Strutting onto the festival scene is newcomer SCENE & HEARD, held away from Sydney up at Newcastle’s Wickham Park. In it’s inaugural year SCENE & HEARD Festival has managed to put together a cracking line up of all Aussie talent that left me reminiscent of a certain Sydney festival that used to be held in the Domain every December. 

The Sun is shining and the weather is sweet and I know every little thing is going to be alright, as for when I walk in Dallas Crane are on stage covering Led ZeppelinRock N Roll’. What a cracking start to the day, I soon get myself acquainted with the festival lay out which often mean’s I head straight for the bar. The bar lines move quick which is always a good thing and whilst the beer was festival prices, a green initiative undertaken by the festival was you get a $1 rebate on any can or cup you bring back to the recycle station. That is something I think all festivals should adopt. A  similar things happens at European festivals so it’s about time Australia did the same. 

I really like having the one stage approach this mean you get to see all the bands you want and experience no clashes or running between stages, given the older nature of the crowd this was probably for the best. One main stage also meant you can gather with your tribe pick a spot and plant roots for the day lay down a picnic blanket or simply fold out a chair and miss none of the action. When it came to nourishment the festival had put on a real Sunday spread with some of the hippest and best food trucks from Sydney’s inner west and Newie.    

The line up featured quite a few band we hadn’t seen or heard from in a while, all puns intended. Front End Loader, Skunkhour, Sneaky Sound System and Killing Heidi who are currently enjoying a bit of a resurgence and celebrating 20 years as a band. Seeing Ella Hooper up there on stage in her cat suit stirred feeling inside of me from my younger days. With the band came the hits and as such gave us a giant sing-a-long to ‘Superman Super Girl‘, ‘Mascara‘ and of course that early 2000 anthem ‘Weir‘.

As the sun began to set the crowd began to swell and with dusks gentle embrace we got to mellow out with Something For Kate, Paul Dempsey’s voice still so good as he cranked out classics like ‘Monsters’ and ‘Hallways‘ . Meanwhile over at the ‘Don’t Come Monday’ area a giant Boom Box acted as a stage and hosted a trio of Aussie club legends Kid Kenobi, Groove Terminator and Goodwill all bringing the beat for us to stamp and stomp our feet. But I was more interested in “getting out of my head”  with the absolute thumping Spiderbait who rocked us back in time with ‘Buy Me a Pony’, ‘Black Betty’ and ‘Calypso’. Closing out the night legendary rockabilly heroes The Living End saw to it that thing’s ‘Roll On‘ and delivered one hell of  show laying down some of their new stuff  ‘Drop The Needle’ , ‘Otherside‘ were pretty good but its in the classics that we found our singing voice’s and bounced around to ‘Second Solution‘, ‘Prisoner Of Society‘ and the special set closer of ‘Uncle Harry’.

The night had drawn to a close at a sensible hour and we are headed on home. I couldn’t help but feel some what nostalgic on my long drive home, the music had taken me back to a time when things were much simpler. Scene And Heard festival was an experience unlike any other and done right, creating an ultimate Sunday session filled with happy people and great live music.

Review – Chad 

Photo Gallery – Christian Ross 


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