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Parklife 2007 - Perth - 1.10.2007

Author: Brett Dias
Friday, 5 October 2007
Parklife kicked off some great weather in Perth on Queen's Birthday Monday. A diverse crowd gathered enthusiastically to be a part of the first instalment of the Summer music festival series.

The festival was held in Wellington Square - the first time in Perth the event was actually held in a Park for WA and the venue was a great choice. Thirty-six acts played on four stages during the gig in giant tents symbolising Earth, Air, Fire and Water. JJJ Unearthed winners Electric Limousine played early in the day on the Fire Stage to a small, energetic crowd. It will be interesting to see where the group goes from here - they have a great electro vibe, chilled stage performance and strong vocals from lead singer Johnny Hotrod. If that's not his real name, it should be.

Bourgeois Bogan DJs entertained a young and fluoro crowd with fast dance beats and amusing stage antics. The group payed homage to the eighties fashion in the crowd by playing a sample of Cyndi Lauper's 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' and Salt 'n' Pepper's hit 'Push It'. Both tracks were well received and, no doubt, earned the local act a stronger young following.

Stereo MCs played a harder set that drew a large crowd. While not as big as its American counterpart, British Hip-Hop is speaking to the masses and the masses are paying attention. Rob Birch may look like Electronica's answer to Ozzie Osborne, but the man still has energy to work a crowd into frenzy.

Greenskeepers were as entertaining as their music. Dressed Ninja style with Sergeant Pepper thrown in for good measure, the boys threw themselves around the stage and the crowd did the same. Ajax played in the Air tent to a receptive audience who appreciated the more commercial samples of Kanye West, Basement Jaxx and Daft Punk.

The Sounds were a very pleasant surprising considering I had not heard their work before Parklife. The Swedish act had a different style than the other acts and quickly engaged the audience with honey vocals, smooth electric beats and crisp lyrics. Their sound was sunny and very easy to listen to. MSTRKRFT, Digitalism and Busy P warmed up the crowd for Justice and sampled tracks including 'Smack My Bitch Up' and 'Killing In The Name Of'.

Catching Justice and MIA at the same time was a mission, but it had to be done. Reports suggested that Justice puts on a show that can't be missed and my own experience told me that I had to catch MIA again after she blew me away at the Big Day Out last year.

Both shows were worth the running around and navigation required to 'twister' my way through the packed-out shows. Justice played a set that heavily featured tracks from their latest album D.A.N.C.E and MIA belted tracks from her new album Kaya. Both performances used impressive light shows and giant screens to complement the sound.

Justice opened their show with a giant lit-up crucifix and MIA had footage that included the Jungle Book and other montages to make her political points.

Parklife in Perth this year was successful thanks to the impressive electronic and hip-hop acts selected and the diversity and sheer enthusiasm of the crowd. Flaws, including bad-tasting beer and lack of bathroom facilities, were easy to overlook because the energy of the day was positive and the crowd were in top spirits.

Whether they were chemically induced or not, I can never tell, but either way, we were all onto a good thing.
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