St. Jerome's Laneway Festival '18 Preview
In a city with such a status of a burgeoning music scene, we hold pride to the initial home of St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival. After a staggering 13 years, Laneway returns to tickle the strings in our hearts to a total of seven cities (Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Fremantle, Auckland and even Singapore) to bring us what they always have... one dirty, fat line-up. While the festival started out in Caledonian Lane, a graffiti coloured, milk crate littered alley, from that initial Laneway experience in 2005, it proved it wasn’t just a festival, it was and has remained to be an urban music experience like no other. For a festival to have become so large to use its platform to create help hotlines for the day (1800-LANEWAY), yet still stick to it’s roots of great vibes and better tunes says something. Laneway oozes authenticity unlike any other day festival.
But alas folks, it’s that time of year again... we're a couple days away from Laneway and it’s at this time, that brings to the surface the main question for the festival season, what do you cherish more; your mates or the bands you want to see on the line-up? The only issue that comes with such a cheeky line-up, is that is naturally does lead to a few clashes. Laneway have most certainly created a hard decision for us this year, as they’ve delivered in each way, shape and form one hell of a line-up. Oh good golly gosh have they delivered. So take a seat and get comfy, we have a bit to discuss.
It’s always a jazzy feeling when even the names in the smaller font of the line-up still get you rock hard, which is then a safe bet that the headliners are a treat too. 2018 featured an extremely diverse line-up of The War On Drugs, Father John Misty, Bonobo, Billie Eilish, Anderson .Paak, Mac Demarco, Kllo, The Internet, Pond, Willaris. K, Wolf Alice as well as Moses Sumney. You’d assume that this would be the finished product of a great line-up, the desert of a tasty meal. But the icing on the cake has yet to spread, the fat lady is yet to have sung.
Travelling over from California we have Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals. Most well known for his album Malibu which is an example of his most proficient work. .Paak sings and celebrates through his style of a warm breezy blend of funk, soul, blues and rap, his history of where he's come from and where he is now. The devilish man delivers to your ears and the stage an effortless groove of infectious energy, that will doubtlessly have you singing his lyrics along with his husky badass self. And by the end of the set, you’re sure to be brought into this dreamers’ romantic, funky world and stuck in a haze for a bit, even after you sober up. A watchful ear for .Paak’s set contends to a track close to our heart called The Bird, tinted with a type of raw emotion that can only be praised. But other panty-droppers such as Come Down and Put Me Thru that have the type of beats and riffs that can’t keep you still or quiet for long.
It’d be truly remiss of me not to mention the Meath and Sanborn who make up the delightful duo that is Sylvan Esso. Yet another Laneway import from the U.S, North Carolina is home to the electronic pop duo Sylvan Esso, although they aren’t your typical, everyday type of electronic music. Their most recent work from What Now, a full length album released mid-last year is an exemplary example of how distinct and unique their productions are. With lyrics of witty humour, personal storytelling and an explanation of deep emotions so poetic, you nearly forget how catchy and singable the songs are. A vivacious performance from Sylvan Esso is the very least to be expected. A personal Figaro favourite from the pair is their single Die Young, a powerful and unique love song. If you can pull yourself away from the Very West stage and to the Dean Turner stage for Sylvan Esso, you’re sure to be rewarded with a set of lots of dancing and electronica-pop music about love, freedom and more love.
Further down the line-up, we’ll find Loyle Carner. A British MC coming all the way from South London to bless our Footscray grounds and take us somewhere heavenly. Carner is a sensitive rapper of confessional hip-hop, through his music he brings us an autobiography of ambitions, heartache, daydreams, devotion and most importantly, his mother. It only takes a short listen to quickly understand how profoundly motivated by love young Loyle Carner is. His song Isle of Aran is a glorious example of Carner’s effortless style of gospel hip-hop, cutting through the surface and bringing to light what is an honest, true talent. Incorporating elements of jazz and blues into his hip-hop sound to compliment the poetic truth spoken in his lyrics, makes Carner an intense sensation that’d you’d be remorseful to miss. And if this doesn’t sell you, the poppet wrote a song about how much he loves his mum, and even chucked in some airtime on his album Yesterday’s Gone for an interlude where he teases her for choice of swear words.
2017’s instalment of Laneway Festival was headlined by psychedelic juggernauts Tame Impala and if you head down this year, you just may be witnessing the making of the next best thing. Byron Bay’s very own The Babe Rainbow, are quickly becoming an Australian favourite following the release of their debut self-titled album last year. Their unmistakable 60’s sound only makes them more noticeable, drawing comparisons to the likes of the Beatles, Cream and Jim Morrison and the Doors. It is no doubt a more psychedelic style, but the similarities are there in a big way, trust us. So, if you’re an old soul craving a quick 45-minute trip back 55 years or so, be sure not to miss Byron’s very own.
Some local talent is hitting the The Very West Stage at Laneway this year, if you’re able to orienteer your group out of pre’s early enough to catch Angie McMahon open up the days festivities, than you’re in for a treat. This little peach burnt through our monocle and onto our radar after her release of her first single Slow Mover, which snuck in at #33 on this year Hottest 100. A set Angie McMahon will spike some feelings, she'll have you cuddling your best mate or texting your ex-fling to see how they've been.
Lastly, BADBADNOTGOOD, a jazz group straight out of the mountains of O’ Canada. The band grasped its reputation by the balls when their hand-held camera jazz interpretation videos of Odd Future songs caught the attention of Tyler the Creator himself. Since then the the four Canadian lads of BADBADNOTGOOD have become one of the world’s most successful hip-hop/jazz jamming bands to date. If you're familiar with the works of Kaytranada’s album 99.9%, BBND featured for a collaboration on the track ‘Weight Off’, as well as collaborating with Frank Ocean on many projects for Blonde. As a collective society, over time we’ve learnt that the reputation of Canadian’s politeness is unquestionable, well when it comes to BADBADNOTGOOD, the talent is also unquestionable, especially when it’s oozing from your jazz prickled fingers.
While you're in for a bit of a jog to stages between sets (St. Jerome is keeping an eye out for you so that beer belly doesn’t get the best of you), going on 13 years St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival has established itself and embraced its own identity to form years of successful rip-snorter days.
But other than all that, what else is there to mention? Wear your sunscreen, don’t go too hard at pre’s, respect your fellow punters, take shelter under a tree, eat a dirty burger to bring you back to life at around 4:30pm, and get ready for one doozy of a day.