Live Review: Our Festival

12 July 2012 | 2:45 pm | Luke Butcher

Always going to be an interesting proposition, Our Festival takes over The Bakery for a night of “guitar music”. More at home in a beer-drenched bar, the pub-rock sound of The MDC faces a lofty challenge in warming up a modest crowd at 8pm, but give it their darndest before 44th Sunset take over with a bluesier set. An interesting proposition, with male and female vocals, the act showed a whole lot of potential, despite the hindrance of youth and the over-the-top Iggy Pop emulations from the frontman. However, their mastering of dynamics and volume showed that with a bit of time to mature, these guys could be something.

The Tumblers followed with another lesson in drama from their nipple-flashing frontman. A very good band with some big, big dirty grooves that draw from Vasco Era's reckless abandon. Having developed a broader sound that doesn't rely upon the garage rock loud/soft dynamics too much, the band were very impressive. Lanark took the reigns and again highlighted the eclecticism of the night that unfortunately worked against each act individually. Their Interpol-esque sound drew the largest crowd of the evening though, rewarding the band for a fine set with a broad sonic palette punctuated by control and restraint.

The Brit-influenced rock of The Spitfires was also faced with the challenge of entertaining a very large, mostly empty room. Documenting the struggles of suburban life, like many of the nights act had they been in a setting that was complimentary to them, the three-piece would of gone down well. Benefiting from the only continuity of the night, Wash followed with a high-energy, if a little inconclusive set. Hard to categorize in any one sound, yet not really mastering their own, the band took advantage of a nice crowd, entertaining the audience with plenty of rockstar antics.

Odd band on the bill Foxes followed with a lesson in intensity, both in performance and musicianship. A band torn between two worlds, and evidently nailing both, the ambitious progressive sound of the band took precedence over the heaviness in a set that unfortunately suffered from a muddy sound – most likely a victim of the rushed change over times between bands. The bohemian bunch of The Morning Night closed the evening, to a small crew of dedicated late-night groovers. Surprised by the brisk set length, it was nonetheless a pleasurable set with plenty of comedic banter.

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It's clear that the organisers of the event's hearts were in the right place, and the quality of musicianship on display from all bands could not be questioned, but perhaps a couple fewer acts to ease logistical issues, and a more appropriate rock'n'roll setting would be preferred for future nights of 'our music'.