Golden Plains Festival – Live Review
Vinisha Mulani ventured to one of Australia’s best-loved festivals:
Well, it’s a touch depressing being home right now, to be honest. Things got loose. The sun shone. Invisible skipping ropes were skipped. New BFFs were made. Any criticism of the festival that follows from this point onwards can be discounted later – I had such a great few days that it’s purely for a bit of balance.
Brisbane swamp rock band Six Ft Hick was an intense kick-off to the festival – considering we’d only been there for an hour, lead Ben Corbett had a (quite literal) head start with the dirt and was obviously just as excited to be there as the rest of us – crushing cans on his head and consistently attempting to backflip.
Highlights included beloved Melbourne native vocalist Oscar Key Sung and producer Andras Fox – wearing matching Pharrell hats, Oscar changed his vibe slightly from his usual style but him and Andras mixed perfectly together. Their tropical R&B 80’s synthy sound made for a warm afternoon groove.
The gut wrenching soulful tunes of Charles Bradley & The Extraordinaires were a highlight. I was glad to see he seemed to be doing well, gyrating onwards and upwards from whatever woman provided him with much ‘Victim of Love’ material. With pain, passion and a sequinned jacket outfit change halfway through his set, this man held the crowd captive and could do no wrong. I spent much of his set attempting to get sweat-sprayed by Mr. Bradley but another fan dutifully lent him a t-shirt to wipe his face when he launched himself into the front row of the audience.
Japanese funk band Osaka Monaurail started off with the most characteristically Japanese ‘efficient funk’ I’ve ever seen. Charismatic lead Ryo Nakata then appeared, winning the crowd over with his beaming smile and a dangerously good (and somewhat un-PC) imitation of Ray Charles. Making it very clear that his heart belonged to the music of James Brown and not Japan, the band churned out numerous crowd-pleasers, receiving a tsunami (….sorry) of The Boot from the crowd.
While headliner You Am I was predictable, Public Enemy were predictably a highlight – Chuck D, Flavor Flav and DJ Lord won me over. Flavor Flav’s giant clock around his neck being notably absent, having been recently admitted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. There was a general consensus that promoting their Facebook page, online merchandise and Twitter handle to the point of spelling it out (It’s @FlavorFlav, FYI) was a bit unnecessary. Thoughts included: You’re Public Enemy! We’re probably already following you. We have no phone reception anyway. And who and where is your marketing person? Despite the social media self-promotion, the greatness of the crew was unparalleled. Upon Chuck D’s instruction, thousands of fists were raised in solidarity and thousands of middle fingers were raised against racism.
The next morning after a continuous boogie to Meredoof, we all woke up dusty and wishing there was another day. All raise our hands in solidarity that it should go on for longer? As always, Golden Plains delivered a weekend you wish you were still at, and prompted countdown to Meredith.
Click on an above thumbnail to launch the gallery. Golden Plains takes place in Victoria, Australia, every year. Visit the official website for more info.
Golden Plains Festival review and pictures by Vinisha Mulani.