By Luka Flanagan
This years lineup for Yours and Owls Festival is absolutely stacked from top to bottom, providing just about everything you could ask for in a music festival. Everything from metal to hip hop, punk to pop, edm to math rock, there’s truly something for everyone. With massive acts like Angus and Julia Stone, Peking Duk, Ocean Alley and Hockey Dad taking most of the spotlight, there’s plenty of amazing bands and artists that are flying under the radar. So here’s 10 of the best hidden gems on this years lineup.
Post Punk bad boy’s Johnny Hunter are one of the hottest new acts to come out of Sydney in a while. They’ve been delivering some of the best live shows in Sydney for a minute now, playing with the like of Triple One, Body Type, Shining Bird, City Calm Down, Mesa Cosa, Planet and heaps more. Each time I’ve seen Johnny Hunter they’ve not just stolen the Spotlight but have taken it and outshined it with their electric live show and energy and passion oozing from each member. Give it a shot and go watch Johnny Hunter, it’s guaranteed to get your feet moving and put a huge smile on your dial.
Babymachine are one of Wollongong’s most legendary bands playing with just about everyone from Camp Cope and King Parrot to Frenzal Rhomb and Cosmic Psychos. Babymachine are one of the most powerful bands around with their huge dirty rock sound and important political messages. Catch them at the festival and see why they are one of best bands Wollongong has ever produced.
Space Boys are 4 hooligans sent straight from outer space with one mission, to make some of filthiest punk songs that Wollongong has ever produced. So far it’s mission accomplished. The boys have been ripping up practically everywhere with their larger than life live shows playing alongside some of the best bands around like These New South Whales Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, The Gooch Palms, Mesa Cosa, Triple One, Lunatics On Pogostics and that’s only scratching the surface. If you haven’t seen Space Boys yet, 1 what’re you doing? And 2, Make sure you catch them at Yours And Owls, they aren’t one to miss.
Homewrecker are one of the loudest and most powerful bands Wollongong has to offer at the moment. Homewrecker have been tearing up the scene for a minute now playing shows with the likes of Tumbleweed, White Blanks, Rackett, Vacations and Raave Tapes. Homewrecker play massive bone shattering loud punk songs inspired to iconic Femme rock bands like L7 and Hole. Homewrecker are the kind of in your face rock band that everyone need in their lives so make sure you don’t miss out when they play Yours And Owls.
Velvet Elevator are possibly my most look forward to band to play at Yours And Owls this year. Velvet Elevator are a local Heavy Psychedelic band with doom and drone influences with a volume to rival the sound of the main stage. Velvet Elevator have brought their massive sound to shows alongside L.A Witch, Totty, Los Tones, Rosa Maria, The Pinheads and Amyl And The Sniffers. Make sure you have ear protection when watching Velvet as they’re probably pound for pound the loudest band Wollongong has at the moment. They’re currently touring their debut album as well so if you get the chance you should get your hands on that, it’s personally album of the year for me. Come by and experience Velvet Elevator in person so you can understand why they’re such a special band.
Mere Women are a Sydney 4 piece post-punk band with one of the most unique sounds and encapsulating performances on this years lineups. Mere Women have made a name for themselves as being one of the highest quality bands Sydney has to offer by playing fantastic shows alongside Jen Cloher, These New South Whales, Protomartyr, Tropical Fuck Storm, Batpiss and Against Me to name a few. Mere Women’s music is dark and gritty but don’t let that deter you. Their performances are incredibly powerful and live game is always on point. Make sure you add Mere Women to the list of must sees at this year's festival.
Pist Idiots are a 4 piece rock band from Sydney. These boys have been regulars in the Wollongong scene for a while now, especially recently when playing back to back sold out shows at Rad with West Thebarton and their own headline show. Aside from those shows they’ve ripped up practically everywhere else playing alongside Skegss, The Gooch Palms, The Pinheads, Polish Club, Amyl And The Sniffers, Dumb Punts, Shame, Drunk Mums and Dear Seattle just to name a very small few. Pist Idiots have an unparalleled live game with songs you can’t help but sing along to. Pist Idiots are an absolute must see when the festival rolls around.
Scabz are a 3 piece pub punk band from Sydney. They’ve claimed the title of ‘Shittest band in Newtown’ although many would protest that as they’ve brought their huge drunken Aussie anthems to massive shows alongside The Smith Street Band, Frenzal Rhomb, The Peep Tempel, Cosmic Psychos, Camp Cope and even landing themselves on Festivals such as King Street Crawl, Bad Friday and Festival Of The Sun. Scabz are the epitome of having a good time so if you enjoy drinking beer and listening to some fantastic music then head on down to Scabz when they tear up Yours and Owls.
Scab Baby are a local 2 piece Garage, Noise, Psych-Punk band. Honestly it’s kind of impossible to nail them down to a single genre, all you’ve got to know is that they are one of the best up and coming bands Wollongong has to offer. Only being around for little over a year they’ve played some massive shows alongside the likes of Totty, The Chats, Good Doogs and Dave. These 2 bring a ridiculously high octane live show, it’s almost both of them are trying to top each other and see who can put the most energy and fire into their performance. Scab Baby are destined for big things so if you haven’t seen them yet make sure you see them at the festival as they’re absolutely not one to miss.
Fritz is a Noisy Shoegaze Pop band hailing from the great city of Newcastle. Originally starting as a solo project last year and then forming into a full band, Fritz have been getting a very positive reputation playing alongside Tired Lion, Ruby Fields, Waax, The Belligerents, Cub Sport, Middle Kids, Fazerdaze and playing festivals like Sounds Of The Suburbs and Secret Garden Festivals. Fritz are known for their bubbly and oozing with personality live game. Personally one of my favourite acts to watch as it’s just so much fun. When Fritz play at Yours and Owls make sure to check them out as they’re destined for very big things and destined to make you dance.