Spent the weekend at Splendour In The Grass, down at Byron Bay. We flew in to Brisbane on Friday night and drove down in the crappy buzz bomb we hired.
Luckily the weather cleared for the event and left us dry but freezing at night.
The line up was too good to be true and meant that I missed some of my favourite bands in an attempt to see others, it was very hard to prioritise when bands like Bloc Party were playing at the same time as The Shins. So here’s some pics I took with the trusty D80 (which according to the web site was a prohibited camera).
James Mercer - The Shins
Vikki - The Waifs, on harmonica
Under the big top
The Big Top with The Arctic Monkeys playing beneath
The Dirty Three
The Mix Up tent
Old Man River
A different view of Old Man River
Blue King Brown
The Cat Empire
The dust at dusk
I would have to say The Editors and The Dirty Three really stuck out as the biggest surprises. They rocked. The Editors played early in the day and were one of the first bands I saw. Tom Smith sounds so much more powerful live, it almost makes their recordings disappointing; I've now ordered their second album. I saw The Dirty Three so many years ago that I couldn't really remember an awful lot, but I do remember they were a lot more sedate the last time. This time Warren Ellis, looking like a crazy old man with long grey hair and a long grey beard, started off the set playing the violin like an electric guitar, jumping up and down, pulsing his body and kicking the drums; such a good show. I have also ordered their album.
Of course the big names were great; it's just always a pity, at these big shows, that you have no chance of getting up close and personal with those bands. Luckily The Shins played at the same time as Bloc Party so a majority of the crowd were in the big tent. I would have loved to have seen more of Bloc Party but I knew I'd get a better show from The Shins in the small tent, and wasn't disappointed. Five or six people back I even had a chance to get the D80 out.
Overall it was a great weekend. It was very interesting to see the contrast between the crowd on the first and second days. Obviously most people went way too hard way too early; by the second day the crowd was a lot more relaxed and laid back, no crazy antics and projectile vomiting. Food was great, with the fresh jam filled donuts being the extreme highlight, especially when we were cold and hungry.
It was dusty, there were crowds and line-ups everywhere, it was freezing at night, you were on the go all day racing to get to the front, alcohol and food was expensive and you were completely fucked by the end; sounds just like 24hr mountain bike racing. I'll be back next year if I can get another ticket.