Vibes, sweat and ringing ears: this is what went down at our Needle In The Hay party

Our inaugural Needle In The Hay vinyl comp has been one hell of a ride.

We were absolutely blown away by the submissions from artists from around Australia and New Zealand and we had a blast listening to them all. Last Friday was the icing on the cake, as six bands from our shortlist of twenty took to the stage at the Botany View in Newtown for one ripper of a party.

Obviously Needle In The Hay was based on the merit of the EPs and albums submitted by each band – and it was just so rad to see these songs get brought to life under lights.

forest hall dani hansen happy mag needle in the hay
Forest Hall. Photos by Dani Hansen

Last Friday we set up camp at the Botany View Hotel in Newtown to celebrate our Needle In The Hay comp with 6 of the finalists. This is what went down.

Forest Hall kicked things off with an ear-splittingly vicious set of garage rock bangers. Taking the lo-fi vibes of their (fairly) newly released debut EP up a notch with swathes of delay and caressing organ lines scattered throughout their setlist, they set the bar pretty high very early.

Okin Osan dani hansen happy mag needle in the hay
Okin Osan

As we’ve come to expect, Okin Osan was utterly charming, smashing through a tight, nuanced collection of jangly pop tunes from her 2016 EP Are You Game? 

Despite her modest stage presence, she’s a commanding performer and a super talented musician, and we can’t wait to see what she does next.


As the celestial triforce that is EGOISM took to stage the crowd began to swell considerably, with people heaving to bask in the band’s brand of languid shoegaze.

The dreamy vibes were carried wonderfully by Raindrop, albeit with a solid dose of weird. Led by frontman Miles Devine, the band cast waves of potent psychedelia from their soon to be released album, Mild Meltdowns. Definitely keep your eyes peeled for that one. It’s wild.

Raindrop dani hansen happy mag needle in the hay

Taking things up a notch, Newcastle scoundrels Dave burst onto the stage next to deliver a flawless string of up-the-guts rock ‘n’ roll, including Happy office favourite Eggiwegs (aka the song of the century).

dani hansen happy mag needle in the hay dave

A tough performance to top for most, but Yon Yonson were more than up to the task, rounding off the night with a ridiculously slick set of stirring electronica.

And that’s about all we remember.

Yon Yonson dani hansen happy mag needle in the hay
Yon Yonson

Huge thanks to everyone that came down, and to the Botany View and Young Henrys for making the show awesome.

Our judges are currently soaking up the submissions from our awesome finalists. The winner of Needle In The Hay will be announced very soon!

Massive props to Zenith Records, Audio-Technica, JBL and Enmore Audio for making Needle In The Hay happen!