Surprising Horizons

The Joy of Travel. The Realities of New Experiences.

Month: February 2016

Bon Iver – Live in Singapore!

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One of the most surprising concert announcements in recent living memory (overly dramatic much?) was Bon Iver’s small list of Asian concerts announced for February 2016. With one of those stops being none other than Singapore.

Bon Iver had not played since July 2015  in the USA and before that their last concert was in November 2012 in good old Ireland. So all of this came as a lovely big musical shock.

I’ve been to the Star Theatre a couple of times before to see Phoenix and also Travis. It’s an all seating venue but once lights go off it’s usually standing all the way with some moderate rushes up the aisles to get closer to the stage (which was not the case this time with Bon Iver). The venue is located directly beside Buona Vista MRT station on the Orange line. You do also have to endure several thousand escalator rides to get to the actual theater on the top floor (elevators? pfftt!). Beer is a standard $10 for a Tiger, Heineken, or Carlsberg. Wine is at $13. You can take drinks with you inside once poured.

Soooo the actual concert itself? Musically,vocally, and harmoniously top class stuff. Plenty of goose-bump inducing vocals from both Justin Vernon and his back-up vocalists throughout the 16 song set and with the dueling drummers constantly setting the tempo, the overall performance was a sight (and sound) to behold.

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From the stunning overlapped vocals of set starter Woods, through instantly remembered Bon Iver classics such as Flume, Blindsided, Skinny Love, and set closer For Emma, the quality did not waiver at any point. From listening to Bon Iver’s albums nobody would argue with the fact that Justin’s vocals are amazing. In a live setting, when he hits the high notes they are crystal clear and beautiful and when he hits the low notes they are soulful and often heart-breaking.

Justin seemed incredibly gracious to be here in Singapore and had a few interactions with the appreciative crowd (who waited until the encore to rush the aisles) but for the most part he let the music do the talking.

Here’s to a new album at some point soon…

Taste of Tasmania Part 2

Part 1 in this Tasmania Travel Series is here

Part 3 here. Part 4 here.

So from St. Helen’s you have two choices with driving to Launceston. Google tells you to go back south and cut across through the Fingal area and then up to Launceston. Looking at the map you question Google’s sanity as you see a perfectly fine cut across from St. Helen’s to Launceston. Look closer and it’s a windy and twisty mess. So we went with Google. It takes about 2.5 to 3 hours to drive from St. Helen’s to Launceston and we would be staying there two nights (Christmas Eve and Day), the only town apart from Hobart we would be staying more than one night.

Launceston

We arrived at about 8:30am on Christmas Eve in Launceston as we wanted to make sure we made it in time for a 10am pick-up from our hotel lobby for a premium wine tour from Prestige Leisure Tours (if we missed that we would have just stopped the holiday then and there). We stayed at the Clarion Hotel City Park Grand (my Trip Advisor review here) which was ideally placed right next door to Boag’s Brewery. Our wine tour was excellent and took in such wineries as Goaty Hill, Holm Oaks, James Chromy, Tamar Ridge, and Sharman. We even snuck into Boag’s for a beer sampling along the way.

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The Clarion has an excellent restaurant (Larceny) attached which looked after us on both Christmas Eve and Day, even after coming back from our wine tour a little spirited from our day out. On Christmas Day we took the Zig-Zag trail to the first basin of Cataract Gorge which was a strenuous walk (ie. murderous). There is a much flatter walk to the basin on the other side of the gorge but it was blocked off due to a rock slide. Or radioactive waste or something. To be honest I think the flat walk would be better as you really don’t get any views of the gorge on the Zig-Zag trail. All you get is short of breath.
The first basin is quite nice with a swimming pool beside it so that people won’t swim in the basin. But they do anyway. There is a chair lift which takes you up the hill some ways (we didn’t do it) and a suspension bridge which was a little wobbly for some certain people..

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The other other dog at Holm Oaks Vineyard

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Pinot the pig at Holm Oaks vineyard. He likes apples.

Burnie


It’s just about an hour and half drive to Burnie from Launceston. We stopped off at the Don River Railway to take a quick spin on a steam engine. It was a pleasant surprise to see that Thomas was spending his retirement days giving tourists quick trips around the area. It was a nice little stop off on the way and run by a very helpful and friendly couple. Free cup of coffee too before you hop on board if that seals the deal for you.

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We only really stopped off in Burnie to sneak a peak at their penguin colony. We stayed at the Ikon Hotel (my Trip Advisor review here) which has rooms that are bigger than most apartments I have lived in. Burnie doesn’t really have that much else going for it. We waited for sunset which during the Summer months is around 9pm and waited for the penguins to start coming back from their hard day at the office. We didn’t realise that the baby penguins (chicks; there is no fancier word for them) would be out and about waiting for them. My pissed-off-at-other-people meter went up a few notches with both loud people who were visibly startling the chicks and people who think taking very very tired young children is a good idea. Was nice to see the little penguins (and yes, that’s their scientific name) but it’s wise to wrap up warmly.

Stanley

Another short hop, skip and a jump (an hour and a half drive in scientific terms) along the north coast of Tasmania is the quaint little fishing village of Stanley. We chose this so we could take a gander at their seal colony nearby. We stayed at the Stanley Village Motel (my Trip Advisor review here) which has lovely little rooms situated right on the water’s edge. We had an upstairs room which would be my choice if going back again. Overlooking Stanley is The Nutt; a towering chunk of volcanic rock called a plug. You can hike up or take a chairlift up. We did neither. We were focused on doing our seal cruise with Stanley Seal Cruises. It was a beautiful day for the boat ride out to the seal colony (we were lucky as they said they were rocking all over the place the previous day). It definitely is a must see as the seals either sunbathe, sleep, or frolic in the waters around their rock of a home.

Beware there is a pretty strong smell around the colony and if you have a weak stomach you may have some issues. You might describe the smell as what would happen if a couple of hundred fish eating seals hung out on a rock and went to the toilet together. Every day.
You might say that this little excursion…sealed the deal for a reason to go to Stanley. I’ll get my coat.

Part 3 coming up with Sheffield, Cradle Mountain, and back to the Launceston region for a Tamar River cruise.

Walking with Dinosaurs

By Jacklee (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum opened its doors last year and has the only permanent display of dinosaur fossils in Singapore. So I wanted to go take a look as I like dinosaurs and the way they remind us all that we humans are just another branch of evolution that hasn’t died out yet. Haha.

It’s not only dinosaurs on display but a wide arrange of botanical and zoological artefacts based around South East Asia’s geographical area. But of course, the main highlight and taking center stage in the collection are the three diplodocid sauropod dinosaur skeletons – Prince, Apollonia and Twinky.

Every half hour there is a small light show performed around the dinosaurs. Nothing spectacular but it’s a nice little touch.

It’s a pretty small museum but the collections are well displayed and evolution, biodiversity and species overviews are clearly laid out. The main ground floor has the botanical and zoological collections and upstairs is the heritage gallery where the background of the collection is presented. All in all, an interesting little experience. Don’t expect to spend an afternoon there but it’s a good excursion for an hour and a bit.

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Presentation is excellent of certain artefacts. You can touch some too!

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www.surprisinghorizons.com
As always click on pics for larger.

Visiting The Pinnacle@Duxton

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This is a place I’ve known about for a while but never got around to doing it. Basically The Pinnacle@Duxton is a massive modern HDB (public housing estate) with a huge 50th floor sky bridge that the public can access. So me being a member of the public went along to see if I could achieve vertigo status.

Gaining access to the Sky Bridge on the 50th floor you first have to go to the office on the first floor of Block 1G where you can zap your MRT Card. Or you can if it’s working. It wasn’t. The nice gentlemen in the office took my $5 and gave me a paper slip.

When you reach the 50th floor after your ears have popped you are faced with a turnstile where you zap your MRT card. If you had one. Luckily I think my friend in the office was looking out for me and as if by magic the turnstile light went green and I side-stepped through. I wondered how I was going to get out…

As always, click pictures for larger.

Anyway, the 50th floor gives you stunning views and, yes, I would suggest it’s even more of an eyeful than the top of the Marina Bay Sands. There’s so much more to see from up there; the huge port of Singapore, the business district and a huge swathe of the inner areas of Singapore. It’s a great place to get a size-able chunk of Singapore scenery into your brain.

Countless containers between skyscrapers

Countless containers between skyscrapers

Must be fantastic to wake up to the scenery outside and below your window

Must be fantastic to wake up to the scenery outside and below your window

I tried to leave and couldn’t. There was no way of getting through the security turnstile without zapping a card (resident or MRT) and there were no security cameras to wave my arms at like a crazed ostrich. I called the office number which is handily posted up beside the turnstile in case of emergency and luckily my friend wasn’t asleep or totally engrossed in his Chinese soap opera I saw he was into earlier. I wondered how the tourists I saw up there were going to get down if they didn’t have a phone to call that number. Hmmm a little bit more information on that setup would have been nice.

I call this "Where your stuff you ordered online is"

I call this “Where your stuff is that you ordered online”

All in all, a great place to visit and get a sweeping panoramic of Singapore. And if you look up when you’re on the ground you can also get some cool angles too.

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I snapped two vertebrae in my neck taking this. Worth it.

Chinese New Year Shenanigans

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What is this sorcery?

As always, click on pictures for larger.

Behold, the first time “Chinese New Year” and “shenanigans” have appeared in one sentence everybody.

Chinese New Year is a big deal in Singapore and surrounding countries in Asia. There are a whole lot of traditions, superstitions, customs, rituals, and food that go along with the whole celebration and ethnic Chinese people take it very seriously.

Reading up about it, I can see why these customs are adhered to, as the basis for the celebration is ward off the evil Nian beast that is supposed to appear every new year. People put up red paper and set off firecrackers in the legends to frighten him and now people wear red and put up red displays around Chinese New Year now. Also it was believed that putting out food would stop the attacks and so we have a whole plethora of food related customs surrounding the celebration too.

Seeing as I am not Chinese (not even 0.01% I looked in to it) I don’t get to take part in most of the customary traditions but I did get to see some things this year.
I saw the annual lion dance at work. Two lions do some angry dances, eat some food laid out for them, and leave. When they are dancing there is an ear splitting cacophony of drums and symbols accompanying them. I can’t figure out if the lions are Nians or are just lions celebrating getting rid of the Nians. Somebody needs to enlighten me.

Before Chinese New Year comes around, homes usually clean the house from top to bottom (or get their maids to do it). So we cleaned our house. It wasn’t tradition it’s just that we hadn’t done it in a while. The dustballs were the size of Arizona tumbleweeds.

Along the food line of customary tradition our workplace treated us all to a Chinese New Year dinner. We ate traditional Chinese food and tossed the yusheng which is meant to bring good wishes. The higher the toss the more abundance of fortune you will receive. I think some ingredients are still on the ceiling from our lust for good fortune. I always knew I was a tosser.

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The problem I have with Chinese food is that it constantly reminds me that what I’m eating used to be a living thing.

I have to admit, Chinese food is not my favourite in the world. It just doesn’t make sense to my palate.

Other bizarre customs that I didn’t witness first hand but happen nonetheless include:

  • On New Year’s Day, you are not supposed to wash your hair. No hair, no problem.
  • No lending stuff on New Year’s Day or you will be lending all year. I don’t trust anybody so no problem.
  • No crying on New Year’s Day or you will be crying all year. I had my tear ducts surgically removed recently. No problem.
  • Do not use knives or scissors on New Year’s Day as it will cut out all the fortune. Problem.
  • Do not greet anyone in their bedroom. Unless you’re there to fix the air-con. I don’t greet anyone. No problem.
  • Don’t give clocks as gifts; it’s a reminder of our imminent deaths. I don’t give gifts. No problem.
  • No ghost stories. I got rattled playing Bioshock recently. No problem.

I’m sure there are others but they seem to be the most prevalent. This year is the year of the monkey (which gives them free reign to accost you while you’re out walking). Figure out what lies in store for you this year by comparing your Chinese zodiac sign to the Monkey at the Chinese Fortune Calendar (made in FrontPage in 1997). If you’re that way inclined. I’m not so I didn’t.

恭喜发财!
Gōng xǐ fā cái!
May you have a prosperous New Year!

Visiting Tanjong Pagar Railway Station

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Tanjong Pagar Railway Station Main Entrance

Side note: I’ve moved to www.surprisinghorizons.com just in case you’ve bookmarked my previous address.

It wasn’t only The Istana that was open to the public on February 9th as the Tanjong Pagar Railway opened its doors too. Out of commission since June 2011 (we just missed out), it used to be the end station for Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM), the main railway operator in Malaysia.

So this train station was pretty much an embarkation point for many a railway journey to Kuala Lumpur as the station opened in 1932. For such a centrally located station it must have been an amazingly convenient mode of transport to get from one capital city to the other.

Anyway, disputes were had and tea cups were thrown around which resulted in the closure of the station and now the southernmost stop in the KTM route is at Woodlands in the north of Singapore. Which is a shame. Tanjong Pagar station now is a national monument with rumours abound that it may be turned into a community center as part of a proposed rail corridor.

The station tends to open around public holidays so I would recommend popping along as it’s a nice little way to spend half an hour or so and about a 20 minute walk from Outram Park or Tanjong Pagar MRT stops.

Anyway, I took some photos. As always, click for larger.

Four statues on the main entrance in to Tanjong Pagar Railway Station

Closed and abandoned old rail businesses.

Waiting for trains that will never arrive. Sob!

Trying to imagine this as a bustling and lively transport hub.

Just some perspectives I thought were nice.

Snooping Around The Singapore President’s Home

All snooping was performed in a legal and ethically sound manner I assure you.

There are a few days a year that the Singapore President Tony Tan throws open his doors to his home for us common day yokels. I don’t blame him for giving us limited access.

So he opened up his home and grounds, The Istana, from 8:30am – 6:00pm on Tuesday 9th February in celebration of Chinese New Year. Shortly after that he was seen fumigating the entire grounds and house.

Let’s see what The Istana looks like then! As always click on pics for original size.

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Lines weren’t that bad at 9:00am.

It is $2 to enter the grounds as a non-Singaporean (free for locals) and a further $4 to pop in to the “white house” itself.

Guards changing shifts. There was a line for elderly people and families.

Guards changing shifts. There was a line for elderly people and families.

Tony loves his golf!

Tony loves his golf!

The grounds are huge and families were enjoying the space. There was some play equipment out for the children and there were also some birds on display from the bird park. They looked pretty nonplussed by all the attention and one of them couldn’t help voicing his discontent about it all. Loudly.

It wasn’t too long a wait to go in to the home itself and guided tours are available. My suggestion would be just to wander around yourself as there really isn’t that much to see inside. You walk through a formal dining room, banquet hall, and you can have a look at the throne room too (not the toilet). No photos allowed inside but it’s full of fancy gifts from countries all over the world. I searched valiantly for Ireland but I guess you can’t really put an Aran Island woolly sweater on display among all the gold and silver.

Just a quick detour down to the Victoria Pond on the way out and that was that. Quite a nice thing to see as it’s only available four of five times a year but nothing too crazy excitable about it all. Great for families to bring the kids as you can make use of the vast grounds.

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Victoria Pond

Aimed right at the front gate.

Aimed right at the front gate.

There were a number of security staff and volunteers around the grounds and house and they were all very friendly. I recommend going as early as you can because as I was leaving it was getting a bit busy at the entrance.

The entrance at 10:30am

The entrance at 10:30am

Happy New Year! Hey hey, we’re the monkeys!

Pedestrian Evening on Orchard Road

Every so often some people somewhere decide Orchard Road doesn’t have enough pedestrian traffic and not enough people are buying stuff so they decide to give up the actual road of Orchard Road to pedestrians too. This past Saturday the theme was “Movie Night” and we went along to see how rushed and crammed together we could get.

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Umm, not crowded at all. Whatsoever. The above picture shows Orchard Road that usually has a lot more cars and buses on it. I would be run over if I took that photo any other day. And/Or be the cause of a major traffic jam.

There was no schedule of events (because there wasn’t one) on the event website apart from a list of shops along Orchard Road that would be having some sales. Other than that, the only thing that went along with the theme of “Movie Night” was the small trailer at the end of the pedestrian zone showing some…movies.

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OK, so we might have been a bit early. Time for an intermission. We headed into Paragon to see if we could squeeze in to Din Tai Fung. Not a chance. So we shuffled off weeping to Kaffir & Lime for some Thai food instead.

Now I’m a simple guy with a simple purpose in a restaurant. To eat. And maybe have a drink. No sooner had we sat down when I was accosted to join their club wherein I could eat at their establishment all the time for cheap! The nice old lady wouldn’t leave me alone so I told her I had a terminal disease and wouldn’t be around for much longer. Bye bye. Won’t be back. They never really had a chance when Din Tai Fung was out of the equation.

Back outside and it had rained a lot but that didn’t dampen the spirits of three of four street entertainers that were pretty much all that was happening all along Orchard Road. We headed home before the excitement of it all got to us.

Who knows if it got a lot more exciting as the sun went down? For the thrill of walking down usually the busiest street in Singapore it was, I guess, a nice experience. They really need to get some good attractions going though. Food tents? Drink tents? Bearded lady? Something!

A pretty dull evening makes for a pretty dull blog post. Apologies but they made me do it.

Taste of Tasmania Part 1

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Part 2 here
. Part 3 here. Part 4 here.

Tasmania, land of the Devil, and the other other state of Australia.

That’s pretty much what you may come up with when initially thinking of Tasmania. After spending two weeks over December 2015 driving around the state I believe it’s worth a lot more of your attention than you initially may believe. And, yes, you can see the aforementioned Tasmanian Devil too. More often than not as roadkill, but you will see it all the same.

Flights to Tasmania from Singapore (around 6hr 40 min there and 7:40 back) are best planned out through Melbourne as then it’s just a quick 50 minute flight down to Hobart. Flights were not the cheapest but Qantas will usually have a good fare and connections. Jetstar was considered on their 787 Dreamliner bird but economy Qantas will beat economy Jetstar any day. And it did. A word of note on Qantas; they are still upgrading the interiors on their A330s. The plane on the way down had the updated interior with great in-flight entertainment (seriously, the amount of movies was amazing. I binge watched Tarantino movies the whole way down..what the hell was in that suitcase in Pulp Fiction?) On the way back we were not so lucky and got the unrefurbished (not a word I know but this is the only time I will use it) A330 and it makes the in-flight experience that much more depressing. Tiny screens and tiny show/movie selections. Lilliputian if you will.

Our driving route took us along the east coast from Hobart to St. Helen’s then across as far as Stanley (via Burnie) then back down to Hobart (via Cradle Mountain/Sheffield/Tamar Valley) for New Year’s. Let’s break down the areas we saw into a couple of different posts because nobody has the patience or focus to read crazy long blog posts anymore.

Port Arthur

Sadly Port Arthur will always conjure up memories of the mass shooting that took place there in 1996 (government response should be equally remembered) but as a historic site of Australia’s former penal colonies it is worth a visit as it’s an easy hour and a half’s drive east of Hobart.
We stayed in the Port Arthur Motor Inn (my Trip Advisor review here) which is so close to the Historic Site complex that your room key opens the gate to the complex. Which lead to a very interesting ethical dilemma because we walked around the complex for about 20 minutes looking for the main ticket office and we could have walked around for longer without paying the monumental $37 entrance fee. We ended up paying it. You get a guided tour (huge numbers of people with one guide, pretty meh..) and a small boat tour around the Isle Of The Dead included in the price. Meh.
Port Arthur Motor Inn has a locals bar which is a good introduction to the local bar scenes of Tasmania ie. the bar stools have the stains of a million spillages and stories.
Around Port Arthur it’s definitely worth visiting Remarkable Cave (it is actually remarkable!) and the Tessellated Pavement (it’s more grid-like than tessellated) as they are very short drives. I like the concept of naming places in a descriptively opinionated manner. For example, the Louvre Museum would be Crowded Hellhole That Happens To Have Art.

Triabunna – Bicheno – Swansea – Freycinet Bay

Onward up the east coast. We stopped off in Triabunna as we skipped breakfast in Port Arthur. We found the Fish Van beside the ferry pier and had a fish and chips and veggie burger while trying to deter eager and hungry seagulls. There didn’t seem to be much there apart from the ferry crossing to Maria Island and the quaint looking (from the outside) Spring Bay Hotel.

On to Bicheno to meet up with old work friends. We probably wouldn’t have stopped here otherwise. Our friends took us on a walk around the town with the blowhole and orange lichen covered rocks a focal point. This was the second blowhole we saw in a couple of days. Where I’m from it’s called the tide coming in and hitting a rock. Hard.
If you can stay until sundown at Bicheno you can see the little penguins coming home from a day of fishing.

On our drive up to Swansea we stopped off at Ironhouse Brewery for a quick beer tasting and coffee. Not a bad little stop off on the way up the coast. We decided to stay in Swansea at the Swansea Motor Inn (my Trip Advisor review here) which in hindsight I would not do again. Swansea really has nothing going for it and had only one restaurant open in the evening for dinner. The main reason for staying in the region is to check out Freycinet and take one of the walks around that area. The hotel prices around Freycinet were crazy so Swansea it was. We drove the big loop around to Freycinet, which was just a bit too long and tiring, and took the walk up to the lookout over Wineglass Bay. Fitness levels aren’t the best in our household and there are a few pretty steep parts going up; we saw many people struggle and stop along the way. But we made it up and it was worth the view. Again the drive back to Swansea was not what we wanted to endure after that. It was hell, ok? But we did it and had a good night’s sleep after (well, after finding something to eat). Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with Swansea but it’s kinda like a koala; it sits there, looks cute and does nothing at the end of the day.

St. Helen’s


Our last port of call on the east coast was up in St. Helen’s. Not totally up there on the list of places to see in Tasmania Tourist Guides but it’s a nice little town with a shore teeming with bird life. A short twenty minutes drive away is Binalong Bay which is worth it just for a stroll along the white sandy beach. We stayed at Tidal Water’s Resort (my Trip Advisor review here) which made our stay at St. Helen’s more memorable due to the balcony overlooking the marshy coastland where we bird watched our evening away. Tidal Water’s is one of those places that advertise free wifi but it only works in a one metre square area of the lobby. On a Tuesday. After lunch. Annoying.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where we venture over to Launceston, Burnie, and Stanley.

 

Laneway Festival Singapore 2016

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The Laneway Festival. The Festival of Bands You Probably Have Never Heard Of.

Well, at least, that’s my experience of it. My third year of heading to the Laneway Festival and pretending to be with it happened this last weekend and as the years have plodded along so has the Laneway Festival. Little things change every year and some things changed this year that made everyone shake their heads “why?”

Here’s a run-down of what went on from my sunburnt eyes at Laneway Festival Singapore 2016.

Before I continue. Get tickets early. If you are sure you’re going to go to Laneway every year get on board with the early bird bundle of 6 tickets around October. You’ll save around $80 per ticket.

We arrived this year around 2:30pm or so (I had already spent the morning in the blistering sun resulting in a blistering forehead.). Bring sunscreen, people.
Early on in the afternoon, the crowds looked way down on last year which was perhaps a result of the new no re-entry rule. The grassy knoll (back and to the left) where we usually chill out was quite empty and we could set up our blanket fort with ease. The grass was very muddy this year resulting in a lot of ruined Converses and seats of pants that looked like terrible accidents had occurred.

Let me mention a few things that Laneway changed this year that were a bit odd.

  • As stated, they enforced a no re-entry rule which definitely put people off coming earlier in the day.
  • Budweiser as the choice of beer sponsor…I know money talks and Budweiser probably has the most money but…Budweiser. Nobody drinks Budweiser in Singapore. Nobody drinks Budweiser outside of America. It’s a joke beer. It’s beer flavoured water. Fingers crossed for next year.
  • No tokens as cash this year. Just cash or credit cards (over a $10 purchase naturally). Hmm what could go wrong with that?! “Have you anything smaller than $50?” “Have you got $2 in change so I can give you $20 back from $50?”. Totally strange decision as it takes way more time to buy what you want to buy.
  • The extra stage. Didn’t really effect me but might have thinned the crowd in certain areas.

On to the music!

I had my schedule I wanted to follow and get up close and personal but as the day wore own and I wore down I ended up sitting back and enjoying from afar. Here are some of the sets I paid attention to.

Big Scary

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I wandered over to the Cloud Stage (one of four stages this year) to catch big Scary. I really dig their previous albums on Spotify but alas, they played mostly new and unknown hits which blended together in my ears like the muddy grass. They were fine though.

Battles

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Back on the Garden Stage and with terrible technical issues at the start of their set Battles…battled…on and delivered an intense and energetic set. I have to admit seeing John Stanier (he who drums for Tomahawk and drummed for Helmet )in the flesh and up close was worth the wait.

Rant Alert: If you think setting up your blanket and lying around five rows from the front of the stage while people shuffle around you; you are inconsiderate jerks.

Thundercat
Didn’t get it. Sounded like a series of unrelated musical chords. Technically they were sound but melodically not on my wavelength.

Hermitude
This set made me proclaim that electronic music is probably the way Laneway will go in the future if the crowd’s reaction are anything to go by. They had the crowd in the palm of their hands from the start. Not my cup of tea but I think they certainly would have got the organiser’s attention.

The 1975
I like them! Very 80s and very listenable.

Beach House
This was not the place for Beach House. They needed to be in a smoky jazz club somewhere else. Really snooze inducing. Which is a shame as I have heard good things about them.

Grimes
Really dig Grimes’ latest album and it’s a shame she doesn’t play more of the songs in her set as they are very powerful. The songs she does play from ArtAngels stand out head and shoulders from the rest of her set. Grimes is an energetic performer but comes across a little immature in between sets which lets her down a little. Best set of the festival though. If you could relate her to someone from eras past, perhaps Cyndi Lauper’s vibe back in the 80s perhaps would ring true but I would suggest Grimes’ music is a lot more…developed and rich.

Chvrches
At around 10pm at the end of a very long day of sunshine and alcohol is the time that home starts calling. We waited around for 3 or 4 of Chvrches songs which were musically great and headed off home to beat the MRT rush. Nothing against Chrvches but we were dead.

Additional Musical Notes:
As I was away watching Big Scary people said that The Internet were really good. I was too lazy to go over to see Metz but I like their stuff on Spotify (not enough to get my ass off the grass and go over to the Cloud Stage though).

So overall, another pleasant Laneway Festival experience. Can’t say I liked their choice of beer sponsor or cash/credit card payment scheme but there’s always next year to amend things. Yet again.

Laneway Singapore comes in to its own as darkness falls. Really unique back drop.

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