Thursday, 12 September 2013

BIGSOUND Live - Wednesday Night Recap

There's nothing quite like the BIGSOUND Live experience. Brisbane's Fortitude Valley transforms into the hottest destination for new music that will blow you away, as emerging and established acts alike deliver half hour sets that showcase everything there is to love about them. It's impossible to see everyone, but you run around from venue to venue to catch bands you might not have had the chance to see before and you'll end up loving others that you never thought you would. It's also the only time you're likely to go into venues like Oh Hello (as Katie pointed out, home of the former Mono-Rats), Alhambra and Coniston Lane... but's that neither here nor there. Jo, Katie, Nayt, Matt and some swanky contest winners that just so happen to own swanky soul stealers (cameras) were on site for night one, catching glimpses of each other as they rushed from one venue to the next. We'll have recaps from the ladies coming over the weekend (as well as a bucket load of fresh harvested souls/pictures to show you), but for now, you get to enjoy Matt and Nayt's BIGSOUND Live reports. So, yeah... enjoy! 

BIGSOUND LIVE 2013 - Night One (11/09/13)

Coffee, McDonald's and Definitely No Stalking
by Matt Bond

My night started as any fun filled party night starts for me these days... with a coffee. Nay, not Irish. Just a flat white. Team It's My Kind of Scene formulated a plan like no other ("do what you want with your life") and splintered off to join the music lovers that brought the Valley to life.

Walking into Coniston Lane, home of the supposed Channel [V] Stage, I was greeted with a sweet pop tune from Perth's Simone and Girlfunkle. My immediate reaction to 'Summer Rain' from the debut album, Hurry, Harry was, "holy crap someone's playing a clarinet!" My years of in-class music had certainly paid off as Heather Bex was, in fact, playing a clarinet. I'm only pointing this out because I think it's a nice point of difference for the band that immediately grabs your attention. When Bridget Turner started singing, I was sold on Simone and Girlfunkle. Her voice is sweet, but her impressive vocal range packs a punch too. The energy from the band was pretty infectious and you could feel it chipping away at the crowd who became more receptive with each track. The band, sans Sarah Tout now on guitar, left the stage while Turner and Tout performed 'Love Love Love'. I love, love, loved it. That was terrible, but the song certainly isn't. 'Secret' is being promoted now as their new single and it's an infectious indie-pop track that will get have your feet moving and body shaking. A great start to BIGSOUND Live, but I had to run after 'Secret' to catch...

The Audreys - Photography by Nayt Housman

ARIA Award winners, The Audreys at Black Bear Lodge who drew a very impressive crowd that was ready to hear some new tunes. 'Ballad For the Fallen' was a standout amongst the new tracks; bluesy guitar work alongside Taasha Coates' soulful voice drawing you in. There a bit of mystery surrounding Coates as she sings and it's hard to keep your eyes off of her. Some old favourites were busted out too, with perennial favourite 'Small Things' getting a lot of love from the Black Bear attendees.

I then made the trek (about 200m) to... Oh Hello... for some triple J Unearthed approved tunes courtesy of Adelaide's teen rap sensation, Tkay Maidza. Now, sometimes people like to talk about explosive performances. Tkay was so good, the sound system blew up or caught fire or... something happened during the second track and it was awesome. Tracks like 'Brontosaurus' and 'Got That Hype' propel Maidza to a level in the rap field we haven't seen before in Australia and it's really, reaaaallly exciting. She's only going to get better and better over the next couple of years and is destined to change the way the world looks at Australia's rap and hip hop scene. triple J are already showing support for a young lady that is definitely an artist to watch from here on out. When you get a chance to see her live, do it! As a side note, I was standing in front of a wind machine and clearly looked amazing.

Busby Marou are one duo that I always have something on when they're playing, so tonight I was determined to make my way to Bakery Lane to check them out. I wasn't disappointed. Thomas Busby worked the crowd like a pro, getting everyone involved and dancing along to a host of new tracks like 'Get You Outta Here' from the upcoming album Farewell Fitzroy and old faves like 'Underlying Message', which when I say is a really nice track, I mean it without any condescension. When I hear it, I wish it was the weekend. When Jeremy Marou got the chance to show off his talents on the guitar he ran with it and the appreciative audience ate it up. I think I'm a little bit excited about their upcoming album now I've had the chance to see them live. I'm pretty sure they're out on tour to promote Farewell Fitzroy, so look that up... go see them too. 

 After Busby Marou, my initial plan was to head straight to The Zoo and await the arrival of Adalita. However, because I am stalking Patience Hodgson was excited about the possibility of seeing Patience Hodgson from The Grates performing with Chance Waters, I cautiously ascended the stairs to The Tempo. And I'm glad I did... Chance was fantastic and he DOESN'T STOP SMILING. That's a conspiracy theory post waiting to happen, but at BIGSOUND Live, he had the crowd dancing around to 'Young and Dumb' and his Like A Version cover of 'Little Lion Man'. Waters was dancing too, as was his band and possibly his new laptop Bruce Willis. Their previous laptop, Liam Neeson, sadly passed away. Three songs in, it was announced that Patience would not be in attendance. I'll get you one day, Hodgson! And by that, I mean I enjoyed Waters solo on the most excellent new track 'Looking For Something' and then gracefully made my way to the door. 

Adalita was in the midst of sound check as I entered The Zoo. It was packed, as is to be expected with an act of Adalita's standing. If her inspiring set proved anything, it's that she is the best pure rock act in Australia right now. She doesn't even need a full band backing her. Just Adalita Srsen and a guitar is enough to keep a full house's attention firmly on her incredible music. Playing tracks from her sophomore solo album, All Day Venus (out next week), she was a consummate professional. Standout tracks included 'He Wrote', introduced as a sad song with the lyrics, "love of my life, in the blink of an eye, it's over, love of my life, at the end of the night, it's over," and the current single 'Warm Like You'. I said it earlier in the week and I'll say it again, every young rock act should have gone out of there way to see this showcase. 

At this point I was hungry, because I hadn't had dinner. Want to know what I had? McDonald's... a quarter pounder meal. Moving right along... 

Meeting up with Katie, we made our way to Alhambra Lounge for Gay Paris. I wasn't really scared until Katie started asking if I was "ready for this" and then they started playing and I was somewhere between amazed, horrified, mystified, impressed and throw in a little bit more amazed. We'll get this out of the way early... Alhambra has a terrible sound system. But Gay Paris' performance was so insanely good I didn't care. People in the audience were stage diving, carrying the guitarist on their shoulders into the crowd, clothes started disappearing (into Katie's bag), Wailin H Monks was stage diving, one of the guitarists kept celebrating like he'd won a medal and the band kept demanding people buy them drinks and give them all their money. It was awesome and I couldn't think of a better way to bring night one to a close. Boom.

Nayt's First Time...
 by Nayt Housman

Last night I lost my virginity. I didn’t know what to expect so I over prepared, though my nerves weren’t calmed. It was exciting, awkward, I felt lost, not knowing where to go first, fumbling with my phone hoping to get directions (thank you smart phone!) but I finally made it in. Each new “venue” impressed and some “venues” had me coming back for more… BIGSOUND Live 2013, you will always be my first.

What is BIGSOUND I hear you ask? Well it’s a ol’fashun shindig of music industry big wigs and artists who all dive into a melting pot of music, info, love and two massive nights of live acts that equate to the chocolate “sampler box” of music.

After spending all day familiarizing myself with bands and deciding which artists to see, my IMKOS compadres and I set off into the depths of The Valley. Before we even made it to pick up our passes we were approached by a scalper trying to pull the “cute” angle with us. “Ah sorry honey, we’re media!” I wish I’d actually said that… This was going to be a doozy of a night.

Lanterns was the first act on my tour starting @ The Rev. I like this heavenly spray of dreamy electro pop and oh is that Dean McGrath of Hungary Kids of Hungary? He popped in for a quick number with the boys and together they all put on a good show despite some technical issues (being the first band must suck) nearly resulting in a couple of deafenings.

Lanterns - Photography by Nayt Housman

“Apparently, you’re gay.” Says a random on my way to the next venue. Thanks for that stranger. You’ve got eyes, now get outta my way!

Hello Black Bear Lodge, who ya got there? The Audreys! A band whose first album I adored seemed promising. Taasha Coates was like a saucy 1950s lady of leisure and delivered their beautiful brand of bittersweet folk with aplomb. Though half an hour is too short and I didn’t get to hear any of my faves. Oh well. It was lovely, but on to the next one!

Cub Sport (previously Cub Scouts) here I come! Now where the hell is Coniston Lane? Up and down the streets, nope passed it again, maybe this way? “Oh hi there, The Trouble With Templeton, why yes I do look different coz I had a haircut, thanks for noticing!” Shit, focus! Coniston Lane???????? WHAT?! I was standing in front of it several times while looking for it… Urrrrgh. “Thanks for coming guys, we’ve got two songs left.” Dammit. At least I got to see Cub Sport play 'I Told You So' and 'Evie'. Now get me out of this place!

Jess Ribeiro and The Bone Collectors @633 Ann, show me what you got! Oh girl, you got some sweet pipes and tunes! Kinda like a folky, bluesy version of Paula Cole. “We’ve only rehearsed three times. I hope we’re okay.” Nerves are apparent but I like what these kids have. I’ll put you in my “watch” list.

Owwwwww, my feet hurt! Why did I wear my tall person shoes?

Who’s next? Willow @ Press Club. Yay I know where that is! Oh they’re playing Amy Winehouse? Wait no it’s Willow! Where’s the toilet? I’m thirsty… Okay I think I need a sit down. Thanks for your retro pop Willow but I have to get to the next gig.

Now here’s a familiar bunch of kids, The Trouble With Templeton. “Hi Tom, Betty, Hugh, Sam and Ritchie!” I’ve seen them so many times now they feel like a comfy pair of slippers and I forget my sore feet, I’m in this one until the end. As usual it’s a blazing performance from Brisbane’s best band (my opinion, but totally warranted) and the audience certainly enjoyed hearing their big singles 'Like A Kid', 'Six Months In A Cast' and 'You Are New'. Also the frenzy of photographers was comical (myself included). Good game, TTWT!

“Oh hey Andy from Cub Sport! Having a good night? Yeah me too. See ya round like a rissole!”

I’m pooped, who’s next? Cosmo’s Midnight! Sounds dreamy I hope they don’t put me to sleep, back to The Rev I go… Oh hi there cute, curly, blonde brothers, so you’re Cosmo’s Midnight ay? Dancey, dancey! As long as you guys don’t mind me not dancing… Can someone swap shoes with me? Actually I’m feeling surly, I think it’s rock time Adalita @ The Zoo here I come.

I remember Magic Dirt though didn’t like them much but Adalita has it goin ohhhhhhnnnnn. Just a woman and a guitar in front of an adoring audience like PJ Harvey circa “Rid Of Me”. Note to self - “Buy Adalita’s solo album.”

I feel like a yoyo! Back to The Rev for Jonti… The audience here is awkward but this guy knows how to string some beats and samples together and I love the live violin. Nice touch Jonti but I don’t think your request for the audience to dance up on stage with you was very well received.

YAY! Last band of the night!

The Orbweavers fresh from Melbourne look like they’re going to party like it’s 1899. Each of their bizarrely beautiful folk songs about their greyhound Fern, the Merri Creek, a family farm and Melbourne’s textile history are introduced by a little story that feels like being told a fable about ye’olde times. Their small audience warmly welcomed their quirky folk with lyrics like, “I always sew with a double thread around my neck, keeps me strong, keeps my head, I always sew with a double thread.” Definitely making The Orbweavers one of the most unusual, intriguing acts of the night.

It ended, my feet hurt, I feel like I’ve been in a musical washing machine though incredibly satisfied and excited for the happenings of BIGSOUND Live 2013 night 2. I must remember to wear sensible shoes…

Bring on night 2 - tonight! - starring Thelma Plum, Megan Washington, Spender, Gossling, The Jungle Giants, Grizzly Jim Lawrie and a whole bunch of talented people that will sing songs to you and make you dance and stuff. 

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