Music Festival: Parklife
The Presets. Picture: Ben Riches

Parklife

October 4, Wellington Square

Ben O'Shea

Referring to Parklife as the first festival of summer has always been problematic, what with it falling in spring each year.

But as the mercury climbed above 35C on Monday, any such problems evaporated like sweat from a boofhead's heavage (Heav-age: noun - The hollow between a male's pectoral muscles, as displayed by ridiculously low-cut tees and singlets).

It certainly must have felt like summer to the pasty London lads of Citizens!, who faced down the beating sun to deliver a fine set of angular indie rock that drew obvious comparisons to Franz Ferdinand (Alex Kapranos produced their debut LP) and less obvious ones to Public Image Ltd.

Though the group only played to a fraction of the 25,000 punters organisers say turned out, they were part of a procession of bands to play on the Atoll stage that challenged the hierarchy of stages as well as the traditional notion of what constitutes a "dance music" festival.

From the effortless charm of Chairlift's Bruises to the neo-freak of Tame Impala; the streamer explosion during Passion Pit's Sleepyhead and pretty much all of Robyn's set, but especially With Every Heartbeat - it was eminently danceable but a far cry from trad EDM.

That's not to say there weren't pure dance music moments for those so inclined; Modestep, when they weren't namechecking themselves, unleashed a high-energy set on a big crowd and Nero lived up to headliner status, even though the UK duo hit the main stage at sunset. The latter's storied visuals were considerably compromised until the sun dipped below the horizon but, when it did, it was worth the wait.

The worth of the Bondi Hipsters DJ set, however, remains uncertain - all one can say for sure is that no one enjoyed it more than they did.

At the apex of the line-up, the Presets demonstrated significant growth since we saw them last, with new material from Pacifica combining with reworked classics like This Boy's in Love to suggest scary-good work lies ahead.

On the topic of what lies ahead, whether it was the unseasonably warm weather or repeated exposure to the sight of dude- nipple, Parklife made thinking about the imminent summer festival season all too easy.

The West Australian

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