Saturday Southbound 2012

By Evie Lavers - January 12, 2012

They ran solo. They walked holding hands, in pairs, gazing into each others eyes. They drove in convoys of fancy dressed, free-spirted adults trying to hold on desperately to their youth. They camped in their swags, tents and tee-pee's. The taste-makers of the West Coast mingled with the country kids from our deep South.  Southbound 2012 was a well dressed indi affair. The first day was anyway. If Perth ever needed a slogan it could honestly be the "City Of The Pretty People"12,000 adults ( it was the first year the organisers, Sunset Events, had run the event as an 18+ event ) attended Southbound over the weekend of January 7th and 8th in the sunny town of Busselton, Western Australia. A festival I have attended 4 times of the 6 years it has been running.
I attended my first Southbound in 2005 which was also the inaugural year for the festival. I was 16 years old. My boyfriend at the time and his mates who were a few years older than myself were what the Australia culture on contemporary music punters represented to the core ( 6 years ago that is ). The boys were in the early twenties were hard workers, Johnny Walker drinkers, the type of guys that classified Triple J as a religion and the Hottest 100 Day was more important than Christmas, Easter and any turning of age put together. They gathered in their VL's, Troopies and at times of desperation their Mum's Excels to any and every gig that the J's promoted. Many may put these boys into the bogan category but in my eyes they never were or will be. For this one reason. They had/have amazing taste in music.

Years have passed and people change. I don't think many of those boys went to Southbound this year I suppose mortgages and having a dog gets in the way of attending festivals as you get older ( excluding Travi ) Not for me though. This year I attended southbound as a volunteer for Sunset Events in the area of artist liaison. I had a blast with the girls and boys backstage. Meeting and greeting artists. I saw snippets of music here and there. Got Kimbra her soy latte and mingled with others in the music industry. The highlight of my day is an event that is little more personal. Meeting the lovely Patience from The Grates and thanking her for the time and effort the band have showed by best friend Aimee Bailey over the years.

John and Patience are The Grates

I met Aimee when I was 15. We attended Armadale Christan College together. Straight away she thought I was strange. It probably didn't help that the first day she came to my house I showed her my collection of Austin Powers memorabilia which included the whole cast in talking figurines. I could see the look in her face, she wasn't impressed. She was scared.  Time went by and we became really close until one day, I can remember the day exactly, she said to me "we can't be friends if you listen to shit music"  Pretty harsh I thought but I get it now. She gave me three Cd's and strict instructions to listen to Triple J every chance I get, non-stop, every day for two weeks. The Cd's she lent to me that gradually became my own were the Triple J -1994 Hottest 100, Ben Harper - Live From Mars and Nirvana - Nevermind. Album's I swear she stole from her older sisters collection changed my life forever.

Triple J Hottest 100 - 1994 - Volume 3

Around 4 years ago Aimee had a really bad car accident. She was put into an induced coma as she had bleeding on the brain and the doctors needed to release some of the pressure. She didn't wake up for months. When she did she had memory loss which was heart breaking to witness from her point of view and every one around her that cared for her. Aimee has come to now but not before she went though months of painful rehabilitation that taught her everything from the simplest things in life that many of us take for granted such a speaking and walking. Her sister Rebecca had been in contact with The Grates manager and had informed them that Aimee was a HUGE fan.

 Aimee and her Boyfriend Stevo - 2011

The Grates sent Aimee get well soon letters and invitations to their shows which she attended.  This may have not been a big thing for the band at the time but it meant the world to Aimee. When I saw Patience at Southbound and I mentioned I was one of Aimee's friend. She passed on a message for me to give to Aimee. It was a enormous hug and apologies for not being on facebook any more to chat. I relayed the information that Aimee was doing well, had a lovely boyfriend and a job she was really enjoying. After the encounter with patience it took me back to when Aimee was in hospital.
From lefty to righty - Cheryl another friend from High School, Myself and the lovely 
Miss Aimee Bailey at the 2011 Perth Big Day Out.

Studying and working in the music industry is inspiring and intense. There are so many talented and gifted souls that I aspire to be like and look up to that sometimes I forget that everyday people also carry these attributes. In no way at all am I saying that Patience or Aimee are everyday people but the gratitude that Patience showed so many years ago I will never forget and somewhere in our hearts we all carry it with us. The strenght and determination that Aimee shows everyday to life I will always admire. She is my hero. I think we forget that we can push though our personal limits to do huge things too often.

Kimbra @ Southbound 2012 
Photo courtesy of Raised By The Wolves

Kimbra - Live @ Southbound 2012

On a lighter note the highlight performers for me were at Southbound 2012 were ... Perth band Sonpsilo Circus's opening set on the Saturday which I managed to catch a few songs of were awesome. Kimbra the New Zealand female vocalist stage presence and vocals totally blew me away and Dub FX. Wow Dub FX is honestly. I have no words. Just really fucking cool live.

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