Australian Harvest Gathering This Weekend: Portishead, National, TV on the Radio, more – Plus, A Flaming Lips/ Mercury Rev Reunion?

Harvest – A Civilised Gathering aims to be not just Australia’s newest music festival but “a new dimension in music & arts.”  The six-stage event will take place over three single-day concerts in Melbourne (Werribee Park, Sat 12 Nov), Sydney (Parramatta Park, Sun 13 Nov) and Brisbane (Botanical Gardens, Sat 19 Nov).  With Portishead headlining the main (“Great Lawn”) stage, the line-up also boasts The National, Bright Eyes, TV On The Radio, Holy Fuck, Phosphorescent and many more.  The Flaming Lips-headlined Windmill Stage is not to be missed: Mercury Rev, The Walkmen, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Mogwai and others (see below- note, all three days have the same line-up).

Though there has been some tension between The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev over the years, now is the perfect time for the two bands to collaborate live.  Wayne Coyne credited Deserter’s Songs with boosting the Lips’ success circa The Soft Bulletin as recently as this June (to thequietus.com): “I think without Deserter’s Songs being so significant, The Soft Bulletin would probably have not been followed too much. But since it was put in the same vein, people became very interested in us.”  Likewise, Mercury Rev’s Sean Mackowiak (aka Grasshopper) told themusic.com last month “we talk with Wayne and Michael now and again… most of the time now we see them at different festivals in Belgium or in Ireland, playing the same bills and stuff. But it’s great to see them.”

If they do collaborate, one possibility is “There You Are” – a Flaming Lips song dating back to the days when Mercury Rev’s Jonathan Donahue was a member.  Earlier this year Rev reissued Deserter’s Songs in various formats – one of which included a limited edition bonus live album “Beyond the Swirling Clouds – An Evening At Barrowland Ballroom.”  The Glasgow, Scotland 2005 set includes “There You Are” – which Mercury Rev have also played live within the last year.

If you’d like to see The Flaming Lips collaborate with Mercury Rev – tweet at them to tell them so.

http://twitter.com/#!/Wes_Williamson/status/134730437321949184

Harvest will mark Portishead’s first appearance in the country in 13 years.  The Flaming Lips last toured there in 2009: Splendour In The Grass Festival – Byron Bay, Australia (July 26), Hordern Pavillion  Sydney, Australia (July 28) and Festival Hall  Melbourne, Australia (July 29).  Watch highlights from those shows, plus their Triple J radio session and Wayne Coyne’s Australia MySpace Music playlist here.

Image for Harvest Festival 2011 line up: Flaming Lips & Portishead Announced

Australia’s music fans have a rabid reputation.  They travel half way ’round the world to attend All Tomorrow Parties in England and America until ATP came to Brisbane, Sydney and Mount Buller in 2009.  They have excellent media coverage through ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) television – particularly the all-night, weekend music TV series “r a g e” – and the youth oriented Triple J radio station.  Musicfeeds is perhaps the most internationally respected indie music site not from America.  And come New Years – remember, down there summer vacation starts during advent and ends mid-February – there’s the Falls Festival (the 2010 becomes 2011 edition featured The National, Interpol, Public Enemy performing Fear of a Black Planet, Klaxons, The Rapture, Cold War Kids, Sleigh Bells, Peaches and, of course, the countries brightest new band, Tame Impala) and its more mainstream, hard-rockin’ counterpart, Big Day Out.  Hopefully we can add Harvest to this list for years to come… as “a new dimension in music & arts”… 

“It sounds like a marvellous festival. We’re always looking for an excuse to come back down to Australia and you try and time where you can get as much bang for your buck as you can. We always put out the idea that if someone wants to try something new… we’ll take a chance and do something. So I’m glad that this festival has turned into such a potentially great show for the audience.”

Wayne Coyne  to Triple J’s The Doctor

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