Gaytimes festival will roll out at Lake Mountain later this month and I already have fomo. After you’ve read this chat I had with Wet Lips, I implore you to look up the festival. Lake Mountain provides an almost unreal backdrop for a music event. Grace, who will be playing at the festival tells me that she’s looking forward to “getting to dance to Miss Blanks and Leif!”. The trio is also anticipating playing “on the same bill with mates Porpoise Spit, Callan and Hexdebt”. I’m sure Gaytimes is starting to sound like the kind of festival that has been fabricated from dreams. I assure you that it is real and that tickets are almost sold out.
Recently Wet Lips shared a video to their Facebook of a performance from one of the bands at the Girls Rock showcase. Last year I attended one of the showcases and it was probably the most magical gig I have been to. By the end of it my cheeks were simultaneously wet and sore from grinning so intensely.
“The video of Girls Rock! campers singing our song Money is incredibly important to us. It’s the reason we started a band in the first place. I was lucky enough to be in the audience when Maggie announced that Beautiful Waste were going to play our song and I immediately burst into tears. When we first started Wet Lips, seeing bands like Terrible Truths was absolutely crucial to us thinking that we were entitled to play music and be on stage. The idea that we might be that band for other young people is simply wonderful. It puts all of the shitty things that have happened to us in perspective and it makes all of the work we have poured into this band seem worthwhile. Girls Rock! is a fantastic initiative and it is a crucial part of the movement to change the current dismally disappointing status quo in the music industry. I can’t wait to see and hear all the bands that come out of Girls Rock!”
Recently I saw Wet Lips play at Nick Brown’s (Cable Ties / PBS Breakfast) birthday at the Old Bar. All three members of the band were oozing with love and praise for their friend. I don’t actually know Nick personally but every band that performed depicted his character and were thankful for his role in Melbourne’s music industry
“Community means everything to us. I generally use the words ‘music community’ because that makes sense to me; it’s people like Nick Brown, it’s gigs at the Old Bar, it’s community radio stations, it’s having a chat with a band after you see them play for the first time at a pub on a Tuesday night. The music industry makes a lot less sense to me and it just makes me think of: middle-aged men doing cocaine til 6am while their wives look after their children, music journalists who see themselves as cutting edge taste-makers despite the fact that they need literally thousands of people to like a band before they so much as look them up, the promoters we have spent years of our lives composing emails to in order to explain why it’s not ok for them to treat us like shit and private school boys who wear expensive sneakers and become highly successful at DJing/promoting/playing music because of their ‘talent and hard work.’”
Simply, Gaytimes festival is a response for the imminent need for safe spaces within our music world. The festivals colourful line up showcases the talent that’s available and proves that really, it’s not that hard to create a line up that doesn’t seem to orbit cis white men… looking at you Falls. Wet Lips have been a positive impact on Melbourne’s music community from the very beginning. The band played at the street party on Lygon St last year, celebrating the marriage equality vote.
“Playing at the yes party was like a scene from a dream. We walked out of the cavernous Trades Hall into a choir and full concert band framed by hundreds of rainbow balloons. After backtracking out the side door we discovered a thunderstorm had transformed the hot, sunny afternoon into a warm, wet evening. We walked past hundreds of people queuing to get in and sheltered from the gentle rain under a huge umbrella with the magnificent Karen from finance. I was so nervous because at the end of our set Jenny and Georgia were going to walk off stage so that I could sing a love song by myself for my girlfriend Jacey. The view of thousands of beautiful people covered in rainbow flags, including heaps of our mates up the front, got me through the set and I managed to sing my song for Jacey. It was the best thing I have ever done.”
I’ve seen Wet Lips play plenty of pubs and small venues, but soon they will be gracing the stage at Golden Plains; an opportunity that they well and truly deserve.
“Jenny and I were sitting on the couch at home and we were about to have a serious talk about WETFEST and what Wet Lips were going to do in 2018. I was procrastinating by checking my emails – I opened the Wet Lips account and there was the offer for Golden Plains! I gasped in shock, Jenny asked what was wrong and I showed her the email. We did a little dance then went to the shops to get hot chips and champagne.”
WETFEST is a festival that the band has been putting together for a few years now. As a testament to the band’s nature, the day event has become a celebration for diversity and safety in the realm of Melbourne’s music scene. Recently Ashley Ronning, who creates a lot of the artwork for the bands on Hysterical Records, posted a little teaser for this years poster on her Instagram story. I asked Grace if she could reveal anything.
“We can say that the line up is out of control awesome and it’s going to be a very special show for a number of reasons. BUY YOUR TICKETS BEFORE THEY SELL OUT!”