‘Golden Plains’ 2011 Review & Pictures

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There is no denying it, Summer has been and gone – well in Melbourne it kinda never really began but that’s another story. As far as festivals are concerned, there is no better way to wrap up the season then at Golden Plains in Victoria.

I headed along really excited about catching The Middle East and a few of the big internationals.
The physical layout of Golden Plains has been truly finessed. I had no problem arriving and finding a great camping spot in a lush grassy field. So within the hour I was set up and in the Supernatural Amphitheatre to catch the Cosmic Psychos. It’s never too early for dirty pub rock and these guys have it down pat. I had the feeling this crowd wasn’t too familiar with their back catalogue but their energy was enthusiastic.
Saturday passed pretty quickly with an international heavy line-up. Joanna Newsom was definitely a highlight for me but I understand there were sound problems for most of the crowd. From the pit it was a real treat, unfortunately I think it may be the last time we see Newsom do this kind of festival. An alternative to the chilled evening came in the form of screaming rock pigs Airbourne. Despite being a pretty strange choice for the indie crowd, Airbourne were easily one of the most entertaining bands of the weekend. Plenty of theatrics, crowd screaming and a set full of thundering guitar licks and fist pumping adrenaline. I felt bad for Wavves who came across pretty soft after seeing Airbourne – mind you, he was wearing track-suit pants.
Sunday threatened showers but apart from a sprinkle here and there it was another sweet day. The line-up kicked off with Melbourne ‘death country’ band Graveyard Train. These guys would be better suited to a dark pub as their style came off a little lame in the morning sunshine. They did sound good and anyone drinking cans at 10am gets bonus points. Boy and Bear enjoyed more love and played a nice set. Nice is all I can say about these guys as this was the fourth time I’ve seen them and I can’t remember any distinguishing moments. Maybe the Crowded House cover was something special for some, I for one am keen to see these guys develop a little more.
A swedish couple by the name of Wildbirds and Peacedrums took over and their improvised drum and vocal duet was unbelievably thrilling. The Middle East played next with a heavier sound then the last time I saw them. Their sound is really intense and brooding, playing tracks off previous ep’s and new tracks from forthcoming and very highly anticipated debut LP. Best Coast was my final highlight playing late in the afternoon to an excited crowd. Admittedly, not everyone seemed impressed by the her sunny love songs but I developed a major crush. Best Coast hasn’t reinvented the wheel but she has penned some catchy tracks and I look forward to her next record.
I had to head back to Melbourne without catching Architecture in Helsinki and World’s End Press but I trust they wrapped up a great weekend in style. Some more photographic highlights after the jump –


joanne-newsom-david-payne wavves-david-payne Wildbirds-and-Peacedrums-david-payne best-coast-david-payne


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