Despite it’s very rural sounding name Farmer and the Owl is not an offshoot of travelling regional festival champs Groovin the Moo. No, Farmer and the Owl is something so much more. Only in its second year, Wollongong’s burgeoning boutique festival made quite an impression with it’s maiden voyage, with the likes of Dappled Cities, Machine Translations and Aussie music heavyweights The Drones gracing the Uni Bar stage. And not only the music, but the features of local art and killer food on hand is to die for. The festival team haven’t gotten lax in the last year and have returned with a lineup that surpasses its predecessor.
Farmer and the Owl is back and is better than ever. Sourcing some of the best acts from around the country, you’d be daft not to get down to see this lineup.
Birds With Thumbs
Bring on the skater rock. In case you haven’t had the fortune of being introduced, meet Birds With Thumbs. No, they’re not some horrible, mutant experiment gone wrong. The Sydney based three piece have been blazing trails on the local rock scene and for damn good reason too. There’s nothing too ambitious here, just three guys wailing tales of life as a young person with an early Offspring vibe. How can you go wrong?
Do you think Bad//Dreems are good enough? Yes, yes you do. Cringe worthy puns aside, the Adelaide band have been making some seriously good impressions as of late, not just on home soil but abroad as well with various showcases, tours, and even nabbing a support slot on The Black Keys’ Australian tour.
Lunatics on Pogosticks
Will the triple J Unearthed darlings grace the stage on actual pogo sticks? One can only dream, but in the meantime their addictive rock n’ roll is more than enough to satisfy any festival goer. The boys’ recent success can easily be attributed to their brilliant guitar slinging and personable lyrics, and getting to see them up close and personal while you have the chance is something you can’t miss.
You Beauty put out one of the best albums of 2014. If you’re skeptical be sure to give Jersey Flegg a few spins. It seems silly on the surface; a pub rock opera about the rise, fall and redemption of a club footy star in the mid 90’s, but what results is a brilliant post-punk concept album that is far more grand than the humble jerseys the band proudly wears. For some exceptional Australian storytelling be sure to catch You Beauty.
Sunbeam Sound Machine
Speaking of killer albums from 2014, the debut from Sunbeam Sound Machine absolutely blew people’s mind. Maybe not so much, but it definitely made one hell of an impression. It’s a gorgeously lush, textured album full of rich and poignant lyrics. With a lineup chock full of noisy guitar bands switching things up with the mind wandering electronica of Sunbeam Sound Machine is a welcome reprieve.
Heroes of the Leisure Coast Shining Bird are taking their rightful place on the stage of Farmer and the Owl. The dreamy six piece have slowly but surely winning the hearts of punters with their relaxed guitars, ambient ocean sounds and Dane Taylor’s comforting, beard snuggled baritone. It’s like getting a warm hug from chocolate, and then getting to eat it. As confusing as an analogy as that may be, with the home turf adavatnage the Shining Bird guys are bound to put on one helluva show.
The Spooks have been going from strength to strength. Their EP Rock and Roll Weakling propelled the band to new heights last year, it seems every local festival announcement includes these guys on the bill. And for good reason too. Their thoughtful and poetic take on rock is truly incredible, and even more breathtaking live.
No, they’re not trying to break the Guinness World Record for the amount of people you can cram onto a stage. It’s just the twelve members of Brisbane super group Velociraptor. Jeremy Neale and his band of merry men (and woman) manage to set any stage they play alight with pure adrenaline. Maybe because there are just so many people up on that stage bashing, strumming and screaming, but you haven’t seen nothing unless you’ve seen a Velociraptor live show.
There’s no quota on great Wollongong bands, so make way for up and coming two piece Hockey Dad. The surf rockin’ youngsters have made quite a splash in these last two years, so if you haven’t already be sure to get down and see what all the fuss is about.
Farmer and the Owl is on Saturday March 14. Tickets are available here.
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