl rock stars that boys respected too….Their existence was political as much as their band was fun; …They cared.” Jessica Hopper
The care goes two ways; their comeback is bringing tears of joy.
They’ve played selective dates around the world and just when we thought they may never make it back to Australia, or to The Sup’ (they played Meredith 2002), they RSVPed in the affirmative to our 10th Birthday Party invitation.
“Their return is not a victory lap. It is a re-declaration of all they were, all they built. It is a claim of glory after all that toil.”
Yes. It’s still true. It’s happening. For the first time in six years, Eddy Current will perform a show.
That in itself is the most fantastic news. That it will be in The Supernatural Amphitheatre, the scene of previous triumphs, for the Tenth Birthday of Golden Plains, ten years to the day after they played the first ever Golden Plains is just….well, it’s perfect.
There’s nothing like Eddy Current Suppression Ring. They would be the most-loved Melbourne band of the last decade or so. They became a band when Mikey and his brother Danny were mucking around at a work Xmas party and encouraged co-worker Brendan into singing impromptu into a tape recorder. Rob Solid joined on bass and they were a band. They went from local legends to national and international treasures pretty quickly, and without changing a thing. They were selective about what they did and didn’t do; they trusted their instincts.
They rarely played, toured even less, and at some point just stopped playing live.
Their influence on the garage rock underground has been huge, not just locally but across the world.
Their influence on people just thoroughly enjoying themselves is also immense.
This is what we said about them when they were booked to open Meredith 2005:
There’s a great Australian tradition of small club / pub rock and roll bands. Bands that don’t come into being simply in order to ‘make it to the top’ or even have a ‘career’. Bands that do it because they can’t not do it. The very best of these have something wild and mercurial about them, some powerful element that takes them beyond…beyond standard, beyond their peers, beyond reasoning. It becomes fathomless. When one of those bands form, then plays for a few years, then really starts hitting their straps…well, that’s something to see. Pure, unbridled, skilful, nebulous rock and roll. Four people on the same wavelength, all antennae tuned fine to the fuse as it works its way inevitably towards explosion. This band is just so unbelievably, unpredictably good. Love ‘em.
Their first album was “recorded and mixed at Caulfield Rehearsal Studios on February 25th 2006 between 11am – 3pm.” There’s no frills, there’s nothing superfluous about their whole operation. But when the basic ingredients are so incredibly perfect, why add anything?
Nothing says Good Times like Eddy Current in The Sup’. Remember that time Brendan parted the seas and the people just let him wander out there, and be amongst us, and do his thing, as the band superbly built Precious Rose? That was so special.
The band have said this is a “one off” for now, but would prefer to avoid bold declarations on their future. Of course, their final show six years ago was never billed as a final show. It’s just taken them six years to want to play another.
Eddy Current at Golden Plains 10th Birthday is the perfect gift for everyone, including the people that have everything and are hard to buy presents for. Plus everyone else as well.
We’re so honoured to have them play again – anywhere – but especially out Here.
When I’m out walking I strut my stuff
And I’m so strung out
This doesn’t need explaining right?
Violent Femmes are the most remarkable, singular band. Their simple, raw, honest songs slowly won over the world, and continue to stand the test of time.
Why can’t I get just one kiss
Their eponymous first album – an underground masterpiece – undertook an unprecedented slowburn journey across the globe, and is still finding new fans today, more than thirty years after its release.
I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record
Songwriter Gordon Gano wrote most of the songs on that album when still in high school in Milwaukee. Every one of them struck a chord, struck a nerve, felt like a personal national anthem, for a handful, then hundreds, thousands and now millions of people. Every track is killer; each one an individual but part of the whole:
Day after day, I will walk and I will play
But the day after today, I will stop and I will start
That album is the first and only album in history to enter the US Top 200 Albums Chart when already gold, a full four years after it was released. It sold steadily for that long before it had enough sales in one week to crack the charts. Only something that truly connects and grows organically can achieve that, propelled by passionate word of mouth (which travelled a lot slower in those days – and only crossed continents by plane, basically).
Please ignore my vacant stares
They were a game-changing artist; they widened the frame. They didn’t write, sound or look like anyone else.
In all they have released eight studio albums; Hallowed Ground, The Blind Leading The Naked and 3 (their fourth) further pushed the boat out. There are so many great Violent Femmes songs that AREN’T on that first album: Gimme The Car, Hallowed Ground, Country Death Song, Jesus Walking On The Water, Old Mother Reagan, American Music, I Held Her In My Arms, Black Girls, Breakin Up, bizarro Children Of The Revolution, Color Me Once, and my total fave, Never Tell.
8, 8 I forget what 8 was for but
9, 9, 9 for a lost god and
10, 10, 10, 10 for everything everything everything everything
They are a wilful, skilful, acoustic trio, who play three across the front of the stage, and honed their chops busking, aiming to win over people of all ages. They were actually discovered whilst busking, in Milwaukee, by the guitarist from The Pretenders, in town to play a show.
Their merry prankster vibe weirdly melds with confessional lyrics and a folk/punk/gothic/gospel/blues/country/avant garde aesthetic. Gordon Gano’s true voice, straining with emotion, rises above, while virtuoso Brian Ritchie makes an acoustic bass sound like a whole band – percussion, rhythm and crazy lead. It’s his wild bass playing that is the juiced-up lifeblood of the songs. They sometimes invite local acquaintances (famous or otherwise) or friends and relatives to play on Black Girls or Confessions, with the only instructions to play as freely and wildly as possible. Live, now, they are still as vital and committed as ever.
Let me go on
Like I blister in the sun
On the free, wild, Golden Plains of the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, when those iconic personal anthems hit…. oh boy. Big hands I know you’re the one. Sunday Night.
Recently I spent a night in a rented apartment in a very old building in a mid-sized ancient European city. Big airy rooms meant we could hear several people arriving to one of the apartments around us – we couldn’t tell if it was above or next door. They started playing party music, a little too loud for us to sleep. Damn. We realised it was Saturday night; we’d lost track of the days whilst travelling. Then just as it was getting a bit much, the music stopped – they’d all gone out. We went to sleep.
At some point some hours later I became aware I was half-dreaming, half-awake and fully inside some sort of hypnotic aural beauty. It was about 4am and they’d come home again. This time they played Psychic 9-5 Club, HTRK’s masterwork second album, quite loud, from start to finish. I lay there transported, alive to every possibility, floating, like I was in utero.
That album of course got rated #2 on Resident Advisor’s Top 20 Albums Poll of 2014. No wonder. It is narcotic.
RA says that album “reflected an emotional state that, while certainly dark, was not without a “healthy dose of inner peace”. Cryptic lyrics drifted like smoke within shimmering, skeletal beats, creating an album that was sexy, brooding and addictively dramatic.”
HTRK are the legendary Melbourne duo of Jonnine Standish and Nigel Yang. They started as a kind of weird noise band I guess. Jonnine sang with collaborator and friend Rowland S. Howard. There was a tragedy along the way. Musically, they are unpredictable – we could get just about any type of set from them at GP, which is cool. Check out Synthetik, Bendin, Ha, Chinatown Style or just the whole lot.
We’ve tried a couple of times in the past to get HTRK to The Sup’, but testament to their international renown, they haven’t been in the country. This time, we’re on.
First thing Sunday.
Afrobeat Royalty. Afrobeat itself, in a way.
This will be one of the great musical experiences available on Planet Earth.
You can take it in from a couch in The Upper Sup’, or coming through loud and clear in the night air at your campsite, or most likely, by getting lost in its irresistible force up the front.
Seun is the youngest son of Fela Kuti, the founder of the Afrobeat movement. Egypt 80 is his father’s legendary Afrobeat orchestra.
At the age of nine Seun expressed the wish to sing to his father, then soon after they began performing together. Seun also followed the political and social ethos of his father.
After Fela died in 1997, Seun, then only 14 years old, became the lead singer of Egypt 80.
About three quarters of the current Egypt 80 line-up consists of musicians that not only played with Fela Kuti, but often were arrested and harassed alongside him, including band leader Lekan Animashaun. Live sets consist of both new material and originals from Fela. During his lifetime, Fela had never performed any songs live on stage which he had recorded in the studio, so this is the first chance to hear live performances of Fela Kuti classics.
“I have to believe that I am making Fela proud,” says Kuti, whose shoes are one size larger than his father’s anyway. “Over the years the band has come back to its peak, to the place they were in when Fela was fronting them.”
He pauses, smiles. “And now,” he says, “we go forward.”
We’ll be going every which way including loose when the orchestra strikes up, Sunday evening.
An idea that’s at least as old as Golden Plains herself. “Imagine The Necks out here”, “You know who’d be perfect – The Necks”, “Have you guys ever thought about getting The Necks?” Wonder if they’d do it. Can we do it this year? Are they around? One day it will work out…
The Necks are one of the great cult bands of Australia and beyond. Chris Abrahams (piano), Tony Buck (drums), and Lloyd Swanton (bass) conjure a chemistry together that defies description in orthodox terms (see attempts below). Live, they slowly unravel lengthy pieces in the most mesmerising fashion, often underpinned by a deep, insistent groove. Not entirely avant-garde, nor minimalist, nor ambient, nor jazz. Certainly unique. An open page.
The phrase “something you must experience at least once in your lifetime” gets bandied around a lot, but seriously…..have a read of these:
“a thrilling, emotional journey into the unknown. Like seeing a world in a grain of sand” THE GUARDIAN UK
“One of the greatest bands in the world” NEW YORK TIMES
“Like a vast sound-mass suspended in vibrating, seething stillness, its colour and luminosity changing slowly” TELEGRAPH UK
“Absolutely riveting…how three musicians can sound like eighteen is a mystery… extraordinary magical sounds emerged from the ensemble…the way The Necks do this with acoustic instruments is nothing short of miraculous” FINANCIAL TIMES UK
“no other group in the world sounds quite like The Necks…extraordinary empathy and discipline” THE TIMES UK
“(The Necks) draw your attention to the music instead of the means: you never get the idea that they’re playing for an hour to prove that they can do it, or to showcase a glut of ideas, but simply to give you the pleasure of focusing on music in extreme detail” PITCHFORK
“A performance by The Necks is a kind of religious experience” THE AUSTRALIAN
“Ecstasy in slow motion… magically euphoric…” WESER KURIER GERMANY
“The Necks are less a band than they are some gateway to another universe. I’ve seen them probably half a dozen times and each time they leave me feeling slightly exhausted and disorientated. Maybe a bit like Yuri Gagarin felt on touchdown.” HOW MUCH IS THE FISH? OXFORD
“The Necks are, above all, masters of dynamics. One only ever really understands the changes in hindsight” NEUR ZURCHER ZEITUNG, ZURICH, SWITZERLAND
“unexplainable, unclassifiable and unattainable unless you’re them” LOST AT E MINOR
“The Necks have honed their art to the point where their concerts are like collective meditations.” THE AGE
“On this night, ghost sounds engaged in a call and response, channelled by the band through the three innocent instruments (piano, bass, and drums) that acted as their mediums.” WFMU, NEW JERSEY, REVIEW OF NEW YORK CONCERT
“Anyone of a mind to study the mysterious methods of the cult Australian all-improv trio The Necks would need to adopt a football manager’s approach – poring over hours of video to work out how pianist Chris Abrahams, bassist Lloyd Swanton, and drummer Tony Buck keep on unpredictably passing the ball and finding each other in space. Unpremeditated art.” THE GUARDIAN, UK
“No other performing unit can reach into a remotely similar sonic area…almost as if their music is disembodied from conventional human touch, arriving from some unknown abstract source” NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
“A magic act masquerading as a piano trio, this Australian group delivers long-form improvisations that shift with such patient beauty that it casts a bit of a trance. You’ll seldom spend an hour that passes so quickly – and rewardingly.” LOS ANGELES TIMES
“I love the space you all capture to carry us through time” A FAN
Sunday late morning, The Necks will soundtrack the festival – and you – coming to life. Reflection, rumination, realisation, affirmation. Whatever you feel.
Clear your schedule.
Marea Stamper aka The Black Madonna has a reason to believe.
As a wide-eyed kid she showed up to the Mid West raves of the early ‘90s and sold mixtapes out of the back of a friend’s Chevette. Fast forward 20 years, and she is resident – alongside the likes of Frankie Knuckles and Derrick Carter – at Chicago’s Smart Bar, bringing a feminist and dance punk philosophy to the Chicago house institution, the ripple effects of which sound out across the free world.
As a DJ with relentless energy, skill and heart, her sets are inclusive, euphoric and full of hope. Her tracks like Exodus fit the same description.
She wrote a kind of personal manifesto: “Dance music needs riot grrrls. Dance music needs Patti Smith. It needs DJ Sprinkles”
It’s bloody exciting to have The Black Madonna bring us into the Golden light of day as the last artist playing. A newly-extended finish time on Sunday night for GPX means she will be going through to glorious dawn in The Sup’. What a way to finish.
We still believe.
Take a man. Make him a songwriter.
Give him “one of the most beautiful voices of the 21st century”.
Send him on a journey through homophobic abuse, agoraphobia, depression, substance abuse, parental rejection, alcoholism and being HIV positive. Get him to the point where he thinks he’ll never escape addiction, and never make music again.
Out it comes. Rare, stupendous music.
Check out the fantasia that is Marz, or GMF (“I am the greatest motherf**ker that you’re ever gonna meet”), the hypnotic Pale Green Ghosts, the revenge strut of Black Belt (“Hit your head on the playground at recess, Etch-a-sketch your way out of this one, reject!”), the Bizarro-Manilow Where Dreams Go To Die, or the life-stopping Glaciers with Sinead O’Connor.
John Grant has won a growing army of fans, all sorts of awards, hearts and minds, and it’s our great honour and privilege to be hosting him in The Sup’.
For me, this is unmissable. I’ll have my boot (well, one of my comfortable flats with velcro straps) in the air. He’s a very special one.
Are you ready?
I got a brand new dance here for ya!
The enigma. C.W. Stoneking’s new album Gon’ Boogaloo is powered by the latest invention in his world – electricity.
Gon’ Boogaloo was made the old way, of course, “mixed live in the room by way of positioning the band at varying distances/degrees/volumes around an old ribbon microphone to achieve the optimum mix for each tune as it hit the tape, how it arrived at the tape is how it stayed. The backing singers had to ‘lean in, lean out’ to get volumes correct…”
C.W. comes up with just the coolest stuff, that makes you Get On The Floor. We are going to have a rockin’ good time on the first night, when C.W. makes his very first appearance at the Golden Plains Musical Festival.
There’s so much rap around, it’s not easy to keep pace with all albums let alone mixtapes and street records. But there’s one name that keeps coming up with the fanatics and the connoisseurs who comb through it all.
Gibbs. Freddie Gibbs.
More cult than crossover, Freddie Gibbs is a rapper from Gary, Indiana. He’s known for amazing live rapping skills, a storyteller with supreme mic control. He’s razor sharp, quick, and bulletproof. He’s “basically unf**kwithable on an atomic level”.
INTERVIEWER: “You don’t hear that much about Gary, Indiana’s hip hop scene.”
GIBBS: “You’re looking at the Gary, Indiana hip hop scene, that’s why.” [laughs]
He’s pretty gritty at times, but it’s more on your ghetto reality tip rather than glorifying mad sh*t. Chuck D famously called hip-hop “the CNN of the ghetto”, and the sentiment is particularly applicable to Freddie’s music. His unlikely pairing with Madlib was a huge winner, and had “a certain kind of grown-man reflection… His stories of a talented man making his way in a bleak environment are brought up without either glamorisation or moralising, but they still feel human. Funk-fusion and soul jazz breaks bubble and blister in the heat, throbbing like a running man’s pulse, and Gibbs states the facts as he sees them.”
“Gibbs is nothing if not an anti-bullshit activist” Pitchfork
This is just an obvious yes. For a debut record, it’s a woah, yessss.
Natalie Prass is a classic songwriter, and a star.
Her songs are tender and exuberant, lush and crystal clear, fresh and timeless.
She spent nearly a decade in Nashville, but made her self-titled album in Virginia “where the trees are tall, the buildings old and friends near.” Her style echoes folk and the funky rock side of Laurel Canyon, but it’s beyond both. “I go back to Irving Berlin, Sondheim, Burt Bacharach. I used to space out a lot in class and work out melodies,” she says. “I’d sneak out and go to the bathroom and sing melodies and try out songs, even then.”
“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”
Emma Goldman’s famous quote could be the rally cry of U.S. Girls.
U.S. Girls is the creative force of one American, Meghan Remy, whose watershed album Half Free on legendary label 4AD is one of the year’s best.
Check out Damn That Valley, Woman’s Work or Window Shades. The album sounds like your favourite golden-oldies station beamed through a pirate-radio frequency, seamlessly fusing ’60s-vintage girl-group serenades and smooth ’70s disco into dubby panoramas and horror-movie atmospherics. As dazzling as the sounds are, this party has a purpose (and vice versa) as Remy explores themes through first person narratives. Half Free is a document of life at the point when it feels most on its knife-edge.
U.S. Girls is a project that at first intrigues then mightily impresses. And the live show? That’s the most exciting part – you just don’t know what to expect. And you get it.
A pioneer of leftfield and one of the most influential figures in the Japanese underground, often referred to as ‘The Master’. Head of Crue-L records, producer behind Crue-L Grand Orchestra, Being Borings and Luger E-Go.
In the mid-90s, Kenji became one of the first collaborators with Harvey and Idjut Boys and at the same time was releasing artists like Cornelius on his label.
He remains as unpredictable as any of his alumni. His sets are beyond eclectic, taking in simply whatever Kenji deems danceable.
Our friends at Noise In My Head gave this rave after the last party he did in Melbourne:
“SPIRITS were HIGH, everyone feeling very blessed by Kenji’s feel-good/empowering set, many happy faces celebrating till the morning light and beyond”.
Start with either of his Beats In Space mixes, one of which Tim Sweeney declared “mix of the year!”
Late night Saturday – Japan’s top selector #1.
So delighted and excited this is happening. The adored Sydney rock n roll combo have recently returned from a few years in the wilderness with genius new album High, and they’ll play primetime in The Sup’ on the Saturday Night of GPX.
The adoration of Royal Headache only grew in their absence; we didn’t know what we had until it seemed it was gone, so elusive were opportunities to see them live in recent years. The heart grew fonder.
So when they returned – and with an album that is so great – the love and joy just overflowed.
Their ardent cult appeal is obvious, in fact when you consider how great each element of the band is, they could easily be ten times bigger. Both albums are chock full of killer, catchy songs like Down The Lane, Psychotic Episode, Really In Love, Surprise and Caroline, played with adrenalised dexterity by a formidable rock n roll band and sung by the magnificent, magnetic Shogun, who takes things into the stratosphere via a voice with “absurd range, plenty of force, and soul”.
There’s nothing predictable about their live shows, except that there’ll be singalongs (actually shoutalongs), and memorable moments galore. Royal Headache go to a higher plain, and they’ll be taking us all there with them.
Their first live show was with Sex Pistols in Manchester, 1976. They pioneered independent record labels by starting their own. So many punk pop classics:
Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle are lifers, one of the very few from punk’s first wave still going strong; Buzzcocks are a band with a present, and a future. It is an unfolding story the group’s members could never have imagined, back in the hot punk rock summer of 1976.
Steve Diggle: “When people put punk rock records on in 1976, 77, they had to rethink their whole lives. It changed your consciousness, the way you looked at the world, just like powerful records should.”
Pete Shelley: “Looking back on it now, what’s going on is like echoes of the Big Bang. You look around you in society and the culture; so many things would not have been the same if there never was punk rock. It’s strange; it’s like a science fiction novel. But to us at the time, it just sprung naturally.”
They’re still doing it, better than anyone. Sometimes the archetype is clearly the best.
Prepare yourself for some short, fast, smart fun; last band in the Saturdaylight.
A powerful four piece that have rapidly become a local favourite. Their debut album It’s You brings to mind the great Manchester bands like Joy Division and The Smiths. A slightly gothic approach to indie pop, you could say.
“We had four days to record ten songs so there wasn’t much f****** around” they told the Toorak Times.
A force live. Saturday afternoon.
There’s no good reason why it’s taken us so long to catch Black Cab in The Supernatural Amphitheatre.
What a band. Thematic, detailed, adventurous, loose, spirited, free-wheelin’ maverick style in everything they do, from the ideas, concepts, sounds, lyrics, artwork, live presentation, everything. Quality control and realisation is beyond belief, especially considering the breadth of the vision. Not many outfits deliver to the degree Black Cab do, and they keep doing it. Check out Victorious from Games Of The XXI Olympiad, the most recent of their four masterwerk albums.
“Games..” is loosely based on the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics. 2004’s arrival-opus Altamont Diary was loosely based on the disastrous 1969 Free Concert. 2006’s Jesus East holds one of my all-time favourite pieces of music, Valiant, where legendary road manager of the Rolling Stones Sam Cutler recalls life with The Grateful Dead in the early 70s. Then Call Signs came out in 2009, full of East German culture under the communist regime and Stasi security apparatus, with found sounds of German netballers, spy transmissions and indeed call signs.
They are more than local heroes. Testament to their enduring appeal, googling ‘Black Cab’ brings up the band before the taxi company…
Black Cab is Andrew Coates and James Lee, with Wes Holland. Their sound ranges from earlier psychedelic kraut rock towards a more recent electronic feel.
Atmosphere is king, and it rules absolutely.
“I have an absolute disdain for democracy in a band,” declares Coates. “You have to have that utter ruthlessness that whatever you’re going to do, even if you’re not sure what it is, is absolutely right.”
All hail Black Cab, taking you the long way home Saturday evening.
Sydney via Zambia and Botswana.
Sampa The Great is a name that has rapidly circulated amongst musicheads of late – her first release The Great Mixtape has been knocking out those tuned into the soulful side of Hip Hop and the jazzy end of R&B.
You can listen to it here; it’s the sound of an adventurous young mind pushing out against all boundaries, blessed with mic skills and a penchant for poetry, with beats made by pal Godriguez.
Sampa started rapping at age nine when she heard Pac’s ‘Changes’ blasting from her cousin’s room. Postcode 3333 is one more step in her journey. Ease into the afternoon.
We scour the pub scene and find bands that are more used to small stages than big ones, but whose thing will work on any scale. Tyrannamen are one of the best new rock n roll bands in Melbourne, a young five-piece whose soulful, involving jams are great for a Sunday arvo blast.
The founding members of Tyrannamen, who were neighbours at the time, found themselves hanging out and bonding over their shared love of the champions of Memphis rock and roll (Alex Chilton, Greg Cartwright, Jay Reatard, etc.). The rest of the lineup fell into place in 2010 and the band immediately perfected their brand of contagiously cool, high energy garage rock.
This is one of the best local tracks this year – a taster from their album.
The best thing about them is just how fun they are – the type of band you’d love to have play at your birthday party. Sooooo……yeah! No-brainer. It’s true that happiness is just a stone’s throw away.
Theo Parrish’s favourite DJ. One of the deepest diggers in the world, one of the most sought-after selectors worldwide. Sadar Bahar is the deejay’s deejay.
He’s part of the old school Chicago generation that coined the term “deep house” before it was a genre – he and his record-collecting mates simply used that term to refer to the rarest of dancefloor cuts they were fiending for.
These days, several deejays on retirement have given him their whole treasured collections…“they know I’ll do them justice” he says.
All this means his artistry doesn’t begin or end behind the decks – it goes much deeper. He has dedicated his life to music. In his sets you can hear the decades of digging, collecting, listening, practicing, mixing, sharing and playing soul, disco, funk and early house records for people, with legends such as Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy as his peers. His sets sound pure – deep, soulful, energetic and dynamic. When he deejays he wears a beaming smile from ear to ear that lights up even the darkest of clubs, and he mouths almost every lyric sung.
He’ll bring the congregation together, when he Takes Us To Church as part of the longer, later, till-the-sun-cracks-through Sunday night at GPX.
Thomas Bullock, aka Tom Of England. He of Rub N Tug, and frequent collaborator with lifelong friend DJ Harvey.
He came up through the legendary Tonka parties in the UK, then as the rave scene faded in ‘91 he headed to San Francisco where it was “just the beginning”, and started to throw Bay Area parties with the Wicked Crew.
“The first one was in the middle of the city in Golden Gate Park. The Hell’s Angels showed up and stood in front in formation on either side of the turntables while we played… It was pretty epic. The renegade sound aspect of it was rad. At the peak of it, you’d get 2,000 people showing up two hours south in Half Moon Bay, no advertising. Just a complete roadblock. I’d never seen anything like it.”
Three decades deep, Bullock remains as relevant as ever in the DJ game. He could go anywhere. Tom Of England. Doing it to you in your earhole ‘til early in the morn.
The soul will be shining brightly on Saturday afternoon when Emma Donovan & The Putbacks take to the stage and elevate The Sup’.
Emma Donovan grew up in country NSW, kicking off her singing career in the same manner as so many soul greats – in church. She played the country circuit for years and was a regular at Tamworth as a kid.
She represents the Gumbaynggir people, whose traditional language often finds its way into her music. She’s had numerous projects over the past decade including being the youngest member in the iconic Black Arm Band.
Her current project with The Putbacks is the record she says she has wanted to make her whole life. It’s a gospel-tinged slice of soul inspired by the greats of R&B.
The album is full of hard hitting and heartfelt soul songs telling stories of grief, struggle and redemption. The Putbacks get deep, holding it down like few can.
Golden Plains has a proud history of presenting local acts who take the stage as underdogs in headline timeslots and leave as rulers. Total Giovanni, Client Liaison, Zanzibar Chanel all come to mind.
NO ZU will walk on before midnight Saturday night to a throbbing Amphitheatre – a peak spot. It’ll be fun. They are an eight-piece post-punk-turning-towards-disco family party band and they can only go right.
It’s exciting to be presenting such a dynamic cast of new artists at GP this year. Lifeblood.
Darcy started out young – with his project Naminé, he completed an album and national tour before he completed high school.
His solo project could loosely be defined as ‘dance’ music. It’s underpinned by a driving beat, and takes in ideas from as wide as 20th century classical to post hardcore.
“I’m trying to juxtapose this euphoric, sexually-charged pulse music with intangible, invisible concepts like paranoia, anxiety, depression and delusion, which are definitely more common in singer-songwriter types than say, House and Techno producers.”
Late night Saturday.
”friendships is an art project. one part music. one part visual. we paint a lot. we write music a lot. we talk & drink & smoke. human stuff. we work really hard and sometimes pull each other to pieces until we have it right.”
…says the short bio from melbourne audio/visual duo friendships, a noisey, post-apocalyptic blend of electronic punk of sorts, with heavy jungle and dnb vibes.
spend a bit of time digging through their soundcloud.
get weird & wild late night saturday.
Some musicians risk the ire of their parents, lack of higher education or career prospects when choosing music as a vocation (or when music chooses them). For Songhoy Blues, the risks of being a band were somewhat higher.
They appear in the acclaimed new film documenting Malian musicians’ fight with the extremist forces and their ban on music: They Will Have To Kill Us First.
When growing unrest and a ban on music in the north of Mali forced the young men and their families to take refuge in the southern town of Bamako, they decided to turn crisis into opportunity by forming a band. They baptised their band Songhoy Blues in celebration of their displaced people and culture.
Their sound is deep desert blues. It’s not a version of anything, it’s not western, it’s its own thrilling exotic hypnotic thing. Sunday afternoon.
The idea of Golden Plains was around for years before she had a name or a birthdate. The team here took a long time to define and refine what it was we thought she might be. There was no rush. As with most plans of mice and men, she didn’t really turn out as we thought. Which is terrific; evolving naturally, propelled by the wishes and desires of the people who attend, rather than by any grand plan, turned out to be way betterer.
There are a few things that are intrinsic to her character – that she’s in Autumn, at the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre, on a Long Weekend, and is a size or two smaller than Meredith (also held at that site). After that, whatever original plans we had are moot. Golden Plains is her own, and she is yours. Blaze the trail, we’ll follow the breadcrumbs through the forest.
GPX will be the first time the last artist sees The Light Of Day; an extended finish time on Sunday night means going through to glorious Dawn. With Monday being a day of rest and recreation, going right through seems a more natural, more fulsome way to Draw Things to A Perfect End.
Of course, I’m usually tucked up in bed by then, but at least once a year I like to let myself go to see the Sun come up. Why not.
It is always a good feeling to finally be able to present something in The Sup’ that has long been requested.
Built To Spill are one of the most loved American indie rock bands of the last twenty-five years. They started life in the 90s indie scene, and they sit with Pavement, Yo La Tengo and Dinosaur Jr up in that pantheon.
They brought a classic rock vibe to the period; they are certainly not afraid of a guitar solo and can wig-out and drift-off like few bands have since the 70s. Check out their ripping cover of Cortez The Killer.
BTS are led by guitar hero Doug Marstch:
“He can noodle you into submission, but chops aren’t what make Doug Martsch’s playing so charming. It’s the bloopy nuggets of melody wound around his voice that you find yourself humming long after the final chorus fades.” SPIN
New album Untethered Moon shows BTS’s creative process continues to ebb, flow and evolve in its own orbit; in recent years they have played live more than at any time in their history. That says something for the fire and focus of Built To Spill.
“When we get together and pick up our instruments, I always believe that something magical is going to happen.”
Sunday evening. Not one drop.
GPX – the first time the last artist sees The Light Of Day; an extended finish time on Sunday night means going through to glorious Dawn. With Monday being a day of rest and recreation, going right through seems a more natural, more fulsome way to Draw Things to A Perfect End.
Of course, I’m usually tucked up in bed by then, but at least once a year I like to let myself go to see the Sun come up. Why not.
We pride ourselves on Looking After You Brilliantly from start to finish and taking you to higher Celestial Plains.
Still waters still run deep; Golden Plains X is The Same Purrrfectly-formed Shape and Size as last year; still BYO, no commercial sponsors, the No Dickheads rule, and a One Stage Policy so you miss nothing and Experience Everything.
The Little Golden Booklet is a downloadable booklet which contains all the info you need to Make Your Golden Plains. Maps, directions, campground layout, playing times, rules, hours of operation, handy hints and an illustrated history of the outboard motor and a Redbook-style price guide to second hand militaria.
One of the best places on Earth to spend a Long Weekend with friends and lovers – and yourself – exploring inner and outer space together, The Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre has been natured and nurtured on twenty-five years of knuckled-down know-how, for the singular purpose of hosting Something Uniquely Remarkable. The Sun is like honey on the trees; Afternoon goes on all day. The Summer Fool is spent… and The Big Bang occurs both moons.
A deep and sincere thanks is due to You, if you are a Part of Her, whether you’ve played, stayed, slayed, lost yourself, found yourself, set aside yourself, hung around, worked hard, worked soft, ploughed through the waves or just lolled along in her slipstream, which really, is what she’s mostly meant for.
Here is some of what was said about Golden Plains X.
Who really knows what makes Golden work so well.
Hopefully I’ll see you there, and you can tell me what you think it is. Anyhow you like.
ps. talk to me about anything