Coming our way
Asia’s inagural Laneway Festival to be staged in Singapore in January.
BACK in February 2006, the Bangkok 100 Rock Festival, a two-day event regarded as one of the most ambitious international festivals ever planned in this corner of the world, attracted 42,000 local and international fans. It put Thailand on the Britpop map as it featured Oasis, Franz Ferdinand, Placebo, Ian Brown, Snow Patrol and Maximo Park, among others.
Next January, Singapore is set to be the talk of the region with the island city introducing the Asian edition of the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival. Since its inception in Melbourne in 2004, tickets for the indie-centred Laneway festivals across Australian cities consistently sell out each year.
As a steadily growing boutique festival, the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival in Australia is branching out. Through the years, it has become synonymous with picturesque locations, diverse line-ups full of indie bands and enthusiastic clued-in festival-goers.
The green and lush outdoor grounds of Fort Canning Park in Singapore will be staging its inaugural Laneway Festival on Jan 29. The line-up includes much-blogged about indie acts like Temper Trap, Foals, Yeasayer, Deerhunter, Ladyhawke, Holy F***, !!! (Chk Chk Chk), Beach House and Warpaint.
The Singapore edition of Laneway basically trims the Australian lineup (featuring 25 acts) down to nine mouth-watering bands, mostly from Australia, the United States and Britain.
The award-winning Aussie group Temper Trap, hailing from Melbourne, Victoria, is an exclusive addition to the festival in Singapore. The group’s debut Conditions (2009) is a worldwide indie success with euphoric singles Sweet Disposition, Fader and Science Of Fear establishing the quartet as an international force.
Judging by the group’s high profile appearances at blue chip festivals like Glastonbury, Roskilde Festival, V Festival as well as Big Day Out and Splendour In The Grass in Australia, the right act has been chosen to headline Asia’s first Laneway edition.
“We are thrilled to play our last show on this album cycle in Singapore as part of the Laneway festival. We have a very strong connection to the event, with it being the first festival we ever played and it is truly an honour to close the inaugural Singapore extravaganza,” said Temper Trap vocalist Dougy Mandaggi in a media statement.
Elsewhere, the Laneway in Singapore line-up reads like a hipster’s mix CD selection. Not so much mainstream bluster on the billing but rather a mixture of buzzworthy names and undiscovered acts. Acclaimed British indie outfit Foals and New York hipsters Yeasayer are the crowd-pulling names. The five-piece outfit Foals, hailing from Oxford in England, is the obvious highlight. After the tentative experiments on Antidotes, Foals has moved up the creative sweepstakes and made itself a powerhouse on stage too.
The Mercury prize nominated group’s second album Total Life Forever is a futuristictic album bound together by complex soundscapes, which is set to attract fans to Laneway.
Yeasayer, the genre-defying outfit from New York, is the closest you will get to idiosyncratic indie pop and weirdness in spades. The trio’s second album Odd Blood has been a sleeper hit, and sounding like a shimmering dreamscape when played live. Just don’t call them MGMT, please.
The dreamy, timeless pop of the Beach House duo and the artdamaged squall of the Deerhunter quartet will necessarily seal the deal for this festival. The road trip to Singapore in January, as they say, is definitely on. n StJerome’sLanewayFestival in Singapore takes place at Fort Canning Park on Jan 29, 2011. Tickets go on sale this Friday. Browse sistic.com.sg or lanewayfestival.asia. Hotline: % 02-6348 5555.
Main attractions: (clockwise from top left) Australian indie outfit Temper Trap, Beach House and Yeasayer are slotted to play the Laneway Festival in Singapore.