"Thank you again Falls Festival. There is no doubt many of the dusty, sunburnt, oddly glitter covered crowd went home with a smile on their face."
One last day of warm bodies, baked shiny and red, on the long winding line from the campground to the beach. Empty water bottles on the field by the stage are still being picked up as people head down to The Village for the morning yoga class.
On the main stage Alpine brought the perfect summer's day recovery music, while in The Village Jed Appleton helped to kick off the final day of dancing in thirty degree weather for 2015. The performance was an exemplary transition between up tempo blues folk and slow soulful tunes with a level of ease that only comes to artists who tour relentlessly. Straight off the back of a stint in the UK the 21-year-old songwriter treated the crowd to some new songs.
“I wrote this one for my mum as a Christmas present because I couldn’t afford to get anything,” Jed says to introduce a song as he kicks off his six-piece outfit of local supporting musicians.
A highlight of this set is Mr Peterson, a Willy Mason-style folk song about a man questioning his position in society and an ambition to find some sense of personal contentment.
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"Come out here Jon — he’s a good friend. He’s got the frosted tips and a great butt, this is his first tour with us Down Under,” goads Mac De Marco. Jon’s initiation was to stage dive from the subs and crowd surf for an entire song. The singer stands in an oversized sweat drenched Mickey Mouse T-shirt as behind him a slow motion clip plays on loop of a man looking with crossed eyes at the camera in a room and a name and number at the bottom of the screen. This clip plays for the entire set, and gets no explanation. The band’s energy and crowd interaction is world-class, and the sound is the surf-rock alternative style that made Pavement so outstanding, perhaps aided in no small part by the singer’s voice sounding incredibly similar to Stephen Malkmus.
The Tasmanian local festivalgoers were eager to welcome home Courtney Barnett — whilst continually described as a Melbourne girl, her origins lie a little further south in Hobart. Admitting that she used to come to Marion Bay as a punter, Courtney gave to her home crowd as much passion and perfectly laidback style as only she can manage. With an amazing balance between dirty grunge and troubadour storytelling, if you don’t get what all the fuss is about with this one — go and see a Courtney Barnett live show. Strangely, the biggest song with links to her Hobart childhood, Pickles From The Jar, Courtney claimed they rarely play. Moral of the story: never be afraid of your roots.
With a modest but excited crowd Young Fathers are one of those bands you don’t realise were your favourite new discovery of 2015. With the most excited drummer of the festival smashing out Caribbean-style dirty clunky beats, it was afro-dub with a twist of tasty hip hop and lovely layered samples that give Young Fathers a unique blend not matched by many.
Chilling the Field Stage down, Josh Pyke did his consummate professional folk singer/songwriter best. He is a talent that never wanes and his new songs will be worth a listen for the recovery after any summer festival.
It was time to settle in to the Valley Stage for the headliners for the kick off of tonight's New Year’s celebrations. We start out with Paul Kelly’s Merri Soul Sessions — with the right mix of classics like How To Make Gravy and Dumb Things and the vocal stylings of Dan Sultan and legends Vicka and Linda Bull.
Then the dance fest commenced. RÜFUS gave a stellar set, setting the right tone to move into the graceful chaos of Bloc Party. Playing a great mix of classics from A Weekend In The City and standouts from Silent Alarm like Helicopter and This Modern Love, it was an experience that suited the transition from 2015 to 2016 seamlessly.
Once countdowns and awkward kisses were done, Disclosure put in a sterling effort of duelling drum machines and star-studded soon-to-be dance anthems like Omen and Magnets featuring Lorde. All bets were off and people were cutting shapes on that dance field/floor that won’t be repeated until we do it all again next year.
Bypassing a dull Bag Raiders set, many went off into the glow of the New Year in search of other entertainment. Local Hobart indie favourites Tiger Choir were cranking out their DJ set out at the Village again, winding up with ridiculous pop tunes better suited to a 90s night club. However, Justin Bieber, Spice Girls and especially a bit of Drake’s Hotline Bling had quite a few people dancing into the wee hours.
Thank you again Falls Festival. There is no doubt many of the dusty, sunburnt, oddly glitter-covered crowd went home with a smile on their face that will be hard to wipe off for the days to come.