Breakfest 2008 @ Belvoir Amphitheatre, Perth (26/12/08)

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After many weeks of fairly mild “summer” weather over in WA, the sun finally decide to give the people of Perth what they had so anxiously awaited for, some decent festival going weather! Boxing Day of 2007 saw temperatures rise to an uncomfortably hot 44 degrees! Thankfully Breakfest of ‘08 was about 10 degrees cooler, just right for enjoying the chilled-out tunes on offer at the Belvoir Amphitheatre. Arriving a little late for the 1pm start, I unfortunately missed the likes of Dan tha Man & Royce, Blend, The Typhoons & Marty McFly & Prizzy.

Fort Knox Five were on in the Amphitheatre and they were doing a great job of keeping the smallish crowd around the grassy steps well entertained. The FK5’s funky fresh stylings were a great start to the day, and if more people adopted their Funk 4 Peace approach, the world would really be a much better, easy-going place. As the bar was situated in between the two stages, Amphitheatre & Breakaway, a trip to this bar meant you were sandwiched between the two stages, and I couldn’t help but notice the fat bass sounds emanating from the smaller Breakaway stage. On further inspection I found out this was local pair Mono Lisa & Philly.

Quite a crowd had built around their dancefloor/tent area, and the tunes they were playing were awesome. Mono Lisa was recently voted No.1 Female DJ at the 2008 Perth Dance Music Awards, after also taking out the title in 2007. It was easy to see why, with her energy and drive and love of the music exuding from every pore, this young lady is really going places at the moment. Her partner in grime, assisting with the dirty phat beats that was drawing in a great crowd, Philly, has been around the Perth scene for quite some time. In 2001 he came runner-up in the National Channel V DJ Competition, and since then held many residencies and hands up on the dancefloor. Their set ended a little too soon for me, it built up to a great finish though, with everyone around lapping up their last tune.

As Micah & Tone took over at the Breakaway I thought I’d better go check out the legendary Jungle Brothers in the Amphitheatre. The New York based hip-hop group has been going strong for over 20 years. They were pioneers of fusing Jazz with Hip-Hop, and with their innovative beats and Afrocentric lyrics, they were soon critically acclaimed and in demand all over the world. The Amphitheatre crowd had grown a lot since my last visit to the main stage, and the Jungle Brothers had the place bopping in true blue Jungle Brother style. Hook N Sling, aka Anthony Maniscalco was next up, and the crowd was starting to get larger around the main stage.

The vibe throughout the day had been amazing. The area was full of happy, friendly people there to soak up the great tunes on offer and it’s easy to see why so many come back year after year. The Amphitheatre was loving the soulful, housey sounds of Hook N Sling, but unfortunately I had to leave early in the set in order to catch the Utah Saints. Riding high on a great comeback year for the Utah Saints, equipped with their massive hit Something Good ‘08, the duo from Leeds have shared top billing with the likes of U2, Prodigy, Moby, Rage Against the Machine, and a list of many others, too many to mention! I was definitely excited at the prospect of catching these guys live. A large crowd was all around the Breakaway stage, ready for Tim & Jez to rip up on the decks.

Not really sure why these two legends of the electronic scene were put on the smaller stage, but it didn’t really matter because it made the performance more intimate and the rig there had a really beefy sound. The Utah Saints played up to the frenzied crowd and by the end of the set they had everybody’s hands up in the air for an awesome remix of MGMT’s Kids. This went down ultra well, with everyone smiling and happy and loving what the Utah Saints had done with their set.

It was 7.30 now and just enough time to walk over the other side and catch some of the Atomic Hooligan in action. The Hooligan was very animated on the main stage and getting the crowd going with great tracks and a good all-round vibe going on. It’s been a big year for this duo from Watford in the U.K. They won “Best Live Act” at the International Breakspoll Awards, for the tour of their first album, You Are Here. This album had won them “Album of the Year” at the same awards in 2006, not bad for a debut. Their 2nd Album, Sex, Drugs & Blah Blah Blah was released in March 2008, and the Atomic Hooligans now have many releases and remixes under their belts. Their sets are renowned for being eclectic, involving degrees of many genres, with a bit of turntablism thrown in for good measure. Atomic Hooligan certainly livened up the main stage, and it seemed as if most of the Breakfest crowd were positioned around the Amphitheatre or down on the packed floor area.

As the sky began to change to orange and purple, Aquasky took over on the main stage. The trio seemed to be missing at least a couple of their elements, but nonetheless were ultimately entertaining the large crowd. The sun started to set, and we got to see the impressive lighting surrounding the large stage. At the same time, Ben Mac & Wish were keeping a few punters entertained over the other side at Breakaway, but most of the atmosphere was over with Aquasky. Before long the hour and a half set was over, and some that I spoke to say Aquasky were the standout of the day. So hard to compare all these acts, all very good in their own right.

Shimon was closing out the Breakaway stage with a 2 hour set, and there were a fair few over there escaping the full-on atmosphere from over the side, and enjoying Shimon’s mix of breaks with drum & bass and a bit of dubstep. Shimon had his smallish crowd frothing for his unique sounds, and it was a bit unfortunate that most of the punters missed out on this legend of the UK drum & bass scene, but almost everyone remaining at the event was over the other side for Krafty Kuts.

What more can I say about this guy. Practically a breaks god, Martin Reeves is like a superman behind the wheels of steel. Starting out in the 90’s, he actually once used to push vinyl in Brighton to none other than Norman Cook! Inspired initially by the hip-hop and electro sounds that were rocking his world at the time, Krafty took the natural progression of moving from behind the turntables and into the studio, and began producing awesome tunes. Krafty Kuts very soon became in the highest of demand, and luckily for the breaks world, and in true champion fashion, many years later, Martin is still at the top of his game! Teaming up with old pal MC Dynamite, the pair had everyone packed into the Amphitheatre, the grass steps were full and the dance floor was chockers. A type of Masterblade remix led into MGMT’s Kids, that went down with large applause. The mixes were all superb, never spending too long on one track, always mixing and cutting it up like no-one else can.

With around half an hour to go, Krafty started to pull some bombs out, in particular a remix of Groove Armada’s Superstylin. My legs were starting to get tired from all the stair climbs I had done, but I did not want to sit down because the tunes were so good! Before long it was all over, and MC Dynamite thanked us all for coming as he and Krafty Kuts invited us all to come join them at the after-party at Ambar in Perth.

I can see why this has been voted Best Event at the Perth DMA’s 2003-2008. It really was the people there and the overall vibe that made it for me, accentuated by the world-class acts and music, but overall, a great way to spend Boxing Day.

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J-radical

J-radical said on the 6th Jan, 2009

a few more details of tunes played on the day would be awesome in future and maybe a bit less of a history lesson, otherwise nice.