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March 24, 2014 Music , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Golden Tornado – Guest Post

Well hello there!

I’ve had a few quiet weeks on the blog while I’ve been reinvigorating the LTLT portfolio for the change in season. I’ve got some absolutely cracking wines at the moment at all price levels and it’s damn exciting, I’ll give you the hot tip.

But enough of the sales pitch, because this entry is certainly not about me. Most of you will know that I put out a blow-by-blow Meredith and Golden Plains report every year, but alas this year the impending arrival of baby LTLT kept me out of the sup for goldens and hence the gonzo duties were handed over to a good mate; who for the purpose of this post will be known only as Hunter S. Pawton (with photos from Qtip).

So without further adieu, here is what went down at the sup over the long weekend. Over to you Hunter:

Golden Plains indeed

Golden Plains indeed

Well here goes, I have been tasked as the scribe of the eighth “GP”; thats right the PE have renamed the whole event this year, but more of that later.

This year was always going to be a strange one: the expectant arrival of the new addition to the Leckie-Robertson family was the starting point of the strangeness, then there was the dressing up which was totally embraced and also the weather which was hot even Meredith festival hot at times….. so it began.

The Jaunt

Well it was an early morning meeting at the Brent and Alli’s and as always a buzz was around the  crew. Many familiar faces and some new ones, a melting pot of accents and some special printing of timetables were on display (stickers which is an awesome idea by Dan and a laminated timetable was also on offer, some serious GP experience within this group). Short drive down the freeway, Shez and I trying desperately to embrace the new Cutters record at the last minute, really want to but it is clearly not their best work…

We arrive in that wonderful little town that we are lucky to visit once or even twice a year. Clouds overhead have me scrambling for a non existent jacket. But its fine and warm for the rest of the weekend, it was shorts and thongs all day everyday, perfection.

A convoy made its way down the back route as always and unexpectedly we are waiting for some time before entering in the venue, a sneaky brew with Qtip and a lost French frisby in the waiting time. The “operation sovereign golden plains borders” crew was also amusing, protecting the sup against those trying to “jump the queue”… I can t speak about it though, military operation and all that……

So in we went, Qtip has more glass in his car than a Windscreens O’brien truck, so some booze is lost, trap for young players mate, harsh lesson learned. Brent takes us into Mankeys, this is new, top of the hill overseeing the Sup like some sort of Hollywood celebrities (go back to the valley man!) all weekend, looking down at the great unwashed below. I like this…. this is a keeper of a spot, lock it in.

Let the music begin

So its time to load up the eskys and get down there as we are about to get underway. We travel down to the “normal spot”, the one that we have frequented each year for all the time we have ever come to Meredith, from when it was a festival of temporary toilets and torches tied to sticks to get you back to you camp site, to the well organised brilliance of todays incantation.
There are so many couches under the tree this year, we are squeezed out on the edge, not good enough, better planning needed to secure the “normal spot”. The sup is lush, sweet and beautiful like a freshly changed made bed before you fall into it drunk and throw the covers all round the room. Couch types are inspired, pleather, suede and a pool table as well, my hat is off, some people put some serious thought into this thing. Amazing the pool table makes it all the way through the festival with various bearded men playing pool all day and night.

Right to the music, first act of note for me is André’s Fox who’s lead singer (Ed Note: Oscar Key Sung of Oscar and Martin fame) has donned to obligatory Pharrell Williams hat (only looks good on him I think) not long till I am right into this though, its low fi but has a groove on it and the sup is into it and the boys embrace it towards the end. The start of my journey into new music thanks to GP has begun, these guys are on the list.



Next one up was Gold Panda, without being able to “leckie” (nee google) each band before starting, the very knowledgable ageless Canadian gentleman of the group who somehow dances for the entire festival every year fills me in. Hilarious conversation commences, “what track am I waiting for here Brent”, “well it goes wha, wha, wha, bing, bing, bing, bing”….. okay… Shez, Ali, Brent and I go down and the panda is not sleeping or eating bamboo he is switching like he is standing on an ant nest and smashing some awesome beats down. The timing of this seems all wrong I should be deeper in a night session, but its mid afternoon. Never matter, he rocks the place, for the record Brent “wha bing” description is spot on, the last track the set, slays the place…. panda’s are not going extinct people. Chet Faker was next up, much loved by all of the Melbourne music scene, I want to try and like this guy, but he does not inspire me. The sup is chomping at the bit for this sunset set but again the sound let him down, I can hear drums but not his voice not any thing much. Complete flop I am sorry to say. Chet himself is completely devo clearly as well. I predict many shoe laces were untied with a view to them being raised skyward but were left on the ground….

Being a shoe gazer from way back Yo Le Tengo are much anticipated for me, I have seen them before in a small club in Adelaide and they blew me away. But this performance was disastrous… horrible sound, completely self involved mess of a thing. Did not even play a festival set. Disappointing, ice cold Doctor Tims please…. truck it in! Right dinner time and for Shez and I that can mean only one thing, Jerry’s vege burgers! Jerry’s has mythical status with Shez and I,  every burger is compared to the Jerry burger and he just “serves good food to good people with good souls” call is so true. It is as delicious as always, Jerry as always I salute you. Right the team is ticking along nicely now, Dan one of the early standouts, she is smashing them down on day one, its impressive stuff, but as it turns out finishes poorly later in the night, the petrol tickets are spent early and she and Dave disappear into the night. Dan up there with the most inebriated in the sup, no shame in that! The Drones, droned away, I know Gareth and his songs of pain are appreciated by many but I am not in that number…..

We are searching for some good tunes now and sadly again, Mr Charles Bradley! does not really answer the question for us. We have all seen the man before, he has brass, he has disco and the man can get people moving, but it does not really hit the mark. Its more catching up with the crew and chewing over life in general. The sup is alive, warm and brilliant, it is a great place. It is about this time that my mind turns to Spacey Space, the last act. Mr Leckie and his lovely wife are absent this year, but Mr Leckie has given me the honour of writing this blog and in his final email to me also stated that the two acts he was most looking forward to were “Spacey Space” 4-6am slot day one and Tornado Williams 3-5am day two. Yes outside of the completely overrated silence wedge that is the two last acts on both nights of the weekend. Now Pete and I have done a lot of festivals together and he dubbed me “old man festival”many years before, so the two last acts is going to be tough. Was the email on purpose? Of course it was! The drunker I got the more I focused I became on Spacey Space….  As I wade my way through the rest of the night, there is not much to inspire, there is a distinct lack of shoes at eye level throughout the night. Its not a great night of music for the sup and all agree, nothing to get me to Spacey space….  there is a man with no shirt though, he arrives each year about this time rain hail or shine….. Nina just smiles along with him, we GPer’s love tradition and this is one of them…… brilliant stuff! declan is also in notable form, this back up maybe tough……Pete I am sorry man I tried really…. Shez and I head back, we break out chips and chocolate before bed but wear and throw around the tent about as much as we eat…. sleep…. (Ed Note: of course my email was a ruse to get everyone to stay up. But yep, for late night locals you couldn’t do much better than those two party professionals)

Okay Day 2

In case you haven't noticed, I'm kind of a big deal

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m kind of a big deal

I wake with a start, my keys! they are no where to be found, I wonder out of the tent not really in great shape and wonder down to the sup at day break. Its nice down there, no keys but I get a few zzz’s on a red velvet couch for a half hour or so, then wonder back to the camp my head filled with ideas of breaking into my car. Shez wakes and she has the keys, course she does… idiot… back to sleep. By the time we get up the team is already down there, Brent is taking in his much loved orb-weavers and the Michael Leiung presentation I would have had interest but I am slow to move. Its a hot one today as well, real hot. Shez and I head down and take up a spot in the sun. The Perch Creek Family Job Band (still not sure of the relevance of the jug element???) but actually are pretty entertaining……The Los Coronas are on in the arvo and they love the sup and they tear it up with there Spanish rock, the Pulp Fiction hit an awesome tune, the sup loves them, great show and a great way to kick off day two. The heat is oppressive in the late arvo and many of the group head back to camp in the shade. I stay on with a few stayers, Maggie and I grab some sliders for lunch and Rach and I chat for hours as the Cosmic  Physcos, tear up the sup. What is a recipe for success, play punk rock as a band till your in your sixties and your basically your the tightest band in the world. Clean simple chords and all the hits, tragic James is in heavy in the front row, its a ripper set of legendary Aussie punk, bravo!  A few start to drift back into the sup and wonder how the heck Rach and I have sat in the blazing sun all afternoon just chatting…. did not really notice the heat to be honest…. okay, time to dress up and lace up for the night session!

Now Shez had prepared well for the dress up while I was in Darwin chasing crocs, we are flava flav to the max, some sick clocks from Brent and Ali and Qtip with some of the best get up in the entire sup, hand made gold sequinned number that totally owned it! As it turns out Shez, Rach and I made the broadsheet on the back of our get up, awesome. This needs to continue and needs to get more ridiculous in my opinion. Embrace the dress up GP!

So on to the music, I was chomping at the bit for this night line up, Neko Case was up first and her voice soared above the Sup, it was a sublime performance, even delving into her XXXX background at times. Shoes! Shoes! Shoes! a lot of socks hit dirt after this set we are away! Next up the lads from NZ Fat Freddy’s Drop, these guys moved seamlessly between deep house, reggie, big band, funk, disco… it was fun lots of it…. shoe me!!!! u am I

Clocks on before clocking on.

Clocks on before clocking on.

Right time for the PE! thinks are getting banged up beat up and outa shape all over the place, clocks are starting to turn on and the speed is increasing. We lose a few hardy souls, Maggie’s arvo session in the heat does damage and also Declan who was unseen most of Sunday after smashing day one… absolute tragedy that! Right now 60 year old men should not rap this hard, but Chuck D and Flav are in amazing form, the crowd are in a frenzy, its all political and brilliant. By the end of the set we are saying “F**k racism” telling the other side of the sup that the “f**kin party is over here” and just loving it. Would have put up a wardrobe of shoes up at this stage…. just awesome stuff…. Chuck D still the best rapper ever IMO. Now time for the Cutters, these guys come from Melbourne I have seen them so many times in this wonderful place and it was another brilliant performance. All the oldies, the newbies also shone in a live setting, it was spectacular. Lights and Music was song of for me. Spent the whole gig in socks.

Right now for late night time….. time when we hunker down for some dance brilliance. This year a man in a golden fleece rises from the ashes as we are now moving into his strike zone. First up Mark Pritchard researched the crap out of this guy leading up and he is awesome. Can see why other DJ’s love the man, was a cracking set of electro, house and great vibes. Brent, the man in the golden fleece , Alli, Cath and I cutting all sorts of rug. Brilliant.

So it comes down to Tornado Wallace, I made it Pete I am there in mind, body and soul, plugged in and dropped out. Lets see what you got for me. Well, well have you seen “sharknado” if not why not? I don’t know what was in those Tornado’s but Brent, the man in the golden fleece and I were rocking it… just awesome, even better on Soundcloud this week (cheers Qtip). Pete, I don’t know how Spacey Space were but if they were like the Tornado then mate I missed something great.

Then it was over, few kids stating hitting bins and singing terrible tunes…. we wandered off for fear of those tunes being the only that we would remember. Back to the Mankeys…. and sleep

Thanks guys for an awesome weekend, peace GP…. thanks for another awesome year.