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BALL PARK MUSIC @ Badlands Car Park gets 7.5/10

Ball Park Music @ Badlands Car Park
w/ Ali Barter, Hatchie, Telete
Sunday, March 4, 2018
 

7.5 / 10 

A gorgeous evening at the tail end of summer on a long weekend. The perfect setting for a car park party packed with some of the best from Australia’s thriving indie scene. It marked the second day of a big double header for Badlands following City Limits the day before, which saw nearly 3,000 punters head to the venue.

Proving that the 90s revival is alive and well, it seemed the bands on show had been binging on soundtracks the likes of Empire Records or 10 Things I Hate About You, both in sound and fashion. And as International Women’s Day is this week, it’s worth noting the three strong female supports. No token gestures here.  

Telete

Local Perth duo Telete – pronounced teh-leh-tee, if you’re wondering – kicked things off early with a short set of new age dream pop. Mai Barnes (synth, keyboard) and Hayley-Jane Ayres (violin) drew the audience in with their light and catchy harmonies for a sophisticated set. Ones worth keeping an eye on.  

Hatchie

As the sun went down, Hatchie (Brisbane) came equipped with beautiful shoegaze and pop melodies including first single, Try, and newie, Sure, that had everyone swaying and a few enthusiastically singing along.  

Ali Barter

Taking things up a notch, Melbourne’s Ali Barter drew the first big crowds of the day. Unlike 2017 pop hit Girlie Bits, her other tracks pack more of a punch and prove that she can rock out with the best of them. The Triple J Unearthed winner made her way through sophomore album, A Suitable Girl, including Light Them On FireCigaretteFar Away, the massive sounding One Foot In and finishing on crowd favourite Girlie Bits, naturally. 

On approaching the main event, it started to become increasingly clear that the small venue may have underestimated the popularity of the headline band resulting in a thousand plus punters. The single stage area became increasingly crowded, with barely room to move, let alone attempt the politeness of trying to find a way to the toilets or bar. Added to this was the poor placement of portaloos adjacent the stage meant the front half of the crowd had to endure the pungent odour anytime there was a slight breeze. While the use of the Badlands Car Park is a fantastic setting for a mini-festival style event, these points failed to make it a really kick-arse venue.  

Anyway, aesthetics aside, these points weren’t to dampen what was a  seriously good night. It was the music that everyone was there for, after all.

Ball Park Music

It is a sign of a band with a solid fan base that Ball Park Music (Brisbane) can release an album two weeks before a tour and already have the crowd singing along to brand new tracks. The fifth studio album, Good Mood,  is certainly something to bring the feels, but the show was a shout out to the old fans, more like a best-of set than a new album tour. Opening with Cocaine Lion and Everything Is Shit Except My Friendship With You, frontman Sam Cromack apologised for suffering from a bought of flu and worried he was sounding prepubescent, but he hit every note to deliver 21 songs in a good 80 minute plus set.  

The dancing and singing really took off with She Only Loves Me When I’m There, the energy carrying through Literally Baby, Fence Sitter and Sad Rude Future Dude, with Cromack putting down the guitar and egging the crowd on to “sing it with me you sick fucks”. Not one to be shy, he later threw shade to the cheap skates climbing over the fence to “buy a fucking ticket next time”.

Quieter moments for Coming DownLeef, and a solo campfire-style singalong for It’s Nice To Be Alive were a good break between the rock hits. New album crowd favourites included The Perfect Life Does Not Exist, the hilariously topical Hands Off My Body and finishing the main set with recent Hottest 100 top 20 placer, Exactly How You Are. While these excellent new tracks were probably responsible for the omission of recent standouts Pariah and Nihilist Party Anthem, there was no doubting they were a hit with the crowd.

Highlight of the night came in the encore, with Cromack climbing the barrier railing to lean over an appreciative crowd screaming “I fucking love you” along to iFly, ending the night writhing on the stage floor to a mighty drum roll and extended outro. Ball Park Music, we fucking love you too!

Words and photos by Q

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