Brunswick Street Mall &
Chinatown Mall, Fortitude Valley
I braved the rainy weather and cold wind on Saturday and had a pretty rad time
indeed at the Valley Fiesta. From dashing between tents at the markets to avoid
being rained on, to being up against the barrier for the headline acts, it was
the most enjoyable solo Saturday I've had for a long time.
The Vintage & Designer Markets were my first stop,
out the back of Ric's Bar - an eclectic mix of old and new, from secondhand and
"re-designed" clothing to screen-printed Tshirts, leather earrings
and crystals. Despite the rain, all of the stallholders were cheerful, friendly
and not at all pushy. The venue was lovely too - most of the stalls ended
up undercover and the coffee and food that was coming out looked great.
Across the road at Cloudland, people were queuing up out the door for the
Valley Swap Shoppe, a massive clothing exchange that was part of the Fiesta. I
didn't have anything to swap, so I carried on down the mall to check out the
Red Bull Crate Diggers. It seemed quite popular in spite of the weather. I
bought a decent coffee from Bread
& Meat Co and wandered through the TCB building that connects the
Brunswick and Chinatown Malls. Ella Mobbs aka Creep Heart was set up in the
laneway with her gorgeous designs, alongside West End barber Cut-Throats and Powder Puffs and
the pin-up perfect girls from Trash
Monkey. Happy High Herbs also had a stall and I got a free henna
tattoo and a great chat from the lady running it.
Outside, the China Chowdown was taking place - the
Chinese banquet looked and smelled delicious, and the Khuan Lee Lion Dancers
were superb. After their performance, cover band Rockaoke took the stage and
played several sets throughout the day, covering everything from Avicii to
Smash Mouth and OneRepublic. That was something that I loved about the Fiesta -
everywhere you went, there was music pumping all day long.
From 3pm onwards I spent most of my time at the Main Stage in the Brunswick
Mall, and as the afternoon wore on it was getting to be almost sunny. The first
act were Inigo, who hit the stage
with a fun, upbeat, Kimbra-esque sound. Lead singer and band founder Erin
Fitzsimon was charismatic and kinetic, dancing and moving the entire time. The
trumbone, trumpet and saxophone added to their unique sound.
The Royales were
next to the stage, with indie-rock fusion that is a little bit Killers, a little
bit Panic! at the Disco. A lot heavier than poppy Inigo, their bass line could
be physically felt from the street. I really liked their sound, and have been
listening to their songs in Triple J Unearthed since. Next up was Jordan Rakei,
who was more mellow. Reminiscent of Jack Johnson, he had an amazing
voice but the overall sound, although interesting, just wasn't my thing.
I didn't get a chance to see the Creases with my own eyes as I was sheltering
inside the (very nice) Press Club, but I could hear them and feel their bass
pumping through the place. Seemed like the crowd was having a great time.
Adelaide rapper Allday marked
the beginning of the big acts of the night. The street was thronged with people
and there were several people sitting on other's shoulders with their hands in
the air. Allday's show was the one that induced the most enthusiasm from the
crowd and he did perform an excellent show, combining original tracks with
classics like Outkast's 'Ms Jackson'. Dan
Sultan was up next, with what he refers to as 'country soul rock 'n'
roll'. A whole lot of skill, energy and stage presence set their performance
apart but didn't receive the same sort of fervour that Allday did.
The Preatures started playing at
around 9pm, but the street had been slowly filling up for about half an hour
prior to that. I had stayed in the same place after Dan Sultan so I was
fortunate to be front and centre for a seriously amazing show. Frontwoman
Isabella Manfredi had incredible presence and energy, and gave a spectacular
performance despite having lost her voice almost entirely. Massive kudos. The
crowd was at its wildest here, and its roughest - I came away with bruised
elbows and cramped fingers from hanging on to my spot. At one point an older
man crowd-surfed all the way to the front, only to be pulled over the barrier
and escorted away by security, cheerfully waving at the crowd as they cheered
him on. The Preatures definitely finished the whole night on a high.