Cd Review – May Fled

May Fled – Self Titled EP
Review by Rohan Hewson

1. Understand
2. Madness
3. Never
4. Cold Comes In
5. Round the Bend
6. Philosofree

This CD by local three piece May Fled is about halfway between an EP and a demo. It has cover art, but it was home recorded on a CD-R without a label; therefore the CD didn’t sound as good as they could have, due to the low recording quality. The songs themselves are pretty similar, being fairly slow guitar rock songs. ‘Understand’ and ‘Never’ were quite good, but other tracks could have been much shorter, in particular ‘Cold Comes In’, which drags on for almost six minutes while not being particularly interesting. Mayfled could make a really good CD, if they got it recorded in a proper studio and trimmed down some of their songs to below the five-minute mark.

3/5

Live Review: Southbound

Southbound Music Festival
Busselton
2nd January 2006

Review: Susan Clark

The second annual Southbound kicked off early on what promised to be a hot, sunny day.

Patience, John and Alana from The Grates put on an energetic show. Patience’s energy is amazing, managing to dance, prance and forward tumble around the stage, as well as sing- well, perhaps a little breathlessly after all that. Their music is a strange little mix of indie pop which translates well live. I thought the songs were a little “small” for a festival environment- especially on the main stage. The band really got the crowd amped and dancing around in the early heat of the day, especially to the radio tunes- trampoline and sukkafish. The Grates were the surprise package of the day and were one of the highlights.

Dallas Crane were next on the “Offshore” Stage and blasted away those people game enough to stand in the sun. Some have dismissed the band as being “too pub-rock” and just “alright”, though this band has some fantastic accessible music that was unfailing in getting the crowd jumping and screaming for more.
As far as festival events go, this band is perfectly suited. Dave Larkin and the boys have been gigging for a while now, and have really perfected their sound and stage presence.
For me they were the highlight of the day, and I was a little disappointed they didn’t get a later slot, when it wasn’t so hot and people could dance around like loony’s without the risk of sunstroke.

I tried to avoid the “Big Top” as much as possible as it was more of a sauna than another stage.
People, fans, please!!!!!!!!
I managed to catch a bit of the Panics. Lots of new songs were played to a very appreciative audience. I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps if I had a camper chair, bathers, icy cold drink of something and a sprinkler under my chair, that I may have enjoyed the set more.

Xavier Rudd

The two acts I was particularly looking forward to, the Dandy Warhols and Ian Brown, turned out to be particularly disappointing.
The Dandys managed to grace the stage late after their sound crew took too long setting up the stage. This seemed to knock about the band as they tried to take the audience on a drug induced psychedelic musical journey, but was unsuccessful as they had to chop up the set and end early.
Most of the song were pretty unrecognisable until the chorus, though Godless was a definite standout song. The set was self-indulgent and a bit of a let down after all the hype.

Running over to the Big Top to catch Ian Brown, I missed the opening tunes- apparently the geezer slipped in Made of Stone, a Stone Roses track. Many people were looking forward to Mr Brown, aka the Monkey Man, most loving him for his previous incarnation as front man of the Stone Roses- and for the beginning few songs, the Big Top was packed. But…Yes there is a ‘but’…and a pretty big one at that. Brown came on with a second rate band, and a rather over-sized ego. He did the geezer dance, the Bez dance, and some fairly stage gorilla like antics in between. I’m not sure what he expected from the audience, but obviously it wasn’t Stone Roses requests. Brown complied with Adored and Waterfall. In typical Brown style, his singing was out of tune, but there were plenty of fanatical fans out there to sing and drown him out.
Wisely closing with fear the performance ended on a high. The crowd of course screamed for more, and were rewarded with a fairly interesting rendition of the Sex Pistols Submission.

All in all this year’s festival was a bit of a let down. Some of the big names on the bill didn’t deliver the goods, and the festival fell flat as the heat drained people’s energy.

Live Review: Southbound

SOUTHBOUND FESTIVAL
Stewart Bovell Park, Busselton
Mon 2nd January 2006
Review by Rohan Hewson

Southbound is an all-day and night festival much like Rock-it or the Big Day Out, with one obvious difference: it’s held in the south-west coastal town of Busselton. This is the second year it’s been held.

The entry to the festival was a bit chaotic – the separate camping entrance wasn’t signposted that well, so I ended up going in the wrong gate and ended up having my bags searched half a dozen times by the time I got in. The security guards made everyone tip out all bottles, apparently it was the rules – no opened bottles of anything whatsoever. There was also plenty of Johnnie Walker, goon etc being poured out – what a waste of perfectly good alcohol. So eventually I got in, and then had to wait for 20 minutes in a line to fill it up again at the tank, with warm water. Once in, though, everything was fairly well organised.

I heard the Grates while I was arguing with the dopey door people, having my bags searched etc – they sounded pretty good, and I heard from a bunch of people who were closer that they were great, so I guess that’s a thumbs up. After them, Dallas Crane played fairly standard Aussie pub rock, heavily influenced by bands like Cold Chisel and AC/DC. They get that worst, most boring kind of review… yeah, they were OK.

The Panics played in in the big top, the smaller stage in a huge dark blue tent. The played quite a good set, but the heat in there was unbearable – next time, the festival organisers need to get a few large fans in there (the blowy kind), or open up more flaps of the tent. The bass player made himself extremely popular with the crowd by spraying cold water out of his bottle over the crowd. They played mainly new stuff, but finished with ‘Fire On The Hill’ like they always do. I heard them described by someone in the crowd as ‘Oasis with keyboards’, which is kinda right, but they’ve definitely got their own unique sound.

What I saw of the Beautiful Girls wasn’t that great… I like them, but they seemed to have been smoking up a bit before the show. The main guitarist especially messed up the solo bit from La Mar, so it sounded pretty average instead of awesome, like on their album. So I went to the mixup tent for a while, and listened to DJ Dan Stinton playing some nice funk, soul and groove tunes. That tent was much cooler and better ventilated, making it a nice place to chill out for a while.

Xavier Rudd was pretty cool, if only for his ability to play half a dozen instruments at the same time – he had three didgeridoos, a couple of guitars which he alternated between, a harmonica, various percussion and god knows what else. It was just starting to cool down outside as he played, and his blues’n’ roots was quite nice late afternoon music.

Over in the big top, the Shins were fantastic. They were one of the main drawcards for a lot of people, so the tent was pretty full. They played a lot of songs from their first album ‘Oh, Inverted World’, and also a few newer ones including one that’ll be on their next album. They had a few technical problems, but one of them ended up being quite cool – something went wrong with the drums, so ‘Pressed in a Book’ got a 3 minute intro on keys and guitar while they fixed it. They finished up with an almost unrecognisable but quite good rocking-out version of ‘One By One All Day’.

The Hoodoo Gurus played to one of the biggest crowds of the night on the main stage, and didn’t play any new songs at all; with a back catalogue of some of the most memorable Australian songs of the last 25 years, they didn’t need to. The crowd sang right along, especially to ‘What’s My Scene?’ where Dave Faulkner held the mic out into the audience for a couple of bars of the last chorus. It was an absolutely awesome performance, and everybody loved it.

The Dandy Warhols were OK, starting with one of their long, droney songs. Their set was quite weird – they alternated between the long fuzzy psychidelic songs they do so well, and the crowd pleasers like ‘Junkie’ amd ‘Bohemian Like You’, which they didn’t quite do justice to. They played a lot of old stuff too, including a couple of album tracks which I really didn’t expect to hear, for example: ‘I Love You’ from their 1997 album ‘The Dandy Warhols Come Down’. The old stuff was good enough, though; their new stuff isn’t anywhere near as good as what they released in the late 90’s. They finished with their very strange cover of ‘Hells Bells’ by AC/DC, with a trumpet doing the main riff. In fact, there was too much trumpet in the set… it was there in almost every song. It’s great in ‘Godless’, but that’s where it should have been left. And that last song degenerated into howling feedback that really hurt my ears… I had to walk away a few minutes before it finished, for the sake of my hearing.

Ozomatli were great, with their mixture of hip-hop, funk and many other styles being a lovely way to finish the 12 hours of music. However, the best bit was at the end. Anybody who was there will remember this… the band walked off, but suddenly the trumpet and trombone players were in the middle of the crowd, and everyone sat down on the grass to watch the brass section tooting away. Meanwhile, Ian Brown and some other guy were taking photos from the empty stage. Then the rest of the band appeared out of nowhere with the other two, and it turned into this huge messy conga line full of people clapping in time and all the players dancing along while playing their instruments (the drummer had a couple of people holding his drums). This mess ended up in front of the artist signing desk, and did this impromptu little jam for a couple of minutes, and then finished for real. I haven’t done that justice… you basically had to be there, and not many people who were will forget it.

There were some flies in the ointment, but on the whole this festival was really good, much better than Rock-it (a similar large festival). There was plenty of sunscreen in the camping area, and it was free (and very useful), and there were plenty of toilets. Sure, they got a bit grotty by the end of the night, but that’s only to be expected, and there were stil good ones left next morning. The food was a bit pricey, but at least it was supporting the local sporting clubs, Variety club etc, as well as chains like Chicken Treat. The coffee van was especially nice… apparently they were from the Wray Cafe in Freo, and their chocolate brownies are still the nicest thing I’ve eaten all year. The price of alcohol was absurdly expensive, as it always is at these large events – $7 for a beer is overkill. Next year, if they have more shade and more water taps, and don’t shut down the camping fun early at 2am, it’ll be pretty much perfect.