Saturday, December 29, 2007

Day 1: Get Involved! Meredith Music Festival

“Now that you’re Australian I think you’re supposed to call them sheep” — De Campo, questioning whether it was a llama I saw on the way to Meredith.

Friday, 1pm.
We pitch our tent in an even better spot than last year, snuggled amongst gum trees and on top of a bull ant farm who seem fine with it.

“How is this, I arrive at Meredith and I drink a f@#$ing apple juice?” De Campo (seen here drinking a beer) is not one-hundred percent. I compensate by knocking back six beers in quick succession.

“Shane you are so modest,” Suzie says because I chose to do my business down the hill while the girls went behind the first available tree. I confess to being a solitary man in respect to my business. I’m a very private person, I tell her.

There are few things Toby enjoys more than to inflate a neighbour's air mattress using the power of his car engine.

Josh Town soldiers towards the food tents and orders a lamb wrap. The food here is generally excellent, but Josh Town has made a very poor choice. He chose the lamb wrap and it is very lame and considerably dry and it costs him $10 and he now feels hard done by the organisers of the festival. He goes to the info centre to complain, but the food doesn’t warrant a complaint because the organisers have bigger problems to deal with it. They dismiss him with a wave of the hand and he is standing there with bits of dry lamb on his mouth and it’s a sad moment in Joshy Town.

The longhaired Melbournian Ned Collette is witnessed from a tree to the right of the stage and up close towards the end of his set for two of his more interesting numbers. One cut produces a tiny spark before bursting into a flaming guitar solo and the other jaunts along a country road with a smile before it too bursts into flames. "There's not many ideas here really," Josh Town says, but he just ate an unfulfilling lamb wrap, so what does he know. Sometime after midnight the Ned will be witnessed preparing to board the Ferris wheel all by himself clutching a solitary red rose and our will heart will go out to him, but in actual fact this story will be untrue, a made-up ruse between Alex and I who thought it would be a gas to spread a rumour about the Ned but when we told his girlfriend the following night, she didn’t think it was funny at all and perhaps it wasn’t.

Another local act, The Galvatrons are sounding pretty good. They probably lean a little too hard on Eddie Van Halen's synthesiser, but are still pretty refreshing, at least from a distance. Up close you realise they are total clowns with annoying banter. We return to camp for some Frisbee action.

Josh returns separately and says he was standing by the toilets waiting for Matt when a wacky guy walks up and asked what he was doing, why he was just standing there. “I’m waiting for a friend, he’s using the toilet. I think he has diarrhea.”

“No man, c’mon it’s Meredith you got to get involved!” said the dude, and having established a new catchphrase, he disappeared into the night in rainbow coloured parachute pants.

Eddy Current Suppression Ring are a feral, freak-show. I collapse in the moshpit and it’s like turning legless in a pigsty. The band are not at their best. I get the hell out of there.

Gimme that chip, I joke to an Indian chap boring into a revolting splatter of nacho chips, near the food tents after the show. “You got three seconds, he says, or you’re gonna wear it!” It’s funny to us, but the little guy is serious. I back off. We move on to the open air cinema to watch R. Crumb visually elucidate on the origins of asparagus.

Later on, Crystal Castles play and they are vague to me, yet good I dance to their music, the night-blue basslines, female vocals, a punchy spoken word and a shout. This is after a stiff nightcap at the Pink Flamingo bar and a Ferris ride.

I am told off numerous times for clearing my nose in an unspeakable fashion. In my defense, it’s an inevitable with the dust and all, Meredith a veritable pigsty at 3am.

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