The Aftermath: Sam Brumby gives us the low-down on his top 5 from King Street Carnival 2022

Well there we have it, folks. The dust has settled after the hustle and bustle of Sydney's King Street Carnival 2022 and boy was it one hell of a weekend. Are we still recovering? Definitely. Was it worth it? 1000%.

After being shelved a few times months prior due to COVID, it's safe to say there was quite the build-up and, after getting rescheduled for the third time, we knew it was make or break. Third time was a charm, though.

"Sydney's back" was a freqent quote shared over the weekend, and oh it sure was. It felt good. It felt right. Everyone deserved it. The atmosphere in Newtown was more alive than ever with people overflowing from bars, cafes, venues and clubs. There were people rushing down King Street to make it to their favourite band, drinks were spilling with each clink, there was dancing, and best of all, Australian music was pumping.

Thankfully we've got photos from legendary music photographer, Sam Brumby to remember all the good times over the weekend. We sat down with him post-event to give us the low-down on his top 5 from the weekend. Enjoy.

1. Andy Golledge is no stranger to Newtown, King St Carnival or a darn wild performance. Well into the night on day 2 it was a struggle to get into any venue and punters were lining the windows outside the pubs to get a glimpse of the action. As Andy took to the stage at the Union the place was filled to the brim with familiar faces and strangers alike. Riding high on the recent release of his debut album Andy and the band immediately had the crowd in the palm of their sweaty hands, singing along like a drunken choir of misfits. It didn’t take long for the conductor himself to take to the throng and lay himself bare for all to see.

2. Three days in and the throbbing in my head had me questioning whether I’d just been at Splendour in The Grass for a week. Drinks were flowing freely as vape smoke and sweat drenched the Botany View Hotel at 10pm on a Sunday. Caitlin Harnett & The Pony Boys raised the roof with every number they belted out to the heaving venue. The emotions were high and there wasn’t a frown to be seen in the joint, especially when the punters took to the stage for the closing number. A beautiful moment not to be forgotten anytime soon by those in attendance. 

3. There must have been a few tattletales in the mix prior to this ‘secret’ show because Tropical Fuck Storm was the most talked about act surrounding KSC. However, secrets are made to be broken, especially when they’re this good. The lucky few who made it inside got to play witness to the wizardry of TFS, and for those not so lucky the street seemed to suffice as an observation platform.  And no, Gareth didn’t play ‘Shark Fin Blues’.

4. The night before they were scheduled to play their set at the Vanguard in Sydney, King Stingray realised they would have to find an interim bass player to fill in as the covid stricken Campbell Messer would not be able to hop a plane from Brisbane for the show. Alas, all’s well that ends well and with some help from some friends they pulled it together last minute. Pumping out a 40-minute set of Yolngu Surf Rock to the adoring crowd before packing up in a flash and boarding a plane to do it all again at WOMAD in South Australia. What’s more rock n roll than that?

5. I attended a few shows on Friday night and had a hell of a time, the venues were packed, the music was great and everyone was having a good bloody time. However, it wasn’t until I rolled into Johnny Hunters set at the Duke on Saturday evening that I really felt the electricity. Johnny came out thrashing like a white pointer during shark week, all teeth and raw energy that had the place spilling onto the streets. You couldn’t move, let alone swing a dead cat and it was at that moment I realised what we’ve been missing out on these last couple of years. This wasn’t just a show, it was an intimate, sweaty, personal performance and it had everyone boiling over with pure euphoria. 

There we have it. Honestly, King Street Carnival 2023 couldn't come sooner. Thankfully the organisers have chucked together a King Street Carnival 2022 playlist so we can re-live the weekend, or for those who couldn't make it, feel like they were rubbing shoulders with us front-row. Enjoy.

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