Big Pineapple Music Festival 2018
The Big Pineapple, Woombye, QLD
May 26 2018
Featuring: COG, Hobo Magic, Butterfingers, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, Rackett, The Preatures, Dune Rats and Violent Soho (and many more!)
We have finally resurfaced after our epic adventures at this year’s Big Pineapple Music Festival. This year the festival outdid itself with a huge 5 stages, approximately 15,000 people, a completely sold out event with over 20 talented bands. Way too much to cover for one person, I brought along my resident music expert and partner in crime, Les (of Vow to Conquer fame). Such a big day with such an epic line up we decided to split the day between us and cover as many bands as possible.
Truck all packed, camping gear ready we set off in the morning for the Sunshine Coast. Destination = The Big Pineapple Music Festival, held each year at the Heritage listed The Big Pineapple, a former plantation and tourist attraction. Kicking off back in 2013, this unique festival continues to grow, with each year getting bigger and better than the one before it. Deciding to have a crack at camping this time, we headed into the campground to set up. Fairly well organised, and apart from the mud, was a decent set up with showers and toilets stationed around the campground.
Here is a note for future festival campers. Check how big your tent is before you go. Sometime later, jokes and amusement over, camp done and dusted, hearing the pounding bass and cheering crowds from the campground, it sounded like they were having too much fun without us, we set off for the front gates and into the magic.
After a long walk up a big hill, a bit of line and a race to the other side of the festival to the Sea Shepherd Stage the day kicked off with progressive rockers COG who did not disappoint, opening with one of my favourites, ‘The Spine‘, it was great to see them touring and playing live again after such a long hiatus. The Gold DW Drumkit, a sexy beast of a kit, did not go unnoticed by Les, or the talented musician playing them. Smashing out ‘Run’ from the stage, the crowd belting out and singing along louder than the actual band. Other favourites included ‘Altered State‘, ‘Real Life‘ and ‘My Enemy‘, the crowd lapped up every moment, moshing, dancing and screaming along. Finishing off their set with ‘Birds of a Feather‘, COG lived up to expectations.
I had a bit of spare time to do a hot lap of the festival and check out what was on offer.
I turned into a very cool graveyard, complete with full size half buried coffin ready for your selfie needs. I don’t think I saw that coffin empty once that day. I had stumbled across the Pickles Family Funerals interactive artspace. Weird, creepy and totally creative this little tent was packed all day and all night long.
Walking up the hill from the Pickles Family Funerals graveyard, my ear finally picked up on something heavy. Picking up the pace I followed my ears only to find a rock group on the Avant Garden stage. Clearly I wasn’t the only one drawn to these guys – the crowd grew quite quickly running into my co-conspirator for the day to find him rocking and moshing out to the tunes pumping.
We had stumbled across Hobo Magic.
Self-described as old-school inspired psychedelic Rock’n’Roll madness – imagine a mix between Black Sabbath, Nirvana meets Clutch. A rocking show with a nod to the Norse/Celt with painted faces, wild banging hair, and a killer sound that drew the crowds in like flies to honey. Lead singer Connor Mitchell mentioned with a slight hint of disappointment that they weren’t allowed to drink beer on stage… Yeah Right! At the end of the set he down his desired beer, tossing the cup to a cheering crowd. Definitely worth a mention is Bass player Jake ‘Greasy’ Bennett right-hand finger work – it was just hectic. And magic! Just about to head into the studio again after already pumping out 3 wicked albums this hometown Sunny Coast band are definitely worth checking out!
Next up Butterfingers!
Rocking the Pineapple Express stage like they owned it, Butterfingers always pump out a happy cruizy vibe. Lead vocalist ‘Evil’ Eddie Mark Jacobson has an amazing stage presence and talent to really connect and include the crowd. Splitting the crowd in half, with a bit of healthy competition, with one half screaming “There’s a party over here – Fuck You over there!!” as loud as we could at each other. Constantly talking and including the crowd and drawing them in, Butterfingers nailed it, with crowds reaching all the way up the hill.
A highlight for the boys – one girl on some guy’s shoulders in the mosh pit dropping her shirt and flashing her boobs at the stage – was noted and noticed by all! I noticed one very giggly and smiling security guard trying desperately to look stern while telling her to get down and get covered! HAHA
Lead vocalist ‘Evil’ Eddie took a step down and got up close and personal with the crowd, shaking hands, high fiving fans and even got in for a bit of crowd surfing. Partner in crime Les, heading into the mosh pit armed with a GoPro, by all accounts, this is one of the few bands we know who can make a mosh pit moshing and happy and bouncy all at the time. The second or third song in (and I’m sorry by this stage of the day it had rained – some of our notes got wet) I couldn’t tell you what it was but it was a rocking cover! Also treating us to a look-see at their new single, ‘Bullet to the Head‘ these guys really know how to put on a show.
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets hit the Advant Garden stage. I finally got a chance to check these guys out. Having really gained some traction recently this Perth based psychedelic rock band definitely lived up to the hype. To be honest the first 2 songs I wondered what Wonderland rabbit hole I had wandered into – there was a bit of a mad hatters tea party feel. Third song in the boys from Perth really let loose and I finally got it! To me, it seems like an eclectic mix of trancey trippy rock metal punk. Definitely keen to catch these guys again. Stellar set guys!
A quick dart over to the Sea Shepherd stage for The Preatures.
I really love The Preatures. Hailing from Sydney this self-described rock pop-soul group are just amazing. Lead singer Isabella ‘Izzi’ Manfredi always performs with the right amount of grace, class and sexy. Struck with a few technical difficulties to start with, having lost vocals it wasn’t long before that magnificent voice and energy was belting out at us in the crowd. High energy, just enough attitude, The Preatures remind me of through back 80’s rock royalty Chrissy Amphlett meets Deborah Harry meets Annie Lennox. Currently touring around Australia – If you can see them – do it!
Another hot lap as I headed to the coffee cart before Dune Rats started.
A conga line of glowing characters making their way through the crowds – Queen of Hearts, the Ace of Hearts, a piano, djembe, teapot, Alice (of Wonderland) to name of few. Vintage and craft stalls scattered around selling wares and painting faces. The festival really does have a back in time carnival feel, like going back in time to the Easter Show or the EKKA, only for just for grown-ups with awesome music.
Fairy lights and dream catchers, ball pits and crazy costumes – I did note this years festival trend seems to be glitter bums. A see of butts painted with glitter were presented before me. All sorts of crazy costumes from pineapples to bongs, fairies, clowns, cowgirls, to dudes riding blow up kangaroos it is never a dull moment.
Onto the Triple J Stage burst the Dune Rats! Doesn’t matter how many times I see this band live it always feels like brand new show. It had it all. Air jumps, wicked stage set, and fire. It doesn’t get much better than this. The weather held off for the most part – a shower here or there during the day. As the sun went down the clouds came over, the cold night air made its way in and the rain came down, soldering on, with fierce determination to battle through to cold pounding rain to reach the end of the night for one of my favourites and the highlight of my day – Violent Soho.
Huddled in the graveyard, hugging a macadamia tree, soaking wet, desperately trying to stay dry and keep the lens on the camera dry enough to shoot with, I sat finally with a hot cup of tea, sporting a brand new COG jumper waiting patiently for Soho. Eventually I made my way down to the pit for Violent Soho. First time shooting this freaking awesome band from Brisbane and I was in for a treat.
The crowd was restless with excitement, the stage pit was crackling with energy. The lights turned blue and there was movement at the back of the stage. Out burst the Soho boys, getting straight into it with one of my favs ‘Like Soda’. I love it when bands play my favourite songs while I am in the pit, sometimes so much so I forget to shoot. It really is one of my favourite things ever. No strangers to the stage, Violent Soho really did make the night. The opportunity for me to shoot them doesn’t come around often and was the main reason for my being there. Even by their own words – they don’t tour often, but when its Big Pineapple Festival – who could pass that up!?
Busting out favourites like ‘Saramona Said‘ and ‘Dope Calypso‘, the vibe was epic, the one show of the day where crowd surfing and standing on shoulders was encouraged by lead singer Luke Boerdam and the crowd answered. It was the most hectic crazy mosh pit I’d seen all day – with legs and arms and heads flying right left and centre. The bulk of my shooting down, the huge lines at the bar and food were gone, I grabbed a can, sat on the hill overlooking the Sea Shepherd Stage where Soho were finishing off their set and took a moment to just take in the amazing enormity of it all.
On my way out, I stopped by the Avante Garden stage one last time to catch the last of Sydney power rocking chicks Rackett! I have shot these girls before about a year ago and it is amazing to see just how far they have come, both with their music and with their performance. Dressed in costume, with a hint of Josie and the Pussycats (for those of us old enough to know who that is!) this rocking quartet really hit the nail on the head. Fiesty, sexy, and exuberant, opening with ‘Alive‘ and treating us to their awesome new single (and Rackett favourite) ‘Space Cadet‘. Closing with their signature finale song and my favourite ‘FUCK YOU’, definitely a highlight of my day. Catch Rackett on tour soon, especially just for their new single ‘Space Cadet‘!
Although not on my list for the day – I did manage to catch Illy on his last performance as he heads into the studio to record a new album, Power Negro, Cub Sport, Shockone, Kira Puru, Camouflage Rose and Greta Stanley – if you get a chance definitely worth checking out.
Picks of the day for us were definitely COG, Butterfingers, Hobo Magic, Rackett, Dune Rants and Soho. I finally made my way to the gate, via the coffee cart with Violent Soho echoing further behind me, myself, in a sea of people on the pilgrimage back to the camp ground, tired and happy.
All in all a fantastic day and reasonably well organised. Great line up, plenty of toilets, lots of entertainment. Could probably have done with a few extra food vendors and a few more water/drinks outlets as the lines were quite long but I was happy – I found a coffee cart which kept me going!
A sold out #BPMF2018 done for this year. Dont miss out next year!
Review by Bec O’Reilly and Les Messenger
Big Pineapple Festival 2018 (Alphabetical)
Big Pineapple Festival 2018 (Punters)