The Hives @ Southbound Festival 2009, Busselton
Pelle Almqvist from The Hives

Franz Ferdinand @ Southbound Festival 2009, Busselton
Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand

Continued from Southbound Festival 2009 Photos… coming soon!

It has been a tradition for the past five years for thousands of concert revellers to take the three-hour road trip south of Perth to Busselton for the Southbound music festival. Always something to look forward to on the first weekend of the New Year. The festival currently attracts more than 20,000 music lovers, so last year organisers added the camping element and this year expanded it to a massive two-day lineup!

This was my second Southbound ever and also the second time camping too. Don’t you just love sharing a field with 10,000 other campers? Can you smell the atmosphere yet?

The Hives @ Southbound Festival 2009, Busselton
Pelle makes it up-close and personal.

I have been looking forward to The Hives for a couple of years now. Totally missed the last time they were in Perth back in October 2005 where they played at Metro City. I envy the east coast for bringing them for many Big Day Outs but not here! And yet, I missed out on the show. Stupid me! No complaints now- I’ve seen them and they are fucking great. Unlike Oasis, this band’s over-the-top arrogance and electrifying stage antics are all for the sake of a good show. Pelle’s on-stage banter is just the funniest I have ever heard- “The organisers say we have five minutes to finish, but I think we can blow this place up in three. We have placed explosive devices from the east coast all the way to the west coast, all wired up to this electric guitar. When the bombs go off, you will hear a ‘Tic tic tic tic tic tic tic BOOM‘”. Can you guess how the song started?

The Hives @ Southbound Festival 2009, Busselton
Nicholaus Arson fires up the stage, complete with face pulling and beady-eyed stares.

At their last show, I had heard about this iconic “frozen” moment during the performance of “Diabolic Scheme” where they would all suddenly stop mid-song for at least one minute as back floodlighting project their silhouettes into the crowd. Gosh, I’d post a photo link if I could find one! While not to the same effect, thanks to the front spotlights, they did freeze again midway through “You Dress Up For Armageddon”. Awesome to the max! Now… if only they could do that and not move around so much. That way I can get better shots!

More photos of The Hives in my Flickr Southbound photo set.

Franz Ferdinand @ Southbound Festival 2009, Busselton
Ladies and gentlemen… Franz Ferdinand.

I last saw Franz Ferdinand back in 2006 at the Big Day Out (fancy that… another BDO act!) and their disco-rock tunes always get my toes tapping. They started off their set with “Do You Want To” and if you saw a dancing photographer in the pit, then that would have been me!

Franz Ferdinand @ Southbound Festival 2009, Busselton Franz Ferdinand @ Southbound Festival 2009, Busselton
More Kapranos and bassist Bob Hardy

I’m just going to say this: Alex Kapranos has the best male voice in rock music right now. I love swaying to “Walk Away” and grinding to “Michael” (not that there’s anything wrong with that). It was like that back then, and still is like that now. Mmmm…

You can’t discount those dancing guitars though. Everything about them just makes you want to move. Franz Ferdinand make great rock music and that’s all that needs to be said. Bring on the new album!

More photos of Franz Ferdinand in my Flickr Southbound photo set.

Stay tuned for more photos and coverage of many other bands on the lineup, like Santogold, Architecture In Helsinki, The Grates, Soko, The Cat Empire, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings… many more! Maybe you’d like to subscribe to the RSS feed if you haven’t already!