Golden Plains Number 8 @ The Supernatural Ampitheatre
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Golden Plains Number 8 @ The Supernatural Ampitheatre




Another year, another Golden Plains. It's hard to believe we're already at number eight. The Dwarf attended last week's festival, and gives you the wrap on the music, the fashion, and the other little random tidbits that make 'GP' unique.

Music: The Good & The Mixed Bag

The Good:

Having seen Yo La Tengo’s amazing set last year at Hamer Hall, I made sure I was front and centre when they hit the supernatural amphitheater stage at around 7:30 on Saturday evening. The set was criminally short for a band that has 13 albums to their name. Front man Ira Kaplan has an intuitive playing style, and tonight he was on fire. Whether he was slamming the keyboard with his forearm or whirling about his guitar with abandon.

Charles Bradley, as always, sang with passion and was the consummate professional. I only hope to have as much stamina as he in 20 years time. My only (minor) gripe is that I could’ve done without the extreme close-up of his pelvic grinding right into the camera. “Hey, I’m trying to eat my fish n' chips here man!”

Kicking day two of the festival off with Bloody Meredith’s in hand, we lazed back at Eric’s Bar, and listened to the beautifully layered and delicate dream pop of The Orbweavers. Lead singer Marita Dyson regaled the audience with some rather random anecdotes, leaving us all wondering where it all might go. However, anything said in that impossibly girly voice of hers was always going to sound charming.

I wouldn’t really call myself an ‘alt-country’ fan (the mere mention of Ryan Adams makes me feel irrationally violent). Having said that, Neko Case is a class act by anyone’s standards. Her voice positively soared across the Supernatural Amphitheatre, and the performance of ‘This Tornado Loves You’ left this reviewer with goose bumps.

Fat Freddy’s Drop had the crowd absolutely eating out of the palm of their hand. At one point they instructed the crowd to sit down, and they complied. Seeing a tsunami of people ripple from the front stage, up the hill to where we were standing, was highly impressive to say the least.


Golden Plains Number 8 @ The Supernatural Ampitheatre


The Mixed Bag:

Public Enemy. No introduction required here. From 1987’s Yo Bum Rush the Show through to 1991’s Apocolypse 91: The Enemy Strikes Black they produced four perfect albums of political and electrifying rap music. Since that time (and I say this with the utmost respect) their output has been, well, not so stellar. Fortunately they knew their audience, and limited their set mainly to the hits such as 'Fight The Power', 'Can't Truss It', and 'Don't Believe The Hype'.

My two main criticisms of their performance: 1. How is one exactly ‘fighting the power’ when you’re flogging your website at regular intervals. 2. I’m all for great live music, but Public Enemy would be best served leaving it to their DJ. When you have a band playing over such classic jams as ‘911 Is A Joke’, it ends up sounding muddy and confused.

Flying Lotus makes a unique and sublime hybrid of hip-hop, broken beat and electronica. Captain Murphy is his slightly above average hip-hop side-project. Stepping out in front of the three-layer screen to rap under his Captain Murphy guise really detracted from what should be an immersive experience. Keep it for the sideshows ‘Fly-Lo’.


The Boot

Receiving the boot used to be a hallowed prize for an artist or band. Only raised once or twice a festival for the standout performances. Call me cynical, but the boot seems to be held high at the smallest of happenings these days: ie. Band name checks Golden Plains as their favourite festival, or any time a DJ “drops da mad bass”.


Golden Plains Number 8 @ The Supernatural Ampitheatre


Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fashion

Every year you notice new trends. A couple of years ago every second girl had flowers in their hair which was quite lovely, then punters were attempting to be multi-cultural by (in)appropriating the Native American head-dress. Last year it was all about the animal onsies, UGH.

Now it seems that bogans have cottoned onto the idea of wearing women’s clothing. Now please hear me out here: I’m certainly not against guys wearing women’s clothing. However, bogans seem to be appropriating an idea, simply as an attention seeking device. Example: A guy wearing a mini skirt and a bra came up to my friend and said, “Happy fucking Women’s Day!” (a day late, I might add), spilling beer everywhere in the process.


The Broccoli

More than simply being a versatile vegetable, it can also act as a beacon for lost friends. Why bang on about a random Broccoli totem, you might well ask? Well it’s been hanging around at the last several Merediths and Golden Plains, and it seems to be everywhere I look these days.

It’s gotten to the point where if I’m having a tired, sketchy moment I “look to the broccoli” for guidance. If the broccoli is still there, looking down at me benevolently, then all is right in the world (at least in the Supernatural Amphitheatre anyway). The owner seems very proud of it anyway, as he holds it aloft like He-Man did his mighty sword at any hour of the day.


Golden Plains Number 8 @ The Supernatural Ampitheatre


Meredith’s Little Sister

Golden Plains could be likened to Meredith’s little sister, and really benefits from the few thousand less punters they let through the gates every year. It’s less hectic, and on the whole, a much more chilled out experience. It’s my personal favourite festival, and a very fitting close to the Summer Festival period. It always leaves me wanting, and to leave a festival on a (natural) high is the most anyone can ask for.


Golden Plains Number 8 @ The Supernatural Ampitheatre
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