Stages littered with a single-launch, final shows and hundreds of fans in the Adelaide music scene showed A Day of Clarity is a memorable festival in the making
Words by Paul Maland
When I first arrived at the first stage of the inaugural festival, any talks about the upcoming bands were instantly replaced with “Will I even be able to see the stage past all these people?”
The entirely free festival, headed by Clarity Records owner and operator Matthew ‘Footy’ Horvath, spread over six different stages in Adelaide’s east-end, and hosted over 24 bands and artists.
A bottle-necked door to the entrance of The Exeter’s beer-garden was affixed with a speech-slurring, polite Crows fan more than willing to let punters push through him to get a better view of the back of other people’s heads. A kind-hearted music fan, or possibly just attracted by the spectacle of the beer garden being full to the point where each table-top was without space for any more feet, this old mate was just one of the many who’d filled the venue (both inside and outside) to total capacity.
Slick Arnold, Sincerely Grizzly & West Thebarton Brothel Party delivered the goods, going up-to and beyond crowd expectations. The West Theb boys capping off their single launch, as usual, were punctuated by Reverend Ray’s howling & pit-stumbling vocals. One of the many of the band’s Fenders stroked the potted-plants that hang from the beer-garden ceiling as guitarists crowd-surfed twice mid-song – a freeze-frame shot of this would’ve been a stellar ending to just about any regular gig, but rather this was just the opening credits for what was still the beginning of A Day (or night) of Clarity.
Punters spilled out of the venue like a wave as they slowly drifted towards the Crown & Anchor, Producers Bar, & Clarity Records (the record-label’s base of operations and record store). The energy slowly rolled back as Pro-Tools, Summer Blood, Beaver (playing their bassist’s final show), Melchior, World View, Reactions, Glass, Canidae (and many more) got things started for the second half of the action at their respective stages.
. Meanwhile at The Cranka, in a similar fashion to The Exeter, lovers of free shit and good music filled up the stages before one of Adelaide’s best kept secrets, God God Dammit Dammit, filled the main-stage with their ridiculous amount of band members as cruisey and energetic acoustic jams filled the front bar. Talk of Unearthed favourites Sparkspitter being worth the walk lead to a slight drop in numbers as punters left for the Clarity Records in-store show.
I thought I’d probably seen the most amp’d up band member of the night as I watched one of the guitarists of God God Dammit Dammit in awe, but that went out the window as Clowns front-man Stevie took to the stage with crazy eyes and an eventual stage dive off of the Cranka’s sound-booth – exactly what you’d want to see at a punk show, really.
Over at The Producers, Adelaide Hardcore heavyweights The Weight were well into their final show indefinitely. A sombre tone was awash amongst the crowd as pit-goers did their typical hardcore-pit-dance of fighting off invisible ninjas, while probably fighting off feelings of melancholy knowing that The Weight was just about over. They finished off their set (“This is our last song, ever”) with album title-track 'Prisoners Of The Flock' to, quite frankly, mixed-reactions. Event organizer Footy, if not exhausted enough from his latest 24-hour trade stint on Record Store Day, wore a tired smile as he chatted outside the venue, while punters left satisfied knowing they’d definitely gotten above and beyond their money’s worth (probably getting better value than some paid festivals offer).
A Day of Clarity 2016 is already being organized – and, if this year’s is anything to go-by, is a definite to watch out for if you consider yourself a fan of local music.