Breakfest @ Belvoir, Perth (26/12/07)
Tue 1st Jan, 2008 Event Reviewsin
There appears to have been some misunderstanding with my Christmas present this year. Yes, ok, I asked for a super hot Breakfest. But what I meant was an awesome line-up, some wicked tunes, a bit of dancing while enjoying the company of my friends and lots of drinks. I did NOT mean that I wanted it to be 50 degrees in the shade. I’ve made a special effort to be good all year and what do I get to show for it? Heatstroke. Well that’s it, I’ve had it with you, and I’m going back to being my naughty self again.
PS Sucked in, I knocked off the beer and cookies my nephew left out for you on Xmas eve!
Given that I started a Breakfest rumour thread back in July, it would be no understatement to say that I’ve been looking forward to this event for the past 6 months. In just a few years it has become one of only two events that are firmly entrenched on my social calendar and I was prepared to sacrifice spending Christmas with my family in order to ensure my attendance. In fact, Christmas is no longer Christmas for most of my friends but instead is now referred to as ‘Breakfest Eve’.
So after months of waiting, finally the big day was here. We arrived out at Belvoir shortly after 2pm and immediately staked out a spot under the shade tent, which thankfully looked to be bigger than it had been in previous years. I was lamenting the lack of a misting tent because I would have stood under that all day, but then I remembered about water restrictions. Oh bugger!!
Prizzy and Beauty School Dropout were cranking out the breaks on the top stage and I was quite content sitting in the shade, listening to Krafty Kuts Bass Phenomenon, while tipping the occasional bottle of water over my head. I was surprised to some people sporting BSD apparel, a few t-shirts and caps sprinkled throughout the crowd, and somebody later told me that he had given them out as Christmas presents. If that’s the case, I thoroughly applaud the shameless self-promotion and, for future reference, I take a medium in a ladies’ t-shirt!
After a spell of trying to acclimatise to the heat, I thought I was ready to brave the amphitheatre and see what was going on. Fortunately some die-hard friends had claimed one of the few shady spots available at 3pm and so I joined them and caught some of Rephrase’ set. He was playing some very funky old-school breaks tracks (think soul-tinged with flute solos and you’ll be on the right track) with some live saxophone over the top. If it had been about 10 degrees cooler I could have cheerfully sat and listened to this kind of stuff for hours, but it wasn’t and I didn’t last long before retreating back to the shade tent to catch Wish & Ben Mac.
Whilst the apple and watermelon icy poles were going down a treat, I decided I needed something more substantial and wandered over to the burger van. I would have preferred if there was some less greasy fare on offer, mainly because I have no willpower when it comes to dagwood dogs. The damn things do not agree with me but I persist in eating them.
I went to check out Sampology on the main stage but found the sound to be a bit messy where I was sitting high up in the bowl and I couldn’t really get into it. I thought about going down to the bottom of the amphitheatre but, if you haven’t picked up by now, I don’t cope with heat so well and I thought it would be too hot for me down there. Once again I found myself back up top under the shade tent, listening to Tone.
Tone was the first person I heard play the Miles Dyson remix of the 30Hz track Daddio and I’m sure I heard it a couple of times again later in the day. It’s definitely shaping up to be one of the hot tracks of this summer, no bad pun intended. Tone also scored big brownie points from me for playing one of my favourite Plump DJs’ bootlegs, that ‘get up and dance’ track which I will eventually find out the name of! I thought it was a gutsy move busting out a track from one of the headliners!
My friend had earlier singled out Cagedbaby as one of the acts that we really had to check out and predicted that the breaks fiends would clear the dance floor when he started playing. When he came on at 5.30pm my friend was proved wrong and the crowd on the dance floor seemed to love the thumping beats and heavy synth. I was really enjoying it myself but a few minutes into the set a few crackly glitches started occurring in the sound and then suddenly silence.
When the technical issues were finally resolved the dance floor had indeed dissipated, but the sun had also shifted and half the shade over the dance floor had disappeared which probably didn’t help matters. For me, this was the first set of the day where I really felt the urge to get up and have a boogie and it’s a shame some of that momentum got lost due to technical problems.
I had missed Lee Combs’ last outing in Perth and promised myself that I was going to catch his set so I made my way back into the amphitheatre, which was looking much fuller than it had been earlier. I was still up the top of the bowl but it seemed as thought the sound was much better than it had been earlier in the day. Lee was banging out some great breaks tracks and I was really enjoying myself, having a dance and chatting with my friends about how this set was shaping up to be really great. He scored brownie points from me too, this time for mixing in some Depeche Mode.
I’d just like to say to the pasty-skinned red-headed guy in the fluoro pink shorts who was standing directly opposite me in the amphitheatre, if you’re going to go shirtless at these events you either need to invest in some good fake tan beforehand or start handing out free sunnies. The glare coming off your white chest was blinding me and I hope for your sake you had sunscreen on. On the whole, I thought the crowd seemed to be a bit older (yes, even older than me!) and generally friendly, without the proliferation of fluoro kids that has been so prevalent at other festivals recently.
I let myself get dragged away to go and see Groove Diggerz up on the top stage and we rocked up just in time for the familiar Star Wars’ Imperial Death March intro which launched us into a fantastic set with heaps of energy that saw a fairly crowded dance floor.
I know a lot of people have said that an artist of the calibre of Rob Savage should have been playing on the main stage, but also prior to the event people were equally as vocal in their insistence that some of our local DJs should rightfully be playing on the main stage. I guess we can’t have it both ways, unless we’re going to go back to Breakfest being a one stage only event. Personally, I like the option of the second stage.
Around this time I had to take a break and use the facilities and I must have picked just the right time to do so. I joined what was a fairly short queue at the main building and turned around 30 seconds later to see a huge queue stretching back behind me. I found out that the whole row of porta loos up the top were now out of commission. Fortunately the turnover rate in the line was pretty fast and there was nothing like the 40 minute wait I experienced one year. In fact I was pretty impressed this year with the toilets and bar facilities, I spent hardly any time queuing up at all.
I went back to the amphitheatre and caught the end of Lee Combs set but to be honest, I found it to be a bit plodding and it didn’t have the same intensity as it had earlier. Maybe the energy of the Groove Diggerz set had raised the bar for the other acts.
The bowl was absolutely packed by the time the Stanton Warriors came on and as much as I had made rash promises to several people that I would be down the bottom, front and centre with them on the dance floor, there was no way I was going into that sweat fest. I could see the security throwing bottles of water into the seething mass and kudos to all those people who braved the dance floor. Still, the reaction from the crowd was an amazing sight from my vantage point and when they dropped Shake It Up it seemed as if the entire amphitheatre simultaneously started jumping.
I thought the Stantons (well, one Stanton) played a really fun set but I was so drained from the heat that I just didn’t have the energy left to get up and dance, so I had to settle for just grooving away in the spot where I was sitting.
Finally it was time for the Plump DJs and I had been looking forward to this all day. After hearing rumours of new material all year, I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t really recognise any of the tracks apart from System Addict. I love that grinding bass synth hook. The rest of their set didn’t grab me as much as that particular track. A few people have said it was darker than they expected and I’d probably agree with that. Certainly for me, nothing had that ‘wow’ factor but I had well and truly run out of energy but that stage of the day and could only manage a bit of toe tapping.
Watching the multicoloured patterned lights move out across the crowd was quite a spectacular sight and I think whoever was behind the scenes doing the lighting and visuals did an excellent job. I certainly had a fantastic view of the stage and the crowd on the dance floor. Lee and Andy looked to be enjoyed themselves; I could see them jumping around on stage and the crowd was jumping around and clapping along with songs when prompted.
Suddenly it was 11pm and the long hot day was over. I staggered back to join my friends on the bus, completely exhausted but very happy. But next year, can I please have a nice 32 degrees with an early sea breeze? I’d really like to get some more dancing in next time.