Harbourlife 2012

You know, for a festival of this smaller size the police presence seemed a tad overwhelming. I get it, you’re protecting the streets and the youths from themselves, but to be honest when you see the police choking out a punter, your views of law enforcement do get jaded. That being said it was probably the only sour note of the day, just a shame it had to come at the start.

For those that don’t really dig house music, then this may not be the right festival, but frankly you will be missing out. What was in store for us was house music all day and of all varieties in an intimate setting against one of the greatest backdrops in the world, Sydney harbour. It’s a sight that often catches you unaware and thanks to one of the most welcoming, splendid and enthusiastic British couples, possibly ever, Vulture was happily reminded of the beauty found within the urban beast.

 It was unfortunate for festival opener Isaac Tichauer that the festival seemed very empty and those that were there were running for shade. To be certain though it won’t be long until his set-times become later and later. It was Norwegian DJ and producer Todd Terje that started the rumbles amongst the slow-moving and sweating mass. His spacey tunes, most notably ‘Inspector Norse’ (probably one of the best tunes to sink a beverage to in the sun) offered up an antidote to just lying down cursing the invention of the sun. It wasn’t really until house legend Mark Farina offered up his hypnotic tunes that there was a general consensus to challenge the heat of Mother Nature with the heat of our collective freak modes.

The pleasant surprise in the early evening was the German twin duo of the Adana Twins. Their blissed out, house up, boogie soul (we’re aware that sounds weird) was a near perfect compliment to a finally cooling down evening and a picking up crowd. Tracks like ‘Strange’ and underground stomper ‘Juicy Fruit’ swept over house like a fine mist of cool and to be straight up, anyone who mixes in ‘People Are Strange’ by The Doors and ‘Juicy’ by Notorious B.I.G, well, they are just fine by us.

With his debut album dropping just over a week before Harbourlife, Flume probably couldn’t be playing a better-timed festival to showcase his skills. Flume was reppin’ for Sydney and he certainly got some hometown love back. Armed with his ‘HyperParadise’ remix for Hermitude, his remix of the Ta-ku track ‘Higher’ and ‘Sleepless’, he didn’t add to the vibe, he created an even bigger one Summer truly arrived with his ‘I Met You’ collaboration with the equally talented Anna Lunoe.

It was a crowd in full swing and at times Vulture did feel like we had somehow snuck into a club for beautiful people, none more so when the girls came out to play to Flight Facilities. (Though we think we got away with it thanks to a righteous Hawaiian shirt) The disco tinged likes of ‘Crave You’, ‘With You’ and ‘Claire De Lune’ has this amazing ability the make you feel like there is no one else in the world except the person you are attempting to dance with.

If Flight Facilities mellowed the crowd out and stroked them sweetly, then 2ManyDJs grabbed the crowd, shook them violently and demanded crazy shapes, all in the most glorious way. The Belgian brother duos crazy mash-ups (i.e. Destiny’s Child/Dolly Parton/Royksopp) seem like they were always meant to be together and we lost count of the “Oh my God, did they just play that!” moments. As far as headlining sets go, there was flashing lights, love, mash-ups and a chick dancing on a bin, all you could ask for really.

As for the festival, it’s small; some could definitely use the word intimate, and not even that long, only 3pm until 11pm. There are of course the obligatory roid-munchers with a seemingly shirtless wardrobe, however if that ruins your day we think it’s time to take your blinders off, stop creepily staring at shirtless men getting their peacock on and enjoy the bigger picture.

It was officially the first day of summer and Fuzzy, along with Sydney, turned it on for us so thank you. We would like to say it was bed by midnight but that just simply wasn’t the case. So until next festival, thanks for the good times!

Iain McKelvey


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