A Flaming good time had by Falls
THE annual Falls Festival was all about celebration this year with the 20th anniversary in Lorne and a decade at Marion Bay to pump the hype. Both events sold out with 16,000 revellers at each festival. The Tasmanian festival doesn't have as many acts as its sister event, but comes with stunning views and a diverse range of musical acts, DJs, a moonlight cinema, comedians, a market, roving performers, an artist space, the APRA People's Stage, fiesta parade, yoga and environmental walks.
Tasmania's headliners the Flaming Lips saw in 2013 after more-mellow acts Beach House and Boy and Bear warmed up the crowd, while Django Django's frenetic performance and mishmash of musical styles had fans jumping on both sides of the Tasman. The Hives never disappoint with their high-energy show and fellow Swedes the Soderberg sisters - better known as folk duo First Aid Kit - were also a highlight. Bluesman Ash Grunwald's backing band featured Rob Hirst from Midnight Oil on drums and the Living End's Scott Owen on double bass, a band put together especially for the Falls. Two Door Cinema Club, Matt Corby, Ball Park Music, Lisa Mitchell, Hilltop Hoods, Angus Stone, Oh Mercy, Bombay Bicycle Club, the Vaccines and San Cisco were also well received.
The Flaming Lips gave up their annual New Year's Eve freakout in their home town of Oklahoma to bring in 2013 at Marion Bay. Their set included songs from their 1999 release The Soft Bulletin through to their most recent and 12th studio album, Embryonic. However, after singer Wayne Coyne counted in the new year, the sound cut out when an unknown culprit decided to start the year with a prank, pressing the emergency stop button on the generator. It took 10 minutes to power everything back up, but that was the event's only significant glitch. Visual DJ Sampology traced the history of the Falls Festival with footage, interviews and great moments including festival founder Simon Daly stage-diving into the crowd in the mid-'90s. While Daly spent his New Year's Eve at his 20- year-old event at Lorne, new business partner Paul Piticco was in Marion Bay.
Cameron 'Pepa' Knight from Jinja Safari playing at Falls Festival.
Piticco has been a prominent force in the Australian music industry as Powderfinger manager, establishing the Dew Process record label and running Byron Bay's Splendour in the Grass festival with Jessica Ducrou. Piticco and Ducrou have now bought into the Falls Festival. ''I thought the vibe was incredible,'' Piticco says. ''I was amazed at how broad the demographic was: parents with kids and twentysomethings mingled so well, enjoying the arts and music together.'' Daly, who told EG he'll take on a lesser role after two decades and the recent birth of his second child, welcomes Piticco and Ducrou's expertise and input to the festival he began and painstakingly nurtured on his family's land. Piticco says: ''We think the Falls reputation in Tasmania and Victoria is extremely strong and we are learning as much as we can about the Falls' history before we make any decisions about where it will go in the future.''
The life of Prictor
The Bamboos' Kylie Auldist.
ST KILDA artist and musician Steve Prictor died last week, just days before his 48th birthday. Prictor, who lived life to the absolute full, fronted the Violent Moodswings and was a member of the Mary Hillbillies. He and comedian Anthony Morgan created Kooky Karaoke, which ran for 14 years at the Greyhound Hotel, with friend and co-conspirator Fred Negro as co-host. Prictor painted many of the murals at the Espy, Prince of Wales and Pint on Punt. ''Vale the great Steve Prictor, entertainer extraordinaire,'' Negro said. ''I was lucky enough to have painted three murals with him in the last six months and after a day's painting my face would be sore from laughing.'' Prictorfest, a celebration of the life and music of Steve Prictor, was held yesterday at the St Kilda Bowling Club following his funeral.
SxSW's Aussie stampede
The Cuban Brothers.
MORE than 50 Australian acts from the 200 that applied to showcase at the world's largest music convention, South by Southwest (SxSW) in Austin, Texas, have been invited to take part in 2013. Alpine, 360, Angus Stone, Ball Park Music, Bernard Fanning, Clairy Browne & the Bangin' Rackettes, Dead Letter Circus, Dune Rats, Emma Louise, Flume, Gold Fields, Jonathan Boulet, San Cisco, Something for Kate, the Rubens, Vaudeville Smash and World's End Press are some of the artists planning to head to the US to perform in front of thousands of international taste-makers, media and music industry executives from March 12-17. Now in its 27th year, SxSW attracts more than 32,000 applicants across its music, film and interactive components.
The Beasts are back
St Kilda music identity Steve Prictor.
THE original 1983 line-up of the Beasts of Bourbon - Tex Perkins, Kim Salmon, Spencer P. Jones, Boris Sujdovic and James Baker - will play a one-off show as part of the I'll Be Your Mirror festival, Westgate Entertainment Centre, Altona, on February 17. And while Jones and his band the Nothing Butts, with Baker on drums and the Drones' Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin, have just completed a tour in support of their album, Perkins' new group Tex Perkins & the Ape, featuring guitarist Raul Sanchez of Magic Dirt and drummer Gus Agars from the Dark Horses, play the Torquay Hotel next Thursday and the Portsea Hotel next Friday.
■ FRIDAY THE Cuban Brothers from Havana are at the Espy after playing the Falls Festival; Berlin-based futuristic nostalgic-pop composer Mez Medallion plays Yah Yah's with Mildlife and Spender; garage rockers La Bastard and the Tarantinos are at LuWow; alternative-country seven-piece City Vs Country shred their guitars at the Retreat in Brunswick; and Brisbane punks Workinghorse Irons are joined by the Jacks and Dirty Harriet & the Hangman at the Public Bar in North Melbourne.
■ SATURDAY MAJOR Tom & the Atoms, fronted by former Little Red baritone crooner Tom Hartney, play the Great Britain; Cherry Bar hosts an industrial-metal night with Witchgrinder, Stone Revival and Party Vibez; and punk trio the Sinking Teeth, Sheriff and Them Bruins play the Reverence in Footscray.
■ TUESDAY LEGENDARY '60s-inspired surf band Los Coronas from Madrid, Spain, headline the Toff in Town.
■ THURSDAY LOVE of Diagrams play their last Melbourne show at the Tote before heading to Chicago to record a new album.