Splendour Day Three: Smashing Pumpkins, Gossip, Azealia Banks and more

According to Billy Corgan “A festival can be, and should be, a celebration of a communal moment” and the final day of Splendour in the Grass for 2012 featured plenty of those memorable moments that brought the crowd together as one. Even if that moment was very brief… we’re looking at you Azealia.

Photos by Leah Robertson and Elleni Toumpas.

Words by Sarah Smith, Tom Mann and Melanie Mahony.

Additional information by, Jade Davis, Jake Newell and Max Gent.

The Rubens, GW McLennan

The Moment: With a very relaxed stage presence for such a young band, The Rubens inspire some chorus howling from the swaying punters for the big one-two closer of It’s You and Don’t Ever Want To Be Found.

The Crowd: Committed for the time slot. Loosely packed but right to the back of the tent and spilling out. Pretty mellow but super attentive.

The Banter: Stunned and slightly overwhelmed: “We’re the Rubens and this fucking amazing. Like really fucking overwhelming, I must say. It’s not something you ever think you’ll be doing in your life. Thanks for coming… We’re the luckiest dudes”

The Vibe: Slow burn.

Django Django, The Mix Up

The Moment: Default provides a mid-set stompathon in a set that’s driven by kick-drum and constant tambourine work that gives a performance a really loose, jangly feel. Or should that be a djangly feel? Boom-tish!

Crowd: With the only space on the fringes of the tent there’s plenty of dorky dancing as the air raid siren rings out to begin set closer WOR.

The Banter: Scottish. And slightly puzzled: “So, this is your Winter? This is like our summer and the British used to send prisoners here! Doesn’t make sense, does it?”

The Vibe: Djamboree.

Father John Misty, GW McLennan

The Moment: Set opener Fun Times set the scene for J Tillman’s charismatically stoned performance.

The Crowd: Wonder if any punters were inspired by the bass player’s galaxy print tights to make a brave fashion choice of their own?

The Banter: “It took me one gold cart ride with a hot local girl to want to move here. [crowd cheers]… oh shut up!”

The Vibe: Intimate.

Metric, The Super Top

The Moment: When the PA cuts out half way through the set the band is forced to leave the stage but then returns to power through the rest of the show. There’s no truth to the rumour that the power outage was caused by the disco hot pants on stage.

The Crowd: The Super Top’s packed out, with drunken dancers filling the back section. The festival’s entering its final hours and everyone wants to get as much out of it as they can.

The Vibe: Electric.

Fun, The Super Top

Opened With: One Foot.

The Banter: fun. leader Nate Ruess is all about emphatic gesticulation and exaggerated facial expression. With the pep-rally enthusiasm that only a hyped crew of Americans can bring he motivates the masses with praise: “I swear to fucking god I love Australia… Let’s fucking raise the dead here!”

The Moment: Inevitably the key moment came during the band’s anthem We are Young with the entire crowd in the busy Super Top signing up for Glee club to belt out the chorus: “Tonight we are yooooooooooung!”

The Crowd: Yooooooooooung. Young enough to date Billy Corgan.

Vibe: Bombastic.

Wolfmother, The Super Top

The Moment: With a double necked guitar slung across his chest Andrew Stockdale sets to work on a triumphant White Unicorn that breaks down into a cover of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall before circling back. It’s just one highlight in a set of flailing guitars and hair that delivers right up until the closing notes of the suitably epic Joker and The Thief.

The Crowd: Bromantic. Dudes on dudes shoulders bellowing out the words to Woman.

The Banter: “Are you feeling loose tonight? Have you conquered the mud? Are you at one with the elements?”. Crowd answers: Yes, yes and yes.

The Vibe: Fraggle Rock.

The Kooks, The Super Top

Opens with: A Change is Going To Come by Sam Cooke welcomes the Kooks to stage with guitarist Hugh Harris stealing the limelight in his hot pink suit while singer Luke Pritchard opts for a less attention grabbing black ensemble. The first song of the set?


The Anti-Moment: On the closing night of the festival a few idiotic punters have summoned the courage to scale the Big Top’s poles for a better vantage point. With the climbers venturing dangerously high singer Luke Pritchard asks “Yo, what’s the weather like up there?” before security moves in to stop the set. Boos, hisses and empty beer cans fill the air as the climbers are forced back to earth.

The Moment: After a disjointed set marred by security issues, unfamiliar songs and too many tracks with similar tempos the last pair of songs – I Wanna Make You Happy and Naïve – revive the festival mood with an enthusiastic sing-along from the girls who have climbed (safely) onto their boyfriends sholders.

The Vibe: Jovial.

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