Big Day Out @ Gold Coast Parklands, 23.01.2011: Part 2

I don’t know anything about Jim Jones Revue but find myself really enjoying them.

Then I spoil it all by going to photograph Airbourne. Having commented on a post on Collapse Board recently about the derivative state of so much Australian music, Airbourne are another classic example, being a photocopy of AC/DC. Although I knew this, I wanted to photograph them as I’d heard there were load of big rock poses and jumping off stuff but although there were clichéd pumped fists and playing guitars vertically there was almost no jumping. Lots of running across the stage from one side to the other but no big air jumps off the drum riser. The disappointment of photographing them is compounded immeasurably by having to endure listening to them and knowing that I’d done this at the expense of seeing the rest of Jim Jones Revue’s set.

CSS are a blast from the past, another one of those bands that still find it easy to secure Australian festival appearances based on previous Australian festival appearances more than being booked because of the merits of their current album or more recent output. Australian festival promoters seem to excel in this area, booking acts that would have been really exciting and/or a real coup to to have on the bill five years ago but who have dropped off the radar in recent years and have either done little of note or at least little that was noticed in the ensuing years. Actually that is a bit unfair on CSS who still sound great and are still a very entertaining band to watch, with Lovefoxxx still able to command a crowd even though the majority of those assembled are probably only here to hear them play Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death from Above and other songs from their first album.

If Lovefoxxx can command an audience where does that leave Andrew W.K.? I only know one song of his and have only ever known one song of his, ‘Party Hard’.  The songs that I see him play today are basically variations on a theme and there’s enough entertainment to keep me watching for the majority of his set before I need to head off and photograph some more acts.

Having never been in the Boiler Room in any of my previous trips to the Big Day Out, I find myself making my third visit of the day for Die Antwoord. By the end of the day I’ve seen more bands in the Boiler Room than I have on the main two stages; as usual at any music festival the more interesting stuff is happening on the smaller stages. Die Antwoord are a band I only know by reputation, having read about them but never actually heard them before; never I’d read about them made me want to check them out. If you can’t take Andrew W.K. very seriously I’m not sure where that leaves Die Antwoord. Watching them I’m not sure if they are a full-on novelty act or if it’s meant to be some sort of artistic statement, a performance artwork. I mean it can’t be the music that everyone is here for, right?

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