MUSIC FESTIVAL

Downpours can’t dampen the spirits at seventh Laneway Singapore

Crowd treated to the cream of Singapore’s indie music scene plus many acts from Laneway’s Australian homeland, demonstrating why this is one of the best up-and-coming festivals in the region

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 January, 2017, 12:18pm
UPDATED : Monday, 23 January, 2017, 12:18pm

The seventh edition of Singapore’s Laneway Festival took place on Saturday under a leaden sky and amid regular downpours, but still managed to show why it is considered one of the best up-and-coming festivals in Asia.

There was a sense of déjà vu for many Hongkongers who travelled for the Lion City’s biggest annual celebration of indie music, as they had braved similarly damp conditions during the Clockenflap festival last November.

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But those who braved the rain were treated to performances by the cream of Singapore’s independent music scene – most notably the dreamy, noisy Astreal – and a line-up heavy with acts from the festival’s home country of Australia.

Australian psychedelic rock band King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard were the standout act for many in the crowd. The seven-piece band from Melbourne – including two drummers and three guitarists – powered through a hard-hitting set of their signature psychedelic take on classic Australian pub rock.

Another highlight was the singer of Japanese electronic band Wednesday Campanella surfing across the crowd in an inflatable ball at the conclusion of their set, held aloft by fans who were wielding mobile phones at the same time, taking snaps.

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The attendance figure was noticeably down on last year’s 13,000, with many potential festivalgoers obviously deterred by the rain, which pelted down from early in the afternoon. The downpour eased for a few hours after nightfall, but resumed before the festival ended.

The headline act Nick Murphy – the Australian artist formerly known as Chet Faker – brought the festival to a close before a sea of ponchos, but by then the downpour didn’t really matter – the festival site was alive with an energy that couldn’t be extinguished by any amount of rain.