Previously held at The Entrance Leagues Club, this year’s Sweaty Palms Festival took over Proud Mary’s in Erina (30 September), bringing with it a fresh look, a better user-friendly layout and the opportunity to take the train home to Newcastle after too many beers.
Perhaps one of the greatest improvements to Sweaty Palms came from an unlikely place, the artwork. The cohesion across the grounds and attention to detail really paid off; from the stage banners, to the t-shirts, right down to the beer cans, Sydney artist Struthless and his trademark sketches held the festival together in all its millennial pink glory.
With an enviable mix of indie rock and dream pop, Wollongong’s Good Lekker were one the unexpected stand-outs of the day, kicking off the Snakepit deck stage with arguably one of the best sets of the festival.
Crowd at Sweaty Palms - image © Jye Parker
It was their infectious riffs and an energetic stage presence that really began to coax the punters out of their early-afternoon food comas.
Click here for more photos.
In keeping with the theme of great opening acts, Crocodylus smashed out their set on the main stage. Fans of Dune Rats and Dumb Punts certainly felt very much at home with the trio’s punchy, surf-rock style and high-energy performance.
If you missed out on this year’s early acts, you’ve definitely sold your Sweaty Palms experience very short.
If scuzzy, psychedelic rock is your thing, then the sets you should have caught on Saturday were by locals Space Carbonara and SOY. Face-melting riffs and tinges of '90s grunge littered the stage as these two bands delivered their stellar sets. Do yourself a favour and give these guys a spin if you fancy yourself a fan of Pond or just exceptional live shows.
The Orwells - image © Jye Parker
Hailing all the way from Elmhurst, Illinois, The Orwells delivered a set that seemed to drip with charisma and creative flair. This was a performance that demanded the attention of the crowd, bringing almost the entire festival to the main stage.
While surf rock seems to reign supreme on the Central Coast, the sultry, sinister tones of The Orwells went down well with the crowd. Tracks like ‘They Put A Body In The Bayou’ and ‘Who Needs You’ were truly something to behold. Catch these guys in Australia while you can.
Citizen Kay - image © Jye Parker
If the words ‘outrageously fresh’ mean anything to you, then there’s a good chance that you caught Citizen Kay’s performance. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen an artist that happy to be on stage before, and let me tell you that enthusiasm was unbelievably infectious.
I defy anyone to be miserable at a Citizen Kay set. You just couldn’t do it.
It was clear from the huge crowd at the main stage, that the majority of the Sweaty Palms punters had been waiting all day for Skegss to arrive. Lyrically, the trio are one of the most talented bands kicking around the scene at the moment, outperforming many of their surf-rock counterparts.
Skegss - image © Jye Parker
Tracks such as ‘Spring Has Sprung’ and ‘Wake The F*** Up’ sending the crowd into a frenzy and rounding out one of the wildest sets of the day.
Touted as the headliner of Sweaty Palms, Illy delivered one of the weaker sets of the day; the rapper’s performance, while technically flawless, felt very overproduced and perhaps a little lacklustre. A guest appearance from up-and-comer Kuren seemed to go down well with the crowd though, as did tracks such as ‘Two Degrees’ and ‘It Can Wait’.
Illy - image © Jye Parker
Lovers of hip hop could have certainly served themselves better by venturing down to catch Savilian and Ruki reigning chaos on the Snakepit stage.