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St Jerome's Laneway Festival Singapore 2013!

Published by: Aranelle on 29th Jan 2013 | View all blogs by Aranelle
THE LANEWAY FESTIVAL WAS AWESOME! Yours truly went to see Kings of Convenience, Poliça and Kimbra, and fell in love with Of Monsters and Men, Yeasayer and Bat for Lashes.


First thing that impressed the concert-goers was the choice of venue. The Meadow at Gardens by the Bay was much larger than Fort Canning Park and had more spaces to spread out and explore. I scoped out the place early to have a look around before the first act came on stage. Being a vegetarian, I wasn't disappointed with the choice of F&B vendors (there were salads and falafel wraps, and even a bakery). The beer of choice was Heineken, and there were water stations for $5 a pop.

Kings of Convenience took to the stage right on time at 12.40pm. They started out with acoustic performances, the instruments being only two guitars each. Eirik Glambek Bøe shared a whimsical poem he thought of when he touched down in Singapore, humorously describing the Marina Bay Sands resort (which incidentally is the backdrop of the view of the Laneway stages). After the first half of their act, they introduced the other band members, and kicked off with songs like Boat Behind, Rule My World much to the delight of the fans. The highlight though was their song I'd Rather Dance With You, which had Erlend Øye dancing awkwardly but oh-so-cutely on stage, and inspired all of us to dance however we wanted without caring what we looked like.

Next up was Poliça (pronounced po-LEE-sa), and I went nuts when I spotted Channy Leaneagh behind the sound controls at the back of the stage. Having been a hardcore fan for the past three weeks (I had their songs in heavy rotation), it was most pleasing to see them perform hits like I See My Mother, Dark Star and Wandering Star.


Their two drummers really helped up the notch of Channy's ethereal voice, and her swim-like moves on stage. Having them perform after Kings of Convenience was a splendid idea as their trip-hop electronic sound is refreshingly different. This is definitely a band worth paying close attention to.


After Poliça, I decided to spend some time basking in the music festival atmosphere, like lying on the grass and bake (literally). First half of the day, the Porta-Loos were in good condition, starting 4pm though they were only acceptable, and by 5pm (that's when the venue was teeming with people) they were disgusting. They could use more trash bins around the venue too, the litter became annoying in the evening. But the music more than made up for it, and what's a music festival without feeling at least a tiny bit gross? :D


When Of Monsters and Men came on stage I was wowed by the passion of their fans who interacted wholesomely to all their songs. Someone in the crowd even had a Facebook Like prop. I think they were the only band who performed an encore.

During the performance of Nicolas Jaar, a huge and compact crowd had formed in front of the other stage, no doubt anticipating Kimbra. Her four bandmates took the stage first and teased us with an instrumental number for a whole 3 minutes, before she appeared, with a BANG.


With every sense of the word, from beginning to end, it was electrifying. The timeslot of 6.40pm to 7.25pm was a great idea as the effect of the sunset described the nature of Kimbra beautifully, also worth mentioning that the choreography of the lights complimented the setting sun. Her setlist was:
  1. Limbo
  2. Posse
  3. Good Intent
  4. Two Way Street
  5. Warrior
  6. Settle Down, featuring Technologic by Daft Punk
  7. Something in the Way You Are
  8. Call Me
  9. Cameo Lover
  10. Come Into My Head

She used her confetti-like dress to great effect, twirling and dancing. She never stopped moving, and wild gestures have always been Kimbra's signature. It was painful to see her go, but here's hoping she'll perform in next year's Laneway Festival again.
When night arrived, The Meadow was very dark save for the lights on stage and from the MBS resort. Apart from people lighting up and smoking, it was a wonderful night, with stars, the planet Jupiter, Orion's Belt and the Moon shining much more brightly for some reason. The venue was the most crowded about 7pm, with almost every patch of grass covered. I even spotted the Kings of Convenience duo amongst the crowd enjoying the Alt-J set. Poor Alt-J experienced technical difficulties in the middle of their second song, and entertainment was stalled for a good 10 minutes. But they were really cool about it, and with that good attitude, the crowd went wild again.


Yeasayer was another band I fell hard for. There's a unique pleasure to be gained from dancing with complete strangers. In person, they were grounded funny guys.

I, being a morning person who normally wakes up at 5am every day, crashed by the time it was 10pm, though lying half-asleep on the grass alone amongst other people who kept stepping over me and took great care to avoid my outstretched legs was surprisingly a pleasant experience. Props to Laneway for the choice of venue.

Even then, I was able to enjoy Bat For Lashes immensely. The big screens captured the band and especially Natasha Khan wonderfully, and even in my state I was able to appreciate their songs and antics. Natasha was dream-like, her outfit even more so, and it was a curious thing to watch her go at it with the drum machine with her quasi-drumstick. She was very humble, giving thanks after every song. I was hooked.
Live4MusiC would like to thank St Jerome's Laneway Festival for this once in a lifetime opportunity. They did an amazing job with the choice of artists, synchronising the play times like clockwork with the use of two stages, the venue and for praying to the rain gods (it didn't rain!). With some improvements to the water system and loos, we look forward to Laneway Festival in 2014!



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