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review, Falls Festival 2013, Falls, Festival, 2013, cinema, cinema reviews, music, artist



By Charlie David Page
2nd January 2014

Another day, another fresh slew of artists eager to perform and a crowd eager to listen. Here's the day three highlights for Lorne Falls Festival 2013.

Gossling is always a festival pleasure, and she continues to delight here off the back of her debut record 'Harvest of Gold' released late 2013. Her childlike voice is beautifully complimented by some excellent new material with some slightly darker moments injected into her usual serenity. An affable presence, she makes for a easy start to a full day of music.

Taking in this band is a little bit like taking a trip back to the 1960s. Think incendiary guitars and songs that slowly build and grow, and you start to get an idea of what The War On Drugs are all about. These guys know how to deliver a powerful rock performance, complete with guitar riffs set to blow your mind. Their organic energy kept the small yet enthusiastic crowd entertained for the 50-odd minute set. This band is not afraid to create an epic tune, nor to let it evolve and flourish on stage.

The trending grunge boys from Brisbane emerged to a lively mid-afternoon audience, unleashing their hardcore take on post-Blink 182 pop-rock. Fans in the crowd lapped it up audibly and got stuck into a spirited mosh-up the front, while others observe the loud, harmless fun from afar. The nasal snarl won’t be for everyone and although I won't be taking my relationship with the group any further, it's always cool to see people getting in there.

The man. The beard. And what a bunch of songs. Electro crooner Chet Faker has been making some serious waves since his excellent 'Thinking In Textures' EP dropped in 2012. This is my first time seeing him live, and it was an absolute pleasure to bask in the effortless cool of his chilled-out beats and soulful vocals. 'I'm Into You', 'Terms And Conditions' and that cover of 'No Diggity' had everyone convinced and successfully got this reviewer all the more excited for his debut LP due out later this year.

The honour of loudest set of the festival goes to Pond, one of the many incarnations of Perth's finest. Monstrous riffs abound as the now six piece tore through much of their latest, 'Hobo Rocket' with the spirit of reckless abandon for which they are now notorious and adored. A tinsel-crotched Nick Allbrook howled through new and old cuts alike, including a 'Betty Davis' / 'Moth Wings' mash-up before finishing with the huge metal churn of 'Midnight Mass', closing out the short but brutally effective set with a wash of feedback.


Grizzly Bear made a convincing swing at “best set of the festival” with their breathtaking 8pm set on the main stage. Perfectly released harmonies and stunning songwriting made a set that was sonically and emotionally powerful. Reaping gold from 2012's lauded 'Shields' and previous breakout records 'Veckatimest' and 'Yellow House', the New York outfit were simply spellbinding. The raggedly beautiful guitar tones on 'Yet Again' and 'Speak In Rounds' rubbed shoulders with the ethereal delicacy of 'Knife' and the twinkling piano refrains of 'Two Weeks'. Incredible stuff.

The legendary Aussie (okay, Kiwi, whatever) icon refuses to step out of the spotlight - and a good thing, too. Ahead of a new album and a national tour, he took to the Valley Stage with a mix of solo, Split Enz, Crowded House and Pajama Club songs - so a great repertoire to pull from.

Grabbing the audience's attention by launching straight into 'History Never Repeats', one thing was instantly clear: Neil has the ability to bring together the festival's most diverse audience, everyone from the youngest to the eldest attendees were enjoying themselves.

"This is a song you can sing with me if you want," Neil offered to the audience before launching the Falls rendition of 'Fall At Your Feet', specifically tailored with an extended sing-along section that the crowd revelled in.

Hits 'Distant Sun', 'One Step Ahead' and 'Something So Strong' all followed, with Neil so enthusiastic throughout, clearly enjoying himself on stage.

The crowd were enjoying themselves too; when 'Don't Dream It's Over' started up, they erupted, and proceeded to sing the lyrics at the top of their lungs back to Neil and his band. There is nothing quite as exhilarating as belting out that song with roughly 15,000 other people - the feeling is indescribable.

Mixing things up a little for an alternative take of 'Weather With You', including a funky bass solo, the band returned to a very traditional version of 'Locked Out', with Neil taking control on stage with a guitar solo.

Following the crowd-pleasing 'I Got You', Neil thanked his band and announced, "I'd like to sing you out, and I hope you sing this one with me." Strapping on his acoustic guitar, he and the audience closed the set with 'Coming Home Soon'.

Neil Finn is a consummate professional, knowing how best to play to his audience, or when to prolong a song - his band following, never missing a beat. This performance was truly a reflection of his skill and experience as a performer, showcasing music that has stood the test of time.

Having frequented our shores numerous times over the past few years with no new material since 2011's 'Modern Glitch', many were pondering the purpose of this visit. Frontman Matthew Murphy announced that there was a third album in the pipeline, but that they didn’t know how to play it yet, with the exception of current lead single 'Your Body Is A Weapon'. The key reason these questions could be pushed aside was the inarguable fact that this is a highly polished, immaculately rehearsed festival band with an arsenal of singalong pop rock songs that you already know all the words to. It's as simple as that. Whether dealing with guitar-based 'Kill The Director' and 'Moving To New York' from their debut, or the 'Modern Glitch's' more electronic 'Perfect Disease', the Liverpudlian trio came out and got it down. Huge anthems illicit a huge and their dedicated delivery and stage thrashing was enough to get smiles and hips wiggling across the whole arena.

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