Five ways Wee Waa is preparing for Daft Punk

Sometimes, it really helps to be in contact with an ex-cotton farmer from Wee Waa who now makes electronic music. Jim Phelps, one half of the production duo Romance of the Sane alongside his offsider Samuel, has been keeping inthemix in the know about the imminent Random Access Memories launch in regional New South Wales, roughly 10,000 miles from Paris, France. “At least half the locals I talk to think Daft Punk is coming to town to ‘do a concert’ and they think they are a punk group,” Jim tells us. (In case you’re still confused, it’s just the album, not Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, making the trip.)

By now, it’s been established that Wee Waa was not just chosen out of the blue for the first official airing of the new album. The duo was drawn to the town by the CSIRO Australia Telescope and its six enormous satellite dishes, which will look perfect in a Daft Punk video.

“What the band wanted to do is capture the character of Wee Waa, the people and the surrounds,” Narrabri Mayor Conrad Bolton announced on ABC Radio. “The satellite dishes are all going to be part of the final video that’s released. They’re going to feed that into their video release and beam that out.

“No one really knows their identity,” he added mysteriously, if a little inaccurately. “Their public life is hidden by these helmets. So, the town is going to have a great time with this.” Here are five pointers if you’re taking a road-trip to Wee Waa to hear Random Access Memories first and join in the “great time”…


When Sony reps visited Wee Waa, they chose the bowling club to brief the local community on the launch. At their request, Wee Waa Show Society will not do anything different from past years. Gates open at 3:30pm on Friday 17 May, pet show at 4pm, motorbike stunts at 5:30pm, BBQ at 6pm, then official opening at 7pm, Wee Waa showgirl crowned at 7:30pm, fireworks at 8pm, and then Daft Punk launch at 8:30pm followed by chainsaw tricks and a local country & western band at 10pm.


The biggest secret, according our man in Wee Waa, is that Sony will distribute hundreds of Daft Punk helmets around town in the coming weeks with the aim to get locals taking snaps that will be used as part of the streamed launch – that means farmers, truckies and so on at work with Daft Punk headgear on. As Jim reports: “No sign of helmets from Sony yet, but I’m guessing that will happen closer to the date.”


An enterprising crew of promoters have decided to stage the Weekend Vines festival at Seplin Estate Winery, situated 1.5 kilometres outside the Wee Waa town centre, to keep the party rolling all weekend long. The camping festival, running from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 May, is set to be stretched across 30 acres of property. Local council moved slowly in giving approval, but the Weekend Vines team has announced they are now “in the clear” – with a potential liquor license hurdle to be determined a couple of days out from the event. Tickets are $120 and on sale now.


As Jim tells us: “The Crossing Theatre in Narrabri will release limited extra tickets to the Daft Punk launch at random times with short notice. Fans would have to constantly monitor the Crossing Theatre website though and hope to get lucky.”


A recent report in the Narrabri Courier includes one of the best lines in any newspaper story, ever: “Dewson’s Quality Meats owner and butcher, James Dewson, is planning new recipes for the event, such as ‘random access rissoles’, named after the album to be released, Random Access Memories and ‘daft pork sausages’.”