Livid, once a Brisbane icon, as decided to go the way of almost every annual music festival in Australia, aside perhaps from Splendour in the Grass and the Falls, and tour the east coast. This year saw the festival performed at Moore Park in inner Sydney's south.
Firstly, this choise of venue was rediculus. It was nothing but a dust bowl, and with the extreme heat that Sydney is starting to show comming into summer, there was little shade for the punters. The venue was too small, and the show oversold, it made one think that perhaps the Showgrounds at Homebush, where other large festivals are held, would have been a better choice. Organisation, for one, was appalling. Now, not only do you have to buy tickets to purchase alcohol - a process that takes about three quarters of an hour - but you also need tickets for food and non-alcoholic drinks, including - get this - water. You'd think that after the events of a certain Big Day Out a couple of years ago that the organisers would have realised how important free water is. I, personally, found only one tank of free water available, and it was not well signposted at all. Bad move.
But, I still had high hopes for the music. Arriving a little late, I missed local hardcore icons Irrelevant, but word is they were in form and very loud. I expect nothing less. I caught the last two songs of UK outfit Seafood at the Big Top stage waiting for The D4, who I caught last week supporting the Noise Conspiracy, and they were pumping out some great rock and roll ('Get Loose' was a highlight) until the second guitar amp blew and the Livid stage crew did very little to assist, much to the anger of the D4. Just another testimony to the shocking orgainsiation. Still, I highly rate the D4, and am keen to see them when they return from their homes in New Zealand.
Next up was ...And you will know us by the trail of dead on the main stage in the hot, hot sun, and for this reason the crowd did not really get into the brand of music these guys played. They were, however, not doing too badly at all, and had attracted quite a crowd from backstage. Apparently, it seems, these guys have developed a bit of a feud with the Dropkick Murphys, and placcard on one of the amp heads declaring "Fuck the Dropkick Murphys Suck It". I couldn't quite hear it properly, but it also seems that there is a little animosity between them and the Noise Conspiracy too. The set was strong, 'Baudielair' sounded solid, as did 'Homage'.
After this required a wait for drinks which took it's time, and then we headed over to the Big Top again to wait for the tremendous Mogwai, but were forced to listen to the attrocious local sideshow Machine Gun Fellatio shock-rock electronica show. I swear that this band has very, very little musical talent, if any, but for some unknown reason they are huge over hear in the upside down world of Oz. Weird, no?
Mogwai played to a much smaller crowd, but held them in the palm of their hands once again - like their show last week - and blew the air clean away with intensity. Only three songs were played - 'Mogwai fear Satan' (with a really nice touch from the flute, '2 Rights make 1 wrong' and the 20-minute 'My Father My King'. Easily the best band of the day.
Now, over to the Loudmouth Punk Stage at the Horden Pavillion to see The (International) Noise Conspiracy let loose with some great rock and rool, thier setlist was very similar to last week's show at the Annandale Hotel, with 'Bigger Cages, Longer Chains' thrown in for good measure, and 'New Empire Blues' unfourtunately ommited, as was 'The Reproduction of Death', due to time constraints I imagine.
As the sun set, the stage was perfect for Mercury Rev, who's dreamy fairy tale music drifted over the crowd and held them well, 'Goddess on a Highway' hit a particular nerve with many. Finishing with a Talking Heads cover, the stage was left for Oasis. While I was very curious to see these guys, the corwd got a bit much, so I left to see Nightmares on Wax at the Annex dance stage. These were indeed some funky grooves, and well worth the time, but I was glad to get outside for some fresh air, in time to hear Oasis finish their set with the Who's 'My Generation' Very nice indeed.
Back into Annex meant catching Jame's Lavelle's U.N.K.L.E Decks n' Effects show, which was very dark and moody breaks, just like his work with DJ Shadow, but it didn't quite hit the highs the recorded work does, and I decided to call it a night.
All in all, there were some very good acts on tonight, but the organisation left a sour taste that won't wash away easily. More dissapointing than anything, and for a $95Aus ticket price, I really expected more.