28 May 1939 – 23 February 2017
We want you to know that sadly John/Jack Nolan passed away Thursday morning (Feb 23) after a heart/breathing failure. He was with hospital staff and everything possible was done, but he slipped away.
28 May 1939 – 23 February 2017
We want you to know that sadly John/Jack Nolan passed away Thursday morning (Feb 23) after a heart/breathing failure. He was with hospital staff and everything possible was done, but he slipped away.
Which freaks and stars and pioneers and lifers and islands and zeniths and queenpins, kingpins, legends, upstarts, natural resources, cultural barometers, archetypes, prototypes, ravers, flavours, and all-wavers are letting it all go in The Sup’ this year?
An Odyssey Supreme. All on the one stage, with Mother Nature on the lights.
Queen of the scene. Maker of the scene. Vanguard of the zeitgeist. Provocateur. Groundbreaker.
Peaches rocks the party. She brings it the fuck on.
Come with me
You know me
Fuck The Pain Away
Therapeutic, cathartic. Ballistic.
It feels like the world has caught up to where Peaches has been at for about fifteen years.
When she arrived she was a culture shock to The System. She shone a bright light onto some fairly buttoned-down places and opened them up on centre stage, for everyone to enjoy, and have a ton of fun with. Honest, raw, real. Just doing it, and people getting it, with good stuff coming out of it.
Never for just one audience, always inclusive. Anyone goes.
The Girls Wanna Be Her. The Boys Wanna Be Her.
Her album The Teaches of Peaches smashed a huge new hole when it landed - appropriately - at the start of the new millennium. She wrote and produced the entire thing, and arrived as a liberating icon, culturally and musically. Her influence as a musician and producer has radiated powerfully since. The Teaches of Peaches is a significant record; when it hit, a chunk of the world just went wow.
“No one who heard her raunchy, righteous, riotous debut album, The Teaches of Peaches, could forget it” - Vogue
Peaches “has undoubtedly had an enormous impact on the fertile nexus where cutting-edge music, visual style, sexual politics, nightclubbing, queer chic, rock 'n' roll and couture meet” - The Guardian. Instead of T-shirts, Peaches sold G-strings.
“Peaches is just the shit. She’s the bravest one of us out there.” - Amy Schumer, Time Magazine
FTPA has a life of its own, appearing everywhere from Sofia Coppola's 'Lost In Translation' and 30 Rock to South Park and HBO's True Blood. Peaches never recorded it in a studio - the song is a live recording from the first time it was ever performed. There is no official music video for the song; Peaches calling on fans to create their own videos and other performance art pieces with it.
She made a one-woman production of 'Jesus Christ Superstar' called 'Peaches Christ Superstar' which showcased her explosive soulful singing voice.
Another track, "Dick In The Air", flips gender roles with an absurdist twist, as Peaches preaches, "I'm sick of hands in the air, And shake our asses like we don't care, We've been shaking our tits for years, So let's switch positions no inhibitions".
Peaches’ live shows are an over the top, loose, extravaganza of good times. Very live, and very show. A total entertainment package. Nobody walks away not drenched in sweat and feelgood rock 'n' roll energy. Just a great time, full of looseness and tabooty-shaking good times.
“She has one of the best live shows around.” - SMH
“And, really, it's about communicating, having fun ... rock 'n' roll, you know?”
Peaches does more than rule. She liberates. She rocks the party. She brings it the fuck on. Expect the Queen to land in The Sup’ Saturday night to coronate The 26th in a fitting fashion. Juicy.
King Gizz in The Sup’. Friday Night monarchs.
Every now and then Uncle Doug tips us off about some little band he just saw in Geelong or somewhere. Several years ago he did just that about a band with a silly name. They were pretty great, so we queue-jumped them ahead of some perhaps more advanced bands and slotted them into Meredith. It was a winner, winner, chicken gizzard dinner.
Not so much a band as a living organism.
The individual parts are all connected, feeding and feeding off each other. Anything goes. Two drummers, three guitarists. Ersatz elements - bagpipes, flute, sax - all go into King Gizz’s Royal Court and come out sounding like them. Master vibemakers.
Not so much a sound as a psychedelic adventure.
Surf music, garage rock, psych rock, film music, folk, jazz, soul, Krautrock, heavy metal, acid-flecked cosmic jazz, hazy pastoral acoustic bliss, spider-web folk, gonzo freak-beat frenzy, DIY psych, 60s beach pop, and yeah, more. Sometimes a dreamy loose sunny aspect, sometimes aggressive frenetic punk energy. A sonic exploration, investigating new ideas, pulling them off in stylish detail, then moving on to the next thing that catches their collective third eye.
Not so much a career as an eco-system.
Self-managed, self-released, self-sufficient. People like them and want to help them. Iggy Pop plays them on his radio show. It takes dedication - seven well-realised albums in five years, and constant international touring. They blaze their own trail, driving on energy and ideas. As a result, the bigness has come without the usual scaffolds of bigness. Their fans might be better described as followers. Neurons that fire together, wire together.
Not so much an album as an infinite loop.
Nonagon (their 4th album in 18 months!) is a never-ending album; nine songs able to be played seamlessly - each song becomes the next, and then the last one becomes the first one again. Far from a simple conceptual experiment, the album is both an exhilarating shot of adrenaline and a remarkable feat of craftsmanship, the result of painstaking planning and an eye for detail years in the making. "I wanted it to feel like a horror or sci-fi movie," explains Mackenzie of the album's dark overtones. Ambition realised. Ideas, man.
Not so much a gig as a happening.
You can go see them with excitement and confidence. Never the same way twice. Their shows in London and New York pull thousands. They get invited to the major European and US festivals. They blitz.
How good. Just how good a thing they are.
King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, for the first prime time, in The Sup’.
One of the world’s greatest, funkiest musicians.
A trailblazer. A prototype.
Musical soulmate of Prince; drummer, co-writer and Musical Director for his band. A pivotal part of one of the funkiest phases in this planet’s history.
Started playing the drums at 3. Played with Marvin Gaye, Herbie Hancock and Diana Ross by 20.
Played with Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, Ringo Starr, Miles Davis, Placido Domingo, Kanye, Santana, Jay-Z.
A giant of Latin music, and R&B, jazz, funk, and their fusions.
A Grammy-nominated pop star (‘til she turned her back on it).
All the way from LA, the percussionist extraordinaire and big-bandleader Sheila E is bringing her eight-piece classy funky Latin R&B extravaganza to The Sup’ on Friday night.
Please just take a moment to watch this through:
I have a very good feeling that this will be one of our great moments.
Sheila had a spike of worldwide pop fame in the 80s with percussive hit ‘Glamorous Life’, the funky A Love Bizarre, and a high-profile musical and romantic association with Prince (he asked her to marry him while they were onstage playing Purple Rain together), but those with more than a passing understanding of her talent, output and achievements better know her as a phenomenal musician, bandleader, performer, singer and songwriter who has had an astonishing life in music.
She walked away from being a pop star and sex cymbal, to follow the beat.
She comes from a remarkably musical family.
Born in Oakland, California, Sheila E is the daughter of Juanita Gardere, a dairy factory worker, and percussionist Pete Escovedo, with whom she frequently performs. Her mother is African American and her father is of Mexican heritage. Sheila E's uncle is alt-country artist Alejandro Escovedo, and Tito Puente is her godfather. She is niece to Javier Escovedo, founder of seminal San Diego punk act The Zeros. Another uncle, Mario Escovedo, fronted long-running indie rockers The Dragons. She also is the niece of Coke Escovedo who was in Santana and formed the band Azteca. Nicole Richie is Sheila E's biological niece, the daughter of Sheila's musician brother, Peter Michael Escovedo.
She laid down the beat - and much more - for one of the funkiest phases in this planet’s history.
Sheila and Prince were briefly engaged in the late 80s, during Prince's Purple Rain tour. During the Sign ‘O’ the Times, Black Album, and Lovesexy periods of Prince's career she also served as his drummer and musical director in his backup band. As part of her shows this year she has been honouring her late great friend and collaborator.
One of her proudest achievements is her involvement in the monumental We Are The World project.
We are pumped that Sheila accepted our invitation to come and make the party Friday night.
Oye como va.
One of our most loved new musical heroes.
Maybe I’m a hard marker, but it seems precious few albums in recent years have (yet) proved durable enough to stand eye to eye with high water marks from previous years. Angel Olsen has two, strikingly different, brilliant albums. And now her recently released third - ‘MY WOMAN’.
Anyway. Shut up, kiss me, hold me tight.
My laaawdy I love Angel Olsen’s music. It’s disarmingly simple, mostly, but like a perfect recipe with just a few primo ingredients, that’s all it takes.
For a start, there’s that voice. And how she uses it - poetic swoons, plaintive howls; an Appalachian purity. Ghostly, cat-hair-soft whispers.
At age three, she was adopted by a foster family that had cared for her since shortly after her birth. The difference in years between her and her parents (now 71 and 83, respectively) left an impression. “I became more interested in what their childhood was like. I fantasised about what it was like to be young in the 30s and 50s”. She began singing early, often in the middle of the night when she couldn’t sleep, the sound of her voice waking her parents in the other room. The house was filled with other foster children, she says, with new kids arriving all the time, if only temporarily. She was the last child her parents would adopt.
Her first album, 2012’s Halfway Home, found an audience pretty quickly, and just grew and grew in pockets around the globe. Then 2013’s Burn Your Fire For No Witness dropped and just took it to another place, and another level. It connected. To the listener, it seems Angel lets us in; we get vulnerable with her so easily, and then taken away with her - often though heartache. Like everyone, she’s not in control of what happens, but she is very in touch with how to express it. Raw power.
Live, when she’s singing there’s often a disarming calm in her eyes. Then between songs she fully engages with the crowd, in a captivating, wry, honest, charming, so charming - without guile - manner. (We gushed afterwards.) Sophisticated grace.
This won’t be her first visit to The Sup’ - she was in Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s Cairo Gang for Golden Plains Sixxx in 2012. We got many requests for her to play her own show back then.
It’s taken a while. But here she is.
Some New Masters right here.
“Jesus Christ... the new BadBadNotGood album is unbelievably amazing.” - Gilles Peterson
What a thrilling band BBNG are. Holy smokes. Have you heard them? Put this on in the background while you go about your stuff. Keep in mind this is a live band.
"shockingly talented….a jazz trio on paper - but often strange, forever imaginative, and ultimately revolutionary hip-hop and electronic beatmakers at heart." - Prefix
The 26th has attracted some freak musicians. To say Matthew Tavares on keys, Chester Hansen on bass, Leland Whitty on saxophone and Alexander Sowinski on drums is like saying, I don’t even know, something about Cyril or Neymar on a football or...Elliot on code or something. But the players present as a unit, and that’s where their power multiplies.
Think thick, hazy funky hip-hoppy jazzy grooves, just-woke-up-from-a-dream mood changes, sweet, tough beats, and just pleasure for days.
They met while students in the jazz program at Humber College in Toronto. They played a piece based on Odd Future's music for a panel of their performance instructors, who “did not find that it had musical value”. After they released the track on YouTube as The Odd Future Sessions Part 1, it got the attention of Tyler, The Creator, who felt differently and helped the trio's video go viral. Later they recorded a live session with Tyler from their basement; the videos have over a million views.
Since then the list of collabs keeps growing: Frank Ocean (they played shows as his backing band), MF Doom, Earl Sweatshirt, Ghostface Killah (Wu-Tang Clan), and on and on.
They do ridiculously inventive versions.Their first release included versions of songs by A Tribe Called Quest and Gucci Mane. Their second, BBNG2, had wild originals plus interpretations of Kanye West, My Bloody Valentine, James Blake and Feist.
Well, the drums rolled off in my forehead
And the guns went off in my chest
Remember carrying the baby just for you
Crying in the wilderness
The sound of Australia, vast, lonely, sun-bleached, hazardous. The sound of The Triffids, still resonating around the world like ripples from a stone dropped in an estuary three decades ago.
The Triffids were a part of a most fertile era and collective identity in our musical history. As well as Dave McComb’s evocative lyrics, they used sound and image to conjure up feeling, often associated with growing up in Australia, and interpreting the landscape. They were from Perth, and unpredictable, literate, more rockin’ than it seemed, and made music that was oddly spiritual, referencing the natural world more than urban or suburban environments.
I lost track of my friends, I lost my kin
I cut them off as limbs
I drove out over the flatland
Hunting down you and him
They steadily built a cult following through the 80s, then issued a masterwork in 1986 with the adored Born Sandy Devotional, a timeless album heavy with nature, remoteness, and foreboding.
It contains their classic ‘Wide Open Road’, which reached the UK Top 30 in 1986 and has become even more cherished in the years since, travelling on waves of energy without ever having a discernable peak, like the song itself, and maybe even the road itself.
“If Bruce Springsteen had written this song and put it out it would have been a monstrous hit. It’s an amaaazing song...just everything...just perfect...perfectly in its place” - Steve Kilbey of The Church.
It’s a gift that we have been given the chance to hear these songs live, and honour and acknowledge this incredible band. Jill, Alsy, Graham, Marty and Rob along with Rob Snarski, JP Shilo and maybe one or two other special guests will play selected favourites of ours and theirs from the great catalogue. The band have said this is about honouring Dave McComb, and his songs; that this is a celebration. They were keen to play this particular Meredith because 2016 is the 30th Anniversary of Born Sandy Devotional.
The sky was big and empty
My chest filled to explode
I yelled my insides out at the sun
At the wide open road
It's a wide open road
Dave McComb tragically left us way too young in 1999. He wrote this about his band:
The Triffids called it a day back in 1989, though they didn’t know it at the time.
They were born to two teenagers in the Perth of the late 70s – the Perth of Norman Gunston, clear blue skies, watersports, all-night TV horrorthons, Hungry Jacks, the WAFL, the P76, the Noonkanbah episode, and more watersports. There were slim pickings for precocious Stooges/Velvets/Eno fans. But anything was fair game to escape the heat and boredom of the world’s most isolated capital city perched on a thin strip of arable coast between the desert and the Indian Ocean. Seeing the Sex Pistols make a viscid appearance on the ABC TV programme Weekend Magazine was a singular spur, encouraging us to pick up tape recorders, biros and cheap musical instruments. But instead of the simple background of YewKay Punk our bed of influences tended to Patti Smith, Kraftwerk, Television and early Talking Heads.
After countless trips across the Nullarbor, in 1984 the band relocated to London. With little savings and five return plane tickets due to expire by Christmas, they gave themselves three months to make inroads in the UK. Success was confirmed when they graced the January 1985 cover of the NME, which predicted it would be The Year of The Triffids.
Europe stayed loyal. The reformed band is touring there this year. In England there’s a national-trust-style heritage plaque on the building where Born Sandy Devotional was made. And the band is a question in the Belgian version of Trivial Pursuit.
Imagine these songs, played live, brought to life, outside in the Australian summer, on a Friday evening, in the beautiful isolation of the Nolan farm. And how we will be feeling, and how the band will be feeling playing them.
Let it run away, let it run, let it run away
Well. Where do you start?
A few years ago, all that was missing from the burgeoning dystopian future RnB realm was a pop diva, an anti-hero to the mainstream’s appropriation of its minimalist aesthetic.
Nature abhors a vacuum.
Enter the magnetic Kelela, a first-generation Ethiopian American from Washington, DC, with ‘spunky-newcomer charisma’ and a sensuous, sensitive, subversive artistry.
“Something that I think extends to a lot of African cultures is that the line between performer and audience is blurry. My mom would lead the wedding song regularly and she isn’t a professional singer. Even as an audience member you’re expected to clap and sing the response to the lead.” - Dazed
She accessed dream-team production (Fade to Mind, Night Slugs crews) for her mixtape Cut4Me and generated her own wave.
Then came Hallucinogen, with huge receptions for A Message and Rewind. Which fast-forwarded things. The breathy vocal, mournful, crying-in-the-club openness, natural knack for melody, hi-def cutting edge production, and just her, all propelled Kelela to underground icon status.
“The mechanics of dance music might inspire feelings in listeners, but within the genre, overrun with the egos and opinions of "bro-teurs," her emotions are revolutionary” - pfk
“I feel like I just want my emotions to be at the forefront of my performance, and if anything distracts from that, I’m in trouble,” she told The Cut.
She’s hyped, adored, respected and in demand, with many cultural and commercial forces now attracted to her orbit; she’s a style icon. She says with startling frankness that “vulnerability is my ticket” which seems the opposite of celebrity; relatable rather than remote. That star power is kept in reserve. There is no compromise to the artistic integrity.
“It often feels like brands associate themselves with you so they can speak to brown people” she says. “It’s significant for someone who thinks about the intersection of capitalism and art. It’s doubly significant when I feel I am included so they don’t come off as such a white brand. The dilemma is how do I infiltrate without becoming a part of the problem? It’s particularly hard when you love and are asked to associate with an established brand, and you also know that they haven’t been thinking about you or anyone who looks like you until recently. Is it more in alignment with my principles to disrupt that lineage, or do I reject that brand completely? It’s not an easy decision.” - Dazed
Aware. Perceptive. Intelligent. Truthful. Inspirational.
There’s a new album coming soon. This live review hints at some Princian funk on there, which would go down a treat.
“I've dreamed about this since I can't remember. Three or four years ago I was telemarketing. Just so you know that this shit does turn around.” - RA
One of us. Goddess. First thing after dark Friday.
Since DJ Harvey opened some kind of wormhole in 2010, we’ve had a string of local heroes and Supernatural regulars shine bright and herald the sunrise - reminding us, truly, that This Must Be The Place. This year; something a little different, extra-ordinary, and extra-terrestrial.
“Ben Ooufo (as they call him in Italy) is just one of these guys who is born to DJ… at the moment, he’s technically the best DJ in the world.” - Jackmaster
Unassuming and humble, with no productions to his name, Ben Thompson focuses on what he does best: DJing. Thrilling.
Starting out on London pirate radio station Sub FM, it wasn’t long before he’d co-founded the label Hessle Audio, a crew at the forefront of a post-dubstep melding of underground UK sounds. The label continues to push boundaries, he now hosts a flagship radio show on RinseFM, and has cooly become one of the hottest DJs on the planet.
"Ben UFO reminds us of a simple but easily forgotten fact: DJs can play literally anything they want." - Resident Advisor
A restless digger, an inspired thinker. Daring, nimble, mind-bending. Making the strange taste sweet. Too clever to fall into inflated idolatry of the past, but far too clever to ignore it.
“What makes Ben probably the most interesting is his technical and his intellectual abilities to pour genres, tempos, eras and even antagonistic styles into one absorbing and fascinating maelstrom. I will always remember the first time that we played together at London’s Plastic People... I was so enamoured with his manners, risk-taking and posture as a DJ that I told him afterwards that I’m ready to resign. Ben UFO, I salute you!” - Gerd Janson
As night morphs into day and the black sky lightens to blue, house and garage morph to techno, funk, grime, jungle, and beyond. Genres joyously refracted into a pirate UFO beam, coming at us from somewhere over Sunrise Strip.
The wormhole widens.
When they love you, and they will
Tell em all they'll love in my shadow
And if they try to slow you down
Tell em all to go to hell
Oh oh oh oh-oh oh-oh oh
Saturday twilight, towards the pointy end of the second day, this duo take the stage.
Those who know and love them will spend the next chunk of their evening belting out anthemic rock songs with reckless abandon, maybe hands above their head in supplication, looking for and finding like-minded souls to share a favourite chorus or lyric with. The sort of lyric they love enough to have a tattoo of.
Oh oh oh oh-oh oh-oh oh
Japandroids = two Anglo humans. Brian King and David Prowse are from Vancouver, indeed they are one of three Canadian artists on the lineup this year. They might have ingested The Great North American Songbook such is the way their classic rock punk feels like it has Springsteen, Tom Petty, The Replacements et al seeping through it. You are what you eat.
Japandroids articulate that dumb joyous rush of energy that life kicks up - they find words and songs for those feelings. Songs about the passing of time and rites of passage, story-telling songs, cinematic songs, singalongs, soundtracks to your life, pleasure, lust, friendship, self-actualisation...songs to go wild to. Life’s weird but we’re here so let’s just fuckin go for it. Celebration Rock. It’s a big anthemic sound, made by just the two of them. But they’ll have plenty of friends in Postcode 3333.
Hug your mates, Saturday Night.
Some aficionados of Lee Scratch Perry - the mad genius, the architect, the modern day Michelangelo, inventor of dub, discoverer of Bob Marley, sonic pioneer, producer non-compare, wildman of music, burner of studios - say his greatest achievement beyond all others, in a lifetime of acclaimed creations, is The Congos.
The Congos are a reggae vocal band, from Jamaica. They are the archetypal and greatest reggae vocal band, no less, and it will be a deeply enjoyable religious experience when they sing for The Sup’ at The 26th.
Their heavy, earthy grooves are set in flight by the celestial light of three majestic voices: "Ashanti" Roy Johnson’s rich tenor, Cedric Myton’s clear as a bell falsetto, and Watty Burnett’s thunderous baritone have been in sweet, ecstatic union since the mid-70s.
In 1977 they recorded Heart of the Congos, with Lee Scratch at the controls, producing what is widely considered one of the great classics of reggae, and all modern music. Pitchfork has it ahead of any other reggae album in their Top Albums of the 1970s, and ahead of Dark Side of The Moon, Never Mind The Bollocks and What’s Going On. (I know, I know, art is not a competition. Just lazily framing this up.)
The show is fun, with these remarkable, big characters. But it's never wacky. This is spiritual; these are conscious roots, about human awakening and cultural pride. Old testament Rasta vibes.
The Congos are some of the Original Masters. It's a privilege, and a miracle of Time/a higher power that we can conjure a scene straight out of the fabled storybook and impossibly transport The Congos from Then to Now.
Row, fisherman, row
Keep on rowing your boat
Brother-man, brother-man, yah
Row, fisherman row
Lots of hungry belly pickney they ashore
Millions of them!
Lots of hungry belly pickney they ashore
Row, fisherman row
We've got to reach on higher grounds
Put your oar in, Saturday evening.
(Ross Wilson, Fred Cole and two of the three Congos were all born in 1947 or 1948, on three different corners of the globe, are still musical lifers to this day, and will all play at The 26th Meredith. Summit.)
We know a lot of our mates who live in Heavyworld are tremennnndously excited by this: for only the third time in Australia, the singular, triumphant, compelling heavy HEAVY fantastica of Baroness.
We also know a lot of people who aren't from Heavyworld, who come to the Nolan Farm mostly to dance, but in recent years have ended up loving, say, Sleep, or Melvins, or Uncle Acid. This is an excellent phenomenon which makes us happy. Baroness is not the same (as anyone), of course. But there’s seriously good times for all to be had right here.
Baroness is a fiercely adventurous band who create some of the biggest, brightest, most glorious riffs and choruses down the heavy end of the rock 'n' roll spectrum. They formed in 2003, slugging it out in their local Savannah, Georgia scene while adhering to a DIY punk ethic, booking their own tours and silk-screening their own shirts. Over the next nine years their albums found willing audiences and Album Of The Year accolades. The job was on. But their irresistible force hit an immovable object.
New album, Purple is named for the band’s “gigantic bruise", singer-guitarist John Baizley says of the terrifying tour bus crash they survived in 2012 (it broke through a guardrail on a viaduct near Bath and plummeted nearly 30 feet to the ground below). "It was an injury that prevented us from operating in a normal way for quite some time. Hopefully, this record is the springboard that helps us get away from all that."
Baizley and Pete Adams (an Iraqi war vet who was awarded a Purple Heart in a previous chapter of his life) have been through a lot to be here.
Now, it’s all a victory lap.
They will play in the heat of the moment, the apex of the afternoon, the middle of the festival, where things tend to get epic - late afternoon, Saturday.
Our fifth artist from the Shepparton area in three years. Something's going on.
Usually I like to write whatever/everything that comes to mind rather than just copy the biography supplied to us by the artist’s publicist. But in this case, the bio says everything I’d want to tell you about Archie Roach, and why we are so proud to have the man take the stage at The 26th.
Archie Roach is a man of few words. But when he speaks, or sings, those words lift you up, transport you and humble you. He is that rarest of beings … one that sees beyond race, religion, gender and ideology … to get straight to the heart of what it means to be human. What he sees at the heart of humanity is love.
It’s been four years since the release of “Into The Bloodstream”, the album that marked his return to recording in the wake of unimaginable setbacks including a stroke, lung cancer and the loss of Ruby Hunter, his partner in life and music.
Those close to him saw the healing effect of that record - on Archie and his audiences. For Archie himself, it was a chance to begin to live again. “It’s a two-way thing. The audience gives me so much back – it’s hard to explain. But that’s actually what I do this for … to get that interaction with the audience.”
“On this album I wanted to explore the theme of love – what it is, what it means,” said Archie. “We are closing ourselves off and not letting people in. And not just in the sense of not letting them into the country, but not letting them into our hearts, into our minds. This country was built on people coming here from other countries. That’s what made Australia what it is today.”
These are big words from a man who personally experienced the suffering of being forcibly removed from his family aged only 3 under the Australian Government’s assimilation policy, the legacy of this brutal policy is now referred to as the Stolen Generations.
But Archie is still “A gentle soul singing with no bitterness, this wasn’t about politics, it was about people.”
Some of his health constraints (losing part of a lung to cancer) influenced his vocal style as well. “You just use what you have now as best you can,” smiled Archie.
“Let Love Rule” is the tenth album in an extraordinary career. “As you get older, you tend to look at things more on a universal level. You realise everybody suffers. Everybody goes through hard times. Your understanding grows.” “Ultimately, this album is about what I wish for. I’m not necessarily trying to get others to believe that as well. I’m just saying - this is me … this is what I hope.”
Now, we are lucky enough to have just one degree of separation from Archie, and we know all of the above is a true and real account of the man. Come hear some hope, early arvo Saturday.
The enigmatic, prowlin’, howlin’ big cat returns to the scene of a previous triumph. And this time, for the first time, in Prime Time, and with new tunes Every Now & Then on board.
Yep, the time-travelling trippy guitar-dance Sydneysider Londonites bring their Madchester 60s 90s futuristic retro joyful pop whirlpool supermix to The Sup’ to spin out a climactic crescendo to proceedings Saturday night. Faves The Throw, Come Save Me, Man I Need, What Love, Uncertainty have been added to with swirling new soundtrack-to-rising-excitement OB1 .
Took ages and a false start or two to make it Happen last time. ‘Jagwar Ma the standout in near-perfect Meredith Music Festival...organiser's long standing pursuit of an appearance by Jagwar Ma paid off on Friday night, with the Australian indie-dance outfit delivering a festival-topping performance’ - SMH
Vibing all the way. Luxuriate in the euphoria. Magic O’Clock, Saturday.
One of the nephews saw these guys at Panorama Bar when he was in Berlin and will not shut up about it all.
With good reason.
Mount Liberation Unlimited is Tom Lagerman and Niklas Janzon, who arrive to Meredith from Stockholm to continue their musical exploration and deliver their playful cosmic house in the late late shift Friday night. Good work considering in their homeland most 'night’clubs close around 1am.
In some ways, including geographically, they could be tied in to Scandinavian nu-disco synth wizards like Todd Terje, Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas. Their first 12" opens with a track called Clinton Space Funk. Their second 12” was put out on Superconscious Records, the label of Australians Francis Inferno Orchestra and Fantastic Man. Their 3rd and latest 12” was put out on Tim Sweeney’s Beats In Space. So also ties to Melbourne, and Meredith.
This recent music video for a track on their new 12” is a fictional music vid/doco about a search for a lost legendary genius.
Their live show is a full on LIVE SHOW. Heaps of hardware, synths - dancefloor mechanics spare no tools of the trade. It’s a party.
Two-thirds of the legendary Dead Moon. If you only read one of these, read this one.
Fred Cole was born 28 August, 1948 in Nevada. He’ll be 68 at Meredith.
When he was just 12, he had his mind blown by seeing the soul explosion of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue at a concert hall in his town. (She is electricity. She is religion. She is drugs. She is everything.) There’s only about 20 people there, but it was then that his rock ’n’ roll heart first chugged and heaved into motion.
Cole got kicked out of school four days into his junior year. He’d just seen the Beatles live in Vegas and decided to grow his hair out long. The principal of his high school gave him an ultimatum: cut your hair or else. Cole’s response was not surprising. “I said, ‘Fuck you, I’m outta here.’”
By 14, he was performing as Deep Soul Cole, “The White Stevie Wonder” with an all-black rhythm-and-blues band. By 16 he was already a garage-band veteran, with a career in Las Vegas with his band, the Lords, at the Teenbeat Club, and a single titled "Ain't Got No Self-Respect”. Sometimes he would make his entrance from the back of the hall, walking on the tops of seats and over heads toward the microphone while the band blasted away onstage. He learned how to play strip clubs, how to get arrested, how to escape a girlfriend’s angry father by jumping out of a second-floor window.
In 1966 his band The Weeds gained notice in garage rock circles. The band was promised an opening slot on a Yardbirds bill at the Fillmore in San Francisco, but on their arrival found that the venue hadn't heard of them. Angry at management and fearing the military draft, the band decided to head up to Canada, but ran out of gas in Portland, Oregon. He was about to meet the love of his life.
Toody: Fred’s band at the time, The Weeds, were on their way from Las Vegas going up to Canada to avoid the draft notices they had all received. They ended up in Portland with not enough left for even gas money.
After asking around on the street if there was a club they could play, they were referred to The Folksingers, a small coffeehouse upstairs on the block behind the Crystal Ballroom. They auditioned for the owner, Whitey Davis, and instantly became the house band. I volunteered there, helping with cleaning, et cetera, to keep the health inspectors off Whitey’s back and to keep our favourite haunt open. This was October 1966, I was still 17 until the end of the year, and Fred was just 18. At the beginning of 1967 we all moved into the Crystal.
Cole and Toody soon fell in love and were married in 1967, though The Weeds' manager insisted they keep the marriage secret. They didn't even tell Fred's then-bandmates about their wedding - getting married wasn't quite the thing to do during the Summer of Love.
The Weeds changed their name to The Lollipop Shoppe. They played in a golden era of music, when being part of the counterculture was considered dangerously subversive. They played with The Doors, Neil Young, Janis Joplin (who told Cole “Damn I wish I could sing like you”), Buffalo Springfield, Love and other greats before dissolving in 1968. (Their psych rock / garage singles from this era are now collectors items.) Fred was living the dream.
Then in 1970, as the Vietnam War raged, he was conscripted into the Army while on tour. He and Toody took their two small children to the snowfields of Yukon in Canada to live off the land - in a tent - and dodge the draft. After a brief visit to the US, the Coles were denied access back into Canada. They returned to Portland where Fred built them a house out of scrap, recycled materials and found objects. Despite a burgeoning career, a primal love of rock music and a rare talent for it, he gave up being in a band to focus on raising a family. With three small children - Amanda, Weeden and Shane - the Coles opened a music store in Portland called Captain Whizeagle's, which served as a hangout for start-up bands or kids in need of music advice or generous credit.
After some years, Fred formed the Zeppelin-esque Zipper in 1975. They achieve some success - they played with The Ramones. Then in the late 70s, frustrated by a lack of reliable bass players, Fred urged Toody to learn the bass. Despite being a mother of three in her late 30s, and it being wildly unconventional, she learned the instrument and joined her husband in a touring punk band.
They formed The Rats in 1980, who lasted three albums. Then a cowpunk band the Western Front in 1985. By 1986, they had grown sick of what punk had become, and formed a country-ish band. Tiring of that, they decided to start something a little more powerful…
In 1987, Fred convinced Portland bartender Andrew Loomis to drum for their new band, Dead Moon. If you don’t know Dead Moon, it’s hard to explain what they mean. They have a hallowed place in rock’s history.
They are the most legendary of the legendary, the ultimate committed lifer rock band. The 2006 surprise-hit documentary Unknown Passage chronicles their story, with everything done on their own terms, DIY, only ever staying “one gig ahead of a day job”.
For nearly 20 years, Dead Moon aggressively toured the United States and Europe while writing, recording and releasing a new full-length album every one to three years. (In 2002, they played the very first night of the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre’s life after the festival moved a mile up the road. This photo is of Fred and Toody on that night).
Dead Moon used an empty bottle of Jack Daniel’s as a candleholder each night - and played for as long as the candle burned.
Fred and Toody started Tombstone Records ("Music too tough to die") in 1988. Tombstone would release most of Dead Moon's discography. Fred cut the masters on the vintage mono lathe that Toody gave him for his 39th birthday - the very same lathe that had been used to cut the original release of the Kingsmen's "Louie, Louie."
Fred has a tattoo of the Dead Moon logo on the right side of his face. Toody has a slightly different version on her right arm. They got the tattoos in 1988 as a gift for playing a tattoo-shop benefit. Cole is what’s known in rock ’n’ roll circles as a lifer: a living, breathing, chain-smoking, whiskey-drinking relic of an American art form’s past, present and future.
“Don’t waste your thoughts on failure, that’s a nowhere scene. Go for what you want the most, it’s the only way you’re free.” - Let It Rain, Pierced Arrows
Dead Moon broke up after a particularly gruelling European tour in 2006. The break-up would last 8 years.
In 2014 they began playing select reunion shows in Europe and the United States. Then, Fred needed emergency open-heart surgery for blocked arteries. The surgery was successful.
Andrew Loomis died on March 8, 2016, aged 54.
Despite Dead Moon being 20 years of their life, Fred and Toody vowed there would be no Dead Moon without Andrew.
These days, Dead Moon’s songs are covered by the likes of Pearl Jam, Cat Power and Black Lips. Keeping the flame burning.
This year, Fred and Toody celebrated their anniversary like they always do: they locked the door, unplugged the phone, uncorked a bottle of champagne and had dinner in bed while watching movies. Fred did the cooking on his George Foreman grill: steak, asparagus, potatoes and crab meat. To be sure, Toody is the only thing Fred has ever loved more than rock ’n’ roll.
Their cult is small, but it is fanatic. It includes people like Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl. And as long as they’re out there - and as long as Toody is plugged in right beside him - Cole will keep playing. There is no end in sight, save one.
“Once I play the moon and I’m a hundred years old, then yeah,” he says, sucking a cigarette down to the filter, “I’m outta here.”
Fred and Toody ran the Portland marathon last year, smoking cigarettes at both the start and finish lines.
Now a duo, grandparents-of-four, legends, lifers and lovers, Fred and Toody Cole keep on rockin’, in their stripped-down but no less intense duo Fred & Toody, they perform unplugged versions of their earlier songs from bands, The Rats, Dead Moon and Pierced Arrows, as well as newer unrecorded material.
What a life. It’s our honour to welcome them back to Meredith.
From Torino, Italy. Studied classical and jazz piano as well as vocals. Her techno awakening happened in Melbourne.
It’s a flip on a time-honoured Australian narrative: going to Europe, getting exposed to (insert art form), becoming obsessed. One for us. Thanks. She moved to Melbourne, studied sound art and design at RMIT, went to Honkytonks in about 2004, and… has become one of the city’s finest DJs and producers. A refined, sonic and compositional purist. Lauded by the heads. Dynamic, hypnotic, propulsive, surprising. You don’t really know what’s being done to you til it’s too late, in a good way. All class.
She’s playing a live set, and folds her elite DJ prowess into her live set up.
Late late Friday, right up to the edge of the Wedge.
The songwriter’s songwriter. From Concord, California. He’s been around.
“We don't know much about McCombs, save for his fascination with death and that he's lived as a nomad for most of his life”.
He “looks out of place no matter where you put him. He has no attachment to any particular scene...he often appears to be totally alone, a tumbleweed drifting through the interior of nowhere. At one point he only answered interview questions through the mail.”
Other artists love him.
Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor:
“one of our generation’s most important songwriters”
Jim James, My Morning Jacket: “Saturday Song”
If it gets cold enough and the water freezes even and solid, I will hook up a team of horses to pull an old-fashioned gazebo on skates around the lake - with an old-style brass band playing and oil lamps and everything - and as we skate alongside the gazebo it will sound so fitting when they play this song and the light on the ice and snow and everything.
Angel Olsen: “Brighter!”
I like to think of it as a song about selling out and how you lose your soul when you eat up all the candy the industry can offer.
Brian Rosenworcel, Guster: “AIDS in Africa”
Who pulls off a lyric about AIDS in Africa? I don’t know how he does it. The chord progression in this song feels like an endless kiddie ride at an amusement park. You just want it to go around and around forever.
Will Sheff, Okkervil River: “My Sister, My Spouse”
Cass McCombs songs are a perfect balance of a simple idea, a charming melody and some extra mystical presence that you can feel but can’t quite identify.
New album Mangy Love, mostly written during a bitter New York City winter and while travelling in Ireland, is his most blunt: sociopolitical issues are tackled through his uniquely cracked lens of lyrical wit and singular insight. The record is unquestionably a work of great studio aptitude: a carefully arranged, high-fidelity production. And as usual, McCombs is joined by many notable members of his eclectic musical tribe, whose names are proudly displayed on the back cover.
Something we have been hoping would happen for a few years now, finally does.
We went to see The Goon Sax in a terrible mood on a terrible day. Everything that is wrong with the world was very obviously wrong and getting wronger by the hour.
After they played, everything was right. A new hope was restored.
Fark they were good. The place was full of cool young kids who’d paid forty bucks to be there just losing their sh!t.
The Goon Sax are Brisbane teenagers Louis Forster, Riley Jones and James Harrison. It’s not just wide-eyed optimism that might save the world, but that’s there. It’s so much more; cut-through-it honesty, charm, clever songs, enough heart/sleeve to relate and enough Jonathon-ish detachment to feel like a certain lineage of classic pop is assured. Attitude, directness, celebration of the weirdness, and tasty, unadorned chops.
Droll, not dreary. Cute, not cutesy. Fecund, not wet.
I mean - they aren’t exactly unknown - singles Boyfriend and Up To Anything have been featured on BBC6, Stereogum, NME and Rolling Stone, and their debut album Up To Anything was favourably reviewed by some of the highest profile music media in the world, including Pitchfork, Mojo, Uncut, The Guardian (a very rare 5 star review), Spin and others. They’re touring the UK and Europe.
“Like living in a great Australian coming of age movie” - The Guardian UK
“The Goon Sax are teenagers of the year” - Spin
“This is the sound of growing up smart” - Pitchfork
“A quietly profound telling of a suburban adolescence, twinned with some near flawless guitar pop” - NME
All of that doesn’t always guarantee the band is any good. But they were so good that night. And it took a teenage riot to get me out of bed. Thank you The Goon Sax. Come play at Meredith? Yes? Unreal.
Hey Hey Hey, good old Eagle Rock's here to stay,
I'm just crazy 'bout the way we move,
Doiiiiiiiiiiiiin' the Eagle Rock.
When Aunty was just a child, she went to the local ‘Show’, a mix of amusement rides, fast food and agriculture. At the start of her turn on The Octopus, a song called Eagle Rock came over the loudspeakers. Flying through the hot afternoon air, whizzing up and down and round and round with a couple of dozen other excited kids, that incredible loose, groovy, joyous, bouncy soundtrack to good times provided a natural high that even then was something she knew would be hard to ever top. It was pure sweet freedom.
Well I feel so free!
Hmm what you do to me!
What you do to me when we do the Eagle Rock.
(She plans to be on The Meredith Eye for Ross’s set in The Sup’, so she can re-live that moment from all those decades ago).
Ross Wilson is part of our country’s musical DNA. There’s many pages with his name on them in the Australian Songbook; with Daddy Cool - Eagle Rock, Come Back Again, Hi Honey Ho, Bom Bom; with Mondo Rock - Cool World, Come Said The Boy (originally banned from radio for being too risque - this was very pre-Peaches), State Of The Heart, Chemistry, The Summer of ‘81, the under-rated No Time, and A Touch of Paradise which John Farnham made famous. He has a string of quality solo albums, and also produced Skyhooks, Jo Jo Zep and The Johnnys among others.
Ross was born in November 1947. He’ll be 69 at Meredith. At age ten and a half he and his Dad went to see Johnny O’Keefe, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly and Ross was hooked. He formed a band at school called The Pink Finks, with a 13-year-old Ross Hannaford. By 18, they had released a cover of Louie Louie on their own label, Mojo. Daddy Cool were around from 1970-72 then again 1974-75. They didn’t play between 1975 and 2005, then played very rarely. Sadly, Ross Hannaford passed away earlier this year.
The album ‘Daddy Cool’ was the first Australian album to sell 100,000 copies (then ten times Gold status) and the highest-selling Australian album, until Skyhooks came along, an album produced by none other than Ross Wilson. The early 70s were a huge step forward for Australian music towards its own identity. Ross was part of that progression.
Eagle Rock is one of the best songs in the history of the world. What a vibe! So natural, so free, so cool, with that picked riff, that groove and those words! Everyone loves it, kids, oldies, everyone. It’s unbeatable. Ross wrote it.
(Incidentally, this won’t be the first time Eagle Rock has been played live in The Sup’ - Pavement main man Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks shambled out a loosey bluesy version at The Fifteenth Meredith in 2005.)
A stellar career spanning more than 50 years, inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame TWICE (for solo and DC); Ross is one of Australian rock music's most enduring and lauded talents. Recently his version of Johnny O’Keefe’s Wild One was a charity single for the Community Cup.
It’s our great pleasure to welcome Ross Wilson to The Sup’. I wonder if he ever played in Meredith town with any of his various bands over the years? Must ask him.
Well you're rockin' fine!
Why don't you give me a sign?
For The First Time. Come said the boy, and everyone else. Saturday evening singalong.
Australia’s First Lady of Disco.
Grew up on a farm, at age 15 did work experience at nearby town radio station. Studied radio at uni, worked in commercial radio, then hated it. Did Kiss FM show ‘D is for Disco’ for 3 years, then started ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ on PBS - now a staple on Melbourne’s airwaves.
CC:DISCO! is all about big, heartfelt music; straight-up and unpretentious. Likewise, her deep DJing prioritises the emotion, the voice, the story, the rhythm and the song over any trending aesthetic.
From an interview: “I love slow jams but I try and keep them more for my radio show or as closing songs in a set (my list of closing songs is in the 100s. I always dream about when I can play a certain track to close a set in my head ahaha). My DJ sets are quite upbeat and I really try and play lots of different styles like disco, boogie, italo, house, afro etc etc. I love a cheesy uplifting vocal on the dance floor.”
She’s one of the mainstays of the Melbourne club party scene of the last half-decade who hasn’t yet had her moment in The Sup’. This is it.
The first thing you notice is the commitment, then that raw, commanding voice rises up and the energy just takes off.
Shauna Boyle (drums) and Jenny McKechnie (guitar/vocals) had been playing in punk bands for years and wanted to start a new project. Graveyard radio host Nick Brown (bass) was dragged in to round things out - long hours alone in the studio having rewired his brain.
Cable Ties take the 3 minute punk burner and stretch it past breaking point. Garage rock gives way to primitive boogie, kraut and post-punk take things way out to the horizon.
7” Same For Me is pretty killer. The chorus arrives with McKechnie's vocals pushing right into the red. "Are you alright? Are you alright? It's alright if you're not"
"Cable Ties captivated me instantly when I first saw them last year. Jenny McKechnie has an extraordinary punk rock scream, tremulous and commanding, as well as being an absolutely blistering guitarist. Their songs are ripping, high-pressure smashers, angular, perfectly arranged, and irresistible." - Lisa MacKinney - Taipan Tiger Girls/Hospital Pass/Mystic Eyes
We’re also fans of Cable Ties. And by the looks of the photo they sent us, they’re fans of our fish n chips.
A journey into the heart of the horizontal.
This will take place at 10am Sunday in The Sup’, in fact with The Sup’ as part of the band. Not sure what it will play at that time, maybe a gentle wind whistling through the radiata pine, or a sashay of drooping eucalypt foliage.
A.R.T. Wilson in partnership with Eleventeen Eston AKA John Tanner, set up camp where the Swan River meets the Indian Ocean, and tuned into nature, translating the warm sun, sea air and blue sky into a postcard from paradise, and employing an innovative alfresco recording technique to record ‘69’, a 30 minute deep relaxation album.
They will incorporate sounds of nature as you move from the surrealism of slumber into the natural world, seamlessly transitioning from Silence Wedge.
The art-noise Masters return, this year doing collabs with Chiara Kickdrum, Ben UFO and Wilson Tanner.
Have a listen to yourself.
The Sugarcanes have one album. They are brother and sister Jack and Lucy, with Dave, Lizzie and Alister. Lucy’s powerful voice brings the heartache to their old soul sounds.
Turns out the ‘Dave’ we know from being part of the festival event team in recent years had been keeping his musical talents quiet. I’m assuming these guys will be playing in Dave’s break, late Friday arvo.
Nabihah Iqbal has a pure love of music, its histories, and the way it makes people feel. Having studied ethnomusicology, South African history AND practiced law in London, she is now Throwing Shade full time.
There’s her radio show on NTS, which has spotlighted everything from Michael Jackson to Muslim Jazz. There’s her recorded releases (on Ninja Tune, No Pain in Pop), which warp the boundaries of r’n’b, techno, arabic grime, and internet art. And there’s Throwing Shade In Party Mode, who will be chaperoning the Supernatural Amphitheatre through the peaks and streaks of Saturday night.
She says of her club sets: “I just want people to feel happy and to dance really hard. 'High on life.'”
We’ve seen her tear up dancefloors and conventions alike; middle eastern dance into Oni Ayhun, New Order into Rihanna. Poptimist Eclecticism, at its most thrilling, joyful and true.
Cadillac Slim, Blacktop Brierley, Cajun Spice, Bootpolish Lacey and Lazy Dik make up Melbourne’s finest rhythm & blues combo. The Breadies have been working the hoodoo nightspots, two star motels and cobra dens for coming on 30 years. Emphasising The Roll as much as The Rock, these boys never fail to get the dancefloor a-shakin’.
You won’t need no doctor when The Breadmakers ease up Sunday arvo before the Gift.
Saturday arvo dancefloor. 10-piece Boogie-Funk All-stars proving platonic love really can exist between humans and technology. (Talk box included).
Let it all go.
Right then. Last thing Sunday will be the time for some nightstalkin’ glam rawk with this fierce’n fun Melbourne four-piece who channel the evil powers of Rock’n’Roll.
Fresh from a burnout across the United States, Miss Destiny have the final say at The 26th Meredith.
Those magnificent men and women in their almost-flying machine.
Now over 125 years old, and a popular fixture at Meredith since 2005. Starting with a march through the campsite, incorporating the Bugle Corp, then onto stage for a romp through old and new hits like Gonna Fly Now (Rocky theme), Bob The Builder, maybe something from Queen and a contemporary hit or two.
Their membership has maintained the status quo and still sits around the 30 mark, with an almost even distribution of male and female members.
In 2013 the band took our first place in their grade at the Victorian Brass Band Championships.
Sunday morning at 9am, the Amphitheatre becomes a giant Tai Chi class. Patrons and workers alike down tools and enjoy a demonstration by world-renowned Tai Chi expert Master Jin Song Han. Master Song first graced the Meredith stage back in 2001, when we picked the first name out of the phone book under “Tai Chi” and gave him a call.
Turned out he was the former National Coach of China. Yes, he should bring his ceremonial weapons and give a demonstration. Yes, playing his music would be possible. No, he didn’t need to bring a tape player.
Once again, The Town Bikes are thrilled to oversee delivery of the illustrious Meredith Gift.
The Bikes have undertaken a training regime of Pistol Squats, Donkey Kicks and Inchworms in preparation for the big race.
False starters be warned!
Talk about Terry.
well i’m here (and i’m here)
and i’m sitting still, you think i dont care
but i’m here all friggen night and i’m sitting tight.
just cos i do care
i'm not a bad choice
22.90 AUD down the drain dear but i feel free
you can read your papers maybe talk to your olds, that doesn’t phase me.
i'm not a bad choice
Two girls, two guys, one of the bands of the year. From Melbourne. Released on a UK label. They’ve got all the good accolades you’d expect. They look like they caught the bus from Brisbane to Melbourne to play at the Prince of Wales in 1985 and slept on couches. Punk rock.
Go Terry go.
We only let some people really tell us the truth. Judith Lucy is one of them.
One of Australia's most popular comedians, a best-selling author, television program-maker and actor, who sprang to national prominence in 1993 on The Late Show and has been on our screens and stages ever since. She’s sold out countless theatrical runs in Australia and has taken her shows to Montreal, Edinburgh and London's West End. Her acting credits include feature films Crackerjack, Bad Eggs and The Sapphires, which made it to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
Last year Judith wrote, produced and starred in the series Judith Lucy Is All Woman, a six part series for the ABC, where she looked at the role of women in modern Australia and whether they are better off than they were 50 years ago. The show was an incredible success.
2015 also saw Judith return to the stage with her first new solo show since 2012: Ask No Questions of the Moth, which went on to win Judith the prestigious 2015 Helpmann Award for Comedy.
“The best stand up, sit down/lounge around comic I’ve seen” - The Sunday Age
Judith Lucy as Special Guest MC and Gift Commentator: an idea a few years in the making. This time, it works.
The mythos of Sheer Mag begins like so many other celebrated rock 'n' roll bands of yore: with two brothers. Following in the tradition of the Bee Gees, Oasis and The Allman Brothers, the brothers Seely conspired to create a rock 'n' roll band to end all rock bands. The sheer magnitude of the endeavour required the recruitment of a daring drummer, a fearless lyricist and a diva who could party good AND write the rent cheque. With the pantheon assembled, MAG quickly recorded and released their debut 7” to cosmic acclaim. The band now stands poised on the brink of world domination or complete destruction. Is it Punk? Is it Rock 'n' Roll? We’ll leave that to the music “critics” (who say it's kinda feelgood 70s classic rock, but ragged and fuzzed out. What the Ramones did with the Beach Boys, Sheer Mag do with classic rock. Lo-fi feminine classic stadium rock, with MAXIMUM personality; confident, and sassy.) But it is punk.
Festival varje dag
Festival varenda dag gör mig glad
Du kan sova på min arm tills det blir ljust
“I love Dungen” - Kevin Parker, Tame Impala
We’re with ya, Kev. Dungen are far more than they first appear.
A beautiful sounding band, broad in ambition and exquisite in realisation. They take their music anywhere. It’s like being inside a vivid imagination. They are of course psychedelic rock masters, but with a kind of free jazz approach that takes it way, way beyond a fuzzy jam and towards a full musical and spiritual excursion; a dynamic, incandescent meditation. You can hear nature, and space. You can hear The Doors, and Miles Davis. You can hear yourself, or hear nothing of you, such is the ease in which a complete absorption into their music is made possible by their vision and dexterity.
Yeah, Dungen are a trip. Back in time to some degree - to the hippie/heavy era - but they are also an evolving, unique concoction.
In 2007, a young Kevin Parker got in touch with Dungen and sent them through his latest recording, asking them to mix it. The band’s response? “No, we don’t have to mix it! Just put it out! It’s amazing as it is!” Prescient.
New album Allas Sak (transl. ‘Everyone’s Thing’) is about everyday matters: family, friends, the fine texture of life. The music lends a certain grandeur to ordinary moments. Frontman/composer Gustav Ejstes: “I hope people can create their own stories around the music and maybe we can make music together, the listener and I.”
‘Dungen’ means ‘the grove’. They should feel at home in the Supernatural Amphitheatre, with its crown of giant radiata pine; a fold in the golden plains on the banks of the Leigh, on Friday evening when the night divides the day. Festival.
The 26th Meredith is going to sound better than ever – The Sup’ is getting a brand new beautiful big Sound System, tailor-made for the dynamic undulations of the Amphitheatre at all times of Magic O’Clock. The Sup’ will sound sweeter up the back, down the front, on the sides, and in the middle.
That’s Chris from City of Ballarat Municipal Brass Band. He joined the band as a junior in 1967. He’s been on their committee for 14 years and secretary for 8. Those magnificent men and women in their almost flying machine have played on Saturday morning at Meredith since 2005.
The more they stay the same. Meredith started in 1991 as a one-off blow out for a coupla hundred free-wheelin’ friends. So much fun was had that she just kept on keeping on. The supreme enjoyables that made that first one are still in abundance in 2016: BYO, free range camping under the stars, one stage fits all, the no dickheads policy, a complete absence of commercial sponsorship, and the magical mix of music, nature and weird and wonderful humanity at its finest.
As well as a new Sound System, The 26th will have even more Time and Space for camping, hundreds of new trees as part of Uncle Doug’s Native Planting, and lots more loos in the campgrounds. Plus all the (un)usual trappings.
Meredith happens all over the festival site, not just on stage. Traditions and rituals have just evolved, big and small, celebrated and private. There’s only one stage, so you don’t miss anything. You can just take up residence in the Supernatural Amphitheatre and not move (until you can’t help it). Watch the passing parade. Or be part of it. Start your own religion.
Yes, after more than 20 years of faithful service, our old sound system has retired. She grew with the festival, having been added to, modified, face-lifted, rewired and replumbed many times (“I’ve only ever had one axe. It’s had five new handles and two new heads but it’s the same axe”).
For about ten years we covered the speaker stacks with ‘giant speaker’ facades, until the ipod came along and people thought they were giant ipods. Now the ipod has come and gone, maybe we go back to the giant speaker vibe?
Not sure what Bill will do with the old speaker boxes. Should they perhaps serve some other purpose – even ornamental – at the festival, considering their place in our history? If you have any ideas, let me know.
Almost every sound that has ever been made on stage by an artist at Meredith has come through her paper cones. She started out as a juvenile in the early 90s under the roof of the stage/her mother’s skirts, until she grew tall and stepped outside. She worked right up to retirement age, day shifts, night shifts, you name it. It’s going to be weird not seeing her trusty bulk stacked up either side of the stage. However, it must be function over form. You can’t argue with science (and win).
All praise to Uncle Doug and the Supernatural Custodians who have spent years refining the festival site into a purpose-built Underground Wonderland.
25 years of collective know-how, and wild ambition married with a deep practical genius, means that sweet little parcel of land that hosts Meredith is now maturing into Everything We Hoped She Would Be.
The 26th will have hundreds of new trees as part of Uncle Doug’s Native Planting: in the shower compounds we are planting Kunzea ericoides, Goodenia ovata and Correa reflexa. These are bushy plants that grow white, yellow and red flowers.
In Tom Mankeys and Bush Camp: some Banksia marginata, Bursaria spinosa, Eucalyptus yarraenensis, Eucalyptus viminalis, Melaleuca lancelolata, Rhagodia spinescens, Callistemon seiberi and Acacia melanoxylon – different sized trees for good camping shade. And in South Pines: 29 Black She-oaks.
The Arch is about seven feet tall, and wide enough for only one person to walk through. It appeared in the middle of a path during the ’96 or ’97 Meredith festival, installed by a festival-goer, we’re not sure why. To the quiet amusement of those nearby, people had to choose either to walk through it, or around it.
It returned the following year, with new decorations – a tangle of plastic flowers, and the following year in leopard skin material. A tradition evolved that if two people walked under it they would kiss.
It became known as The Arch Of Love, and has become the centrepoint for romance at The Sup’.
Countless smooches and embraces take place there, plus there have been at least two weddings take place at The Arch over the years that we are aware of, and at least one marriage proposal (the answer was yes).
Each year there is significance to the animal chosen from all those that inhabit the festival site to be the totem, or mascot. The 26th is the humble yabby (bot. Cherax Destructor), depicted with dexterity and good humour as always by Clem. It’s the first time in eleven years a water animal has been chosen. 1997 was the first water animal – a frog – and it poured with rain. Then a duck in 2001 – again, rain. In 2004 a turtle, and The Hundred Year Storm ensued. We finally twigged.
For The 26th – this ridiculous hoodoo shall be laid to rest.
Is a wonderful amount of time to spend on Serious Fun in the Greatest of Outdoors.
To assist, Pocket Companion has everything you need to know: playing times, maps, handy tips, what to bring, what not to, and a miniature 3D tent peg printer.
We guarantee we will continue to listen, fix things if they don’t work, not fix them if they do and Keep On Making Meredith Meredither.