An inspired decision was made on a whim when Damien and I waited at the Airport Bar in Sydney. I noticed on the Malaysia Truly Asia update on my Facebook page that the Australian music festival, Future Music, was making it’s Asian debut in Malaysia the Saturday after we were to arrive. The tickets were at a temptingly cheap price so we thought it was too good an opportunity to pass up.
Future Music was held at the F1 Circuit in Sepang (which is incidently on next week here). The day itself was perfection from beginning to end. Sometimes the magic happens and good thing after good thing keeps happening. Some days are just like that and this was a stellar example. To others the things that made this perfect for Damien and I may not seem so astounding but for us, conditions were perfect. Repeat. Conditions were perfect.
It started with our decision to thumb our noses at the overpriced limousine service at our hotel and try our luck down the road where we had spied a few cabbies having lunch earlier that day. As we entered this small cabbie eating haunt a guy in a car with some tourist travel logo emblazoned on the side drove past, and for whatever reason we and he locked eyes and the next minute he had pulled up and we had piled in. We wheeled a deal with him and were happy with our substantially cheaper transport option. The dude was friendly in the typical Malaysian way, though he did ask us at one point why we had decided to get in his car as he could have been ‘bad’. Bad he wasn’t and soon we had arrived at the Festival.
During the hotter parts of the day there were not massive swarms of people, definitely not the 30 000 we had heard reports of on the radio. However, this was just fine by us as we were able to get our bearings sans crowds and stroll on up to the empty bars for some beers. May I add here that there were no queues for the bars at any stage even at night when there were 1000’s of people at the venue. Photographic evidence attached! Being a seasoned festival goer back home this kind of gift from God is not to be sneezed at! One of the bonuses of drinking in a country where a substantial proportion of the population don’t due to their religion.
The toilet situation was equally good. Anyone who has had the misfortune of having to line up in an exceptionally long queue when you already need to go understands the value of a no toilet queue festival! Though the novelty factor of the Asian style port-a-loo was not lost on me, so a high brow photo of that is attached 😛 As is the curious warning sign about not putting holes in the toilet or bringing candles…cause you know I always carry a candle or two in case I should need one in a festival dunny!
One of the acts we were really keen to check out was Flo Rida. Neither of us were massive fans of this muscle bound behemoth prior to heading o/s but after watching too much MTV in Scandinavian hotels we got more well acquainted with the large man….not as acquainted as we were soon to be though. In Flo Rida’s Good Feelin’ video clip he spends a lot of time running around the cities of the world with his shirt off. We figured any dude who has such a good opinion of himself as to be comfortable to have his own name inked in massive letters on his back deserves to be witnessed in the flesh. Even if more for our own amusement than listening pleasure.
We soon realised that this was the festival of the Flo as DJ after DJ would drop a sample of his extremely catchy Good Feelin’. The first to do so was none other than the gorgeous Ruby Rose who I was rather stoked to see in real life, literally a couple of metres away. DJs played homage at the temple of the Flo all day and night long, and as Damien remarked even Eddie Halliwell – the epitome of the “I am a God” DJ – dropped Flo’s Good Feelin’.
We both really rated the set by Kyoto Protocol and they are definitely a band I would like to see and hear more of. It was nice to listen to their tunes whilst enjoying a bit of respite from the heat via the breeze that gently blew at this hill top stage.
We were keen not to miss the big man so we sauntered on down to the main stage and caught the end of the Potbelleez just as they started up the tune, “Don’t Hold Back” which I love. We waited in anticipation as the onstage cameraman and DJ revved up the crowd – we were all waiting to go with the Flo. When he finally hit the stage in all his muscle bound magnificence I was soon converted from slightly skeptical arm chair critic to screamin’, dancin’ appreciator! For a man who had apparently just got off an 18 hour flight he certainly had a lot of energy. He was the consummate performer. As it turns out despite rarely listening to commercial radio I must have by osmosis absorbed a lot more of his tunes than I realised because I knew practically every one. He of course did not disappoint our preconceived impressions and strutted around the stage like he owned the place, and let’s face it, when every other act on the day drops your song into the mix who can help but feel like a God? My personal favourite was when he unashamably exhibited some public self love by kissing his bicep. Thanks Flo. Hilarious. You made my day with that one!
In true performer style he handed out red roses to all the pretty ladies and oh did they love it! Then all of a sudden it was over and he said goodbye and was off the stage…what, no Good Feelin’? This was rather disappointing. Everyone started to empty out of the area and then bam! He returned to stage with that song as the finale and the departing crowd came running back at top speed. Flo got down amongst the crowd on the shoulders of people and everyone went crazy. It was a gold moment and I luckily caught it on my mobile. Unfortunately my poor phone didn’t cope well with the loud music so about all you can hear is me singing very badly over the top of the din at one point. However, I am willing to put aside my dignity so I can record for posterity in a visual sense what was one of, if not the, favourite part of our day. [NOTE: am having trouble uploading this video, so I will try to do it as a separate post soon]
Riding the good feelin’ and grinning from ear to ear we then enjoyed nearly an hour of Eddie Halliwell before heading to the hilltop to cool down and listen to a little of Chase and Status. They had a really unique sound which I would have happily heard more of except that we really wanted to catch Aussies, Pendulum do their thing. Pendulum were awesome but after about an hour we decided that a serious session of trance was in order so off we went and the DJs there were definite highlights – Fono, John 00 Fleming and Super 8. Damien loves his trance and I realised that night, so do I. Taken over by the brilliance of the day and let’s face it our lives since we ditched work, we were having a moment, reflecting on how much we feel for each other when suddenly uncharacteristically out of nowhere, in time with our ‘moment’ Super 8 stopped his typical trance sound to play a segment of Kings of Leon’s ‘Use Somebody’ . Yep, right at that moment. It was freaky in it’s timing and perfect for our feeling. Thank you Hermes!
We also reflected while we were at the Gnome stage listening to quality trance that coming to this festival was indeed an inspired decision as it was something ‘normal’ to do and we didn’t feel like tourists, just part of something with the locals. We made some local friends at the Gnome stage and I had a great dancing partner in a chick we met who came from Melaka.
We had rationed out our beer money to last us throughout the day, but as we enjoyed the good vibes at the Gnome stage we realised that we would have to spend our last 30 RM that was reserved for a taxi on two beers. We could get some cash for the taxi when we got back to the Concorde Inn, we reasoned. Money spent and beer drunk we said goodbye to our Malaysian mates and headed over to check out the Chemical Brothers. We were both happy to call it a night shortly thereafter as it had been a long day.
The grand finale in our perfect day was when we reached the bottom of the street where we needed to wait for a taxi. There was instead, lo and behold, a mini bus from the Concorde Inn waiting, already nearly full with other guests. We timed it beautifully as no sooner had we sat our bums on seats the door to the mini van was shut and were we whisked away to the hotel. Perfect indeed. Didn’t need that 30 RM after all!
One last thing worth mentioning from my perspective is that nearly all Malaysians are Kristen-sized. Consequently, I could stand ANYWHERE and watch what was happening on the stage with ease. What a joy and revelation that was to me! No more smelling dirty armpits and dodging elbows for me!
Viva Future Music Asia!