Festival Recap: Party In The Paddock, 2017: Friday

Party in the Paddock celebrated its fifth birthday in marvellous style this past weekend, with the 2017 edition of the festival a genuine celebration of great music, beautiful scenery and chilled out vibes. 

As a volunteer at the festival I had slightly different experience to many, including working in the bar during the Saturday headline sets from festival headliners Sticky Fingers and Hermitude; however, although I would have loved to have experienced StiFi’s last show for a while and the outrageous fun Hermitude always bring to the table, I still had a hell of a time. Here’s a quick little round-up of some of the musical highlights of my Party In The Paddock 2017.

Set in the picturesque rolling hills of Burns Creek, 20 or so minutes out of Launceston, there are few festivals in the country that could compete with such a gorgeous location of farmland for a festival site. And in 2017, the music wasn’t half bad either.

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The Friday kicked off in the early afternoon with sets from Launceston rising stars Isla Ka and the Sleepyheads. The former delivered a gorgeous set of heartfelt indie folk that set the mood of the festival from the get-go, while the latter ramped up the energy to deliver some raucous punk and indie akin to the likes of Modern Baseball made for the main stage drawing more and more punters as their sound reverberated throughout the festival site.

Gold Member and Skeggs delivered sets of exhilarating energy as the Friday afternoon heated up and rapidly went by, with the excitement of a night consisting of Montaigne, The Bennies, local heroes Luca Brasi, Tash Sultana and The Smith Street Band proving to be an incredibly salivating thought.

Montaigne is one hell of a presence in a live setting, taking tracks off of her breakout album “Glorious Heights” and making them sound even more grand and explosive at the Main Stage, with “Till It Kills Me” and “Because I Love You” becoming moments that all who witnessed are highly unlikely to forget anytime soon.

The Bennies tore up the main stage with their uniquely mesmerising fusion of punk, ska, reggae and psych rock with a set so well honed and energetic that it could never fail. The ever-growing crowd at the main stage gre exponentially throughout their set and was sent into raptures during the performance of crowd-favourite “Party Machine”, which included guest vocals from Wil Wagner of the Smith Street Band.

Luca Brasi kept the energy of the afternoon rollicking, delivering a set full of old favourites and new crowd pleasers from their latest album, If This Is All We’re Going To Be, with the punk rock sounds of the proud Tasmanians proving to be the perfect soundtrack to a sunny Friday afternoon in the scenic beauty that is the Party in the Paddock site.

Tash Sultana may well be the most promising and buzzed about artist in the country right now, and although her set at Party in the Paddock didn’t quite live up to the ridiculous hype that preceded it, it was still a triumphant set highlighting her ability to create a mesmerising set of looping, multi-instrumental driven tracks full of passionate vocal performances and soaring guitar melodies. Hottest 100 hit “Jungle” proved to be one of the moments of the festival.

The act I was anticipating the most on the Friday was The Smith Street Band, and boy did the Melbourne lads deliver the goods. A passionate set of their trademark brand of cathartic rock, folk and punk graced the paddock, leading to strangers embracing each other and singing along to their heart’s content. Old favourites “Ducks Fly Together” and “Sigourney Weaver” sound as vital, energetic and spine-tingling now as ever, and newer cuts like last year’s “Death To The Lads” slide into the band’s setlist snuggly.

This was, without question the set of the day and capped off a memorable day of great music perfectly.

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