Party among the pines

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Music - Stu­art Hor­ton

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.

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