Sydney delivered once again in both climate and talent for Homebake 2012 on Saturday. In the beautiful Botanical Gardens of the city, surrounded by markets stalls, food stands and a couple of fun rides, was a ring of stages exhibiting some of Australia and New Zealand’s most talented musicians and comedians.
The comedy stage kicked off just in time for the crowd to seek refuge from the sun. Settling in under the tent and surrounded by a plethora of shady trees, the eclectic congregation that is synonymous with Homebake came prepared and keen to hear some great Aussie comedy.
MC Cam Knight popped up, already touched by the sun and bouncing with energy and with no restraint got straight into it, picking apart the festival outfits of the younger generation and leaving nothing out of bounds but making a well-warranted argument nonetheless. If one day Knight has a daughter she is definitely not going to be allowed wear denim shorts or belts with dresses without copping a mouthful of sarcasm and finger-pointing from her father.
Tien Tran, whose political and racial commentary was well received by the more mature punters of the festival, put a new spin on the metaphor ‘fighting for our freedom’, diving headfirst into anti-war, anti-refugee and sweat camp jokes that could have easily had him sinking in the deep end, but with just enough self-deprecation and light-heartedness he was walking on water.
Fresh off a two-week stint in London and a recent move to Sydney, the much-hyped 2012’s ‘Best Newcomer’ winner,Matt Okine, did not disappoint. The fast-talking (and let’s admit incredibly handsome) comedian was no doubt the crowd favourite, rattling off some new and old material that had the audience in stitches. His conspiracy theory of segregation of the rich from the middle class through bread and toaster ovens had the audience wholeheartedly applauding his performance and even Knight had turned a deeper shade of red by the end of the ten-minute slot.
Making the move to introduce comedy and art into the Australian music festival scope has been a real step forward by Homebake, proving to be a great way to relax and unwind after a solid few hours of fist-pumping and head-banging. Although the comedy tent demonstrated its worth to the grounds, the film section that was promoted by Homebake was nowhere to be found, unmarked on the map and non-existent on land, which was a source of disappointment.
Disappointment short-lived, however, between the impressive line-up and beautiful grounds, and by the time the sun set and headlining comedian Tim Minchin stepped onto the stage, there wasn’t a worry in the world. Unsure of how to enjoy the main stage set, the crowd took to sprawling on the lawn and giggling to the lyrics of Minchin’s songs. The perfect time to chill out and calm down before going nuts to the epic sounds of Blondie.