[Live Review] FALLS FESTIVAL 2016 (Byron Bay)

Falls 2016 - credit Sam Paquette - 29

Byron Bay
December 31, 2015 – January 3, 2016 :

Bouncing into Falls fest on a balmy New Years Eve in time to catch Weird Al Yankovic delight the crowd with his whacky antics and rip offs. Numbers were visibly down on last year, hard to know if it was competing events or the lineup that failed to inspire to the same extent as years past.

Next up Peking Duk wowed the crowd with their hairy brand of EDM, bouncing all over the stage looking like Santa had definitely left some goodies in their stockings.

Hilltop Hoods smashed it like they always do, raw energy and ripping rhymes. The punters singing along and roaring in appreciation as the boys dripped in sweat giving their all to the occasion.

The Wombats have a few singalongs themselves and the kids were happy to oblige, the bassist for this band is off the charts. He jumps around and launches off risers, invoking the crowd the whole time. A great watch.

Day 2 and it’s Courtney Barnett off the back of a haul of ARIAS, her direct wrioting style and laconic approach meant I wasnt expecting her ‘rock out’ type performance. In her element albeit awkward there were moments where glimpses of Angus Young seeped into her stage presence.

Hiatus Kaiyote up next and as usual a mercurial performance of genre bending Soul jazz funk, singer Nai’s strength and vulnerability always engaging.

Birds of Tokyo, consummate pro’s as always with frontman Ian Kenny his usual enigmatic self punching the air as he sneers and snarls through the lyrics of their infectious rock jams.

Paul Kelly and the Merri Soul sessions mob graced the stage as the sun set, the Bull sisters vocal perfection initiating proceedings that also had Dan Sultan guesting on the mic. Good music is good music.

The Maccabees I knew very little about these guys before I saw them. definitely the discovery of the festival, conscious lyrics catchy hooks and a warm delivery. Am I at the right festival?

Rufus another big hit with the kids, seems like keyboards are the new guitars. Is it just me or is there something missing in this genre? Maybe I needed another coffee.

Bloc Party returning to our shores yet again with their radio friendly brand of brit rock, pretty sure I saw the singer yawn at some point. Must have been jet lagged. The crowd liked singing along to these guys as well.

Day 3

Gary Clarke jnr been hanging for this for months, this guy has chops. I was trying to have a conversation as he started up, couldnt do it. I could listen to this cat play guitar for days. Lets hope he stays with his Aussie GF.

Glimpses of Elliphant as she writhed around the stage with the energy of an inpatient at an asylum. Definitely popular with the crowd,

Foals brought the testosterone back up with some healthy rocking out, these guys are much bigger live than their studio recordings suggest. Radio doesnt play music that riles the kids up anymore?

Django Django again popular with the enlarged pupil crowd, sounded a bit like all the others to me. Remember festivals when the bands with one or 2 hits were on at 3pm not 10pm?

Disclosure finished off the weekend with a bunch of songs without the singers that made them listenable.

To paraphrase Steve Kilbey of The Church recently ‘No guitars were hurt…’

Reviewer and Photographer: Quenched

Related posts: