In recent weeks a typical Adelaide question is “been to any Fringe stuff?” and my typical answer has been “no, spending all my time at Format”. The Format Festival this year was excellent, so I’d like to say thanks to all of the Format Collective people for all the hard work they put into it, and to encourage people to join me in donating to help them going for the rest of year as the venue is still there outside of festival time and puts on all sort of events (some of the best gigs in town, art exhibitions, zine store, egg eating …)
My highlights of the festival:
- opening night, absolutely amazing sets by Terrible Truths and Fair Maiden in particular. These bands need to put out albums. And play more gigs.
- An Evening For Home For the Def – I got interviewed in front of an audience by Nigel Koop. How the hell did that happen? And even more strangely I played a live music set that was not a disaster. Some people even liked it. Meanwhile upstairs my soon-to-be housemate built a snow globe so big you could walk into it. I’m still terribly confused by the whole evening, but in a good way.
- Nobody turned up to see Alps, Fkn Tutts, Sarah Chadwick and Bare Grillz because it was raining. I don’t care because I was there and they were all awesome, and the Alps LP I bought (Alps of New South Wails) is great.
- Sunday picnic – nice relaxed arvo gig with Aluka and Soursop.
- Format Festival of Song part 3 with Ainslie Wills and Cheer Advisory Council, wonderful evening of guitar pop.
- Hipster Gateaux: yet another great gig, Melbourne’s Super Wild Horses and new locals Deep Feelings were both great.
- Closing Party … I didn’t want it to end and I don’t think anyone else did either judging by the fact that it was will into the early hours of Sunday morning and people were sticking around even though the bar had closed some time earlier. Yet another top lineup, locals Like Leaves have played some great sets lately (in fact it was the second time that week I’d seen them), but it was a nice change to see them in such an intimate venue. The highlight of the night however was Collarbones. I really love all of the garage rock type stuff that we get from most interstate touring bands lately, but it was a nice change to have something completely different in the form of the glitch pop of Collarbones, who I knew previously from a show in Sydney last year. Lots of fun.
- And then there was the handball. For two weeks it became normal to be playing handball in Peel St at 1 in the morning, a game I haven’t played regularly in about 20 years. It was great getting the touring bands into it (e.g. the guys from Bare Grillz took to it enthusiastically), as well as many bemused passers-by. By the final night the standard was very high, we even had an official adjudicator (the security guy, who only learnt the rules at the opening night party), in the end the official competition didn’t take place but I reckon Hugh Langlands-Bell was clearly the unofficial winner.
There’s more stuff coming up at format including gigs by Siltbreeze label band Eat Skull and a launch by Rites Wild both in April, so join me in supporting them through Pozible (link below) to help them keep going.