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Image for Laneway Festival week one wrap

Laneway Festival week one wrap

A wrap-up of all the action from week one of St Jerome’s Laneway Festival with Bat For Lashes, Divine Fits, Yeasayer and more.

Brisbane Laneway Festival

“Brisbane does have a couple of lanes, but that’s irrelevant because Laneway is being held at the RNA Showgrounds, just like it was last year. The Showgrounds are where the agricultural exhibition happens, as far from urban backstreet cafe-land as you can get in the city, but on the other hand while making your way from stage to stage you can get plenty of mileage out of jokes about the signs that say “Please give way to horses.”

Sydney Laneway Festival

“Hitting the smaller stages meant discovering artists with a smaller core fan-base. Julia Holter’s sublime voice cut a path through the drizzling rain offering respite from some of the grand gestures on the main stages while EL-P showed just why he is so respected as an underground hip hop artist with his intense rapid fire rhyming over a live band that created some futuristic and often dystopian beats.”

Melbourne Laneway Festival

“St Jeromes’ Laneway Festival returned to its home-in-exile at the Footscray Community Arts Centre, a location that feels more right every year. The festival outgrew the laneway of its birth long ago, but now it has just about outgrown the hipsters, too. While still very much present, the moustache-and-plimsolls crowd was just one group among a crowd of music fans from all across the spectrum. This change was reflected in the programming, which saw Pitchfork-y types alongside triple j favourites.”

Bat For Lashes – Sydney

Since 2006, when she arrived with a rumoured membership to the local Wicca coven, Khan’s mystic side has always been overplayed. Still it’s hard not to see her as some kind of goddess. Dressed in rainbow coloured metallic pleats, her cape reveals otherworldly wings in shimmering hues. The thousand or so faces gazing at the stage are transfixed like dutiful acolytes in the presence of their deity. Khan moves as if channelling earthy energies, possessed by powers beyond her control she slinks and jerks in response to hard beats and cool arrangements; the mechanics that provide an industrial counterpoint to the defiant range of her vocal melodies.

Yeasyaer – Sydney

The Brooklyn band’s last album, Fragrant World was underwhelming: more straightforward and subtle, and lacking the pop punch of its predecessor. As a result, the band seem to have all but vanished from the minds of critics and fans, and it’s a smaller, more subdued crowd in The Metro Theatre tonight awaiting their arrival. Yeasayer’s challenge with this tour is to remind Australia why we fell in love with them in the first place, and hopefully to cast a fresh, positive light on the newer songs which fell so flat on record.

Of Monsters and Men – Sydney

Of Monsters and Men’s music certainly lends itself to audience participation, with an extra percussive layer added to nearly every song by means of audience foot-stomping or clapping (albeit mostly out-of-time), not to mention the massive sing-along refrains that feature at least once per track. The call-and-response vocals of singers Nanna and Raggi also promote audience involvement, as evidenced by the deafening vocal assistance provided to Raggi during the chorus of early highlight ‘Mountain Sound’. This most definitely isn’t a performance tailored for the arms-folded type of concertgoer.

The Men – Sydney

The physicality and exuberance of The Men had that “leave nothing behind” feel and as a result felt like you were hearing and watching a band that believed in themselves and their music 100% and played right to their limits.

Divine Fits – Melbourne

MS MR – Sydney

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