30 March, Bad Friday

As I walked into the Marrickville Block Party known as Bad Friday, I felt an undeniable feeling of eagerness and excitement for the day ahead of me – a feeling that seemed to radiate throughout every punter who turned up on the day. There were a lot of factors contributing to this: the amazing line-up which pretty much spoke for itself, the smell of delicious Mary’s burgers penetrating everyone’s nostrils as they passed through and of course the return performance of the not so secret headliner – Sticky Fingers (but we’ll get to that later).

I started my day indulging in a Mary’s Burger that although pricey, melted in my mouth with a combination of flavour so mesmerising that it led me to purchase another four throughout the day (not my healthiest of dietary choices, but I have no regrets). Then, to really get into the festival spirit, I sank a couple of delicious Young Henry’s lagers. Having finally settled into my surroundings it was time to enjoy some quality music.

First stop was Pist Idiots who, admittedly, I was somewhat disappointed in to begin with. This was in no way a reflection of their performance, but more to do with the fact that they were added to the line-up after the pulling out of a personal favourite of mine in These New South Whales. I recall hearing the first few songs and being relatively uninterested. However, then came a delightful tune called 99 Bottles that truly resonated with me. Thanks to the help of an obvious fan of the band who was singing along word for word right next to me, I was able to properly take in the song’s lyrics. “Because I’m overworked and underpaid / I’m under-fucked and under-laid.” That kind of self-deprecation in rock’n’roll has always resonated with me and it was from then on that I was able to truly enjoy the rest of Pist Idiots’ set.

Next on the agenda was West Thebarton and oh was it a good one. The seven-piece band consisting of a drummer, singer, bass player and four guitarists, are an absolute treat to watch. At no point did the stage seem overly cluttered by the impressively large number of band members. They also had me jumping around more than any other artist on the day, which is a very telling sign of my level of enjoyment.

Following this, it was time for me to move to the Sydenham Road side stage in time to catch Betty & Oswald, which proved to be one of the day’s highlights. The four-piece produced some of the most beautiful music of the day leaving me captivated by the mesmerising vocals of both Claudia Schmidt and Pete Sotiropoulos. It made for an extremely intimate set and was the first time that I felt as though I could mellow out, relax and fully take in my surroundings all day.

Then came time for my personal favourite artist on the line-up. Ecca Vandal is the kind of artist that has so much attitude and energy that it feels like she is literally pummeling you in the face with every performance. I must be a masochist, however, because I enjoyed every second of it. As one of the very few female artists on the line-up – which was disappointing – she really held her own with a band that only that only added to the intensity of the overall set. This performance for me really took the day to the next level.

Throughout the rest of the day, I found myself catching smaller glimpses of some of the other artists on the bill. From what I saw of Psychedelic Porn Crumpets and Straight Arrows was a demonstration of psychedelic mastery, however, my time at each set was relatively limited, unfortunately. Other acts such as The Belligerents and Boo Seeka had me distracted purely due to the fact that I was eagerly awaiting the day’s secret headliner. A headliner that truly took the day to the next level.

Stay tuned for Jameel’s review on the return of Sticky Fingers!