Eight unmissable acts hitting the stage at this year’s St Kilda Festival
29.01.2020

Eight unmissable acts hitting the stage at this year’s St Kilda Festival

Press Club - photo by Ian Laidlaw
Words by David James Young

The festival’s 40th iteration is set to be massive.

For four decades, St Kilda Festival has had people marching in from all over the city to celebrate a music takeover of the storied suburb. The best part? Punters don’t have to pay a cent to come down and experience the whole thing. Here’s a quick cheat guide on some of the  festival’s must-sees.

Cash Savage & The Last Drinks

If you’re a Melbourne gig regular, there’s a strong chance you’re well across the artful pub-rock that Cash Savage and her band provide. Across four studio albums – the most recent being 2018’s excellent Good Citizens – the band has provided a steely, steadfast and strong selection of songs that stand their ground and fearlessly delve into the inner psyche. Fresh from a national tour in support of Bad//Dreems, this will be one of your last chances to see the band in action before they begin work on album number five. They’ll be on the Main Stage from 2:30pm.

RAT!hammock

2019 was a huge year for Melbourne indie darlings RAT!hammock. They picked up radio rotation for their singles ‘Ghost’ and ‘Pick Up’, sold out shows around Australia and racked up a slew of festival appearances in the interim. It’s incredibly easy to see why people are so drawn to the band – theirs is a brand of melodic and immediately-accessible indie rock that also carries a sting in the tail and a flair for both the unusual and unconventional. The New Music Stage at 8:20pm.

Press Club

Since hitting the ground running circa 2017, Press Club have spent far more time on the road than off it. Whether it’s leaving their hearts out in the suburbs of Australian venues across the country, or bringing their driving post punk to bars and clubs across Europe, audiences
cannot get enough of this irrepressible and urgent band. Press Club have easily become one of the country’s hardest working and most engaging live bands. If you haven’t yet experienced them, now is the time to do so. Punk rock hits the O’Donnell Gardens Stage at 7:15pm.

DRMNGNOW

You’ve seen his name around the internet in the past few weeks, on account of his herculean eff orts to fund-raise for Indigenous communities and families affected by the bushfi res. What many don’t know, however, is that outside of his activism, DRMNGNOW – aka Neil Morris – is an accomplished hip hop artist. Needless to say, his outspoken and articulate political views and his connection to his Yorta Yorta heritage are transitioned seamlessly into his music. It’s pertinent, powerful and worth going out of your way for. Morris hits the O’Donnell Gardens Stage at 1pm.

Dallas Woods

You might recognise Dallas’ name from his multiple collaborations with Baker Boy, but Woods is a force to be reckoned with in his own right. Largely inspired by his life in East Kimberley in Western Australia, the Wyndham native has dropped a string of exceptional singles over the last 18 months, delivering conscious and evocative hip hop. There’s plenty more where that came from, of course, and St Kilda Festival punters will no doubt see Woods trialling new material. He hits the Fitzroy Street Stage at 8:20pm.

Stonefield

It’s been ten years since the Findlay sisters first burst onto the scene with the retro-rock banger ‘Through the Clover’ and its accompanying EP. Since then, the family band have continued to forge their own niche sound within the realm of psychedelia and garage rock, maturing their sound over the course of several LPs and exhaustive touring. If you’ve not kept up with the Findlays since their high school days, now’s as good a time as ever to formally reacquaint yourself. They’re on the Main Stage from 5pm.

Alice Skye

Originally from Horsham in country Victoria, singer-songwriter Alice Skye has left quite an impression on her captive audience at a relatively young age. 2019 saw her touring with the veteran Clare Bowditch and releasing a tender new single, ‘I Feel Better But I Don’t Feel Good’. Her confessional, intimate take on folk-rock carries a substantial weight in its words and its emotive delivery – resulting in a breathtaking, beautiful live show with her excellent live band in tow. She takes to the Push Stage from 6:55pm.

Very Special Anniversary Guest

Here’s one we know literally nothing about. This could be anyone – perhaps a Melbourne native, or an interstate visitor. Maybe even international? Nothing is out of the question at this stage. Of course, the festival organisers themselves are staying completely silent on the matter. What does that mean? Simple: You’re gonna have to come along and find out for yourself, folks. Who knows what excitement awaits?

St Kilda Festival celebrates 40 years when it takes over the beachside suburb on Sunday February 9. Check out the full festival program at stkildafestival.com.au.