St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, January 28, 2017 @ Footscray Community Arts Centre

Our Tim put on his party socks and headed to the Melbourne iteration of Laneway Festival.

1/ Aussies ruled the line-up

Who needs a huge slate of international acts when we have some of the best in the world in our own backyard? From D.D Dumbo to King Gizz, Dune Rats to Julia Jacklin and everyone in between, it was so great to see so many local acts not only filling the bill, but making it.

2/ 1800 LANEWAY

The 1800 LANEWAY (1800 526 3929) hotline allows attendees who’ve seen or experienced any disrespectful behaviour to seek help from an operator. The initiative – launched by Camp Cope – was by all signs a total success; all of the bands supported it, and as a result the crowd was comfortable and nurtured a real ‘community’ feel to the whole day.

3/ Who run the world? Girls.

What a way to kick off the day: Jess Kent hit the sweet spot, legitimising her rising star with a massive opening set; Londoner NAO bounced around the Dean Turner stage; and Camp Cope and Tash Sultana mesmerised capacity crowds at the main stage. In all my years attending Laneway, I’ve never seen so many people at the festival so early.

4/ Lushsux’ signature on the festival

Melbourne street artist Lushsux painted some off-the-wall tributes to lost greats along the walls of the Arts Centre. Phyfe Dog, Leonard Cohen, Prince and St. Jerome Snr. were among the bunch, but this was my favourite.

carrie fisher grafPhoto courtesy of @lanewayfest

5/ Slayer (Le’Au)Pepe 

Where do I even start with Gang Of Youths? I planned to catch half a set from the Sydney-siders before ducking off to D.D Dumbo, but the second David Le’Aupepe and co. took the stage I was floored. It was like when your parents talk about the first time they saw Springsteen or Midnight Oil or Barnsey. They were enigmatic, electric, passionate – all the describing words. There were no phones in the air, only hands; people in the crowd were crying, and girls were near fainting whenever the frontman thrust his hips (which was a lot) towards them – and that was before Magnolia started. Sorry to anyone who was there and missed it – Magnolia was the best five minutes of the entire day.

6/ Foodway Festival 

No more potato on a stick or dagwood dogs (don’t even start me on the dagwood dog/pluto pup argument). All of your favourite local haunts had food trucks this year: Belle’s Hot Chicken, Royale Brothers, Rawbeet and Fonda, to name a few.

Guy Fieri

7/ A.B. Original 

The most anticipated set of the day were duo Briggs and Trials, AKA A.B. Original. The rappers’ set was full of passion, humour and respect for the stage; I’d say most punters were either won over or cemented.

ABOriginal Laneway

8/ Nick ‘Not Chet Faker Anymore’ Murphy

It doesn’t matter what you call him; hometown crooner Nick Murphy delivered again at Laneway, just as he did under his former moniker in 2013. The big Chet hits received the loudest reception, and Marcus Marr’s arrival on stage for The Trouble With Us was slicker than the gelled-down mullet I spotted at the bar.

9/ Fashions on the field

It gets wilder every year as Footscray meets Coachella. What did we see in 2017? Glitter. Glitter everywhere. Also everywhere: party shirts, sideboob, party suits, tennis outfits, onesies (still?), legionnaire hats, tune rags and glitter. Did I say glitter?

10/ The Dean Turner Stage

The Dean Turner stage capped the day off with an epic left-right-goodnight triple combination: Tasmania’s Luca Brasi melted faces, Sydney’s Gang Of Youths melted hearts, and Oxford’s Glass Animals melted brains into sticky, gooey messes.

Dean Turner Stage

11/ Jagwar Ma, the festival closers we deserved

What do you do when it is near impossible to get down the extremely long, very narrow road to West Stage for Tame Impala? I may be sacrificed to the Music Gods for this, but… you skip it. It nearly killed me, but there is no time to stand around weighing up your options. Luckily it worked out perfectly, because nestled away at the Future Classic Stage were Jagwar Ma, absolutely killing their set. It was part dance, part indie rock, and part psychedelia – for the comparatively small crowd, it was all parts a perfect end to a near perfect Laneway Festival.