Triple J’s Beat The Drum @ The Domain, 16th January ’15 – Across The Ocean

Triple J’s Beat The Drum @ The Domain, 16th January ’15

Popping the champers on their 40th birthday celebrations triple j spared nothing, putting on a festival in birthplace Sydney.

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The scenic grounds of The Domain were to play host to a veritable who’s who of triple j favourites, creations, presenters and most importantly the fans – all 25 thousand lucky ones that could nab tickets early enough!

The lineup featured appearances from various guests, musicians and DJ’s, however it was to be a surprise where they would appear.

As the first main act of the day took the stage shortly after 4.00pm it was stinking hot, the grounds were slowly filling and you could easily duck off to the alcohol tent for a quick re-fresher (something that would prove impossible later as the crowds grew and lines became perhaps the worst seen at a festival for a long time).

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Ball Park Music had the formidable job of enticing those already in attendance to come and party.

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By mid set with their task succesfully completed they casually brought out special guest Dave Faulkner of Hoodoo Gurus fame for a stellar rendition of Like Wow – Wipeout. The crowd surged forward in appreciation.

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They thanked the crowd and exited and as the stage a-proper was being reset the front half was partitioned off and hip hop favourites Briggs with guest Trials took over. They had a hard start to a short set and the crowd didn’t seem too into it at all, yet to their credit they did entice most of the front rows with plenty of fist pumping.

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Back to the main acts and up next was poster boy Vance Joy. Following the slow start of Ball Park Music, Vance seemed a plausible second act as his music is certainly leaning more towards the mellower end of the spectrum.

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The grounds were now nearing capacity and first special guest Tom Iansek (Big Scary/#1 Dads) was a nice surprise, yet it was the addition of Bernard Fanning of Powderfinger fame with a tingling rendition of Australian Crawl‘s Reckless that really took things up a notch. To look behind and see nearly 20 thousand people singing ‘She don’t like, that kind of behaviour…” was certainly an emotional moment.

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After the come down and the departure of Bernard it was out with the ukulele and Vance Joy‘s biggest hit Riptide.

On the big screens stage side during change overs we were treated to various snippets from triple j’s history, one that particularly caught the attention of the attended was a feature on sex and titillation featuring plenty of boob action: a story titled ‘the ins and outs of love’ that in it’s day caused controversy in triple j’s establishing years.

By the time the tits were gone it was a absolutely massive welcome cheer for the talented Gotye for two songs.

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Opting for two distinctly different songs from his swag we were treated to Hearts A Mess and the oddity Thanks For Your Time (complete with sampled voices, vocals and instruments).

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I wasn’t the only one thinking Gotye should have had more than a two song set, but there was no time to moan as up next it was The Preatures. Cartwheeling around in a little black dress frontwoman Isabella was the first to use the extended area up the front of the stage, getting as close to the punters as possible. Working the crowd, smiling the whole time she was clearly enjoying herself!

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Two sets of guests were to feature: first up it was the mellow addition of Alister Wright & Heidi Lenffer of Cloud Control fame, then perhaps channeling Chrissy Amphlett in more than just her uncanny appearance, Mark McEntee joined on guitar and rocked the stage as he had done so many times before with The Divinyls.

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Sarah Blasko took the notch back down again to a mellower place for one song only, then she brought out special guest Paul Dempsey and they both proceeded to tingled everyones spine for the second time this afternoon with a tear enticing cover of Distant Sun from Crowded House.

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Any feelings of mellowness were about to be shook right out of the place as arguably Australia’s greatest rock back then took the stage. Engaging the crowd with a cheeky ‘We’re just a bunch of kids making a racquet’ You Am I launched into Rumble complete with 4 backing singers for the (rather fitting) call and answer of R-A-D-I-O.

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Then the next odd coupling of musicians was about to unfurl as we saw rapper Joelistics join the stage and despite being exciting to watch something just didn’t work as well as it should. Never fear Timmy momentarily paused proceedings: “Hold up Andy, Uncle Timmy has to have his medicine” and proceeded to neck a bottle of white. Having it ripped from his hands by Adalita of Magic Dirt, they both proceeded to down it together.

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She then took to the mic to handle vocals for Jewels And Bullets while the band rocked and watched her carve the stage entirely. A crowd surfing mission ensued, prompting every photographer within reach to rush her way (that skirt was living dangerously!)

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Thankfully there were no reports of undue gropings and Adalita was returned to the stage to finish off what she started. “We got a lot to learn” Timmy quips as she leaves the stage. Minor Byrd and Gunslingers followed, then third guest Courtney Barnett joined for Mr Milk. Good Mornin’ and Cathy’s Clown followed suit before a hair raising absolutely cracking version of Berlin Chair complete with 15 (I counted them) windmills capped of the rollicking set!

Rather fittingly, up next was Daniel Johns sans his band derived partly from the previous songs title. Introduced by rock royalty Peter Garrett he proceeded to dispel the long standing misconception his band was ‘Nirvana in Pyjamas’ by covering Smells Like Teen Spirit with nothing but a grand piano and a harp.

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Perhaps stretching a little too high, this rendition did not win any fans, in fact it came across awkward and lengthy, turning a 5 minute classic into 7 minutes of slow torment. Thankfully he only had a one song set.

We needed to party by this stage and The Cat Empire delivered. The fruit bats were flying over The Domain, the sun had dipped and a entire sea of 25 thousand people were dancing their butts off.

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Remi joined for a number, then Owl Eyes was added and a rather impressive cover of Kylie‘s Confide In Me rang out across the evening sky.

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Keeping the party vibe cranking Adelaide’s pocket rocket Tkay Maidza was up next and despite being tiny in stature her set bumped and moved like the best of them. She smiled, laughed, sung and danced like it was her very own show, her DJ also appearing to be loving life.

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Dancing was the order of the evening as up next The Presets opened with a longish song that no one seemed to know.

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It didn’t matter as they then brought out special guests Hermitude for a number, then Megan Washington joined on This Boy’s In Love which worked perfectly for her vocal delivery.

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From there it was hit after hit with a lighting show to rival any. Are You The One featured yet more guests, DZ Deathrays on real instruments before the inevitable finale of Talk Like That brought the house down.

Hilltop Hoods capped of the night with a performance that will be spoke of for a long time to come.

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Paying their thanks to triple j as a station that supported them and their genre right from the humble beginnings to the power act they are today they ripped through various songs from all of their catalog the highlight being current single Cosby Sweater. Adding Illy, Horrorshow, Drapht, Seth Sentry, Tkay Maidza and Thundamentals to the stage the place was literally jumping.

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Aptly ending their set with Nosebleed Section, the track that paved the way for Aussie hip hop on triple j was a genuine way to thank all those in attendance, in particular the lovers of the genre (and not only in the front row!)

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triple j is a station that has paved the way for much of the music in this country. They just turned 40 and whether you tune in regularly or not they are still delivering new music to young people right across this fair island.

Here’s a toast to the past 40 years and a nod to the next 40. Happy Birthday j’s!

Photos: Benon Julius William Otto Koebsch

Gavin Stocker

Gavin Stocker

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Outside of Across The Ocean Gavin Stocker writes, records and performs music under the moniker of P Truck.

He can also be found clinging to his youth on a skateboard or wandering aimlessly through the bush.
Gavin Stocker