Good Vibrations 06 - Brisbane - 11.2.2006
Friday, 17 February 2006
The quality of the internationals at this year's festival was clear from early in the day with San Francisco legend Andy Caldwell on stage at 1:30 in the Bacardi Bar playing a strong set that warmed up the crowd nicely for GT. Andy was an engaging chap offstage and happily chatted to fans while groups of girls drooled (c'mon girls, he's not that hot! ;) ). Another relatively early highlight was Datarock who played through the heat with a set perfect for a lazy summer afternoon. Meanwhile over at the Roots stage Estelle threw down tunes as only she can with the crowd truly sorry to see her set come to a close. Fortunately The Nextmen jumped on stage and quickly cheered everyone up with four decks and plenty of old school beats. The cheer was unfortunately not so present soon after at the B-Bar and the main stage. Sean Ryder was, well, he was Sean Ryder and would have made a good advertisement for anti-drug and alcohol centres worldwide. The Cuban Brothers too disappointed after what had been a highly entertaining set deciding to take the adage "less is more" to an extreme, stripping down to little or no clothes.
With the sunset came a change in tempo with English legend Switch laying down a mix of dirty house, breaks and electro mainly from the luxury of his Mac (unlike some Abelton DJs, he was still very animated and didn't look like he was web surfing). The Roots stage played host to the exceptionally talented Z*Trip who, after an almost inexplicable equipment change and live sound check, started 40 minutes late but still sent the crowd wild. He started proceedings relatively slowly but his legendary scratching and mashups were immediately present with the likes of Oasis' Wonderwall, AC/DC, J5 and plenty of solid hip-hop baselines all getting a run. Not to be outdone, Steve Lawler gave the B-Bar house fans plenty to cheer about with his set of fresh tunes and solid classics.
Special mention need also be made of the great group of talented locals that took the early set times and manned the Laundry Stage. The strength of Brisbane's dance music scene was clear with a range of musical styles on show. A particular forte being deep house with the likes of Freestyle, Richard Shimmy, Rikki Newton and Two Thin Men holding large crowds and even pulling people away from the international stages.
The grand finale was, of course, James Brown. After so many years of entertaining, the Godfather of Soul has such a reputation that it would be hard to meet the crowd's expectation. But he did. In the words of a friend, "For 73 years old, just amazing!" While quite a few of the younger crowd moved to other stages after a few songs, the rest of the crowd were captivated. He certainly still has the moves and the voice and capped off the day perfectly.