Reviewed on Saturday November 30

Festival of the Sun may now be sold out but Bondi brought the goods courtesy a free sneak preview of what the two-day Port Macquarie festival has on offer, with the Beach Road Hotel holding a Festival of the Sun Warm-Up Party.

Trendy inner city hipsters mingled with the beautiful beach kids at the popular Saturday night jaunt – an abundance of long hair, brimmed hats, double denim and manicured beards scattered the room, some obliviously out for a boozy night, others specifically there to see some homegrown indie acts before they play at what is becoming a real highlight of the Aussie festival calendar.

After several minutes of onstage sound checks,energetic indie rockers Set Sail opened the gig with the upbeat and catchy ‘The Boat Song’. Currently in the studio recording their next release, the Sydney-based trio continued their seasonable sounds; the mix of acoustic pop and beach rock vocals earning them a spot on any discerning listener’s summertime playlist.

Keeping the good beats coming, five-piece group Gang Of Brothers rocked the crowd with their funky, bluesy soul tunes. The audience wasn’t quite picking up what the band was putting down, so vocalist and drummer Buddy Siolo told them what’s up: “It’s quiet as shit in here – it’s time to start jumping!” And so they did, as the group busted out funky roots and rock tracks including ‘Get Up On Ya Feet N Testify’ and ‘Going To The Pub’.

On the back of their Wandering Eyes national tour, five-piece Sydneysiders Tigertown brought the tempo down but kept the crowd moving with their acoustic sounds and crafty indie pop, including ‘What You Came Here For’, and radio favourites ‘Lions And Witches’ and ‘Morning Has Finally Come’.

If this was just the warm up, FotSun will not disappoint. Joining the showcased locals is a solid festival lineup including You Am I, The Rubens, Ash Grunwald, Stonefield, The Beards and Kingswood, to name just a few – so if you have tickets, be stoked. It’s going to be a good weekend.

BY JULIENNE GILET

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