Well, Winter is finally winding down, Splendour In The Grass is over, and the Summer months are actually starting to feel like tangible thing. With all these things comes the dawn of the Australian festival season and the usual barrage of awesome lineups (I can already feel my liver and wallet starting to hurt, severely). As per usual, the annual Falls Music and Arts Festival is first off the mark, and this year is going to be a banger. Obviously the entire lineup is top shelf, as we have come to expect from the legends who put on Falls, but here a few artists that you really can’t afford to miss.
It’s festival season once again, and with New Year’s Eve just around the corner, it means it’s time for Falls. Here are 8 bands that you’d be crazy to miss at the festival this year.
Ohh Maccy. With a brand new record under his belt, Mac Demarco is set to make his annual Aussie Summer pilgrimage (three years in a row is it Mac?). You can’t blame the man, he is Canadian, and Canada is fucking cold around New Years. I’ve only seen the man play in dingy clubs and theaters, so that chance to see Mac Demarco charming the shit out of an audience with his gap tooth grin while basking in sunlight and beer is too good to pass up. I assume it will go like this:
Kurt Vile and The Vialators
I assume my experience seeing Kurt Vile will go a little like this: I will awake in my tent, buried in a pile of clothes, beer cans and sleeping bags with cottonmouth so bad that the prospect of speech seems near impossible; I emerge into near 40 degree heat to quench said cottonmouth with said beer cans, feeling very sorry for myself; to try to get myself back in the mood i’ll make my way to a stage and park my sorry arse on a grassy knoll to watch my first band of the day. It will be Kurt Vile, he will open with Wakin On A Pretty Day. All will be well.
Scotland’s Young Fathers are manic. They would be suitable playing at the exact opposite time to Kurt Vile. I can imagine my last memory of the night being seeing Young Fathers, somewhere dark, packed and loud. Sitting somewhere between hip-hop, psych and electro, it’s probably best to just call their music experimental. Their debut record Dead was nominated for a Mercury Prize last year, and their 2105 sophomore album White Men Are Black Men Too has been widely lauded as one of the best of the year. I can’t imagine they will be back anytime soon, so it would be a bummer to miss them. Don’t.
King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard
King Gizzard are manic too. I saw these guys at Falls a couple of years ago in Lorne when they were opening the Amphitheater Stage to couple of hundred people. They’d just released their scrappy debut 12 Bar Bruise and were already killing it. Fast forward three years and they have released more records than I can count on one hand, covering everything from garage rock to spacious psychedelia. They always put on a blistering show with whacked out tangents and long instrumental jams; this set is going to be a blinder.
Paul Kelly is the man. Who better to play a mid-Summer Australian festival in the bush than Mr. Australiana himself. This isn’t just a regular Paul Kelly show though, this is Paul Kelly’s Merri Soul show, featuring performances from Clairy Browne, Dan Sultan, Kira Puru, Vika, and Linda Bull. They will be performing a set of soul-influenced tunes, plus all of Kelly’s classics alongside the man himself. Basically it will be massive Paul Kelly love-in, and that’s pretty great.
Toro Y Moi
Chillwave sounds like a genre invented purely for summer festivals. A few years ago bands like Washed Out and Toro Y Moi made it a pretty big thing. There a bit of debate about whether the genre still exists, or whether it ever did. But that doesn’t matter, Chillwave is exactly what I think of when I hear Toro Y Moi. His fuzzy, blissed-out tunes are pretty much the perfect soundtrack for daytime summer revelry, and that’s what Falls is all about.
Gary Clark Jr
There’s something about blues and rock that seem to go hand in hand with Summer festivals. Maybe it’s a vein attempt to recreate the bliss that was Woodstock, but putting big guitar bands on festival lineups seems like a given. And who better to get on the bill for the job than Gary Clark Jr. The man was just here for the Byron Bay Blues Fest, and he has been called back to inject some of that blues rock steeze into Falls 2015/16. The man is a modern guitar hero, playing with the likes of Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy, plus he sounds eerily similar to Dan Auerbach. This set will be a swoon-inducing, sweat soaked guitar party.
We’ve gotta mention Foals because, well, this: