The following 10 reasons I’m going to give you to get yourself to the ridge of Peat this year will not include John Butler
or the more well known acts on the bill… who are, without doubt phenomenal artists who should be seen in all their bongo-banging, guitar sliding glory. This list is instead filled with artists sometimes lost in the festival lineup fine print…
and that’s the best thing about festivals like Peats Ridge – you come back with a handful of Google-worthy names, a face covered in paint and a camera full of unforgettable memories that you can’t remember taking.It's also the only festival you can lose all your belongings at in one night, only to have them handed in at lost property the next (ratty set of tiger ears included) Everyone there is that nice!
Here’s 10 artists you might not know to get you in the groove for this year’s Peats Ridge Festival, or have your own little discovery party if you can’t get there this year.
If you haven’t figured it out yet… I write everything in first person to hopefully give you a bit more of a personal insight.
1. Unknown Mortal Orchestra
These New Zealand guys make a kind of infectious trippy pop: it’s as if they’ve taken a drag from the 70’s and blown it into a totally different kind of ring; perfect for rolling around in grass to or slow dancing with an invisible partner stage front. When the band finally return to their Southern hemisphere home, they will have just wrapped up supporting Grizzly Bear in Canada & the US. I for one have missed both their sideshows and slots at previous Homebake & Laneway festivals as you may have to – this could be the last chance before they scurry back into the studio. They’ve also been named by NME and various other publications as one of those ‘one to watch’ bands and the only way you can help bands live up to that kind of label is to get out and watch them yourself!
2. Electric Wire Hustle
I was lucky enough to catch these guys, yet another New Zealand collective at Musica festival in 2011… they were the first band to get everyone’s behinds off the turf and twisting in sync. Damn that was some groovy shit! Their fusion of hip hop/soul is seriously worth getting loose enough to grab the nearest person on the floor and pash them wildly (especially if I am the nearest person). The boys will actually be coming off the back of a tour with The Black Seeds (also on the bill) so they you can expect a tight set to get yourself very loose to.
3. Chapelier Fou
Chapelier Fou meaning ‘Mad Hatter’ in French is Louis Warynski a classically trained violinist turned one-man-band electronic producer, i.e. an artiste de musique électronique… tre impressive. He makes these lush and layered soundscapes come to life on stage live sampling and layering violin, keys over beats, chimes and other odd percussion samples. I’ve never witnessed this one-man-wonder perform live, but I have so much respect for artists like Andrew Bird, Owen Pallet and Sufjan Stevens who create the sound of a miniature orchestra on stage with one set of hands. This video will get you excited…
These guys are a Sydney four piece that have been garnering a good following of late, finishing up a residency at the Beresford & soon to be playing Bigsound Music Festival in Brisbane. There’s something about that combination of wafting high-pitched vocals juxtaposed with heavy riffs and some hardcore drumming; the contrast makes for such an alluring sound. If you like artists like Grizzly Bear or one of my favourite Melbourne bands that has since parted ways, Art of Fighting – you’ll like these guys. If you like what you hear, there’s more goodness on their bandcamp. I'm looking forward to seeing them in a festival setting... (hopefully in a more sober state than I was last time I did he heeee).
5. Blood Red Shoes
Blood Red Shoes are Steven and Laura: sensible names for a Brighton based garage punk duo who do nothing but thrash it on stage. I was lucky enough to catch them at Hultsfred Festival in Sweden a few months back after Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon instructed everyone in the crowd to “go and see this band, you have to see this band!” during their set. He wasn’t wrong… the craziness they brought to the stage was on par with that of Sleigh Bells and The White Stripes. Pretty exciting that Peats Ridge have managed to snare them for this years festival. What a drawcard! I will be mimicking ol' Brian to my mates when we get there this year... most likely in a less polite manner.
6. The Preatures
These guys are still up there on my list of being one of the most exciting bands to emerge in recent years. Duly fronted by the effervescent Isabella (I’ll admit, I’ve used “the lead singer chick is smoking” to drag male friends to school night shows) and Gideon (who sounds a bit like Johnny Cash), the band are a bit like Jack White in the sense they’ve taken a bit of blues, a bit of soul and a bit of straight up rock and managed to twist it into their own harmonious pop. There’s also nothing like seeing a band really enjoy themselves on stage and engage their audience… yes there’s truly something special about The Preatures, you gotta see them live!
Here's the mastered version of their killer single "Take a Card"
And here's a dodgy iphone video - but it does show you how much they get into it live! Yeah!
7. King Tide
I was busting out shifts a few years back at Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory when I first had the pleasure of seeing reggae/roots/soul collective King Tide…. Having never I’m surprised any drinks got served the way I was shaking my rump behind the bar. They’re a band who epitomise the vibe of Peats Ridge Festival to a tee, off-beat grooves, bursting with warmth and colour. Floral-velvet panted frontman Tony Hughes is a total dude (don't let the cotton-top fool you)… I remember taking a bottle of vodka and glasses into him as part of their rider. He thanked me and just grabbed the bottle and chugged it! Dude!
Very excited to see this family of musicians – family in every sense! Fronted by husband and wife Charlie and Chris, flanked on one side by Charlie's sister Crystal on mandolin and vocals, brother Kurt on drums and on the other by Chris's brother Alexi on keys and sister Elodie on bass. The kind of music they make is fast becoming an Australian trademark for emerging bands: it’s indie pop compiled by bringing a lot of different instruments to the table and layering them so the peak and trough at all the right moments. Full credit to the band for the cut through they’ve managed to achieve with this in mind. If you like bands like Jinja Safari, Seabellies, Founds (who blew me away at last years Peats Ridge) you’ll be frolicking around stage front to these guys. See you there!
9. The Brow Horn Orchestra
Despite their name encouraging a vision of a bland Harold Bishop-esque marching band, this five piece from Perth couldn’t be further from it! They create this bolstering brass-based culmination of dub, ska, hip hop and electro pop; brave territory for any young band to explore, and boy am I excited to see how they bring it to life on stage! Nothing beats a live horn section in my book. If you like other Aussie bands like Laneous and the Family Yah, Sticky Fingers, or Pigeon you’ll dig these guys. I hope their Peats Ridge slot gives them a whole lot more east coast exposure.
I’ve never seen this experimental post-rock group from Sheffield (crazy, since they’ve been alive since 2001, 5 LP’s under their belts), but having a little youtube preview of the lads live in action, it’s going to be one hectic party when they take stage. They mesh together rampant beats with thick electric guitar riffs and real piano to create this beautifully melodic music that moves you inside and out. If you like Explosions in the Sky, Aphex Twin, The Album Leaf or The Orb you’ll be right into these guys. Thank you Peats Ridge for bringing them out! This track “Come to Me” feat. Robert Smith is incredible:
Check out all of our photos from Peats Ridge 2011 on our facebook.
AND Don't get me wrong.... there are way more than 10 bands worth seeing this year! Many of which I have written about before which is why I picked some of the weirder ones. If you want any more info on any of the artists on the bill or ticket info, just head to the Peats Ridge Festival website.