Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Laneway Singapore 2017

It mostly rains at St Jerome's Laneway Festival Singapore. No different this year. We've been calling it 'RainWay' for a long time now. I was totally decked out in rain gear and waterproof pouches. Time to go dancing in the rain.

There were free packs of ponchos and small bottles of water handed out to festival-goers at the entrance. The rain came chucking down heavy right on cue at 3pm and didn't let up till 8pm. The five-minute light drizzle at 5pm was simply not enough for all of us to dry out or straighten out the wrinkled fingertips. Tsk tsk.

The festival definitely tries to improve year on year. Many more portaloos. There were three stages this year- two bigger ones side-by-side Garden and Bay, and one smaller Cloud Stage, and an air-conditioned indoor White Room for DJ or rap sets. It'd be ideal if they do this 'no re-entry' shit. Not as if I make it a point to come annually though. It all depends on the bands. Never quite into Laneway's 'headliners'.

The food stalls have increased with pretty decent choices this year, including dim sum and roast meats from Full of Luck Club, hot noodles from Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King, and Iskina Cebu's damn good lechon (not the week day lunch nonsense that's at Timbre+). There were really good sausages from Sidecar, healthy bowls from Ninja Bowl, and fried chicken from Kko Kko Nara, coconut water and acai bowls, and many others. The organizers has done away with the coupon system and the food stalls now accept cash and credit cards. Shorter queues all around with plenty of choices. We definitely didn't starve. In fact, my stomach was very happy.

Astreal took the Garden Stage at 3.10pm.

I always seem to prefer Laneway bands that come on before sunset. Not quite into after-dark DJ sets or the electronic stuff typical of Laneway. Highlights of this year's festival for me are unapologetically the rock bands. Went early to catch Astreal. Pleased to hear their new songs. It's been a while, guys and Ginette. Good to watch you prance around on stage again!

Aurora (Norway) was okay. Bit too zen. The rain did help with the mood though. I'd have been less patient had it been a blazing hot afternoon. Didn't know where they are from initially because I was too lazy to whip out phone or paper guide to bands. But they sounded Scandinavian. Heh. The surprises were Gang of Youths (Sydney, Australia) and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (Melbourne, Australia). First time hearing them. Both bands were fantastic! Gang of Youths are a classic indie rock band, charming, very fun on stage and played so well last Saturday. Their first album was released only in May 2015. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard had two drummers, i.e two drum sets. WOW! Given the complexity of their time signatures, riffs and all, they're really tight live. Garage and psychedelic rock. Love it. Their ninth album is to be released next month and it's called... 'Flying Microtonal Banana'. Hurhurhur.

Couldn't believe that I happily stood and bobbed along in the rain for a good six hours before calling it a day. Woooot. I didn't pay for my ticket this year. :P It was with compliments from the friends and I decided to take it at the very last minute because I really wanted to watch Astreal. Heh.

A short five-minute respite from the heavy rain when Gang of Youths took the stage.

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