Hi:Fi South Festival Starts the Season in Style (Burberry and Bling)


Events, Features, Music, Review | by — May 29, 2006


by Joanna Orland & Gillian Wood

The festival formerly known as Homelands is back under the pseudonym Hi:Fi. We visited the festival’s south site in Winchester Matterey Bowl for all the gossip and breakbeats you could possibly want.

So why is Hi:Fi trying to break away from its Homelands past? Well, one theory is that dance music is dead. The guitars have to come out to bring the crowd in. That’s why Hi:Fi brought in a live arena with acts like The Go! Team, Super Furry Animals, Hard-Fi, Envelopes, Brakes, Bees and Ian Brown. Despite this merging of guitar music into a primarily dance festival, the main focus was dance and lots of it. In addition to the Live arena, there was a drum n bass tent, house tent, electronic tent and a breaks tent. With numerous dance acts to outweigh the guitar bands. We give the band selection a rating of:


Musically, the hilight of the festival is tied between The Go! Team and the Super Furry Animals. The Go! Team I have wanted to see live for a long time. Their raw energy, catchy tunes and bizarre sense of style packed the live arena, getting the crowd on their feet. While being a live band, they still have that energy and beats to justify entertaining a dance-oriented crowd. The Super Furries are just awesome. Again, this was my first time seeing the band despite meaning to for ages. I love how they came on stage in their blue rubber suits (not sure if they were space suits or rain suits). I love that the main guy has crazy images on all of his guitars. I love their songs and their subtle oddities. I love the fact that I have no idea why in the middle of a lovely song the singer grabbed a bag of Doritos and shoved them into his mouth violently. I love the fact that they have faux fur on their kick drum. I love the Super Furry Animals! Hoorah! We give The Go! Team and Super Furry Animals a rating of:


So given the fact that a lot of the remaining bands to see that night were of the dance genre, we had our doubts about whether or not we’d enjoy them. Wandering around from tent to tent we saw Roni Size, Scratch Perverts, lots of bands with beats, and such. We TRIED dancing to Roni Size only to be criticized for not having the right moves. Mylo packed the place. Hard-Fi really packed the place. The crowd seemed quite into Hard-Fi but we give them a rating of:


We weren’t overly impressed at this point but I must say, the festival had its surprisingly quirky moments. We left Hard-Fi very early to wander into the Electronic tent where we were very confused by what we saw. A man wearing flashing lights all over himself, moving like a robot. This, was My Robot Friend – the most bizarre thing ever to be seen on stage and DEFINITELY the new hilight of the festival. The fact that there were maybe but a dozen people in the tent with us watching this absurdity made it all the better. People would wander in from time to time asking us if we knew if that was a real man on stage or if it was a robot. The music itself was pretty good, but presentation is everything. The light show, the cameras, the moving and talking like a robot, this dude did not break character once. The scariest shit was when he came out into the crowd and attacked Gillian with a camera, pushing her across the arena. WTF. He then moved on to attack others in the crowd, no explanation just total absurdity. Lovely lovely absurdity. We give My Robot Friend a rating of:


Right, so we’ve got all the important music bits covered. Let’s discuss the crowd. This was a very strange mix of people. The majority of the crowd can be summed up by the bus ride there on the CHAVmobile! This has to be the most toothless crowd of people ever to ride a bus! Most of the crowd at Hi:Fi remained toothless. We give the oral hygiene of this festival a rating of:


Anyhoo, we were a bit lame and went to bed at 1am despite the rest of the camp staying up til 4 in the morning. We could hear the fun fair to our left and the guest arena to our right – all night long.

We left quite a bit earlier than most the next day. We stuck around for brekkie but because the main area of the festival didn’t open until 1pm, with bands not on until 2, we got bored. We did however stick around for Envelopes, the quirky little guitar band from Sweden that not only pissed us off, but embarassed us as well. Let me tell you, there were about 10 people in this giant live arena to watch Envelopes. I hate to speak on behalf of others I don’t know, but I think everyone there would’ve gladly thrown tomatoes at the singer if there had been any at hand. He was SO annoying. I really liked the rest of the band, but the singer… God I wish he’d’ve just SHUT UP! We decided to leave after a few of the songs (out of the goodness of our hearts we even waited for one of their songs to finish). The screechy whiny dude actually had the nerve to say “please don’t leave” to us! Who gave him the right to speak to the almighty Loose Lips girls? puh-lease!

Anyways, I got sunburnt on half of my face like the Phantom of the Opera, and poofed up eyelids from all the pollen and grass in the air.

Despite it not really being our scene, we had a good laugh at Hi:Fi South. I think they’re on the right track by mixing in the live guitar bands, but maybe next year take it a step further and get even more guitar and less beats!

Leave a Reply