Party among the pines
THE shady salvation offered by the Esplanade’s tall Norfolk Pines was as welcome as the myriad acts at Sunday’s St Jerome’s Laneway Festival in Fremantle.
The Esplanade setting proved perfect for the conditions and given it was just the second time Fremantle has hosted the festival, one could not help but wonder why it had not called the famous grassy banks home for longer.
A small but vocal crowd came out early to see eccentric New Zealand troubadour Connan Mockasin provide the most surreal moment of the day, as one of his roadies disrobed the waifish singer from the top down.
A decent-sized crowd also populated the main stage early on to catch Adelaide MC Tkay Maid- za, who made light work of filling the space with her energetic presence.
You could not help but feel sorry for Norwegian outfit Highasakite and their singer Ingrid Helene Havik having to slog it out in the mid-afternoon heat, but that did not prevent anyone in the crowd from dancing along to favourites Darth Vader and Since LastWednesday.
In a live setting, Courtney Barnett’s laconic tunes took on an extra energy and were testament to just why so many were waiting to see her, while Perth space cadets Pond followed with a typical vigorous and piercing set, drawing from their entire catalogue.
When you think of drum and bass acts, rock does not neces- sarily come into the equation, but Royal Blood are quickly changing that perception, as well as the direction of rock music, with the Brighton duo easily the loudest band of the day.
Caribou provided respite to ears and the heat, and as the sun finally disappeared behind the trees the bulk of the Canadian electro- maestro’s set early on was drawn from his two most recent albums – last year’s Our Love and 2010’s brilliant Swim.
Future Islands did without a road crew and set up their own gear before delighting a raucous crowd at the Mistletone stage. Fittingly, the four-piece closed with Spirit, something they, and the day as a whole, had in abundance.
Crowds flocked to St Jerome's Laneway Festival despite the searing heat.