After hearing excellent things and seeing the great lineups this Wollongong festival came up with I was keen to see it all for myself, especially with the lineup like the one that was on offer this year. The grounds were huge and right by the ocean, the town was cool you've got the rolling hills and then the coast, a very nice contrast. 3 stages and a hell of a lot of bars, I've got to admit my favourite stage was the Rad Bar stage because the local bands they had on the bill were too good. Something I noticed about the punters at the festival was that they were all under 21, well a large majority for sure. It had the same vibe as a Groovin The Moo if you've ever been before.
Something I really loved about Yours & Owls was the diversity in the lineup, an extensive amount of different genres, people, genders of the artists. It's really setting a great standard for aussie festivals, so lets hope fellow festival organisers in the country take notice of this and make conscious decisions when determining a lineup. After seeing an insane amount of bands over the weekend I've decided to concentrate on just 5 artists that really stood out for me.
I've always wanted to catch A.B Original but theres been clashes for me at festivals, so I made sure I went and saw them this time round. What absolute legends these guys are, they some how filled the whole grounds with a hell of a lot of love and smiles, there was even some guy absolutely drenched in glitter loosing his shit right next to us, which gives you an indication of the crowd A.B Original brought together. An extremely powerful set with excellent messages shared throughout the set, Katy Baker even joined the pair on the stage and belted out a Paul Kelly classic 'Dumb Things' which made me one happy person. I'm so incredibly happy A.B Original are making music, I've never been a huge hip-hop fan but something about this music just makes it for me, happy, influential music that is well and truly making a difference in our day to day life in Australia.
Well he's a lovely human with a hell of a lot of class and a really great musician. When I first heard of Donny Benet and heard his music all I wanted to do was boogie, music that just makes you smile and dance like a dad is always great in my books. I'm quite surprised that I've only heard of Donny this year when he's been making waves in the music world for at least 3 years, with 3 albums under his belt. What a set this was ! His pink suit, shades and band all the brass baby, man it was good. And then the back up dancers came out, honestly so much fun. I now love Donny a lot, please make sure you get to one of his shows because I assure you that you'll love it and walk out of the gig with a huge cheesy grin on your face.
These guys are by far one of my favourite bands right now, since moving to Sydney I've made a conscious effort of seeing them every time they play. Psych rock goodness is Los Tones, I've always heard great things about this band and now finally getting to see them is bloody great. An extremely solid set at the Rad Bar stage but I feel these guys could've played a bigger stage, they've got a huge following behind them. Los Tones are on a Spanish label and have toured around Europe, supporting bands like King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Thee Oh Sees and more you can imagine their sound and high standard they play at.
Bad//Dreems have always been a much loved band of mine, I love that you can hear that they're Australian too in their music and lyrics. After just releasing a new album I was keen to see it live and in the flesh and it didn't disappoint. I felt they could've played the main stage but it was still sick, and super packed. The only distracting thing was the dickheads in the crowd somehow finding their way onto the stage from the crowd. I felt sorry for the band because they had drunken idiots hanging off them but other than that it was one hell of a set, they're one great band.
With this band being on the live circuit for quite some time there was a point where I stopped seeing them at festivals which is sad I know but I thought I'd revisit their set and I'm very glad I did. The band played Cakes famous song 'Short Skirt, Long Jacket' which got everyone singing along. Issy, what a beautiful front woman she is, she had this awesome silver jacket on running around the stage. The band have a few new members but they're tight as can be. The bands newest album 'Girlhood' sounded great live and a lot of older songs were incorporated into the set too. I'll be making sure I get to their set again, they'll always be able to remain on the live circuit, they're a timeless band
Review: Sarah McEwan
Photographer: Alix Mckenzie