There’s a reason Falls is still going from strength to strength after two and a half decades on the Australian music calendar. The event has become a staple for Aussie festival-goers and always seems to provide an amazing way to bring in the New Year. This time around was no exception with organizers delivering arguably the best lineup yet for the event’s 25yr anniversary.
in Byron and the incredible New Year’s lineup combined with the blistering sunshine made for what I can only describe as a magnificent atmosphere. Darryl Braithwaite kicked off the festivities and set the tone for the rest of the festival. What can I say? The old fella gave the people what they wanted with a rendition of “The Horses” that just seemed to go on forever! We were officially up and running. Jungle Giants then had the crowd jumping as the sun set over the amazing Valley Stage. They’ve definitely “Got something that everybody wants”. Next up were Thundamentals. The Aussie hip-hop trio revved up the crowd before Foster the People took over and stole the show; a definite highlight of Day 1. That just left perhaps the biggest DJ/producer in Australia to bring in the New Year for nearly 20,000 Byron Bay fans. Flume did so in style belting out banger after banger as the clock struck midnight and we ushered in 2018.
Waking up on day two and a new year and Allday’s chilled, melodic beats were just what the doctor ordered to soothe the sore heads and aching legs of early 2018. As the rain began to fall the crowd scrambled for the shelter of the Forest Stage just in time to witness Everything Everything blow the roof off the tent!
The rain continued to pour down as Dune Rats took the main stage. The Brissie rock group seemed to have lost a mate of theirs in the ensuing storm… “Has anybody seen Scott Green?” Apparently, they’d been looking for that fucker all week. Glass Animals were next up and the ground felt “Gooey” with the rain that had fallen. So much so that some revellers felt compelled to take a swim in the muddy grounds, complete with swimming cap and goggles!
Unfortunately, the rain didn’t seem as though it would be simmering down anytime soon, so a quick camp check was needed to ensure we didn’t return to our mattresses floating away downstream like a London houseboat.
Despite missing Fleet Foxes we managed to make it back just in time for the final act of the night. Run the Jewels belted out some classic Hip Hop bangers, but their crowd talk left a bit to be desired. One couldn’t help but cringe at some of the self-help advice they were dishing out in the true American style. Notwithstanding the ten-minute pep talk, the super duo ended the night on a high, with the crowd partying and setting the tone for 2018.
Day 3 and there’s always some sadness waking up on the final day of a festival. Thankfully, it was short lived with upcoming band Winston Surfshirt lifting the mood with their sexy jazzy tunes and silky smooth vintage soul.
I didn’t know these guys all that well but according to the girls at my campsite, this was 100% baby making music! The next band couldn’t have been more different.
Melbourne rockers The Smith Street Band tore up the main stage and had the crowd pumping. Then it was time to take it down a notch as Byron Bay siblings Angus and Julia Stone hypnotized the audience with their intimate folk and dreamy pop.
Old school UK rocker Liam Gallagher thrilled fans not only with his new material but also by belting out some old Oasis classics, including the second massive sing-along of the weekend, Wonderwall. Hold on to your hats,
next up was Peking Duk! Whilst they may be second to Flume IMO on the list of Aussie electronic music, their performance and stage show were second to none, with light shows and confetti cannons to boot! That just left The Kooks to close out what was an absolutely stellar weekend of good music and good times. And they did so in style as they took us back in time to the summer of ‘06 with hits like ‘Naïve’ and ‘Seaside’. What a great final act, allowing us to belt out some absolute classics with what was left of our gravelly, croaky voices.