The Blurst of Times Festival in Sydney
Our assistant editor Carol Bowditch and photographer Adam Davis-Powell headed to the Sydney leg of the travelling Australian festival. Here’s what went down:
A Simpsons reference will be welcomed by me in any situation. In fact, there is probably a Simpsons reference for every situation ever (but, we all know nothing after 2000 matters, right?). Anyway, The Blurst of Times Festival had me at its title, the lineup was really decent also, so stamp me, hand me a beer and let’s temporarily destroy our hearing for an afternoon while planes fly precariously low overhead, eh?
The travelling Blurst festivities had packed up the weekend prior in Brisbane and Melbourne and now had a slew of local and interstate bands in tow for the day. What I liked about the event was the majority of the lineup were acts that would normally be in the support slot, artists like These New South Whales and TV Colours were given a snippet of the day to be appreciated on their own by the young crowd of eager punters that spread across the three stage set up.
I go to quite a few festivals. It’s a shame that, in Sydney, ones that don’t involve loads of pingers and hair extensions are few and far between. The thing that I found with Blurst though was the median age was about 20 and all these pudgy faced Unearthed devotees didn’t match my cynicism as my toes were crushed while wading my way to the (single) bathroom and having my $8.50 Coopers Green spilled over my adorable white crop top. I should just suck it up really and stop being such a princess, and not mention to them the benefits of wearing earplugs.
First up was The Creases (pictured, above). Man! These guys have a future, they also have a selection of great haircuts, each of which I have modeled through years 13-21. They played fuzzy pop tunes that were as cute and jolly as they were.
Despite surprising appearances (maybe I had just been brainwashed into thinking every band playing on the day would be cute and young with thin legs and a battered teeshirt), how could I not expect a band whose sound incorporates a spangly keytar not to be dorky? Whatever, the coolest dorks in the room were the Brisbane band, Blank Realm (pictured, below). Delivering perfectly on point numbers with ample hair-flinging and musical athleticism, they played constantly for their 30 minute set. I had such admiration for drummers that can hold a beat while carrying the vocals and the attention of the room, you didn’t need to leave your seat behind the skins, Daniel Spencer, I loved your strong gazes with the band’s only non-family member, Luke Walsh, as you syncopated harmonies to create such enjoyable music. It was great to hear an extended version of the band’s hit, Falling Down The Stairs, close their set. It had myself grinning ear-to-ear and swaying profusely. I could have left then and been happy with my time spent at Blurst. What a treat to finally see them play live and facilitate a little knee-bending from myself and the lanky blonde dude with acne deep in the blues-tinged psych by my right.
Wandering outside trying to tell everyone I knew how bloody excellent Blank Realm were over the catastrophic noise that a hapahazard bunch of kids, nee Velociraptor (pictured, above), were creating was quite the task. I don’t get this band, people were enjoying themselves, moshing and whatnot. Yes, people love this band, but I am not one of these people. Cue, second $8.50 Coopers.
Next up were Bearhug (pictured, below), playing the stage back in the Factory Floor that was weirdly adorned with Egyptian heads. Their newest record delighted me recently and has had several repeat plays in my bedroom. When put in a live format after the energy that I had bounced off with the previous bands of the day I think that Bearhug’s tunes were more suited to a dedicated listen, while folding my washing rather than with a zillion hyper kids whose mood I was trying to match.
Kudos to the Blurst organizers for their almost clash-free scheduling and ability to run every set that had I caught without delay – a true feat for a small festival. My seasoned festival ethos of ‘they won’t be on time, this is a festival, ammirite!?’, meant I missed the majority of Donny Benet‘s set (pictured, above). Despite missing the foreplay of Donny’s aural romancing, I managed to enter the room at the crux of the set, where he had invited many a pretty lady (and certain members of Velociraptor) on stage to act as backing singers, background dancers and sensual mood enablers.
I left soon after. It wasn’t 2007 and I didn’t need to see seasoned festival kiwi outfit, Die! Die! Die! (pictured, above), and alternative options outweighed my curiously to see the helmet slide-guitarist with the silly name, Bob Log III (pictured, below). Thanks for the good few hours of perfect scheduling, sweet new bands, Blurst of Times, come again next year pls, I like you.
You can find The Blurst of Times Festival on Facebook.