Mountain Sounds Review 2016

Whilst only being its third event, the Mountain Sounds festival managed to astonish the crowds with an incredible lineup and a showcase of extensive artworks. Hosted by Mt Penang Parklands hidden in West Gosford, it was home to the likes of Violent Soho, Art Vs. Science, Alpine and Hockey Dad just to mention a few, also introducing international artists Albert Hammond Jr. (USA) and Jack Beats (UK).

It wasn’t until late afternoon where crowds began to show, leaving the festival rather spacious until headline acts began to play. Gate security quickly distinguished the crowd, filtering sensible festivalgoers from the rest, emphasising the importance of the festival’s code of zero tolerance.

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Festivalgoers united over the festival at MSF 2016. Photo via Chris Daniel.

During the festival, spread across 5 diverse stages and an enormous parkland, 7 things occurred to me.

1. MSF is a platform for promotion.
Opening the festival on opposing stages was Central Coast’s Space Carbonara (winners of the Mountain Sounds competition) and The Moving Stills. Throughout the day, the festival also saw acts including Elwood Myre and Elaskia perform, drawing crowds from all stretches of the parkland. While most would consider the festival to be located in ‘the middle of nowhere’, it provides large-scale promotion to local acts, most located on the Central Coast.

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Elwood Myre at MSF. Photo via Chris Daniel

2. The secret stage was one of the most well-known stages.
Before all sound and lighting was cut unexpectedly towards the end of the night, it was one of the most talked about areas in the parkland. After following a valley into an abyss of rainforest gardens, the stage welcomed you with trance/ techno beats and an escape from the sweat and heat.

3. The bands are on our side.
The look on security’s face as Hockey Dad walked on stage seemingly suggested that ‘this is about to get violent’. Although during a live act, bands don’t tolerate violence, however Billy Fleming (drummer of Hockey Dad) took a stand when he saw the mosh pit being tamed by security.

4. Lead singer from The Delta Riggs might be Liam Gallagher.
Minus the on stage profanity and sibling rivalry, The Delta Riggs front man Elliot Hammond maintains the aura of Oasis founder and the haircut of an profound Englishman.

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Elliot Hammond from The Delta Riggs at MSF. Photo via Brooke Tunbridge

5. Art vs. Science love getting naked on stage.
It took less that half the set to be underway before Dan (Guitarist) and Jim (Keyboardist) were half naked, soon to be followed by Daniel (drummer) in the latter part of the set. Not only naked, but ripped.

6. The Dance Tent is also The Sweat Pit.
Last years festival was more so mud than grass. This year, compensating for the lack of mud was the amount of sweat being transferred body to body in the dance tent.

7. Violent Soho can draw a crowd.
Due to a significantly debatable set time clash as three headline bands were due to play at the same time, Violent Soho didn’t see the extent of the crowd until the end of the set. As hay barrels and band members were being thrown into the air of the mosh pit, Soho managed to pull off the most unforgettable set of the day, drawing the festival to a close.

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Violent Soho at MSF. Photo via Brooke Tunbridge

A chat to a few of the bands

Scoring a backstage pass for the review, I managed to talk to a few of the bands performing, to reflect on some of the weirdest and darkest times of their career.

Green Buzzard (Paddy Harrowsmith: Front man)
1. What is your worst on stage experience?

“I guess we don’t really have many bad experiences on stage, nothing at this point in time has happened badly, apart from us ourselves performing horribly.”
2. What is your worst fan experience?
“We definitely don’t have any psychos that are obsessed with us yet, so at this point in time people have been fairly reasonable.”
3. What is the weirdest thing you have had to sign?
“A lot of shoes, but I’d love to sign something really obscure in the near future.”
4. Do you have any backstage demands?
“This one I can answer. It’s sort of a tradition that the band has a bottle of Rosé before a show. It’s classy to an extent I guess.”

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Green Buzzard at MSF. Photo via Chris Daniel

SKEGSS (Benny Reid: Guitarist)
1. What is your worst on stage experience?
“Oh that’s a difficult one. Probably getting hit by a microphone and nearly getting knocked out on stage would be up there.”
2. What is your worst fan experience?
“Damn I hope she doesn’t read this. We played a show to a fairly large crowd and afterwards this girl wanted us to take her out for her birthday and hang out with her. It all seemed like a horrible time.”
3. What is the weirdest thing you have had to sign?
“It’s not really weird, but just a pair of boobs. Actually, a really weird pair of boobs.”
4. Do you have any backstage demands?
“Not really. We just like to drink and get plastered before a show.”


Hockey Dad
(Billy Fleming: Drummer)
1. What is your worst on stage experience?
“Possibly the time Zac [frontman] leant back and accidently pushed me off stage at the end of the set.”
2. What is your worst fan experience?
“Well I uploaded a picture of my sister online and naturally people who know who I am see it. About a week later at a show I overheard these dudes talking about her but I had never met them or seen them in my life before that.”
3. What is the weirdest thing you have had to sign?
“I haven’t signed anything weird, but the best thing I signed was also the worst. I signed a pair of boobs at the end of a show soon realising that it was an all ages show.”
4. Do you have any backstage demands?
“When we are backstage we take what we are given, not really given a choice.”

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Hockey Dad at MSF. Photo via Chris Daniel


Delta Riggs
(Alex Markwell: Lead guitarist)
1. What is your worst on stage experience?
“It was our first show and our guitarist (not me obviously) couldn’t see the tuner on his guitar because of a glare. Being the first song we were playing and extremely out of tune was pretty bad.”
2. What is your worst fan experience?
“At the end of our set we went down to talk to the crowd and this drunken mess of a girl ran up to me, took my hat and I swear I never saw her again.”
3. What is the weirdest thing you have had to sign?
“A brand new, extremely high quality business shirt.”
4. Do you have any backstage demands?
“Probably just keeping me as far away from Jesse [other guitarist for DR] as possible because I hate him.”

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The Delta Riggs at MSF. Photo via Brooke Tunbridge

Art vs. Science (Daniel McNamee: Vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist)
1. What is your worst on stage experience?
“We played a show in 2010 at Luna Park for the Bacardi Express. The worst part was actually falling off the stage whilst we were playing.”
2. What is your worst fan experience?
“There isn’t a particular one that I can remember, but the weirdest fans are also the most fun. Those being the ones that are drunk and have absolutely no idea about the music or the band.”
3. What is the weirdest thing you have had to sign?
“I think probably just boobs when the pen doesn’t work.”
4. Do you have any backstage demands?
“Puppies and Kittens. We never get them though. I would in the future like to see an inflatable pool full of seawater, especially at a festival. I think we are just limited to getting vegan food for myself.”

 

Featured image by Brooke Tunbridge.