The Mother City’s version of Parklife kicked off somewhat slowly. Beneath the brutal heat of the midday sun, shaded refuge was found under umbrellas and stretchy-tents that dotted the cricket grounds. The sluggish crowd trickled in to the energetic sounds of Opposite the Other revealing hints of their upcoming EP.
The addition of a second stage to the event this year doubled the amount of must-see international and local acts, creating a fresh line-up across both stages.
The crowd began to fill out at main stage, swaying to Native Young’s African-indie instrumental groove, while Ben Dey and the Concrete Lions gave a strong vocal performance with rocking riffs, drawing a crowd at stage two.
Not too sure of what to expect from American artist Michael Franti and his band Spearhead, the curious crowd gathered nonetheless, enthusiastically falling in step as the band served up familiar covers full of funk and soul, ending with a reggae-infused version of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’.
Mathew Mole, joined by drummer Josh Klynsmith from Gangs of Ballet, delivered a mellow acoustic performance. Mole introduced his father, sharing an endearing father-son duet, along with his famous crowd-supported wet drum routine, spraying water on delighted, sweltering fans. Following his performance with Mole, Klynsmith rejoined Gangs of Ballet at the second stage, delivering a well received set of some of the bands’ most popular, well-loved tracks.
With the sun setting behind us, the fans packed themselves closer to the stage in eager anticipation as Aussie headliner, The Temper Trap, took us into the night. Brave front man, Dougy Mandagi, held it together in spite of being repeatedly zapped by an obviously dodgy electrical set up. With wispy and tightly controlled vocals, the band mesmerised the crowd before signing out with an all-time favourite, ‘Sweet Disposition.’
As the festival drew to a close, well-known rocker Francois Van Coke played to a thinning crowd. The sound quality was once again underwhelming and gradually became softer and softer, resulting in an increasingly frustrated Van Coke, who eventually cut his set short, effectively ending the evening earlier than anticipated.
Exiting the venue, I overheard a young boy say to his father, “best day ever.” Had the sound been up to an acceptable standard, I would have agreed. Fortunately, The Temper Trap saved the day.
Parklife 2017 took place at Green Point Cricket Club on Monday 17 April 2017.