Sunday, December 07, 2008

Homebake 2008 and Sydney

Friday night Tash and I flew up to Sydney for Homebake, a festival which features all Australian bands. On Saturday morning we grabbed some breakfast and then walked to The Domain. There was a brief wait in line before we eventually got into the venue. It was a very hot day- 35/95 degrees! After stopping to buy some bottled water we headed to The Dome stage for our first act of the day, The Holidays. Next up on the stage was Melbourne female duo Dash & Will in their first ever festival appearance. Their set was a lot of fun as they used tennis rackets to lob lollies into the audience and brought out a beach ball for the crowd to toss around.

We then headed to the Main Stage for another Melbourne band I've been wanting to see for a while, Eddy Current Suppression Ring. They played a great set of their old school punk songs, and I really enjoyed hearing "Which Way To Go." After a wander to refill our water bottles, we went back to The Dome stage for my favorites Little Red. They played a high energy set with a mix of old and new songs and had the crowd singing along. I was very happy to hear "Lazy Boy" and it was good to see such a positive response to the boys outside of Melbourne. After retreating to the shade under a tree to cool down a bit we were ready for End of Fashion. Their set was really good and included their first big hit "Oh Yeah" and the single "Fussy" off their latest album.

British India was our next act on the Main Stage. They really had the crowd going with their indie rock tunes. Unfortunately we were right in the sun for their set, so my goal of avoiding sunburn failed (even though I had on sun block). Besides the multiple stages, Homebake also set up a Cinema Pavilion to show a variety of short films. After grabbing some food we headed down to enjoy some films and relax in the dark for an hour and a half. My favorite of all the shorts we saw was "Mankind Is No Island" by Jason van Genderen. It's a really moving and thought provoking film.

When we emerged from the cinema the weather had gotten much cooler, which was a big relief. We headed back to The Dome stage for Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson. They mostly played songs from their album together "Rattlin' Bones." They are both great songwriters and musicians, and Kasey was very funny and sweet with her song introductions. "The Devil's Inside My Head" was stomping bluegrass number that had the crowd dancing. When their set finished we made our way through the crowd to the Main Stage for dance act Sneaky Sound System. They played a lot of their hits including "Pictures," "UFO," "I Love It," and "Kansas City." The crowd was totally into it and singing and dancing along.

The headline act of Homebake was Crowded House. Tash and I got as close to the stage as we could. I thought the set was a bit flat in comparison to the other shows earlier in the week. Neil had a bit of a raspy voice and the sound from where we were in the crowd was a bit muddy and hard to hear. Their set list probably needed a few more energetic hits in it considering this was a young festival crowd. The big hits though went down really well and the band were nearly drowned out by the singing of the crowd. I also got to hear "Hole in the River" which hadn't been played in Melbourne. In the encore some idiot threw their flip flop and hit Neil, which really pissed him off. He told the guy if he threw up his other shoe and took off his pants that he might let him stay. Security ended up carting the guy away and the show continued. They finished up the night with "Better Be Home Soon" and had the crowd hold up their lit mobile phones in the air- the modern equivalent of the lighter. All in all it was a fantastic day of music.

Today Tash and I started off with breakfast at a cafe along Cockle Bay Wharf, then had a wander around Darling Harbour. Next we caught a bus to The Rocks and checked out their Sunday market. After ice cream at Circular Quay we walked over to the Opera House as it began to rain. We hid for a bit inside the Opera House and once the weather cleared headed back outside. We spent some time at QVB having coffee, cakes and conversation before heading off to the airport for our flight home.

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