Five Golden Moments at Golden Plains 2015
March 16th 2015
Golden Plains is the little, shorter, chiller sister of Meredith Music Festival with a more streamlined sound in the artist line-up. It runs over two very full days that seem to be sponsored by Bacchus himself.
My mates and I got in about 11am and met up with my good FBi buddy, Mr Jack Shit (who did some smashing and extremely well received interstitial DJ sets on the first night). Camp was set up out in the gumtree canopied, kangaroo frequented, cocktail zone of Bush Camp. Thus began two non-stop days of efficient excellence. Here are my Golden Highlights:
Back in my wintery youth of 2012 when I produced Jack Off with Jack Shit, Jack got this cool chick who did rad guitary slacker tunes about wanking to people’s music into the show. I thought it was the coolest stuff I’d heard in ages, and the legendary Courtney gave me a couple of doorspots to her Goodgod show that night. About 20 people showed up. Fast forward to GP 2015, and I don’t think anyone was left in camp because we were all jammed in front of the stage watching Barnett, flanked by her usual crew (plus The Drones’ Dan Luscombe on lead guitar), demonstrate why she is Australian Performer and Songwriter Numero Uno at the moment.
I think the sound and lighting team were into the set too because it was the loudest (read: awesome) PA and most intense illumination all night. The crowd went expectedly nuts when she cranked out “Pedestrian At Best” and the Amphitheatre sang along in unison to ever clever lyric of “History Eraser” and “Avant Gardener”. May as well stop reading here, she was the best of the festival; I even asked around, and everyone agrees. Courtney for Australian of the Year.
Inspiration Point’s “Sunday Sunset” with Oblivians’ Greg Cartwright
At the wise suggestion of Jack Shit on the second afternoon we all trekked down to what is fondly and aptly referred to as Inspiration Point. Just next to the Amphitheatre, it’s a slope under the trees overlooking the monumental green valley/hillside combo at Meredith that slopes back up to the huge, gorgeous wind turbines, and the setting afternoon sun. Having a sit and encouraging the sun to settle behind the hilly range with some slow claps and a chant of “go Sun, go!” is a very pleasant and unifying experience. The light, the colours, the beautiful sounds of Greg Cartwright of Oblivians’ acoustic solo set… most things probably would have endeared themselves as a good time to me at this stage, but the Inspiration Point solo set was objectively glorious.
If the idiots who made the Captain’s Call to send Guy Sebastian to Eurovision as Australia’s musical representative had ever seen any live Australian music outside of Australian Idol, the ARIAs and that guy who does a bunch of “shithot” Icehouse covers down at the RSL on Saturdays, they probably would have chosen Total Giovanni instead. Sexy and fresh, they’re Australia’s 2015 answer to Marvin Gaye (via Milan). Plus, they wear these all white sensual sheikh outfits onstage, and if that’s not Eurovision for “hot contender” I’ll eat my hat.
My hips and knees started to move in smooth, repetitive arcs up and down, left and right, back and forth in what is known as “dancing”. There are reports my hands ended up in the air, and I yelled “yeahhhh!” several times too. Crowd consensus was that this local act was indeed very good and they got the Golden Booting of the festival as everyone offered a shoe to the new gods of groove.
Golden Plains national anthem: “Total Eclipse of the Heart”
Look, I wasn’t even in the centre of this at the Amphi, but one of the interstitial soundtrack supervisors dropped it while I went for an explore through camp on the second night. It drifted through the dark to me on the force and feelings of several thousand people giving it their everything. It doesn’t matter where you are when this all-in anthem goes down, as long as you’re in earshot, it’s just magical.
Ten thousand people doing the “YMCA” in unison to a performance by one of history’s most important gay cultural icons in the middle of the country? Of course this was gonna be good. They may have sang to a backing track, but I challenge you this: think about a Village People song and try and sing every note of it in key. If you can you’re either Mariah Carey or actually in Village People. And they did it all whilst doing heaps sick synchronised dancing in those classic outfits. My favourite Village People song is “Go West”; “Macho Man” AKA “Nacho Man” was pretty ace; and DJ Soup’s is “Milkshake”, he will have you know.
The only downers were the time we set up tent on top of a raging bull ant nest and their subsequent nocturnal retaliation (100% our fault for setting up on their home), and the bit where we had to pack up on Monday morning and go home (shout out to the amazing beetroot relish on my egg and bacon roll that got me through my feelings). It was yet again another Golden Plains to make you want to return the following year, and is probably the closest vibe you’re ever going to get to Woodstock. Make a solid life choice and enter the ballot for Golden Plains 2016!