Parklife 2007 - Adelaide - 23.9.2007
Author: Lachy Pender
Tuesday, 9 October 2007
The bypassing of Adelaide, for many years, has not been without reason. The city has traditionally danced to its own beat, having a scene that is unique to those of the eastern seaboard and the west. This has made it difficult in the past for promoters from these larger scenes to export their flashiest product to our large country town, as there was always a massive financial risk in doing so. Attempts in the past by eastern state promoters in the last few years to bring branded festivals such as Good Vibrations, the 2005 Two Tribes and We Love Sounds to Adelaide resulted in shows characterised by large numbers of international DJs playing to three or four people on the dance floor (bit of literary justice taken here to make my point!), reinforcing the notion that Adelaide was a town where local promoters ruled the roost as they rolled out the beats familiar to the Adelaide punters.
Future Music Festival changed that impression of Adelaide this year. A massive crowd, incredible vibe and a great response showed that, maybe, the times were changing and that the punters were ready to embrace what fans in the eastern states had been lapping up for years. It was therefore not as much as a surprise as some first thought when Fuzzy announced that their seminal festival, Parklife, would be hitting Adelaide for the first time.
Some often think of Adelaide as a haven for the harder sounds of dance music, whilst forgetting that Adelaide has always had a thriving house and hip-hop scene. Combine this with the emergence of the popular nu-rave and electro house sounds in Adelaide over the last year or so - plus the addition of some drum and bass for the Adelaide massive - and the stage was set for a successful day in the park.
One advantage that Parklife had over Future Music was the securing of the Adelaide Botanic Park as a venue. This is the venue used by the now annual Womad festival and is as green and lush a park as one can find in drought-ravaged South Australia. Parklife was, therefore, able to actually live up to its name, which was a refreshing change for an Adelaide party. Not only was the venue the best an Adelaide dance music event has seen in a while, but Huey smiled on us - weather wise - and provided the quintessential Spring day for the festivities.
Act of the day goes without a doubt to the Chicago kings of uber cool jackin house, the Greenskeepers. I knew to expect a good show form them, but they blew me away. James Curd's beats combined with the manic energy of the band and Nick's showmanship made for an hour of blissful funked out fun. They had the crowd in the tent (which was a shame, as an open air stage and later time slot would have been awesome) absolutely rocking as they treated them to renditions of 'New York Lady', 'Go', 'Man in the Refrigerator' and the creepy but oh-so-cool 'Lotion'. From reports I have heard from other people, Shapeshifter, whom where on at the same time as the Greenskeepers were the only other act that gave them a run for their money.
I heard a little whilst lining up for the toilet - a cover of Jill Scott's 'Golden' - and it was divine. Bar from the Greenskeepers though, no act was able to impress me enough to hold my attention for very long. Craze started off fantastically throwing the usual favourites out there and some new ones, such as Van Halen's 'Jump', but then really lost it half way through his set and was no where as good as other times I have seen him. Lyrics Born were good too, but also fell into the same trap as Craze. Derrick Carter was his usual awesome self with some jacked up rolling techy beats, but it just didn't connect with me as I had been expecting the funkier side.
The biggest let down to me was the over-abundance of electro house and the respecti Tags