Pauhaus Festival: the kids are ok

11 06 2007

I had a lovely time on Saturday, thanks for asking. I wandered down to the newly flashed-up Brisbane Powerhouse for the Pauhaus Festival. Me, my lovely friend J, and about a billion teenagers in fluorescent shirts and canvas sneakers. Feel old? Us? Up to a point. That point being when the special red wristband let us buy wine. I’ll just cover some of the highlights, because otherwise we’ll be here all night.

The venue was great. I wasn’t sure how an indoor festival would go, but as the day dawned cold* and windy, it was a definite plus. The layout was great, with a stage in the Turbine Hall, a stage in the Theatre, and the Visy Theatre downstairs making three. My ageing bones also very much liked being able to take my drink, purchased at one of the many bars, out to the deck and sit and watch the boats cruise down the river. As is the case with these things, we had a general plan and then deviated from that when and where we felt like it, wandering between the three stages and following our ears/thirst for more wine.

The Visy Theatre was small, dark and intimate. The only problem was the smallness and intimacy meant that later on in the evening, a long line of people waiting to get in snaked out of the door and around the foyer, meaning that Dave McCormack and Ed Kuepper were out of reach. Such is the luck of the festival, I suppose. Making up for that, the two acts we saw in there, Red Ghost and Whitley, were both just amazing. Slide your eyes a touch to the right and you’ll see I’ve already started obsessively listening to Red Ghost’s EP on repeat. It’s that good. If I hadn’t spent all my merch money on wine I would’ve bought Whitley’s EP too. If you have any sort of hankering at all for people singing beautiful lyrics in gorgeous voices to well played guitars, give both of them a listen.

On the big stages, let’s see.

Operator Please, apart from making us wonder what the hell we were doing when we were that age (certainly not on stage playing killer pop songs, that’s for sure), were as good as the hype suggests. Go see them. You won’t regret it. You may feel a touch old. But you won’t regret it.

Dappled Cities Fly were another fresh-faced group with a great sound, and certainly made me glad I’d given up the line for Dave to see them. Not least because I’ve been listening to their latest album on repeat for a couple of months now.

The Panics were tops. Bliss, even. This may be because I have been waiting to see them again since forever, but they hardly ever tour, or if they do it’s supporting famous people so a poor girl can’t even get a ticket. At this point I should thank J, who didn’t mind that I refused to move, talk, or do anything but listen in rapture while they played. I’m not too sure what it is about their twangy music making that brings me such delight. But it does. So there.

Expatriate also didn’t disappoint, and by the end of their set had the entire theatre, including bar staff, making the floor move – literally.

To finish the night off, the Grates did what the Grates do so well. I know this style of jumpyhappymusic is not to everyone’s taste, but it is to mine. And much of the rest of the crowd, if the level of jumpyhappy in the room was anything to go by. They monstered it, completely, sang a couple of new songs, did plenty of old ones, made the guy next to me so happy he couldn’t contain his joy and felt the need to grin maniacally and randomly hug people in his vicinity, causing a kind of contagious grinquake in the immediate area.

And then, at the end of the evening, we sat at the bus stop with some teenagers and waited for the bus. Then we realised a benefit of not being a teenager anymore is choosing when to act your age… and caught a cab.

* Er, Brisbane’s version of cold, that is. It was somewhere in the high teens. Maybe low twenties. Definitely scarf and jacket weather. SHUT UP IT IS SO.




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