Piss-smelling inner-city streets, the stinking-hot weather and a ridiculous inability to get into the smaller stages detracted from what was one of the better festival lineups of the summer - Melbourne's now annual St Jerome's Laneway Festival.
Those who didn't cough up the $99 for a ticket had the opportunity to partake in the spirit of the fest at two FREE stages - one in the QV complex (see photo below) showcasing acoustic music. Tobias Cummings, Emily Ulman and Grand Salvo being highlights here...
...and around the corner Holly Throsby, Luluc, Oh Mercy (below) and more were on the Library steps, providing a more upbeat electrified experience.
As the sun slipped behind nearby buildings the pink-skinned crowd at this stage lounged around on the grass drinking smuggled cans of Carlton, smoked ciggies that were banned in the main event and allowed themselves to be wooed by the dreamy pop of Geoff O'Connor's group The Crayon Fields.
Crayon Fields - not at Laneway. Pic by Snipergirl.
The local four piece are back in action after a small hiatus, with a new 7" in tow...
"Mirror Ball" from their forthcoming, but delayed longplayer All the Pleasures in the World, is getting plenty of radio play on Triple R and Triple J, and they sound more exciting live than ever before. Adding cello and violin to their show at Laneway, they bopped their way through some older classics and a swag of fresh material. Geoff was at his bashful best and the rest of the dudes were rock solid in the clammy heat. "We should have gone into the library" he quiped shyly at one point "they'd have air conditioning. And books and computers". Nerdly banter rules.
Pitchfork approve of the new tunes too, and you can read all about them and download Mirror Ball for free. Guy Blackman, who often sits in with Geoff in his other project Sly Hats, is releasing the album through Chapter Music, hopefully sometime soon this year. But you can get the 7" now or grab their excellent first LP "Animal Bells".
The band play again tomorrow night, February 3rd, at Billboards supporting Stereolab from the UK before skipping over the Tasman to play in Auckland and Wainuiomata. Then they're off to Europe in April and May. Dates, as they stand, are on the Crayon Fields myspace page.