The Great Escape

Trip Start Feb 05, 2006
Trip End Jun 20, 2006

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Flag of Australia  ,
Friday, April 14, 2006

So for my Spring break, I stayed right around Wollongong mainly. But my vacation was "The Great Escape", a music festival held in Sydney's Olympic park. It was a three day long festival with over 130 artists! I went for all three days, and it was well worth it. I not only got to see so many good artists, but now I have a base of Aussie music, so I at least am familiar with some of them.

I saved my schedule that they handed us as we walked in the gate, and I went through and ranked all of the bands that I went to see. I'll make a list of them here for you all to check out, with some comments mixed in.

Note: The rating system I used is a bit complicated, but this is the classic star system, so 5 stars is the max. Some of my rules (which varied depending on the artist) included:
-Music Quality
-Stage presence
-Interaction/humor of the artist
-Whether the band actually got me to dance or participate in some way
-Lyrical quality

In order to get a five-star, the artists basically had to do all of the above. So basically anything above 4 stars is REALLY good. 3 stars is pretty decent, and enjoyable. 2 stars was ok, but nothing special. And below two stars makes me question why the group was on the lineup to begin with.

The Camels (3.5)

Declan Kelly(4) - Roots type of group, very good drum beats and diversity in instruments.

Hat Fitz(4) - Really cool blues singer, with good harmonica playing.

Slightly Stoopid(3) - Decent punkrockish type group, good music, lyrics a bit lacking.

Local Knowledge(4) - I can't remember much of this one, but as I remember they were pretty good. Perhaps they didn't deserve a 4 star since I can't even remember them now.

Combat Wombat(4.5) - AMAZING hop-hop group out of Sydney. Great music, awesome danceability, and their music has an awesome message. I bought their CD and it was well worth it. Check out their website too, very very cool band. They actually live what they preach.

Dobacoracol(2) - Roots band, not very good compared to the other music, but ok.

Mia Dyson(3.5) - Can't really remember her too much, but what I do remember was good lyrics, and an excellent message, the instrumentals weren't too good though.

Silverchair(2) - Horrible live. I actually think they deserved more like a 1 star. I dont really care for their music normally... though I don't mind it. But their live performance was horrible considering they were one of the main acts.

Waiting for Guiness(4) - Awesome Ska band. What is Ska? I bought their CD as well. They have a lot of mexican influences, mainly I liked their instrumentals. I wish they had a Live version of their CD, because they were much better live then on the CD.

The Herd(4.5) - Awesome band. I had heard on "Only 19" which is their big hit, and has been on the charts for quite some time. But the rest of their show and songs made me like the band even more. I decided to save my money on the CD for later, as the other CD's that I bought are of artists that dont quite have the following (and frankly need the money more). But I may end up getting their CD at a later date.

Eskimo Joe(3) - Decent rock group, but nothing really extraordinary.

Butterfingers(4) - Really good rock/punk band, they had really good interaction with the crowd too.

The Audreys(3.5)

Juan de Marcos' Afro Cuban Allstars(4) - Awesome jazz type of band. They must have a good 20 band members, all of which rocked. The main band members had so much energy, jumping around all over the place, and doing some great solos. I wanted to get their CD, but they didn't have one at the merchandise stand, I will need to find their CD eventually.

Andy Clockwise(3.5)

The Black Keys(4) - A rock group from the states, actually from Ohio. They were pretty good, mainly their music was what stood out, though their lyrics were pretty decent, and they were quite funny.

Rastawookie(4) - I only got a glance of these guys in passing towards the Black Keys, but they were really good for what I saw. They were a mix of Ska/Reggae.

Kid Confucius(5) - Amazing hip-hop/rap group. I bought their CD as well, and I have been listening to it ever since. This is one of the few artists that actually got me dancing during their performance, in a huge crowd of people no less! This is one of the groups that I wish had produced more music, instead of just the one CD. But according to their website, they are working on a second cd!


Xavier Rudd(5) - Xavier Rudd was the main reason I went to The Great Escape. I vowed not to leave Australia until I got to see him live, and I have now accomplished this goal. I had very high expectations for his performance, and he met and exceeded them with no problem. I got to be in the front row, a mere 30 feet away from him. Xavier plays an awesome groove/beat band... I'm struggling to describe it as a genre... because it doesn't really fit anything. Perhaps Blues/Roots defines him the best. He played around ten different instruments, many at the same time. At one point he was playing guitar, a foot drum, chimes, didge, and rotating between the didge and singing. I can't believe how talented he is. He plays each instrument as if he had only played that one instrument all of his life. Anyways, as you would expect, I bought his CD, and not only one... but all three of his CD's!!!

Joel Plaskett(4.5) - I was very surprised to have found such a great artist when I was just killing time before the Mountain Goats played. I got to catch all of Joel's show, and the main thing that I like about his music is the lyrics, they really speak to me. Also, he was hilarious on stage, and his commentary was just as good as his music. After he played, and I saw the Mountain Goats, I went to buy his CD to find that he had packed up his CD's and left. I must say I was extremely disappointed, but that gave me a reason to go see him again! I got to see him at the Heritige Hotel in Bulli (about 15 minutes by train away from me) in his last Australian showing. Joel is from Nova Scotia, which I learned from his concert actually means "New Scotland". Anyways, the venue at the Heritige Hotel was even better. I not only got to have him sign my CD, but I got to have a good 5-10 minute conversation with him. I'm going to try and catch him when he plays near the states. He will actually be playing in London, Ontario (about two and a half hours away from Midland) but thats before I'm back...

The Mountain Goats(4) - Good punk rock group, and I've heard them before. They are also from the states, and they were much better live than their recorded music. They were another one of the groups that interacted so well with the crowd that it really improved their overall performance.

Decoder Ring(1.5) - The worst band at the festival, and they were a bit of a let down, since they were the last band I went to see. But I just ignored them, and thought about all the other awesome bands that I had heard for the train ride home.

And thats all... Wow, that was a long entry this time. Feel free to look up these artists and listen to some of their music, there was a lot of great music, and I'm sure I'm not the only one that enjoys it. Also, check out the gallery, I'm going to try to upload a few songs as a sample of these artists. Another note, the pictures in the gallery weren't all taken by me. A few I got off the Great Escape website. All the ones that are thumbnail sized were taken from my camera phone. Anyways, until next time...
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digitaldoc on

CD Exchange: Yes this is still happening :-)
Yes this is still happening, you will get a CD in return, I am bringing them back with me. So you'll have to come and hang out with me (I'll probably throw a party when I get back) to get your great aussie musik :-)

StephensLottie27 on

I took 1 st personal loans when I was 25 and this helped my business a
lot. But, I need the consolidation loans as well.

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