Live Review: Here's To Now Festival 2016

4 January 2016 | 12:41 pm | Jonty Czuchwicki

"It’s clear that as Here’s To Now develops it could become one of SA’s most exclusive and sought after festival experiences..."

Here’s To Now returned again in 2016 to the adoration of its patrons. The picturesque setting of the Coriole Vineyard once again set a precedent for an outdoor concert venue. The clear blue sky and lush green grass created the perfect sandwich for the main stage, with the cobbled pathways also providing a delicate spoonful of intrigue whilst walking in and around the winery. A sold out event this year, it’s clear that as Here’s To Now develops it could become one of SA’s most exclusive and sought after festival experiences, as it grows to draw in larger acts to perform in an intimate setting.

Ainslie Wills was one of the standout performances, she and her band sound as smooth as Portishead whilst deviating between songs with odd meters, polyrhythms and straight beats. Ainslie’s voice is as soft and rich, like velvet and her drummer equally as talented, displaying a precise and independent command of his limbs.

Dan Kelly stole the show in terms of pure charm, his anecdotal stories between songs providing as much joy as the music itself. Kelly performs a wicked rendition of the Australian national anthem, the way he envisions Jimi Hendrix would have blessed the tune, before leading into a psychedelic pop anthem in which Kelly, Jimi Hendrix, Ringo Star and Bindi Irwin play in a post-apocalyptic band under the sea. The song even included a chose your own adventure moment, in which the crowd unanimously cheered for an underwater guitar solo, rather than returning to the songs verse.

The entire crowd leapt to their feet as Max Savage and His False Idols, with the addition of the West End Boys Choir began to perform songs from Graceland. The stage was shoulder to shoulder with creative talent and the grass a tumultuous dancefloor. CW Stoneking then entertained his fans with a solo performance, apologising that he could not bring his band for the performance. The gravel tones and deep country inklings are not for everyone, but those inclined were absorbed beyond measure.

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The debut of
’s 10 piece live band was nothing short of beautiful to the eyes and ears. To see Adelaide’s star producer translate the densely composed Nicaragua Nights into a live setting was humbling, and you would be lying if you said your heart didn’t stand still for a minute.
Sex On Toast
brought a Melbourne flavour to the event, with the hyped hip hop MC getting the whole crowd off their feet, and the funk stylings of Sex On Toast keeping them dancing into the early hours of the night.