There must be something in the water filling the cooler that festival bookers of Australia gather around to fight each other for acts, because Meredith have continued the tradition of Aussie festivals of late by putting together an incredible lineup, with Spiritualized and Primal Scream causing aging indie fans (like me) to foam at the mouth.
Both Spiritualized and Primal Scream are renowned for their phenomenal live reputation and anyone who has seen them will attest to its truth. Both bands have fought it out for decades on stages around the world.
Also included in three days of musical glory are performances by minimalist electro-groove band Four Tet, Norway’s undisputed kings of cock-rock Turbonegro (their first Australian tour since singer Tony Sylvester replaced the [potentially irreplaceable] Hank Von Helvete) and the incomprehensible Omar Souleyman of Syria, whose bizarre mix of traditional arab music and experimental beats has attracted the attention of Bjork.
Those of us who were teenagers in the 90s will have many a fond memory of Regurgitator, who are poised to put on a great show at the supernatural amphitheatre. If you like your music from past generations, Big Jay McNeely will show the naysayers that the sax actually is one of the coolest instruments ever. If you like your music a little more modern, the human beatbox Rahzel and DJ JS-1 will put on a show that won’t soon be forgotten.
When Nick Murphy released his stunning debut album What’s On Your Mind? in 2010, it went by criminally unnoticed. Fast forward to 2012 and his project Chet Faker is getting the attention it rightfully deserves. I can just picture this lot setting the scene as the Earth rotates the festival goers out of view of the sunlight. Speaking of underrated Australian bands, Perth’s Pond will give us the psychedelic freakout we’re going to need.
Melbourne music is well represented with two of the coolest local acts making an appearance. The Twerps‘ lo-fi indie rock might be a contrast to the big-band soul of Saskwatch, but both know how to put on a show.
There will also be appearances from the amazing Toot Toot Toots, Brous, Bitter Sweet Kicks, The Town Bikes, Otologic, Fraser A. Gorman & Big Harvest, Royal Headache, The City of Ballarat Municipal Brass Band and comedian Angus Sampson. Oh, and let’s not forget the illustrious ultra-minimalist Silence Wedge.
All of these bands join the already announced Grimes and the reformed Sunnyboys, who will be playing their first Victorian show in 21 years at the festival.
The hilarious Meredith Gift (for the uninitiated, it’s a nude running race) will be commentated by J.B. Smoove, who you might know better as Leon Black from the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm.
If that’s not enough, 2012 will also see the return of the Meredith Sky Show - a spectacular light show that happens whenever they feel like putting it on. According to Aunty Meredith, “this year’s idea is simple, and striking. And very precise.”
Okay, so I know what you’re thinking. HOW DO I GET A TICKET?
Well, you’d better make sure you’re in the ballot. You can do that at www.mmf.com.au. Round one has already been drawn (e-mails sent out tomorrow, August 15), but you can enter for round two, which will be drawn next week (Thursday August 23). A very limited number of physical tickets go on sale at record stores around town, but I wouldn’t count on this as a method of getting a ticket. Enter the ballot. Trust me.
The festival will take place at the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre on December 7, 8 and 9. It’s just a couple of hours drive from Melbourne.
If you miss it, you’re going to miss some incredible moments.
In one clump, the lineup is: Primal Scream, Spiritualized, Four Tet, Turbonegro, Grimes, Sunnyboys, Omar Souleyman, Regurgitator, Big Jay McNeely, Chet Faker, Rahzel & DJ JS-1, Pond, The Twerps, Saskwatch, Hot Snakes, Snakadaktal, DJ Yamantaka Eye, J.B. Smoove, Earthless, The Toot Toot Toots, Meredith Sky Show, Brous, Bitter Sweet Kicks, The Town Bikes, Otologic, Fraser A. Gorman & Big Harvest, Angus Sampson, Royal Headache, City of Ballarat Municipal Brass Band and of course, Silence Wedge.
Follow the author Tim Cashmere on Twitter.
Here are some choons you can expect to hear that fateful weekend in December:
Spiritualized – Hey Jane (WARNING: This video can be a bit graphic at times):
Primal Scream – Kill All Hippies:
Big Jay McNeely – Deacon’s Hop:
Chet Faker – Terms and Conditions:
The Sunnyboys – Alone With You:
Turbonegro – Denim Demon:
The Toot Toot Toots – Fool’s Gold: