City Calm Down rewarded hometown fans in the rain at Shimmerlands

Get the latest from Beat

City Calm Down rewarded hometown fans in the rain at Shimmerlands


When the Shimmerlands program was unveiled, City Calm Down was undoubtedly one of the highlights. Heavily promoted in the lead up to the evening, you couldn’t have asked for a more torrid dose of weather when the day finally rolled around.

Set among the regal buildings of Melbourne University’s Parkville campus. The chosen courtyard included a small marquee around the bar, which was lucky given the conditions. Early in the evening, as the rain bucketed down, the early punters were all huddled underneath it, seeking a refuge from the torrential downpour. A few brave crowd members were standing up near the stage waiting for triple j Unearthed winner Gretta Ray to lay down her sultry brand of indie pop. Unfortunately, just before she was due to take to the stage it was announced that due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’ she would no longer be performing.

Organisers were left in a bind, whether to please attendees and move fellow support The Harpoons and headliners forward and potentially anger ticket holders who had not arrived yet or leave the schedule as is. They decided to move things forward, unfortunately many who had planned to arrive just for City Calm Down missed well over half their set. They were put in a difficult situation and did the best they could. Kudos to them for ensuring the event still went ahead given the awful weather.

The Harpoons played an enthusiastic set. Their feel-good music was a welcome distraction from the rain and the cancellation, as their impressive sound washed over those early attendees.

Around an hour earlier than originally scheduled, hometown heroes City Calm Down arrived onstage much to the relief of a waterlogged crowd. Opening with Border On Control, it was clear from the get-go that the band were going to reward these loyal fans for their immense dedication with a show to remember. Fan favourite Son showed off just how good they could sound, even in extremely trying conditions.

As they’ve just headed into the studios to begin laying down tracks for their sophomore album, the band showcased some new tunes among their well-known first album cuts. The new tracks sounded brilliant, no doubt exciting fans for what is in store when the album is released. The crowd was also treated to their Like a Version song, Foals’ Spanish Sahara, a special moment in the show.

Your Fix, with the singalong chorus of ‘if you’re looking for forgiveness, I don’t care’ was a late set high point. At various points singer Jack Bourke thanked those who braved the weather in ponchos up the front and those squashed under the marquee alike for their attendance despite the conditions. It was likely that quite a few ticket holders didn’t brave conditions and stayed home. However, those who did were duly rewarded with a stellar set from one of the country’s finest and most exciting bands.

Words by Alexander Crowden

Image by Andrew Bibby

Highlight: The dedication of fans and bands alike.

Lowlight: Melbourne’s “summer” weather.

Crowd Favourite: Your Fix.