Vintage Vibes @ Tomich Wines, Adelaide Hills SA 2/4/2023

Locals, bohos, hipsters, partygoers and music fans – both young and old – flocked to Tomich Hill winery in the Adelaide Hills for the second day of the inaugural Vintage Vibes Festival.

A picturesque sunny day in Woodside attracted an eclectic ‘Womadesque’ crowd (some with picnic rugs and chairs in tow) early in anticipation of ARIA award winning Indie headline act, Gang of Youths.

Angus and Julia Stone, Middle Kids, San Cisco, George Alice, Late Nite Tuff Guy, Jess Day, Wanderers, Druid Fluids, Triple Unearthed Winner Oscar The Wild, Kotara and Trent Worley warmed up the one main stage throughout the day.

A mesmerising performance led by front-man Dave Le’aupepe – who went to a Sydney high school with internationally acclaimed musician Flume – left many punters knowing the five piece outfit if they didn’t already.

Diehard fans – some travelling from Melbourne and Victor Harbor – were frothing. Now based in London, Gang of Youths are in Australia for the Byron Bay Bluesfest this Easter. What a treat for South Australia to land the band off the back of their Angel In Realtime world tour.

Le’aupepe drove an incredible performance – boosted by a professional set that included old and new hits including The Heart is a Muscle, What Can I Do When the Fire Goes Out? and emotional ballad Goal of the Century – from the band’s latest album inspired by lyrics written after the passing of Le’aupepe’s father. Their fans were there for it, despite the bitterly cold change after sunset.

Le’aupepe had the excited punters in the palm of his hand with his signature dance moves and at one point even jumped into the crowd. His lesser known bandmates (Max Dunn, Jung Kim and Donnie Borzestowski) did not go unnoticed – with Hobden playing piano and violin at the same time occasionally.

On the contrary, Angus and Julia Stone’s melancholy set put some Gang of Youths diehards to sleep. A cleaner cut looking Angus, his sister Julia with her trademark plait and bohemian vocals kicked things off with Snow. Followed by popular hits such as Chateau and Big Jet Plane and Australian anthem Streets of Your Town (The Go-Betweens cover) aroused the crowds. However, the duo’s cover of Sam Smith’s Stay With Me was not the warm-up Gang of Youths fans were hoping for – and perhaps they would have been better placed earlier on in the line-up. However, a banjo solo by Ben Edgar from their band was certainly a highlight.

Middle Kids, who have toured with Gang of Youths in the past and also hail from Sydney, were electric. The Triple J Australian Album of the Year nominee for their second album Today We’re The Greatest, wooed the crowd with Stacking Chairs and Cellophane (Brain).

Fremantle trio San Cisco united the crowd after Late Night Tuff Guy with 2011 hit Awkward, while homegrown talent George Alice was also popular with the Sunday arvo set at Woodside. The talented 20-year-old’s performance included Triple J Like A Version cover of Rufus Du Sol’s Alive, Circles and Stuck in a Bubble. The Unearthed High 2019 winner from Faith Lutheran College adorned a tartan school skirt that would bring memories back for many former South Australian high school girls.

Despite hospitality vendors running out of some food and drinks, or thirty minutes plus waiting times for food, crowds were obliging and happy to wait or try some of the local food and beverages – including mocktails and vegan options – on offer.

The Acknowledgement to Country was performed by local Kaurna representatives and the sound in the outdoor amphitheatre of the Tomich Hill paddock was good.

With a healthy crowd and what seemed to be a fairly organised new event, watch this space, Vintage Vibes may be back in 2024. Pass outs though next year please.

Live Review By Victoria Nicholas

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