TF Archives

Parklife Melbourne - 23.9.2006

Author: Persia
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
The music festival season has arrived a lot earlier in Melbourne year with the arrival of renown Sydney outdoor event, Parklife. I must admit I viewed it as being quite an intrepid move for the organisers to choose to hold the event in September. Definitely optimistic to expect Melbourne's unpredictable spring weather to be on their side. Perhaps I was being a bit jaded thinking the promoters were hopping onto the festival bandwagon after the success of the last summer's festivals. Fortunately my worries were unnecessary with weather holding out even bringing some glorious, warm, fun-inducing sunshine which combined with a solid line up, was enough to hype everyone up to create a carnival like atmosphere.

The Parklife line up was certainly interesting, with an eclectic mix of live acts, DJ sets, turntablists and bands. The diverse crowd reflected the plethora of musical genres that was on offer. Everyone was glad to see the sunshine was out. Ladies were taking the opportunity to shimmy around in gorgeous, tiny dresses and jumpsuits and a few muscle men were unable to resist the urge to get the t-shirt off.

The normally sparse Birrung Marr was barely recognisable, the organisers were certainly prepared for the elements and the ever-changing weather forecast. Marquees covered the Earth and Water stages, thankfully protecting us from the gusty, whipping wind once the lovely sunshine bid us farewell. Parklife was spread out over a much smaller area compared to events such as Summerdayze this was a great change, meaning less walking between areas and it also helped to create a more intimate event with a laid back vibe.

After walking around and admiring the set up I arrived at the Water stage just in time to catch the start of Mark Farina. I found his live set did not have me as pumped up as when I saw his DJ set at Mischief last year. He downplayed the deep house sound and it was a bit too light and melodic for my liking but the crowd were loving it, as they always seem to with Farina.

I left Farina to catch the start of Dominic B from the Stanton Warriors and was surprised to find the Melbourne Lord Mayor, John So, up on the stage. He was met with thunderous applause as he praised the event, saying he "loved the music and dancing" and the "wonderful location." It was a great publicity stunt and it kept everyone in high spirits for the Dom's solid breakbeat set.

There was a lot of talk among the crowd about the Midnight Juggernauts, they seem to be mentioned everywhere lately and I am amazed by the mouthy descriptions their crazy sound receives, with critics seeming to find it really hard to pigeon hole. Their recent gigs have received rave reviews and after their gig at Parklife they certainly did not disappoint me. Their unique fusion of electro and rock n roll seemed to be strongly influenced by the retro sounds of Pink Floyd and David Bowie. Their tracks were full of great funky bass lines, heaps of synth effects and the crowd were lapping it up, especially when they launched with their latest track, 'Shadows.' It was a great place to be with the wonderful Melbourne city-scape as their backdrop and the sun starting to set. There was no way I was going anywhere.

After being floored by the Midnight Juggernauts, I found myself trapped at the Air stage watching an extremely entertaining yet appalling set from the legendary New Order bassist, Peter Hook. Watching him was just hilarious and I wondered if he was being serious with his antics or whether he just didn't care what he was doing and was making fun of the ignorance of the crowd. He didn't mix any tracks, in fact he didn't wear any headphones and there were plenty of train wreaks in there. His track selection was akin to a lame Ministry of Sound cd, this was a real surprise coming from a veteran who made such an influence in the dance music world. Mostly he played commercial, bubbly, corny house and e