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Waiting for M83 at Laneway

Anna Calvi at Laneway Festival Brisbane.
Anna Calvi at Laneway Festival Brisbane. Cassandra Tobin

THERE was a sense of deja vu last night at St Jerome's Laneway Festival in Brisbane as headliner M83 made a tardy entrance.

Fifty minutes late to the Car Park Stage, and without the fanfare seen in the festival's Big Day Out counterpart Kanye West, it took time to win back the crowd.

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Organisers promised a full set via their Twitter and Facebook pages, however made no announcement to the waiting fans.

Today festival organisers released an apology for the French band's shortened set which was marred by technical difficulties.

"We are very sorry for the issues that caused the delay in getting M83 on stage which forced the band to cut their set short by 15 minutes at the Brisbane event," the statement said.

"It was due to unfortunate and uncommon technical difficulties beyond M83's and our production team's control.

"Some aspects of their show were not reflective of the way they usually play and M83 performed in these difficult circumstances to the best of their ability and delivered a great show."

Earlier in the day Canadian singer Leslie Feist, who appeared on the same stage, said she was being shocked by her microphone.

"I'm being shocked electronically by my microphone," she said. "But I'm going to try and use that for good."

Despite the closing hick-up, the "boutique" festival was a treat for the 5000 indie music lovers who attended the Brisbane event.

Punters were assured rain wouldn't put a halt to the music last week with all stages repositioned under cover at the Alexandria Street entry to the RNA Showgrounds.

Jonti proved one to watch with his DIY electronica set capped off by a ukulele ditty on the Eat Your Own Ears and Young Turks stage where Austra later danced up a storm with her energetic backup singers.

Neil and Sharon Finn admitted to being the oldest band on the tour in their Pajama Club guise.

"I think we can say with some authority we're the oldest band here," Neil told punters at the Car Park Stage. "And we wear that like a badge of honour."

Brisbane duo DZ Deathrays were the first to whip punters into a crowd-surfing frenzy with their guitar-laden wall of sound and a kick drum beat that pounded through to the heart.

Laura Marling's folk was a nice reprieve from the heaving inside with her song Ghosts attracting the biggest cheers from the crowd.

Anna Calvi proved she wasn't afraid of a guitar solo nor was she deterred by the surprisingly small turn out to her EYOE and YT set that put her up against The Panics.

The English singer belted out Desire and Blackout while shredding her way through a hypnotic guitar solo in Love Won't Be Leaving.

The set of the day has to go to New York pop-rockers The Drums who, thanks to charismatic frontman Jonny Pierce, had punters cheering for more.

Think Jim Morrison crossed with Peter Garrett and you'll come close to Pierce's flamboyant stage persona.

The band's first set for 2012 included hits Money and Let's Go Surfing which were joyously bounced back as the crowd sang along to every lyric.

For those who stuck around for M83, there wasn't a better sound to have ringing through your ears than Anthony Gonzalez' reverberating lyric "the city is my church' from the disco-dream Midnight City.



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