L: Review: Laneway Festival Singapore

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As I boarded my flight to Singapore nearly 6 months ago from, I really didn’t consider the possibility I’d end up sitting at an indie music festival next to one of the world’s most futuristic looking hotels and a collection of solar powered man made ‘super trees’. A sensational lineup, ultramodern setting and Singapore’s warm breezy weather resulted in a very chilled yet vibrant break from the stresses of city life here.

This is the 4th year St Jerome’s Laneway Festival has returned to Singapore with acts from previous years including big names such as Bat for Lashes, Kings of Convenience, Gotye, Alt-J and many more. Aside from the usual UK, Aussie and American acts, this year took an interesting turn with the addition of some local talents. Vandetta, the Observatory and Gema undoubtedly brought a welcome twist to the lineup.

The Jezabels,  a four piece band from Sydney unknown to me before, were one of the earlier acts which set the tone for the day ahead. Hayley Mary’s distinct rich vocals demanded attention from throughout the meadow and became a crowd favourite almost instantly. XXYYXX’s explosive set did not disappoint, preventing the daylight hindering the atmosphere by the cloud tent.  Unfortunately UK act Mount Kimbie’s performance later in the day felt lacking in consistency and proved a little too experimental for me at times.

Due to an unfortunate injury Gabrial Winterfield of Jagwar Ma was unable to perform at the event, yet Jono Ma fulfilled the task of keeping the crowd entertained with his impressive DJ skills. As the night fell Haim’s stage presence was simply electrifying, especially during their rendition of their hit single ‘The Wire’. Having read so many positive reviews of Jamie xx live, I was worried I may had raised my expectations too high, thankfully my expectations were not only met but in fact exceeded. Jamie xx proved to be a true master of sound, opening with Motown inspired beats with the rest of the set continuing to be varied and infectious.

As the evening came to a close, the Mercury prize 2013 winner James Blake was the final act left to perform. Blake’s haunting vocals pierced through the crowd, readily complemented by a stirring selection of electric rhythms making for a memorable performance . Any doubts I had that songs such as ‘I Never Learnt To Share’ would not translate well onto stage were completely eradicated with all songs sounding as good, if not better on stage.

Although many continue to slate live music as being far from the quality of the recorded sounds we listen to everyday, the acts at laneway festival are another example of how the stage can bring another definition to their music. After being disheartened by various nights out in Singapore with questionable club music and uninspiring live events, the  Laneway festival has restored my faith that good music can be appreciated anywhere, even to audiences as far as those in Southeast Asia.

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SEE: Limassol International Documentary Festival Highlights

Relating back to my post earlier in the year, you can now see a small highlights trailer for the Limassol International Documentary festival of the year, it truly was a very vibrant atmosphere and I think the video above shows it well, sorry on the slow posts however the life of a University student never involves much free time!

SEE: Aesthetica Short Film Festival


This weekend just passed I attended the Aesthetica film festival with some flatmates. We saw a total of 8 short documentaries. I would love to have posted some trailers of the films we saw but unfortunately I couldn’t track down any sort of website or information about the films we saw. My favourites were Architecture Alive by Ole Stenum, A Delicate Canvas by Joey Bania and Crossing Over: The Art Of Jeremy Down. The venue that hosted the event was Barley Hall an old traditional English house in the centre of York. However the seating wasn’t ideal because at times the room got crowded and people’s heads had the tendency to block the subtitles.

We also went to see the inside of the minster briefly, it was breathtakingly beautiful. Was also interesting to be able to compare it to Limassol’s International Documentary festival. I think although there was a great mix of films on offer and a lot more I preferred the more international perspective of Limassol’s festival.

Limassol International Documentary Festival

I attended the Limassol Documentary Festival this year. I was impressed with the variation of documentaries shown at the festival, I wish I saw more but I only managed to catch two, one about Eco Terrorism (If a Tree falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front). All about how terrorism can be used to prevent environmental damage yet how lack of knowledge and the fact all of it must be done in secret means they sometimes get things wrong. Some powerful images such as the police spraying pepper spray into protesters eyes. It was an American documentary which was quite well made and didn’t seem to biased to one side.

The Second documentary I saw was called Mustafa’s sweet dreams. About a boys big ambitions to move to Istanbul and become a master at Baklava making. Now I’m a sucker for Baklava, the documentary was interesting and some people commented at the end on how they thought it wasn’t at all scripted. I thought it didn’t really fulfill the documentary criteria and was a bit long winded in parts. Perhaps it just wasn’t for me, it ended with him returning home having failed on his dreams and some bits came across awfully cheesy. Yes there were some nice camera angles used + watching it in a different language was really enjoyable. Take a look at the trailers below, have you been to any film festivals of late? Let me know.


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