LIVE REVIEW: The Drop Festival makes waves in Busselton
After two sold out festivals in Coolangatta and Torquay, The Drop settled in at Barnard Park, as the final stop of its Australia-wide tour. In its second iteration, the World Surf League and triple j supported festival was here to make waves again in Busselton after a successful first year. Not to mention, it was also the perfect getaway for those who might not have felt GTM 2019 was enough to satisfy their music festival cravings.
Of course, one of the most fun aspects of attending any music festival is dressing the part. In spite of the fact that it was officially winter, both the glorious sunny outlook and the Big Top were there to save the day. Drawing in locals and families to road trippers alike, The Drop Festival was filled with food trucks, a family friendly area and a licensed section, as it played host to a handful of homegrown music legends.
Fresh-faced and straight out of Margaret River, Askya welcomed early attendees with his blend of folk and songwriting prowess. Imparting his wispy vocals, some highlights to name were his 2019 single ‘Breathing Underwater’, as well as the more upbeat ‘High’.
On the other hand, Sydney-born Alex the Astronaut put the ‘happy ‘ in ‘Happy Song’, which found itself chanted by her many fans. Demonstrated live was her hard-hitting lyricism, namely within ‘Waste of Time’ and ‘Not Worth Hiding’ — the latter powerfully dealing with coming out. Lightening the mood, she engaged in banter with her adoring audience, saying the packed venue was a change to having once had to "'pay [her] mates to come see her first show at uni.”
After stealing the show at their Sets At The Beach appearance last year, it was great to have Client Liaison back on WA shores. Greeting us all on “the land of the marsupials”, frontman Monte Morgan quickly swept all away with his disco moves and spins. In a very similar stage set-up to last year’s Perth set, a gigantic water cooler and potted plant lined the stage in an office-esque fashion.
Getting down to serious business, the band displayed the funkiest of their tunes, including ‘Off White Limousine’, ‘Wild Life’ and ‘World of Our Love’. Then, Client Liaison finished off with a truly epic INXS cover of ‘Need You Tonight’, which appealed to the different generations present in the crowd.
In what was considerably the most epic set of the day, it was on fitting to have some Australian surfer rock on board — and Hockey Dad was there to deliver. With audiences chanting every word, ‘Homely Feeling’ was the anthem of the afternoon. Kicking it back with their echoing indie sounds and sun-drenched melodies, the impressive two ensured a good time with ‘I Wanna Be Everybody’ and ‘Sweet Release ‘ on the bill. With something slower to close off their set, ‘Seaweed’ was no doubt the perfect choice.
Truthfully, you’d think you’d be sick of having The Jungle Giants play on a colossal share of Australian festival lineups. However, the energetic four-piece have become classics at this point and surpassed any potential eye-rolls. With the sun having set, the stage lit up with the band’s well-known name as they started their kick-arse performance.
Several nostalgic songs like ‘You’ve Got Something’ and ‘I Am What You Want Me To Be’ were played from their Learn To Exist album. With Cesira Aitken shredding it up on the guitar, the irresistibly dancey tempo of ‘Bad Dream’ and ‘Used To Be In Love’ grew to life and exploded with the crowd. In a fun twist, they even cast a spotlight on an audience member in the front, citing him as Sam Hale’s doppelganger. As always, the foursome remain their fearless and wildly talented selves.
As the closing headline act, Angus and Julia Stone made their way onto stage with a magical, arboreal visuals. Softly singing ‘Snow’, the siblings had everyone at The Drop swaying, then jumping about as guitar and sax solos were eventually brought out between ‘Chateau’ and ‘Nothing Else’. Crooning to the audience, Julia Stone proceeded to ask the crowd, “Is anyone here in love tonight?”
It was the fabulous precedent before the emotional ending that was ‘Big Jet Plane’. Its dreamy chorus reverberated throughout the dim streets of Busselton, with many singing on long after the day ended.