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2006-12-03 - 11:03 p.m.

Hopefully I'll get my computer fixed in the next week, but until then I'll steal some work internet to write about Homebake yesterday. In the leadup I wasn't all that excited- with no bands I was desperate to see (or favourites like The Grates or Darren Hanlon), and few people I knew going (which may have been the case some of the other years but I had Jo). During the wait to get in it started raining, and I was cold and wet and thinking I should have sold my ticket and just gone to work as I was rostered to. But then the rain stopped, the sun came out for one glorious hour or so (and enough for me to go from cold to needing sunscreen), and I caught a couple of those early afternoon sets from people I didn't know well at all but managed to impress more than the hype bands. This year the two "discoveries" for me were Angus and Julia Stone (who I realise have built up a pretty big following through JJJ but I haven't been paying as much attention to the radio as I used to) and Jen Cloher & the Endless Sea (who won me over a couple of songs in with a great cover of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues"). Wedged in between were British India, who did a rocking set but maybe tried too hard. Still I watched it all, and by myself, so that's saying something.

The other two highlights who were by no means "discoveries" given their exposure in 2006 were Bob Evans and Augie March. The latter I was talking to Lucy about earlier in the week, how I hadn't really been won over yet, partly because I hadn't had time to listen to the CD she lent me properly, but a day or two later I had it on in the car on the way to work and it did win me over, and they didn't fail to impress live, even though Glenn Richards was acting quite the primadonna. Before Bob Evans I caught a bit of Toni Collette (also overwrought), and during her set it started raining again, more than before, and I retreated to the Big Top. By the time Bob Evans started, the rain had cleared, but opening his set with "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" was lost on no-one. While there has been Bob Evans saturation on a lot of radio stations this year, I don't have the CD and only caught the saturation of "Don't You Think It's Time", so I really enjoyed the set that he effortlessly breezed through. If he is this year's Bernard Fanning, he's a big improvement.

The biggest disappointment was notorious primadonna Tim Rogers. I thought that since he bowled over Missy Higgins in a drunken Falls Festival incident he had cleaned up his act a bit, but alas, he swaggered on stage, hurled insults at (admittedly idiotic) sections of the crowd, and massacred "Purple Sneakers". A suitably rocking version of "Berlin Chair" where he sang "like a silver chair, won't you lean on me 'til I break" was the only saving grace.

During You Am I it started pouring again, and so I watched half of the Vines by default, but they were a huge improvement on the last time I had the misortune of overhearing part of their Homebake set a couple of years ago.

Other bands I caught glimpses of were about 5 minutes of the Models, 15 minutes each of Eskimo Joe and Red Riders, and then I watched silverchair rock the domain. I maintain that they really were overrated back in '94, and I wasn't just paying them out to bait my sister, but I'm not too stubborn to change my mind. Their last two albums have been very good, and the forthcoming one sounds like it will be of a similar standard.


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