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Parklife 2007 - 29.9.2007

Author: Patricia Escalon
Wednesday, 3 October 2007
Cool river breezes relieved the heat in the Brisbane Botanical Gardens as we wedged ourselves into the queues to enter Parklife 2007.

Paris Hilton clones abounded. Some emos and dreadlocks flecked the crowd. The prize to the most original goes to the girls wearing bee costumes. Runners up would be the guys wearing pink cardboard cars.

Inside, the Winnie Coopers warmed up the precious few gathered on the Air Stage. It was only a hop to the Stafford Brothers on the Earth Stage, slightly hidden away and sparsely populated.

We snaked through the bamboo forest to an empty Fire Stage where We Are You! belted out nice little French electro with some '80s beats thrown in.

We found the mother of all bottlenecks on the way to the River Stage. After a couple of people fainted, security created one way avenues in and out of the River Stage.

The crowd sat out Kid Kenobi's house beats waiting for Ajax. They stocked up on beer before heading down to the mosh pit.

Ajax kicked off with low bass notes, spiralling upwards. As the numbers swelled, the security guards started hosing the crowd. Ajax's mix of acoustic music, keyboards and loops enthralled the dancers. Every so often, he threw in some Manu Chao.

Back at the Fire Stage the crowd was on fire. Some were even climbing trees to catch a glimpse of Muscles slipping and sliding anthems.

On the Air Stage, the Scratch Perverts emitted lounge beats, moved into deep bass, hip hop beats, high energy techno and heavy metal. Their mix was elongated, irresistible, with a very tribal sound.

Goose was ideal for the River Stage. They had high energy beats, deep bass, strong and fast vocals. It was glam, it was mod rock, it was Joan Jett and AC/DC. The lead singer's charisma, boundless energy, and constant eye contact had the crowd eating out of his hand.

Freq Nasty rumbled at the the crowd at the Air Stage, writhing and contorting himself while the Afrobots played. Despite their Goa-style techno, dub and reggae mix, the punters were not dancing, saving their energy for Lyrics Born.

R'n'B masters, Lyrics Born delivered the beats with a rich bass, percussion and a gravely voice. The punters were mesmerised.

On the Earth Stage, Yelle held the crowd in the palm of her hand. Her choreography, sequinned bubble dress and piano driven, '80s-influenced songs were inspiring. The whole crowd sang along to her clear French lyrics.

Crazemixed breakbeat and hip hop, with Aerospace, Run DMC and good old obnoxiously misogynistic Miami groove, but it worked. The crowds in the Fire Stage were climbing the fence trying to get closer to him.

Adam Freeland layered trance with anthems, starting off easy, upping the tempo until it went epileptic. Sadly, he didn't really play to the crowd.

M.I.A. stole the show on the Air Stage. Her high energy dance sequences, aggressive sexual moves, leather shorts and primal lyrics were impressive. African dance was synchronised with the lyrics and visuals. The screen showed the native dancers playing jump rope, using a person as a rope. She lit up the night and injected everyone with her energy.

Justice mixed angelic vocals, dramatic keyboarding, deep undertones, and drums with a house sensibility. Their soundscapes had ambient undertones, with dub thrown in. Their music was a drug and the junkies climbed the barricades, running on to the stage, resulting in security guard 141 barring media access to the pit area. It didn't stop the music addicts.

Justice rode the beat like a wild horse, whipping everyone into a frenzy. As they wound down, we left through the paramedic exit, casting a last look over our shoulders to a perfect moon over a perfect night.<
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