The 2011 Parklife festival lineup was announced this morning, with very little to be surprised about. The dance music festival returning to its dance/electro roots. After booking the likes of The Dandy Warhols, The Wombats and Darwin Deez last year I was pretty disappointed there wasn’t a few more international traditional rock bands on the bill. Disappointing for those enamoured with Bliss, Eso and the whole gang of pseudo-gangster bogan dipshits, there isn’t too much Aussie hip-hop on the bill. This festival however is all happening at the same time as Soundwave Revolution and a month or before the rumoured Harvest Festival, so Australia may not be too starved in that winter of musical discontent between Splendour and the real Summer festivals.
A lot of these acts are primarily DJ sets and while I do enjoy a lot of electronic music, I tend to find big international dance headliners, especially at festivals can be very hit and miss. I don’t want to fork out my hard-earned cash for one half of DFA1979 to turn out an average and lazy set from behind his decks, while the other half enjoys the beautiful Australia sights (read: cocaine). Also, a lot of the artists playing are one-hit wonders which is great if you just want to get fucked up and sing along but not so great if you want an uplifting, fulfilling and musically moving experience.
Here are my highs and lows of the lineup, in order of their billing:
Parklife 2011 lineup
A fairly average band that would be nowhere near as well known or well critically recieved if it weren’t for their overweight, lesbian and edgy lead singer. Heavy Cross would be the only song to interest me and most of a drunken and pinging crowd late in the day.
Death From Above 1979
A fairly influential Canadian noise/dance punk outfit who can apparently put on a really terriffic show if their streamed Coachella performance was anything to go.
I saw A-Trak play a brilliant set on New Years Eve at the Falls Festival, scratching vinyl and pumping out great traditional DJ set. Barabara Streisand could easily be the highlight of the festival- (who ever thought I would be writing that sentence…?) – from this extremely catchy New York super-duo.
I have written before about how much I enjoy this German duo’s music and I will definitely be seeing a sideshow at least. They played earlier in the year at Prince but that was apparently a fairly disappointing DJ set. They found much of their early success here in Australia supporting the Presets so its little wonder why they don’t mind coming back. Also, they have been apparently been collabarating with Julian Casablancas, Alex Burnett of Sparkaida and Bernard Sumner of Joy Division, for lyrics and vocals which could make for some very exciting music.
I think it would be very difficult for anyone not enjoy the lad-inspired talk-rock of these Englishmen, who have recently released a new album. Shouting “You’re fit but you don’t know it” could be one of those moments, but apart from that their new material has been fairly average.
Responsible for quite a few originals and remixes that just refused to die in the club scene in Melbourne over the past few years, I’m sure MSTRKRFT will put on a BRLNT and very familiar set.
Naked & Famous
I felt I had to include this soon to be Australian (ie New Zealand) dance rock out-fit. I saw them play at BDO and enjoyed sweating through their set, but honestly they are nothing all that great to get excited about.
This producer placed very highly in the Hottest 100 of 2010 with Teenage Crime killing it across the country. He hasn’t been to Australia yet and it would be interesting to see his live show, but I would only really enjoy that one song.
Simbian Mobile Disco
The progression of Simian, who wrote the original of ‘We are your friends’ the hit that skyrocket Justice to musical power, are releasing a new album very soon and are responsible for quite a few catchy dance tunes like Audacity of Huge. They are known to play some really good remixes and mash-ups live.
One half of Major Lazer, Diplo is one of America’s most prolific and involved producers and DJs. Having collaborated with everyone from MIA and Beyonce to the Streets and Die Antwoord, Diplo is an experienced professional who will puts on a slick and exhilarating set. Having played Stereosonic with Major Lazer, he returns once again to Australia. He also runs a non-profit organisation in Australia called Heaps Decent for reasons beyond me. Anyway, he’s a good guy.
Yacht Club DJs
One of my favourite Australian dance acts, I’ve seen Yacht Club DJs play everywhere from shitty clubs in King St to thousands of people at the Falls Festival Ampitheatre (which was one of the highlights of that festival). These guys always put on a wild show.
Death From Above 1979
Mylo (DJ set)
Naked & Famous
Simian Mobile Disco
Joker & MC Nomad
The Aston Shuffle
Yacht Club DJs
Dates tickets and info at parklife.com