St Jerome's Laneway Festival - Auckland
It was a brilliant day, and the rain held off for the most part. I met up with the friendly neighbour late morning, and we cabbed downtown to Britomart Square. After a bit of wandering around the site and getting acquainted with the layout, I met up with Lisa and we enjoyed a set from the Naked and Famous, along with a growing and appreciative crowd. Around 3pm I was very very happy to see the Phoenix Foundation play, on the bittersweet occasion of bass player and my good friend Warner's last gig. He's been with the band seven years, pretty much all the time I've known him, and I wish him well in his future projects, which include the highly entertaining Double Ya D.
After that it was time for a much, much anticpated set from the xx. Oh, how I love the xx. Their set was just lovely. I caught some of Daniel Johnston next, a very special performance - you can see a short video here. I didn't pay enough attention to the Dirty Three, and I wish I'd given more time to Chris Knox and the Nothing. I spent the next 45 minutes or so waiting in the food queue, hoping I could use some of my plastic drink coupons, and snarling at queue jumpers. The hot chips were a necessary evil; I missed Echo & the Bunnymen, but I think I'd always missed them so I didn't mind too much.
Because it was the first year of the festival in Auckland, there were inevitably some problems, not least of which was the long wait for food and beer (although happily this didn't affect me). There were also some scheduling reshuffles later in the day, not to mention a disappointing overlap of Cut Off Your Hands beginning their set before Daniel Johnston was finished. I don't believe this was an intentional slight, and I hope that Daniel wasn't too offended.
The reshuffles meant that the 3Ds played later in the evening, and their set was a blinder. The crowd just loved it, what a treat to see such hits as Outer Space, Hey Seuss and Animal performed live!
Florence closed the show, however I was sifting about at the Northern Steamship by this time, catching up with friends and setting the scene for the next few hours. My drinking buddies in London will not be surprised that I have developed quite a taste for Mac's Great White. And that was it - the night ended, as so many do, with a dirty kebab on Queen St.