Live Music Makes Waves at Inland Sea of Sound
The 2017 Inland Sea of Sound Festival was certainly a spectacle to behold over the Friday and Saturday of last week!
Featuring a strong line-up that included Bernard Fanning (Powderfinger), Meg Mac, Dan Sultan, Megan Washington, Mia Dyson, and various local acts, festival goers braved the chilly conditions atop Mount Panorama to witness some outstanding live performances from quality acts.
The crowds noticeably improved on last year’s festival, with both days well attended, and it was nice to see local acts pull good crowds for their live sets.
A major gripe of last year’s festival was the wait times on food, something that was rectified at this year’s festival, and all the hospitality staff that were involved deserve a warm pat on the back.
The other big improvement on last year’s festival was the setting, with the festival grounds having moved a bit further up the hill to a flatter section of land, improving accessibility and lessening the impact of the wind on conditions.
However, a question raised by this year’s festival is whether Mount Panorama is indeed a suitable venue for a music festival?
While this year’s event sure was an improvement on last year, the chill factor of the winds atop Mount Panorama again made conditions uncomfortable for some festivalgoers.
Perhaps festival organisers could be looking at flat acres of land around the Bathurst region to stage the Inland Sea of Sound, perhaps even liaise with local farmers to see if they’d loan some of their land for a two-day music festival, and perhaps even charge for camping on site.
Overall, the 2017 Inland Sea of Sound served as a prime example of Bathurst’s eagerness to emerge as a premier music scene, and with a few more years of hard work and determination, it could become a staple of Bathurst’s tourist agenda.
Performing some stellar tracks off his recent album Brutal Dawn (and its predecessor Civil Dusk), Bernard Fanning powered through a set that befitted his new direction as an acoustic folk artist. He also revisited the Powderfinger classic ‘These Days,’ turning it into a moving piano-driven ballad that served as the pinnacle of his set.
Supporting her debut album Low Blows, the 2014 Triple J Unearthed winner closed the festival with a vibrant set that featured her classy indie pop vocals and a complex band that offered a mysterious yet organic performance. Mac’s voice was soothing, and effectively cemented her status as one of Australia’s emerging popular artists.
The three-time ARIA Award winner performed a stellar set featuring songs of his new album Killer, amongst some of his better-known songs such as ‘Under Your Skin’ and ‘Your Love Is Like A Song.’ Sultan acknowledged the Wiradyuri welcome with immense grace, and produced a smooth set that suited the mood of the festival beautifully.
Mum-to-be Megan Washington proved she hadn’t lost her touch, performing a harmonious set that proved she is one of Australia’s most underrated acts. Sporting a Robert Smith-esque image on stage, Washington and her backing band brought a real 1980’s vibe to proceedings, with a unique modern edge.
The seasoned blues/roots musician rolled through a stately set, performing a selection of songs from her almost 2 decade long career. Dyson’s guitar work was extraordinary, and it certainly wouldn’t go amiss to consider Dyson one of Australia’s greatest guitarists.
Smith and Jones
Debuting some brand new songs alongside tracks from their debut album Dark Gives Way, Smith and Jones (Abby Smith and Sophie Jones) drew a significant crowd for their emphatic set, sporting some custom made denim jackets made in Texas. Smith and Jones have had an outstanding year, and their well-received performance at Inland Sea of Sound is reflective of this.
Another local act that has had an outstanding year in the live music circle is Momentum. Featuring Lauren Plenderleith and Dave Webb, the duo performed a rocking set that displayed their impressive knack for performance and spectacle. They have a debut album in the works, which is to be released next year
Performing songs off his new album FLuX, Luke Melton’s set was hauntingly gripping, in the vain of Jeff Buckley. The stellar build-ups in most of his songs created an atmospheric environment that radiated affluently from the stage. Luke and his band looked very much at home on the stage.