review Kavya Gopal

Laneway 2015

Laneway 2015’s two main stages. (Kavya Gopal)

Since its inception in 2011, St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival has been unlike any other undertaking in Singapore’s indie music scene. Held for the third time in the Meadows at Gardens by the Bay, this year’s line-up expanded to include an extra timeslot to accommodate more local talent from Singapore and Malaysia. It is no surprise then that the festival, for the first time, sold out all 13,000 of its tickets two days before the event on Jan. 24. Here’s a quick rundown of some of this year’s highlights.

Malaysian band Enterprise started the day with a sparse audience. Their upbeat tunes got a few to their feet, but it wasn’t until Perth’s Pond took the stage that the party got started. Comprised of wandering musicians from bands like Tame Impala, rock band Pond was the first act of the day to truly get the crowds trickling in with their synth vibes. Despite intermittent showers and technical difficulties, Mac Demarco soldiered on with his on-stage antics and his cheeky cover of Coldplay’s “Yellow”. Equally memorable were indie sweethearts Angus & Julia Stone, with their rendition of “You’re the One that I Want”. Chet Faker played on the Cloud Stage to a tightly packed audience. At 6:45 pm the magic of Jungle got crowds dancing to retro-future tunes. Live, this band expands from two to seven members and they attracted large crowds.

Spearheading the line-up this year were female leads BANKS, FKA twigs and St. Vincent. While BANKS’s dark and striking vocals set the scene for the night, the showstopper of the festival was British-born Tahliah Barnett who was a vision in gold leopard-print. Better known by her stage name FKA twigs, Barnett put on an ethereal performance, packed with haunting and soulful vocals. Her fluid movements effortlessly filled the expanse of the stage, reflecting her stint as a professional dancer. Wowing the crowds with her hit single “Two Weeks”, and ending on an older but equally mesmerising “Water Me”, FKA twigs’s departure from the Bay Stage was met with disappointment. Luckily, Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, was quick to fill the void with her musical prowess on the guitar, and was clad in a black leather cheongsam. Her fun pop melodies, and equally quirky robotic dance moves were a resounding end to the festival.

Laneway 2015 has spoiled festival goers with great performances and delicious albeit overpriced food. We hope next year’s Laneway addresses the issues with sound and the limited audience capacity of the Cloud Stage.

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