Berry locals and travellers were treated to an incredibly well organised Lazy Mountain Festival at Berry Showgrounds last weekend. Thanks to festival extraordinaires Yours and Owls, festival goers were treated to an amazing line up headlined by Gang Of Youths in the beautiful autumn sunshine and surrounds of the picturesque village of Berry on the NSW south coast. The all ages festival saw punters of all ages – I spotted everything from babes in arms and prams to toddlers, pre teens right through to grandparents all enjoying themselves – such a fabulous family day out.
The day opened shortly after gates with Triple J Unearthed High Indiginous winner Aodahn taking to the stage as punters wandered in. A small but receptive and growing crowd were captivated by the young man and his folk-esque tunes. Next up were Merci, Mercy bringing the bright blue hair vibes to Berry featuring cruisy alt-pop sensibilities. The Sydney based band played popular tunes Fucked Myself Up and Into You among a truly lovely set. Tyne-James Organ travelled back close to his former hometown of Wollongong from Melbourne to perform as part of his Necessary Evil tour. Organ has enjoyed homegrown and international success with his brand of heartfelt songs of tragedy and joy and is making his mark on festivals around the country.
Mid line up we were mesmerised by a beautiful Welcome To Country ceremony with Dharrawal Custodians Gadhungal Murring. The ceremony was graciously enjoyed by the huge crowd who showed reverence and participated joyfully when the performers taught us native words to repeat back to them. Inclusion of our traditional land owners was a beautiful touch and I’m sure would be a welcome addition to any festival.
The second half of the day was opened by multi-instrumentalist and Australian music scene darling Tash Sultana. Quickly filling the stage with her atmospheric tunes, starting out solo and gradually being joined by members of her band. The multi platinum and gold winning artist enthralled punters with her loops combined with skillful guitar and percussion in a set that left us all wanting more….much more! Next on stage were Bad Dreems bringing back that full band energy complete with their Australian style rap and heavy rock riffs. Following a huge year of touring for the band in 2022, their alt rock set pumped energy through the enthusiastic crowd. Crowd surfing had begun and singer Ben Marwe got in on the action, jumping into the pit and climbing the barrier to hug his appreciative fans.
Slowly Slowly brought serious energy to the stage with their catchy pop punk filled set and had the by now big crowd jumping along with them. Four albums under their belt since their debut in 2016. Hailing from Melbourne they’ve already had some great billing supporting the likes of Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Amy Shark on recent tours. Middle Kids were next up and showcased their indie pop punk bangers. Fresh from winning Triple Js Best Australian Album plus multiple ARIA nominations and tours through Europe, the USA and Australia, they kept the crowd energy up and were a fitting addition to the already awesome line up of all Australian acts.
Gang of Youths took to the stage in their usual fashion – big! We were all captivated by the showmanship of frontman David Le’aupepe and his magnificent band. David was all over the stage, playing up to the crowd, jumping onto speakers and into the pit. They didn’t disappoint the masses, presenting us with favourites such as What Can I Do if the Fire Goes Out?, The Heart is a Muscle, Let Me Down Easy and The Deepest Sighs, the Frankest Shadows. Such a climactic end to a brilliantly run festival and I can’t wait to see what Yours and Owls will bring us all next year.