Last year I had one of the best times ever at the Golden Plains festival. This time around (last weekend) it was a a similarly fun time, even if the line up didn't tickle my fancy quite as much. I guess that's the great thing about a festival like this; camping with friends, rendezvous at friend's tents, scaling cliffs to swim in the river (naughty), warm VBs, amazing scenery etc. Maybe I'd be better off just going camping with friends sans indie bands but you know, it's just the vibe of it, and when you can saunter over to the stage during afternoon to catch Jens Lekman play twee in the sun, it's just about perfect. A bunch of friends I made after last years Golden Plains shared my excitement in recounting the terrific times had at the festival because it's pretty unique; there's nothing else like this that I've been to (sans Meredith, which is pretty much the same apparently, but I haven't been to that). I learnt, over the weekend, that, Jens is much better with a band backing him, and that it would be hard being a sound guy for a band like Beirut with that bloody horn section. The Sea and Cake reaffirmed their place in my favs but I didn't manage to figure out what the big deal about Ween is, despite trying. What don't I get? I like Superbad and penis jokes as much as the next guy but cmon. Pikelet at 10am on the Sunday morning was just what we needed.There weren't as many good bands during the later hours of each day like last year, which was marked by Yo La Tengo, !!!, Comets on Fire. Good grief. Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings was fun times but South Rakkas Crew, what the shit? Last time I checked it takes a little more than just playing M.I.A. records and scattering a few 'yo's' over the top to warrant playing an international festival. They were all like 'do y'all like M.I.A.?' - no fucking shit we do you derrr brains!!!
Anyway, I had the following week to spend in Melbourne, where I drank a lot of coffees and perused lots of clothes boutiques and ate lots of $4 pizzas (!). There were a few bands playing but I was too musiced out (or fed up with camping and being awake, more like) to go watch Jay Reatard play the Tote with The Dirtbombs. I bet it was great if his GP set was anything to go by. He played before Jens Lekman that sunny Sunday afternoon. It was wild, but I'm certain it would've been much more so at a scungy pub somewhere. I did manage to catch the Francis Plagne Big Band at The Toff. None of the other six people I was with liked this at all but I think from listening to his recent self-titled album so much. He and Ned Collette and Joe Talia and a couple of other chaps played the pop bits from the record in a possibly lacklustre sort of fashion. I liked it, and was genuinely surprised/confronted when two other chaps with trumpets came out at the very end and freaked out for a loud few minutes. It could've just been the 'giant' beer that I was drinking or maybe just how nice a bar The Toff is but it really made me wish there was something this good here in Brisbane.
Golden Plains snaps will be up here early next week when I scan them in.