St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival @ BNE Showgrounds – 2017


Review – Georgia Corpe
Pics – Bobby Rein

It’s that time of the year again. Yes, that’s right, it’s Laneway Day! (aka Australia Day). A typically hot January day in Brissie sets the tone for what was surely going to be a sweaty ten hours. But what better thing to do on such a morally confusing day to celebrate? Celebrate music of course. Bear Family popped along to catch a glimpse of one of Australia’s most beloved music festival.


Melbourne legends Camp Cope take to the Never Let It Rest Stage for some good ol’ fashioned indie alt-rock. Kicking off the set with Done, Flesh and Electricity and Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Beams, the three-piece showcase just some of those lovely tunes from that self-titled record we were all addicted to at some point last year. After releasing Split, an EP collaboratively made with Cayetana and released at the beginning of this year, the Melbournians are able to add a little more to their repertoire, throwing Keep Growing into the middle of their well-rehearsed set. It wouldn’t be a Camp Cope show if guitarist/singer Georgia Maq didn’t tell a bunch of dudes to fuck-off after pushing punters around in the mosh and promoting safety, but hey, that’s pretty freakin’ cool. What an A+ way to start the day!


After finishing off a huge year of releasing a debut album and touring all over the shop, Jacklin jumps on the Laneway lineup to say farewell to Australian audiences for a while before heading around the world with that precious voice. And oh boy will this set make us miss her! Jacklin teases Laneway audiences, kicking off her set with the slow-burner Hay Plain, before delving into the ever-so-sexy Leadlight and Coming of Age, a sweet change of pace and tone to Camp Cope who just finished up on the adjacent stage. Jacklin, having only been on the music scene for around a year, shows off true showmanship, playing and singing every note to a T and captivating punters by building on soft, slow songs. It is clear these tunes and live show is only the beginning for Jacklin’s long career ahead.


Now for the heavy stuff! White Lung take to the Spinning Top stage to throw down some mega-tunes. Guitarist Kenneth William and drummer Anne-Marie Vassiliou take to the stage to get the crowd warm, all before frontwoman Mish Way-Barber bursts out of side of stage to blow our minds with her huge voice. With their insanely cool sound, comparable to somewhere between Metric and Japandroids, White Lung captivate Australian punter’s ears, albeit while most of the audience stood in the shade, away from the stage. It didn’t seem to faze the three-piece, giving the set all they got, with Way-Barber smashing her vocals and William shredding like it wasn’t 40 degrees.


So, Tash Sultana would have been cool to see. That’s right, the tent was so packed for Sultana, it was almost impossible to see the tiny artist from the back of the tent. Oddly not so disappointed by this, it was easy to see how Jungle was voted in at #3 on the Hottest 100 as she packed out the tent with beloved fans. From what we could see, Sultana’s reputation preceded her, as she jolted and jived across the stage, flinging her hair back-and-forth, all whilst playing as many instruments as possible. Drum pad? Check. Pan flute? Yep. Most impressively, it almost seems like the music doesn’t stop throughout the whole set, as Sultana seamlessly transitions from one track to the next, hypnotizing the crowd and taking us all on a trip.

D.D DUMBO – 3:10PM

If you’ve seen D.D Dumbo, aka Oliver Hugh Perry, play live before, you’d probably expect to see Perry slaving away at an array of instruments, looping them repetitively to slowly build the songs we know and love from him. But no more! Perry now has a band, complete with percussionist and bass clarinet player to really bring out that Utopia Defeated sound. Opening up his set with Walrus and Satan, it’s pretty amazing to see how Perry’s incredibly impressive sophomore album translates live, and it definitely does not disappoint. With the crowd jumping and jiving to those addictively funky tunes, Perry and his band seemingly hit every punter’s rhythmic g-spot. D.D Dumbo’s set is a definite highlight from the Laneway lineup so far.

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – 4:00PM

Melbourne seven piece psychedelic wizards take to the Good Better Best stage to melt the minds of the already semi-melted punters. Frontman Stu Mackenzie is full of beans and belts out hit after hit whilst bending himself in half, upside down and everything in between. The fellas drop heavily rotated Triple J fave Gamma Knife early in the set which has the whole tent humming and boogin’ hard. Dropping singles from their ginormous 9 record back catalogue the King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard set is one  to remember.


Like a good wine, Gang of Youths just keeping getting better with age, or in their case, with every show. Busting open their set with Restraint and Release, the group don’t hold back with getting the crowd rocking. Frontman, and all round entertainer, David Le’aupepe lingers across the stage, belting out vocals all while playing guitar, dancing and locking eyes with audience members. The Gang then delve into Strange Diseases while the crowd helps Le’aupepe along with that iconic vocal opening, a stand-out moment amongst today’s sets.


A sign of a great musician – continues to wear a suit even though it is one of the hottest days in existence. Without breaking a sweat, Will Toledo keeps tradition and dons his signature grey suit for today’s set, and that was not the only impressive element of Car Seat Headrest’s show. Kicking off the set with Vincent, and playing out the majority of their set with tunes from the band’s seventh studio album, Teens of Denial, Car Seat Headrest play a fun and upbeat set, the highlight being a crowd singalong to Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales. As the song slowly builds to a beautiful rock track, the sun begins to set and cool down our burning noggins.


The sun has set and its time to get sticky (or gooey). On a darkly lit stage, silhouettes the only bodies to be seen, the Englishmen tantalise our dance-buds with a 2016 favourite, Life Itself. Although only seeing his outline, frontman Dave Bayley’s hips refuse to quit, getting those tired punters boogie-ing in the barmy tent. It is actually amazing how Bayland’s voice remains steady whilst he loses himself to the tunes, gyrating to the beat throughout the entire show, all while singing like a pro. Completing the set with the likes of Pork Soda and Gooey, Glass Animals reinforced their love affair with Australian audiences.


Regardless of how weird it is that Murphy will now be known as the musician formally known as Chet Faker, his live show continues to be an intriguing one for fans. Hitting the stage and opening his set up with his ‘revolutionary’ new music, Murphy warms up his chops with Fearless, complete with epic light-show, pleasing the senses of those up the back. We were not to be fooled though, Murphy still embraces his former self, sitting down at the piano and getting stuck into Gold, Talk is Cheap and Cigarettes and Loneliness, all of which follows with a choir of screaming girls from the crowd. It was difficult to know what to expect from Murphy considering his sudden career move, but regardless of his name, he still knows how to put one hell of a show.


Having great anticipation for the Perth band, after seeing at least a million ‘Fuck Trevor’ t-shirts throughout the day, the time had come to witness and listen to the fruits of Kevin Parker’s labour. Kicking off the set with Nangs and Let It Happen, it wasn’t too long until almost all punters at the festival had crammed into the seemingly tiny tent space to witness the funk. Another sign of a great band/musician – second song confetti. Halfway through Let It Happen, the boys blow off some confetti and boom, there’s our monies worth. Albeit not the only highlight of the set, it is always a nice surprise. Parker and his mates continue to please their fans, playing a balanced set from all three studio albums, complete with alluring psychedelic projections behind the group.


Bobby Rein

Bobby is one of Bear Family's earliest family members. He has a sweet beard and likes to take photos, sing songs and brew the occasional beer. If you see him at a show, give him a cuddle.

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