Good Vibrations Festival @ Claremont Showgrounds, Perth (20/2/11)

Here’s an abstract idea. Good Vibrations festival promoters Jam Music have won big time after pulling all the shots and taking all the risks this summer. They may not know it yet, as they lick their financial wounds; but this may well be the year that cements the festival into worthy royalty. Paddle as you may, up press-shit-storm creek and you’ll hear everyman’s two cent tale on the foolishness of half price tickets, the bombing of sales and then of course a young family who was distraught by the distant throbbing of a four to the flour beat and the more sinister story of a dude getting his finger bitten off. However, amongst the self-righteous pitter-patter and the freakishly violent what-the-fuck (like his whole finger?); marks the day, sorry Don, that the music didn’t die. It marks, Sunday, 20th of February, final day of the Good Vibrations tour in a cool overcast Perth; the day the music lovers won.

Which is where all glasses need to be raised in Jam Music’s honour.

Staring into the face of financial death (to paraphrase emotive journalistic lingo) here was a festival that didn’t skimp on any of the finer detail. The AV was first class; with the main stage alone spanning three huge screens and a series of DJ booth displays all visually connected. The sound was phenomenal with speaker coverage far from insulting with side fills and front fills and subwoofers to rumble your excrement and delay stacks for people back behind the mixing desk to hear a refreshed quality of sound (breath in).

The music covered all angles as well; bringing an almost new cast of headlining performers to our shores (instead of the same old recycled touring acts that pop up on the ‘all new line-ups’ year after year). The toilets were clean and much nicer than the ones Kenny made famous; the décor welcomed us into the wonderful world of Good Vibrations, the venue layout worked perfectly; and all for the punter friendly half price tag with the freedom to move around (mostly) sans the agro.

Opening the main stage as the earlier birds wandered in, Perth divas and dudes of sextet, Boys! Boys! Boys! performed their signature bubbly, dorky dance moves to a set of quirky catchy pop songs. Its tacky and colourful and you love them all the more for it and behind this front is tight and cleaver musicianship, great song writing and three sassy front woman vocalists driving home the band with open and honest personalities.

Keeping the love local at the boiler room … sorry Mr J stage, was newly formed electro outfit Blud who rose the musical accolades through once upon a time connections to Tim & Jean and a catchy little number that Triple J took to before they could count to three and say Parklife. Speaking of, this band has come immensely far since it’s first and naturally shambolic performance at said festival when the mostly high schoolers won the Triple J Unearthed competition. Lead vocalist Ben Smith appears to be a cocky character with a touch of arrogance and a lot of rockstar swagger; which may one day be his downfall but certainly makes for half the entertainment up on stage. He has a good sense of humour, they all do in fact, being able to laugh at themselves and not take it too seriously is definitely an attribute that will work well in their favour. Using a wireless iPad to roam with a drum machine into the crowd and allow audience members to tap drums is sheer genius; covering MGMT’s Electric Feel identically instead of interpreting it… not so much. These are all just the signs of a young band still finding their feet after landing in a very good position straight off the mark. They are getting better with every show; still a little loose around the edges but it’s all the more rewarding to see them evolve and grow and with banging tracks like Sarah is for Lovers, definitely one to keep an eye on.

In perfect sibling rivalry, marketing geniuses, Tim & Jean stole a large portion of the crowd as many strapped in yellow wrist bands thought ‘why not?’ and went to check out the name on their forearms and legs. The songs are wonderfully dreamy and poppy and in many ways cheesy but celebrate a fantastic electro era and it’s working amazingly for them with Nova now catching on to Triple J’s love; and when it’s backed up by a solid tight live show, there’s no room to falter.

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