Since last week was such a disaster, I am just getting to the Homebake thing. I hope I remember it well enough!
Homebake is over 18s only now because of licensing laws or some nonsense. Utterly ridiculous. Two different coloured wrist bands works fine - I wonder what do-gooder decided to change the rules. I find it particularly annoying because music festivals are more and more becoming one of the few inter-generational large scale social events (other than sport, and contrary to prevailing wisdom, not everyone is into sport). There are people of all ages there, and lots are taking their kids to festivals they have been attending for years. Shutting out teenagers seems really wrong to me.
Anyway, onto the music. I got there in time to see Subaudible Hum - I like a song or two. They sounded great - awesome full sound and good vocals. Unfortunately they were also a little dull. It's always a problem for a chilled band to really grab the crowd around lunch time at a festival. I sat under a tree and enjoyed the set, but there were very few people in front of the stage - it was really hot and they just weren't exciting enough to stand in the heat for.
Then I caught a wee bit of Bluejuice, a Sydney band known primarily for Vitriol. All of what I heard sounds like Vitriol, it was fun and the crowd was loving it. Definitely a fun pub band, if not really my kind of music.
Little Red were next up on the same stage as Subaudible Hum. Being an hour later, and having more shade than the main stage, it was packed. They are rocky, had the crowd bouncing and definitely upped the buzz. Sadly the vocals were crap, but I enjoyed them anyway - more good pub music.
A mate turned up at the end of Little Red, and he was keen to see Snob Scrilla. Not my kind of music, but they continue the recent trend of Aussie hip hop bands having musicians. You can bring hip hop to Australia, but you can't take the rock out of it.
I spent a bit of time chatting and drinking beer after that, but saw some British India from afar. They looked pretty good, actually. Fun pop - I should try and catch them another time.
You Am I were the next band I actively went to see. I've seen them many times before, but they didn't really grab me that night. Don't know why - maybe I'm just used to Tim Rogers being obnoxious and he wasn't.
Crowded House were the headliners. It's hard to go wrong really. I've not seen them before, and I loved it. Lots of sing along, awesome sound. The new stuff didn't rock my boat, but it was eminently listenable. The Finns are a truly talented family.
The hysteria over binge drinking has made a mess of the day. There were only 3 bars, with well over half an hour queue time. No doubt that stopped some people drinking altogether, but a lot more just ordered the maximum number of beers for themselves each time they got there, and then drank them quickly to stop them getting hot. It encouraged drinking more and faster.
They also had a recycling program whereby a $1 surcharge was applied to all drink containers which could be refunded when you returned the container. Great idea. Almost. They only had one place you could return them - which also ended up with enormous queues thereby discouraging people from recycling. Surely it was a no brainer that any place that sold the containers could take them back.
My final bitch is the whole free water farce. If you are serious about reducing drinking, you either provide water at a sensible price (NOT $5 a bottle) or you have free tap water available all over the site. They had neither. St Johns Ambulance had big containers of water, but they had trouble keeping up with demand and were only in a couple of places. It's blatant profiteering and utterly disgusting.
If you want to rip me off, fine - I have a choice about whether or not to go - but don't go bleating on about being concerned for health and the environment while you're at it.