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Tag Archives: Splendour in the grass
After much deliberation, the Splendour in the Grass line-up dropped this morning. Now generally considered to be Australia biggest festival, the organisers have not held back announcing a strong mix of foreign and local acts. With three diverse head-liners on each night; Frank Ocean, Mumford & Sons and The National (the latter two performing their only Australian shows), Splendour will once again have a high number of ticket sales.
For me highlights of the line-up include; Babyshambles (with Pete Doherty’s first tour of Australia), Klaxons, Surfer Blood, Cold War Kids, Portugal. The Man, TV on the Radio and The National, with a polite smattering of great Australian bands.
Tickets Sales dates have not yet been confirmed, but pricing is as follows:
Three day event ticket: $350 + BF
One day event ticket: $140 + BF
Camping pass: $99 + BF
Country Club ticket: $699+BF
Splendour takes place from Friday July 26 – Sunday July 28
Mumford & Sons (Only Australian Show)
The National (Only Australian Show)
Of Monsters & Men
Empire Of The Sun
TV On The Radio (Only Australian Show)
Birds Of Tokyo
Architecture In Helsinki
Polyphonic Spree (Performing Rocky Horror Picture Show)
Boy & Bear
Fat Freddy’s Drop
Cold War Kids
You Am I (Performing Sound As Ever & Hi-Fi Way)
Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes
Portugal. The Man
Something For Kate
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Little Green Cars
The Jungle Giants
Art Of Sleeping
Yolanda Be Cool
What So Not
The other night, we spoke to Jordan Gatesmith of rising US band Howler. Having released their debut album America Give Up to rave reviews in January, Howler are set to play the European festival seen later this year, as well as appearing at our very own Splendour in the Grass. We spoke about making it big in Europe and growing up in Minnesota.
Where are you calling from?
We’re in London right now; (they play The Great Escape festival with the likes of Temper Trap and DZ Deathrays)
At this time last year would you have ever expected to be where you are now?
No, I think this time last year we might have just gotten the email from Rough Trade,. We really had no idea what was going on.
You’ve followed a similar path to that of last years buzz band The Vaccines. In fact you toured with them towards the end of last year, so there’s always going to be comparisons between the two groups. Is this something your proud of?
We’re not discouraged about it. You open for band, and they’re headlining in front of 4-500 people. It’s a good thing to get some more exposure out. But we shared influences with The Vaccines but we’re pretty different holistically as bands.
You’ve gotten pretty big in Europe. Did you intend for this to happen or would have preferred to have more success in the US?
Umm it’s good, I don’t know. It’s just different. Things will pick up where they pick up. We didn’t plan for anything. We were just doing our thing in our own town and we got the email from Rough Trade
Do you have any plans to relocate to Europe to try to capture this market?
There’s no immediate plan. We didn’t even think about markets. We think we have a good enough sound, and it’s not like we’re ignored in the US. We’ve played for some really great crowds, like some of the New York City gigs were really great.
You’re coming down here for Splendour in the Grass and a few sideshows. Have you been here before?
No, I’ve never been. We’re quite excited. We have something like 40 hours travel to get there. Going to Australia from Norway.
How would you sell a Howler live show to an Australian audience?
I don’t know. We usually let someone else sell the show.
Well, what would you say to convince our readers to buy tickets?
That’s hard. (Asks his friend ‘Barney’, “How do we sell to the Australian market?” “I don’t know man” comes the response) No pressure…
We spoke to Zulu Winter a few months ago, and they’re touring with you when you get here. Have you played with them before?
Yeah, we played with Zulu Winter in London. We got along well and liked their music. We were thinking about Australia and it just seemed a good decision.
You grew up in Minnesota in northern USA. It’s quite cold there. Was there much inspiration for your songs?
Yes, there is a lot of home town references and inspiration. The Punk scene of the early 1980s in Minneapolis in particular.
Because you have a very surf-rock sound, and songs like Beach Sluts. Seems a bit strange coming from such a cold climate.
No, it’s not a beachy sort of place. That’s true.
The album title America Give Up seems a bit patronising of the USA, especially after watching the viral website you guys set up. Was this intended to be inflammatory or taken as a bit tongue in cheek?
It was funny, (had a good laugh)
It was just us being naughty little brats and pulling the middle finger. It’s not meant to be taken too seriously.
Finally, Would rather listen to only one song for the rest of your life, or never listen to music again?
Never hear another song
Really? Most people say the other answer
Yeah, I’d never want to hear it again. I hate music.
Haha. Thanks for talking Jordan.
Howler play Splendour in the Grass on the 27th of July
They play The Corner Hotel on 24th of July with Zulu Winter. Tickets available from The Corner Hotel
America Give Up is out now.
This morning, the Splendour in the Grass line-up was announced. A lot was to be expected, especially those who have been following the rumours, with Jack White, Bloc Party, and Smashing Pumpkins chosen to headline each night. With the festival moving back to Byron Bay after two years at Woodford, the line-up is smaller than the previous two years. With no huge mainstream acts like last year, the festival is more suited to the music-fan this year, which is reflected in the cheaper ticket prices.
I still have a bit of a problem with the number of international acts that are touring again. Artists like Explosions In The Sky, Mudhoney, Gossip, Miike Snow and Smashing Pumpkins have all toured Australia in the last 18 months. There’s still plenty of other quality international acts, not to mention a great range of buzz Aussie acts.
Friday 27 July
At The Drive-In – Only Australian show
Explosions In The Sky – Only Australian show
The Afghan Whigs
Gypsy & The Cat
Yacht Club Djs
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Triple J Unearthed
Nice And Ego
Saturday 28 July
Bloc Party – Only Australian show
Dirty Three – Only Australian show
Lana Del Rey
Band Of Skulls
The Beautiful Girls
Bleeding Knees Club
Here We Go Magic
The Cast Of Cheers
Wolf & Cub
Sunday 29 July
The Kooks – Only Australian show
50 Years Of Dylan – Kav Temperley, Kevin Mitchell, Holly Throsby, Patience Hodgson and “an array of surprise Splendour guests”
Blue King Brown
Ball Park Music
Father John Misty
Nina Las Vegas
It’s been a pretty decent weekend. As one of the world’s largest music festival takes place in California, the Coachella Live streaming service has distracted me from mindless studying. With Splendour in the Grass due to announce their line-up this Thursday, there are a number of acts playing at Coachella which are possible to make the trip over. The Shins seem highly likely to perform at Byron, with a set that included a mix of the old and new, and included New Slang, Australia, and Sleeping Lessons. As I write this, At The Drive In are playing a brilliant set, and are an outside chance to headline Splendour. Band of Skulls are almost definitely making the trip, while my favourite group from the weekend, We Were Promised Jetpacks are another chance to make it over. But as more bands announce plans overseas at the end of July, we get a smaller field to guess the Splendour headliners. Frontier Touring have given us a few clues that Jack White is due to announce a tour in the next few days, to coincide with a headlining appearance at Splendour, while the rumours for indie stalwarts Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand.
Did everyone else watch Dre and Snoop’s set? I must admit, I was mighty impressed, and I rarely listen to rap or hip-hop. But I must admit I was a little uncomfortable by the Tupac hologram. It was an impressive display of technology, and if anyone could have done it, it was Dre and Snoop, but part of me can’t help but think it was a little eerie and disrespectful to Tupac. Anyway, that’s my two cents on the matter.
Gig of the Week
Bleeding Knees Club released their debut EP earlier this year. Nothing to Do is a catchy riff-driven surf-rock piece and the group are currently touring around Australia. It’s going to be a pretty intense set, if their set at Falls FEstival is anything to go by. They play the Northcote Social Club this Saturday night.
Album of the Week
Jack White – Blunderbuss
I’m sure I’m not the only one who would have liked The White Stripes to have stayed together, or at least given Australia another tour before their unfortunate demise. But Jack White continues to make music and his seemingly inevitable solo album is upon us. I’ve only had a chance to listen to two singles from the album, but I’m itching to get my hands on a copy.
What I’m Listening To
Pulp – Different Class
I could have put a number of Coachella acts here, but watching Pulp again reminds me of so many good times in my life.
It’s been a slow news day today. I think it’s to do with the Labour Day public holiday, and partly because all the media companies are hung over and returning from Golden Plains. As the summer festival season has come to a close, with Future and Golden Plains now over, it’s time to start looking for the next bunch of line-up announcements, namely Splendour in the Grass and Vivid Live. In the last week Vivid rumours have been heating up, and the lovely people over at FasterLouder have hinted that Bjork may well be on her way to present her Biophilia set. Having already confirmed Sufjan Stevens for the Sydney-based festival, Vivid is on its way to match last years effort, a festival that included The Cure, OFWGKTA, Tame Impala and The Avalanches.
We’re about a month away from the first Splendour announcement as well but there have already been a couple of clues as to who will be playing. You can as good as lock Last Dinosaurs in, as their track Zoom featured on the Splendour teaser video. In international acts, The Shins have claimed they’ll be here in June, and The Ting Tings and Band of Skulls have both said they’ll be coming twice in the next year, with Splendour seemingly a certain. I think the headliners are still a little hard to pick, but with Jack White headlining Fuji Rock, you’d think he’d be favourite for one of the nights, and with Bloc Party due to reform they could be another shout.
Gig of the Week
I wrote about their new album two weeks ago, but this Friday, The Dirty Three play a sold-out show at the Palace Theatre. It will be weird to see them somewhere other Meredith, but it will be a magical set. For gigs still with tickets available, check out The Beards at the Corner hotel on Thursday, The Fearless Vampire Killers at the Toff in Town on Saturday, Velociraptor at The Tote on Saturday, or free the tight-arses reading, Rapskallion will play a gig of gypsy brilliance at Bar Open on Saturday. That last one is free.
Album of the Week
The Shins – Port of Morrow
The Shins have been one of my favourite bands for years, but they haven’t released an album since 2006. I’m personally pretty excited for this one, that comes out on Friday, and I’m already loving first single Simple Song. I’m hoping that the change of band-members has not disrupted James Mercer’s genius too much.
What I’m listening too
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today
We went and saw them on Friday night in what was one of the weirdest gigs I’ve ever attended. Even at the moment, we’re arguing over who should review it because we really don;t know when to start. But nevertheless the album is brilliant. The man is a genius!
This final review was a collaborative effort, and I hope it doesn’t get too confusing. The first part was written by Callum, the second part, Declan. Enjoy.
With our stomachs and heads spinning from the out of control night before, the last thing we wanted was alcohol. However we had bands to see and opinions to be had so I traipsed off to see Grouplove, again unaccompanied. I’ve had a number of arguments with Big D in relation to this band, him being the eternal pessimist and against any band who haven’t established themselves as punk rock gods. But I like them, and was immensely glad I saw them. The charisma and life shown within the band, translated directly into their live show. Unfortunately we would never find out the result of their FIFA match against Foster the People.
The next act I saw was The Vaccines. There was going to be nothing stopping me from seeing these guys, despite a clash from Yelle. I have feeling I would have spoken about them more than any other band on my blog posts. While only playing in front of a smallish crowd, the band were visibly impressed with the attendance, confirmed by a later interview on Triple J. Some people may find their genre a little repetitive and boring, but it is certainly enjoyable in a live setting. Their gig on which we saw on Wednesday night in Melbourne will be review in more detail laterI would have enjoyed to have seen Yelle, but every festival will have these clashes and you have to make the most of it. Also, lying in the tent quietly moaning, needing a hug and cursing that bottle of vodka and apple juice you drank last night is a perfectly legitimate way to enjoy the morning.
It’s amazing how far Cloud Control have come in recent years. We first saw them sandwiched between Last Dinosaurs and Yves Klein Blue in a gig at Corner Hotel. Last week they opened for Arcade Fire in Milan. This is no Milan in Sydney. This is Milan in Italy. Sunday afternoon they played a brilliant set in front of roughly 10,000 people. The band had new bass player in tow due to Jeremy Kelshaw recently becoming a father. You could tell they had been touring with Arcade Fire, as halfway through the set, the band rushed off stage and returned with giant coloured balloons to hurl into the crowd. As the balloons bounced around, the stage went quieter as the Circle of Life tune blasted over the speakers. The footage of Raffiki holding up Simba on Pride Rock was replaced by Kelshaw holding up his newborn baby girl. As those in the upper areas of the ampitheatre craved a dance, a stampede like mosh pit formed on top, led by a man clad only in yellow budgie-smugglers. It feels so trivial describing the set with words. My vocabulary simple is not vast enough to correspond the degree of epicness about this set.
This next part was written by Declan
The sun was setting and we decided to tactically miss The Vines because their set at Big Day Out had been horribly discordant and out of time. However reports came back they played a very tight set, maybe rock and roll does have a future on the Australian music scene. However, we are not here to speculate. Following and orgiastic intermission filled with pepsi, fried chicken and garlic mayonaise we ventured to the now dark and slightly chilly ampitheatre once again to see professionally under-rated band Elbow. Hailing from Manchester, having played together for over 20 years and winning a Mercury prize three years ago, these guys were not mucking around. Sitting on the hill we listened to the front man’s practiced and perfected banter, chatting to the crowd in a gentle and friendly manner, a style which also adequately describes the musical style. Coldplay without the mainstream success, as they are usually described, is too simplistic and really doesn’t give Elbow enough credit. Their orchestral pop rock had the crowd swaying and singly along to their tunes which truly reached out to everyone in the not yet full out the ampitheatre. As Guy Garvey proclaimed ‘let’s do festivally things’ then commanded the crowd’s hands to sway back and forward, the punters gladly obliged, impressed by the musicality and showmanship of the first of four British bands to close out the festival.
Gums and Big D, ludricious nicknames we had given each other at one of the sillier points of campsite discussion now ventured into the mosh for the Kaiser Chiefs. This is a band that has been around for a while and we were not expecting an overly inspiring performance but I at least was pleasantly surprised. The band having just released their fourth album exploded onto stage and thoroughly inspired the few of us not simply staking out a claim for Coldplay. Playing through some new tracks and their back catalogue which did include more anthems than I remembered, Never Miss a Beat, Ruby and I Predict a Riot all inspiring much merriment from us and the few Scottish backpackers next to us. The peak of the set was easily The Angry Mob which had much of the ampitheatre, or at least those who were quick to learn, “We are the Angry Mob, We read the papers every day, we like who we like, we hate who we hate but we’re oh so easily swayed”
The Coldplay worship continued as we found ourselves amongst a plethora of barely legal females to whom we had to explain exactly who and what Pulp were. Now in this day and age Britpop is largely dead, Damon Albarn writes symphonies and rap songs, Noel and Liam are will never stop fighting but one thing is exactly the same as the glorious 1995. Jarvis Cocker. He, the lead singer of Pulp, for those who are woefully and pitifully un-educated in this area, is simply sex. He exudes appeal and charm in the most stumbling and unassuming way possible, softly engaging in improvised banter and ingratiating himself with the audience. The set began with an excruciatingly drawn out process of questions flashing across a screen at the front of the stage like which ranged from the pertinent “Do you remember the first time?” to the absurd “Would you like to see a dolphin?”, after which an animated dolphin appeaered. The show finally started with the soft opening chords of Do you remember the first time? and didn’t end until an hour of glorious Manchurian charm and Britpop. The crowd really began to dance during Disco 2000 as Jarvis recited various strange and esoteric facts, at one point producing two air-horns and then miniature video camera for the ever voyeuristic and sleazy I Spy. Later on he exclaimed ‘This might be the last Pulp show in Australia’ which drew much sadness from the dedicated members of the audience and later on from Chris Martin of Coldplay. Sorted for E’s and Whiz was all the tribute to drugs and a party culture it was when it was written and became particularly pertinent when the lyrics where changed to reference the very festival we were at; “I seem to have left an important part of my brain somewhere in a field near Brisbane.” Finally, sadly, restricted by time and assaulted by the smell of the emptying of the porta-loos at the top of the hill, Pulp were forced from the stage at the great pain of their small group of vocal fans. They didn’t leave without the final treat however Common People arrived in all its a grandiose and exclamatory magnificence, satisfying a crowd who sang along to every last word as Pulp slowly disappeared from the ampitheatre.
Finally, it was time for Coldplay. We had retreated to the top of the hill to relax and take in one of the biggest acts in the world. There was hardly a person sitting but we managed to find a clear viewpoint from which we were able to be sarcastic and pretentious. Everything considered, it was an enjoyable set, filled with hits that were easy to listen to and even easier to sing along to. As a headliner for a festival like Splendour in the Grass, Coldplay was no match for last year’s Pixies or the year before’s Flaming Lips, however much of the crowd seemed to lose their proverbial shit as Coldplay finsihed their set with the classic Fix You and their new non-sensical number Every Teardrop is a Waterfall. It was enjoyable enough but nothing to write home about. It will be interesting to see the direction Splendour in the Grass takes next year as they failed to sell out the festival with two of the biggest acts in the world. It seems to me that these acts (Kanye and Coldplay) appeal more to the casual listener who is far less likely to buy tickets that cost in excess of $500. However, that kind of analysis is best left to another post and it is essential to finish on the point that Splendour in the Grass 2011 was one of the best weekends of our lives. We danced in the glow of the sun and reveled in the warmth of brilliant music and, surrounded by friends, we truly lived.
We were into the second day of music. After dancing our way through the likes of Modest Mouse, The Hives and Kanye the night before, the Saturday was seen as a chance to catch our breath. Or, get outrageously drunk and shout at people. Our posse of party people did exactly that.
But we did actually see some bands. We did a fair bit of that actually. It started with Ghoul, who were opening the Mix-Up stage at the early hour of 11am. I was curious to see them, as they have just been announced as touring with Jack Ladder in October and I needed to know what I was getting myself into. But more importantly, the early time-slot allowed me a rare opportunity to utilise the 3G network, which gets increasingly clogged up as the festival folk wake-up. Ghoul were quite impressive, an act I thoroughly look forward to seeing later.
After discovering this amazing Satay Wrap on my way from the festival to camp, we discussed a variety of things. In particular our thoughts on how to start a rumor, following the mysterious non-appearance of Jay Z the night before. This led to the realization that Chris Martin of Coldplay is too nice a guy, apart from his peg leg*.
If you have watched one of our vlog posts, you will know our theme for the festival revolved around Celtic Football Club. With three Glasgow bands on the bill and a number of Celtic fans playing in these bands, I was excited for all three of them. We made our way to see the final of the three at around 1pm. Dananananaykroyd are a difficult band to categorise and also a very tiring band to pronounce, especially after a few drinks. I hadn’t heard of fight rock until I’d heard them, but now consider myself an expert in the matter. Their two bonkers frontmen spend their time singing in harmonies through pretty much every song, and when their not singing, they’re carrying on like children on Christmas. Invading the mosh, and rocking out in the middle of a crowd circle, Calum and John seemed to be trying to outdo each other in craziness. When order was restored, the band controlled the crowd, instigating a variety of the ‘Wall of Death’ known as a ‘Wall of Cuddles.’ But after this cornucopia of love had finished, we were left wanting more fight rock.
What will happen to Foster the People? Having been met by a huge crowd at the Mix-Up stage for their set, big things are expected of them. On a day with few musical highlights, Foster the People clashed with Children Collide at the 4pm time slot. Due to forces beyond our control, this would be our last set of the day. As I headed over to the Ampitheatre for Children Collide, who had the early jump on Foster the People, one couldn’t help but wonder how the crowd would be spread between the two. I only managed to stay for a few Children Collide songs, which luckily included Farewell Rocketship before heading to the mob outside of the Mix-Up Stage. I had to walk around the outside of the tent before finding a nook where I could see the band by standing on a rubbish bin. I don’t want to be too judgemental here, due to restricted vision, but I only really enjoyed Pumped Up Kicks, and spent most of the set wishing I’d stayed at Children Collide. But shit happens.
With a few hours to kill and only Regina Spektor as a staple on the night, El Vino did flow. I remember sitting with two guys from neighbouring tents, and shouting ‘They took our jobs!’ into the night sky. I remember running around the camp site and finding cans of Sprite. I remember getting tangled in someone’s tarpaulin. And then I remember I was at Regina. And then I was asleep. Anyone who can comment on Regina’s set will win a hug from myself.
I woke up Sunday morning in a daze….
*Chris Martin may or may not have a peg leg.
NB: Declan and Callum separated at one point during the night and these are Declan’s vague recollection of his adventures.
As Callum disappeared into the distance I resolved that with a different group of people I should try even harder to get drunk and high, which I did. We wandered to Pnau, an act I wouldn’t normally go out of my way to see, however they were as enjoyable as I can remember. To be honest the best part of their set was when I was dared to climb the rope leading up to the side of the Mix-Up Tent and successfully did so, with only slight scaring to my fingers. Pnau played a mix of their old and new tracks, their single The Truth definitely a highlight. I came away from their set more of a fan than when I arrived which definitely lends credence to their ability to reproduce their electro-pop in a live setting.
It’s unscripted, it’s live, it’s a little dodgy on sound quality, but here at No Jackets we have revolutionized the blogging universe. Recorded after the first night at Splendour in the Grass, this is the first vlog reviewing our Splendour trip. In one of the scenes Declan grows the horn of a unicorn (Edit: We had to delete that scene.)
Part One of our Splendour in the Grass Preview.
As the title of their article suggests, these are the bands that are paid the big bucks. All would potentially be big enough to headline on their own, but have been forced to share the spotlight. Here is my opinion on each.
I’m not the hugest Coldplay fan to begin with, but I’m already really looking forward to their set. Love them or hate them, Coldplay have a perfect sound for a festival set. It will be best suited for all attending to put their differences aside and just thoroughly enjoy the set.
Wait For: Fix You. I’m already expecting Fix You to be the most amazing moment at the festival. And this if from a guy who is pretty indifferent to the song to begin with. there will be some surprises from other bands, but this will be a sure thing.
Must-see rating: 7/10
As much as my indifference towards Coldplay, I really do not like Kanye, and cannot understand why he’s even coming. Yes, I watched his Coachella performance and it was one of the worst sets I’ve seen. With his entourage of guest vocalists, he was out of tune and out of time, and the ridiculousness of his stage was just a waste of money. I will be doing all I can to avoid him.
Wait For: Everyone to leave during/after the set feeling incredibly underwhelmed and regretting seeing him over Kaiser Chiefs/Kills/Modest Mouse/other who were playing at the same time.
Must-see rating: 1/10
Probably the hardest rock band on the bill, and a much-needed addition to every festival.These rock legends will grace the stage playing a large range of the catalogue ranging from 1988’s Nothing Shocking to upcoming album, The Great Escape Artist.
Wait For: Dave Navarro. That is all.
Must-see rating: 6/10
Will they be able to re-create the BritPop magic of the nineties? Lord, I hope so. Being a huge BritPop fan myself, Pulp are probably my most anticipated band of the festival. While Common People and Disco 2000 will be the fan favourites, and probably mine too, part of me is hoping they play Babies.
Wait For: This line from Sorted For E’s and Whizz will completely summarise my Splendour Depression in the weeks after:
“And you want to phone your mother and say
Mother, I can never come home again,
Cos I seem to have left an important part of my brain Somewhere
Somewhere in a field in Hampshire.”
Must-see Rating: 9/10
I saw the Hives once. It was one of my very first gigs. It is still one of the best gigs I’ve ever done. It’s become this great legend in my mind, possibly to the extent that it’s been exaggerated so much that I will only be disappointed when their set comes along. For the next few weeks I’m going to have to try to convince myself that they weren’t really that amazing, just so I won’t be that disappointed when it comes along.
Wait For: Howlin’ Pelle and the boys’ new outfits. Last time it was black and white suits, to fit their new album, The Black and White Album. What will it be this time.
Must-see Rating: 8/10
Since I’ve started using WordPress, I’ve greatly increased the amount of times I’ve listened to Modest Mouse, which was quite large to begin with. Sign in -> My Blog -> Dashboard -> go to iTunes -> play Dashboard by Modest Mouse. Despite being relatively quiet for a few years, there are reports of a new album coming. But who needs it? With Dashboard, Float On, Oceans Breathes Salty,amongst others. The set will be amazing.
Wait For: Float On. If you’re picking songs that absolutely everyone in the crowd will song along to, this is definitely up there. Featuring on Guitar Hero and Rock Band has certainly helped this.