Sun, a stellar line up of artists, vodka cocktails, double bangers and art installations made up the heady mix to rouse the senses, as the Sugar Mountain Festival, at new digs in the VCA and its surrounds.
Bo Ningen, gesticulate wildly, while hitting those distortion pedals hard and deliver loud, pummeling riffs, with punters viewing their set from the shade of buildings along the right of the stage. Melbourne locals Twerps offer melodic, guitar pop, to soothe the throng on the Dodds Street Stage, while homegrown proponents of tribal dance rhythms No Zu featuring Sal P are sprawled across the entirety of the stage, inciting a mini dance party.
Improvised, disparate, guitar sounds and a staged projection forms the set of Kim Gordon and Bill Nace as Body/Head, which fails to meet expectations.
[pullquote]One attendee who’d consumed a bit too much acid when asked if he was alone, answered “We’re all a collective,” and that holistic experience was the vibe of the day.[/pullquote] Meanwhile French Artist Nonotak’s sound and light projection is an awe inspiring sight to behold in the warehouse, and later the artist reveals himself in The Theatre for a live show.
Dotted around the grounds are various galleries with art installations, and interspersed throughout is the food and drink on offer. Uncles’ pork meatball Banh Mi and sweet potato fries and Ike’s Rack Shack Double Banger Roll with copious side condiments hit the spot and are washed down with the excellent vodka, agrum, mint and lime cocktail a few times over. One attendee who’d consumed a bit too much acid when asked if he was alone, answered “We’re all a collective,” and that holistic experience was the vibe of the day.
Ariel Pink and his seven band members, notably, drummer Don Bolles from LA punk legends The Germs put on the show of the day. Pink sported pigtails and a hot pink top true to his name while Bolles wore a more comfy green bikini taking full advantage of the sun. “Round and Round,” “Black Ballerina” and “Dazed Inn Daydreams” incited loud sing alongs, whilst Pink’s impassioned vocals, delivery and 70’s synth pop sound left a smile on everyone’s face.
For ear bleeding volume, bordering on uncomfortable no one surpassed NYC seminal post punk band The Swans, whose hypnotic, humming soundscapes reverberate long after they’ve left the stage.
Headliner NAS closes the show, drawing the largest crowd of the day. All are transfixed, with hands raised in the air, watching him perform Illmatic in its entirety, ending a memorable Summer Festival that offers a unique experience for its attendees, which is a credit to its organisers.
Check out Mary’s photos of the day.
Don Bolles and Nonotak photos by Mary Boukouvalas
Food and drum installation photos by Anna-Maria Megalogenis