Return to Hyde Park Barracks – Leo & the Sydney Festival

January 15, 2007 at 8:38 am | Posted in General, Out and About, Sydney, Travel | Leave a comment

On Thursday night, myself and a small crew under D’s general direction went to watch (and dance) to Leo at the Beck’s Festival Bar (located at Hyde Park Barracks) as part of the 2007 Sydney Festival.

We missed the support act that began at 8:00 in favour of eating Thai in Darlinghurst before making our way to the Barracks at about 10:00 just in time for intermission (with some tunes being provided by a DJ) before Leo began. I was actually pretty impressed with the set up at the Barracks, I was surprised by how many people could fit into its yard. Along one length they had the stage and dancefloor plus bar, in front of the main building was general milling around space plus another bar and on the other side were scattered tables, food carts and of course more bars. Given that Becks is the sponsor I guess this was to be expected. In terms of the venue itself I had no real complaints other than the noise. Yes I’m that kind of guy. I moved away from standing in front of the speakers to give my ears a break and while the bass dissipated the music itself did not, in fact anywhere you went the band was loud enough to still party to.

And party we did. Everyone (not only our group) were having a great time, much dancing around and jumping up and down. Lots of shuffle dancing in the middle of the crowd, but of course the most entertaining area for me was on the fringes where people can really strut their stuff. I think the favourite of the night was older lady with a very muscular back in mini skirt and spangly top dancing like a a 20 year raver, having occasional domestics and going to the same bar three times and being told each time that the register didn’t work and to go to another bar.

On that note, this small bar had a stockpile of water bottles but due to the register not working they couldn’t sell, now one of the other bars had run out of bottles and you had to fill up a cup. Is there a particular reason they couldn’t bring water from one to the other? Are they all independent franchises?

Now onto the music, something you may have wanted to hear about just a tad earlier but which I have been dreading as I’m not overly literate in this field. To start Leo is a French band and  I wish Mel had been with us to translate the French so we’d know whether or not they were swearing at us, but on the other hand it was very relaxing to just listen to the melody. If you’ve ever heard the Cat Empirethen you’ll probably have a good feel for the type of music Leo produces. They also use a variety of instruments including the trombone and accordion.

All in all I enjoyed my time at the Barracks and would recommend checking out Sydney Festival to see if there’s a band playing there you might want to check out. Leo was definitely a fun time and one I wouldn’t have seen without some prodding but happy I made the effort to see it.

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