niina.amniisia » bits, pieces and photos from sydney, australia and elsewhere

big day out – sydney 2006 (Friday January 27th, 2006 - 15:45)

category: mmhuh?

I finally put aside my reluctance to do a festival (I know it’s not a real festival because it doesn’t go over multiple days in a single venue but the name will do for me) and ventured off to the Big Day Out in Sydney yesterday morning.

I was suprised by how organised Central Station was with plenty of trains heading off to Olympic Park (even if the rest of City Rail was holding budding BDO-goers in halted trains for half an hour) and then the ticket queue and bag check took just a matter of minutes before I was bewildered and wandering and getting lost (due to missing friends as a result of the afore mentioned City Rail trains holding friends hostage!)

Venturing down in to the enclosure infront of the Blue stage I found who I was looking for and had a little chuckle at Airbourne. Faker‘s set began and Nathan bounded around while the band belted out their brilliant catchy rockpop songs as if they’d been doing big stages for years.

We wandered off to the Local Produce stage where the Red Riders were setting up. They shone happily, working through their tunes to a noisy and appreciative crowd. For me personally it was a dream to hear “Call on Me” live again; I love that little marching tune. I saw Dan the Photographer Man taking a few shots with his ultra special lens (hidden behind this girls head, but trust me, it was huge!):

dan the photographer man

We did a little wandering around before peering down at Bit by Bats briefly, listened to Sleater-Kinney but didn’t feel particularly moved despite their efforts to teach us Australian history, and then watched the gentle sweet pop of the Magic Numbers for a while and choosing to settle down to rest on the grass.

We ventured back to the main stages but the idea of dealing with the crowds and lining up to get in to the front enclosures was utterly off putting for my likes so I wandered around a little more, took in the end of The Go! Team before a mind-belting spoken word session by Henry Rollins. He talked about the brilliance of music, complained about how he could never out-perform Iggy Pop despite all his efforts with the final attempt in Finland (yes, he mentioned Finland!) a gig for which he’d put himself through vigorous training. He told us that if we were dumb we should educate ourselves, if we did stupid things we should stop, we should take the Queen off our money and we should make Australia our own.

I headed back to the main stage and listened to the Living End for about 20 minutes (but made-do with watching the crowd as I couldn’t see the stage from so far back and being so short) before returning to the Converse Essential stage to watch the Beasts of Bourbon where Tex Perkins proclaimed that today was “Invasion Day”, hurled himself around the stage and the band blasted out brilliant tune after brilliant tune. “Drop Out” was particularly amazing. Rider Tom, I hope you heard my thoughts from across the oceans that you would have loved it! I know you can barely see him but he’s in these pictures which I took for you as proof:

beasts of bourbon

beasts of bourbon

Off to the main stage again, standing on the edges of the crowd I listened to Franz Ferdinand and watched everyone dancing around, singing along. My feet were giving up so I took a seat oblivious to what was about to happen…

I wanted to see Iggy and the Stooges at the Big Day Out. I expected them to be good but I was incredibly far off the mark on that assumption. They were brilliant! Raw. Loud. Energetic. Amazing songs. Despite the age of those tunes they felt so amazingly fresh. It’s all in the delivery and boy do they know how to deliver. I kind of wish I had decided to stick with friends, ignore any nature calls, forget my hatred of crowds, and been down the front with them.. but I loved every second of it from where I was sat. As a result I’ve had to split my favourites of all time list so that the Jesus and Mary Chain at the Metro in Sydney (1995) remains at #1 on one list due to it literally making me unable to utter a word afterwards, and Iggy can head up the other list – the two gigs so uncomparable in style but both are now my absolute favourites for different reasons.

The White Stripes followed but it was just like Henry Rollins said.. you can’t beat Iggy. I enjoyed the set, the crowd sang and clapped along, Meg White acted coy as she stood up at the microphone for a song, they played many popular songs but detoured a little in to ones I didn’t know or changed older songs around. They were fine.. but all I could think about was Iggy.

Re-united with those lucky (self-controlled and crowd-contented) ones who’d been down the front, we headed home without any train dramas, and I couldn’t help but smile despite the sore feet, headache and tiredness on the walk home.

All in all the BDO surprised me nicely.

The side-by-side stage set up for the Blue/Orange stages and Green/Converse Essential stages meant that as a band played one stage the other was being prepared for the next band who then started straight after the other one finished – you could sit back and relax and hear continuous music rather than rushing about through crowds.

The distances between stages weren’t enormous so when you did need to wander it wasn’t too far to go.

There wasn’t a portaloo in sight, instead a luxury of proper toilet blocks and no shortage of toilet paper (though I did hear girls occasionally exclaiming “toilet paper!” which may mean that some toilet blocks had run out).

The crowd wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. There was laddishness and drunkeness but nobody threw up on me, stepped on my toes, or shoved me too seriously.

There was grandstand seating around the main stages! An absolute blessing for worn out feet, a headache and a have-I-told-you-I-don’t-like-crowds kind of person. They could have done with a few more bigger video screens but I was content with the one that they had.

Knowing the crowds would inhibit taking any worthwhile shots I only took my little Canon ixus with me but I got a few photos of the Red Riders and the crowds.

I’m so glad that I finally crumbled in to temptation and enjoyed my first Big Day Out.

ps. I’ve just tried to remove some of the excess uses of “brilliant” in this post (some simply have to remain).. maybe I should call it the Brilliant Day Out instead.

4 comments to “big day out – sydney 2006”
Dan said on January 28th, 2006 at 12:07 am:

Brilliant! Simply Brilliant!

So, you saw Iggy & the Stooges? You do realise this means I have to kill you, and eat your entrails. Grrr!

Magic Numbers are great – I saw them in Sheffield, didn’t really know what to expect as a friend had asked me along and I’d only heard very little of their music, but it was one of the best gigs I’ve been to in years. I can’t believe how much bigger than their faces their smiles are, and I’ve never ever ever seen any other band quite so appreciative of their audience. I guess this may have been different at a festival, where everyone wasn’t there to see them, but they are all just so lovely that you can’t help but fall in love with them.

I really want to go to something festival-ish soon, because I want to take lots of photos of people, and big crowds are often the best place to invade someone’s personal space. Still a long way from festival season here though 🙁 but on the bright side, I may be doing a week long photojournalism course some time in the next 2 or 3 months.

scot said on January 28th, 2006 at 6:48 pm:

Yes, you should have braved the riot that was the line up to get into the front section…Iggy and his “f&*^%$ Stooges” was a once in a life time opportunity, and to all that missed out…oh did you what.

The Stooges are definitly equal with Joe Strummer’s 2 performances in 2000.


Wiseblood said on January 29th, 2006 at 7:40 am:

Excellent report, Niina. Thanks for the pics of the Beastie Bourbon Boys and for the psychic shout-out during their set ;)! “Drop Out” live. Beautiful. Wish I could’ve been there with you to witness that. Good to know that The Stooges have still got it, that they warrant all of the adoration. What I’ve seen and heard from the reconstituted Motor City rockers has been pretty much what you already described: Raw, loud, brilliant.

I won’t even ask whether you saw Guitar Wolf at the end of the year there in Syd-city. I probably can guess the answer already ;).

The fact that you still get a rush from the rock is enough to make me smile :).

Congrats on coming through your first Big Day Out alive. Despite what The Stooges may have sang, it sounded like a lot of fun.

lostmusic said on January 29th, 2006 at 9:05 pm:

top report. envious trev alert.