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The etymology of the term “good” in the context of Good Friday is contested: Some claim it is meant to simply mean pious or holy, i.e. of a day or season observed as holy by the church, while others content that it is a corruption of “God Friday” to commemorate the crucifixion of JC and his death at Calvary. Be it as it may, Sydney’s got itself a massive block party that goes by the antonym of the former to celebrate the beginning of Easter by showcasing the crème de la crème of Sydney’s Inner West talent. Having first incarnated at the Annandale Hotel in 2010, 2017 saw the festival take over Railway Parade in Marrickville.
Newtown locals Scabz kicked off the proceedings with their catchy, skulking, fuzzed-out odes to favourite Australian pastimes, e.g. the surf and Victoria Bitter consumption. Next up was Flowertruck delivering their light hearted, saccharine low-fi garage pop with dual vocals and a well-measured dose of melancholy. Got a weak spot for Blondie, Kate Bash and War on Drugs? Reformed folk singer and Wollongong artist Bec Sandridge had you covered, evoking the ghost of the 70ies and 80ies with her swagger and velocity.
Green Buzzard proved that they are more than a 1970s inspired garage rock epigone, adding their own flavour comprised of melodic punk rock grit, early 90s Brit-pop exuberance and a penchant for writing a good tune. Shining Bird is an experimental dream pop band from the coastal town of Austinmer in New South Wales and entranced the audience with their layered synth pop. The female poet and singer-songwriter Sampa The Great hails from Africa the motherland, and based her musical endeavours on the search for creativity, laughter, purpose and rhythms by weaving dense lyrical mazes with her verses, drawing listeners into a lush, imaginative world. , Backed by DJ Rodriguez she ran the gamut from spoken-word to more traditional hip-hop rapping, with stops at psychedelic and bluesy waypoints in between, the audience lapped up a set that seemed strangely familiar but also new. Royal Headache is Sydney punk rock royalty with soul and a penchant for romantisches Loosen while conveying that there is a glimmer of hope in that uncertain future of yours.
Too melodramatic? Well, their intense set had a sense of urgency with their raucous punk rock and singer Shogun’s soulful, melodic vocals and dedicated performance. DMA’s took the stage to dish out their bolshy, well-crafted, catchy tunes, refurbished 90ies Brit-rock inspired catchy and at times spacey tunes including its pub poetry and no fucks given attitude: A quality stoic live performance with great stage presence and the band’s focus on the songs while holding the audience firmly in the palm of their hand, which embraces DMA’s wholeheartedly.
After an ambient intro, The Jezabels took over the stage with front woman Hayley Mary dominating proceeding with her dynamic, provocative and powerful presence and her elevating vocal delivery evoking sing alongs from the audience while Heather Shannon on the synth provided the foundation with 80ies vibrations that have become a trademark of the band.2017’s Bad Friday Festival was its eight incarnation and the Music and Booze co. managed to raise the stakes and organize the event at a much bigger scale than in previous years without diluting its DNA.T he audience was varied in age and appearance, food stalls from local outfits provided sustenance and the DJ team of local institution Sound of Seduction provided party vibes when a breather was needed from the onslaught of live performance. A unique fest that has organically grown to a big event without sacrificing the essence of what it started out to be by honoring the local context and talent, most of which have become successes on not just on Australian turf but global territory.
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