Live Review: Mountain Sounds Festival

Photo by Damon Collum

We sent reviewer Samantha Dickson and photographer Damon Collum to Mountain Sounds Festival. Here’s what went down:

It’s a gorgeous sunny Central Coast day and Something You Said has been granted an all access pass to Australia’s brightest new music and arts festival, Mountain Sounds. After a sold-out sophomore year in 2015, this locally grown day of splendour continues its assault on the music scene with stellar line-up of local and international artists.

Mountain Sounds has gone from strength to strength as it enters its third year on the scene. In an environment rich with local talent in the arts, the Central Coast is an untapped resource plentiful and impressive enough to warrant a trip up the highway to Mt Penang Parklands.

Photo by Damon Collum Photo by Damon Collum

A day at Mountain Sounds consists of friendly crowds, free spirits and a laid-back vibe. As you pass through an inflatable rainbow arch and through the gates, you’re dispersed into a Disneyland of the strange, cool and fascinating. This chilled out habitat of sound and vision sports hay bales and worn out couches for patrons to perch on whilst they take in a set from Hockey Dad. The sounds of surf rock sweetens the air early in the day where committed festival goes in latex tights and face paint dance fancy free.

Despite the decimation of Australian festival sweetheart Homebake, the demand for Aussie focused line-ups remains strong. MS delivers on the grown at home, displaying an incredible set from up-and-comer Harts. The one man band in every sense of the word shredded solos worthy of being referenced as the last Australian guitar hero. No pressure, though…

Photo by Damon CollumPhoto by Damon Collum

Not to be outdone on musically menacing sets, The Delta Riggs through their over worn hats into the ring, rocking up the afternoon as the grounds starts to fill out.

Keeping true to the “Cenny Coast” spirit, Tropical Zombie light up the Sailor Jerry Stage with naked men bearing horse head masks and a sound distinctly theirs. So far, the only band to play all three festivals, these six surfy looking ratbags go out with a bang and make way for Brisbane’s Holy Holy over on the main stage. With sounds not too unlike the musings of Boy and Bear, Holy Holy have cemented themselves on the musical radar of many. I’d say the freshest thing about these Brissy boys isn’t so much their sound but the content of their songs. Timothy Carroll covers the dark corners of our current culture in tracks like House of Cards which details the regret of our refugee crisis. These aren’t just songs for generic lovers, these are some of the most succinct sounds in intellectual indie rock right now.

Outside, Alpine and locals The Lazys divide crowds but with the luxury of being able to peek behind the scenes, we can’t help but find out what goes on beyond the velvet rope. Behind the main stage an artist VIP area bustles with musicians and media. The Delta Riggs give interviews, the Sailor Jerry’s flow freely and the tacos are worth mentioning. Everything seems to tick over carefully as acts load in and out. Nothing seems to worry anyone here or anywhere in the festival, so long as you don’t mention teething issues like long lines and portaloos sapped dry of water to wash your hands with.

The Delta Riggs by Damon Collum

If you’re lucky enough to be double parked with your two beers for $15, you’re ready for Albert Hammond Jr and the sounds of The Strokes cutting room floor. A real wild card on the bill, the Strokes member, now solo artist takes to the main stage. It’s fair to ask Is This It as the solo apple doesn’t fall far from the Casablancas tree. It’s basically like hearing a bunch of Strokes b-sides at a listening party you accidentally walked into.

As a fantastic day becomes the end of a great night, despite the sad departure of The Jezebels from the bill only weeks prior, Violent Soho are up to the task of closing out the show. Pulling inspired crowds from every corner of the venue, the Brisbane boys prove the fact that rock ‘n roll is still alive and well received in the hearts of Aussies young and older than you’d expect. The once placid hay bales are now confetti exploding over the crowds as Violent Soho drop tracks like Dope Calypso, Fur Eyes before closing out with Covered in Chrome. The “Hell Fuck Yeah’s!” can be heard I’m sure towns over as Mountain Sounds wraps up another successful year.

We’ll be posting heaps (literally hundreds) more photos on our Facebook page soon, including loads of crowd shots. Follow us to make sure you see them all. Here are a few to whet your appetite:

photo by Damon Collum photo by Damon Collumphoto by Damon Collumphoto by Damon Collumphoto by Damon Collumphoto by Damon Collumphoto by Damon Collumphoto by Damon Collumphoto by Damon Collumphoto by Damon Collumphoto by Damon Collum

We’ll be posting hundreds more photos on our Facebook page later this week, including loads of crowd shots. Follow us to make sure you see them all.

Samantha DicksonDamon


Review by Samantha Dickson. Photos by Damon Collum