Moving into another year, Party In The Paddock kicked off it’s first day with it’s classic pre-party. With the main paddock stage cordoned off, ‘Vibestown; the food and second stage district was fired up for some of Australia’s premiere growing talents to show off their talents as breakout 2018 artists GFlip, Middle Kids and Slowly Slowly rocked the stage. While homegrown talents Luca Brasi closed out the night.
From the get go, it seemed there was going to be a touch of trouble as heavy rains floated through the site while the tent city was being built, but thankfully as the punters started to move through into Vibestown the cloud cover broke away to make way for a warm afternoon suited to opening paddock party.
The ‘Welcome To Country’ opened the event with traditional dances and some audience participation both cleared the land of negative space and welcomed everyone to another exciting year.
It was fitting that the local acts opened the day, with Tasmanian band’s Teens and Chase City helping to draw the crowd out from their tents.
The floodgates of guests opened when Maddy Jane hit the stage, the Bruny Island artist whose music has taken off the last couple of years through EP releases and touring spots had the local reception under wraps wheeling out her fan favourites, before closing on a song she ‘wrote about living in Tasmania’ “No Other Way”, which finished her set off with a laugh.
The first day was also a good opportunity to get around and experience some of the cuisine scattered throughout the district as Party In The Paddock catered for all types of eaters. From a BBQ truck set up with a smoker to multiple vegetarian options including fried mushroom or fresh Halloumi burgers, Party In The Paddock had enough options for any hungry festival goers.
After Maddy, the energy again stepped up as Melbourne band Slowly Slowly entered the scene with their anthemic, melancholy rock. Ben Stewart’s poetic lyrics lifted the crowd, as recent singles “Alchemy” and “Aliens”, new tracks such as “Jellyfish” as well as old favourites “Pussy (Tassie) Makes The World Go Round” echoed around the paddock before an energetic finish on Hottest 200 placing “Ten Leaf Clover”.
GFlip had the cult following at this year’s event, much like Mallrat of the year before, punters were jostling to the front, each wishing to get close to a favourite artist. Breakout doesn’t truly explain GFlip’s year, with constant touring and an EP dropping being capped off with a nod from the people in the form of the Hottest 100. New songs were abound through GFlip’s set, but of course “Killing My Time” was the highlight of her set.
Sydney sweethearts Middle Kids were the penultimate act, with their individual brand of indie rock taking hold at the paddock. The debut album and recent single release “Salt Eyes” on display. As usual, the band’s energy was contagious with much of the crowd quickly getting behind them their anthemic hooks easily sang by the mass congregation. “Edge Of Town”, “Don’t Be Hiding” and the band’s closing number “Mistake” were the highlights of a set filled with powerful moments and some jazzy fun, as lead singer Hannah Joy and bass guitarist Tim Fitz, bounced around the stage.
Finally, the night was to come to a close and what better way to finish than Tassie grown band, Luca Brasi. They were in the perfect storm and they knew how to work it, causing massive cheers to the simple phrase “It’s good to be home”, and it surely would have been since 2018 provided one of the Luca Brasi’s biggest years yet, constantly touring on the festival circuit for their album Stay.
Content to have some fun with their home crowd, Luca Brasi were emphatic with their performance using a list consisting between all of their albums but still a resting focus on Stay. “Clothes I Slept In”, “Got To Give”, “Let It Slip” and “Anything Near Conviction” all featured sending the crowd into a tizzy and helping to set the 2019 iteration of Party In The Paddock off to a flying start.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Party In The Paddock continues in White Hills, Tasmania between the 7th and 9th of this month.