The night kicked off at The Zoo with Set Sail. The Sydney band absolutely blew me away! Another name randomly picked off a list, the band are indie pop at it’s finest. The three piece, with added bass, not only play stellar tunes, but are also well presented and put on one hell entertaining show.
The violin player is one of the most eccentric players I’ve ever seen. Most of the time when you see a violin player on stage, they’re stiff and play the instrument like it was designed, as a classical augmentation to the band. This guy was rocking out and not only playing it in a traditional fashion, but holding it like it were a guitar, and playing chords on in. Rad. After the tune “Kids “ the frontman stood on the bass drum and did a backflip onto the lower stage, and said “that’s how the kids grow up in America” Holy wow, this band were sensational.
Next up at Alhambra was Mosman Alder. This band are so mellow, due to the fact the lead singer’s vocals blends into the texture of the band rather than soaring over the top of it. This is another band with a dedicated violin player, yet this player is so so different to the one just witnessed. She was more of the classical type, playing stiffly and singing harmonies. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. It works well for this band. And I do really like what they create together.
I had planned on getting into Loon Lake, however, the Q Music Stage was packed, and there was very little chance of getting a good look at the lads. So off the Hey Geronimo at The Zoo I went. Good-looking ridiculous fun. This band certainly know how to throw a party, and get everybody dancing. The band played all the tracks of their self title EP as well as a couple of newies. During the first half of the set there was this annoying “photographer” climbing on stage to take photos of the bass player, Greg, and getting all up in his face. Turns out it was their rapper friend, how jumped up on stage for that song to get up to his usual antics. This song had the entire crowd bouncing.
Staying at The Zoo for Hungry Kids of Hungary, was a good idea. Apparently the line was epicly long. Tonight marked the first time HKoH have played in Brisbane in over a year. They played a whole bunch of new songs off their forthcoming record as well as old favourites, including “Writstwatch”, “Let you Down” and “Coming Around”. Of their new songs, opener “Sharp Shooter” is set to be their next single, and sounds rad! They lads have really stepped it up since the last time they played to a home crowd. If the set was anything to go by, we have not seen the best of the boys yet.
At the Press Club, Elizabeth Rose was breaking hearts with her electric tunes. It was the perfect little stage for her. With her laptop, her synth set up and her truly stunning voice she wowed the crowd. Miss Rose was another I picked off a list, and again I was blown away by how much I loved her set. She was so into the music she was producing, and there was not a second where she wasn’t moving or pulsing. “Again” was one of the highlights of her set for me, as well as her last song. This set was only meant to be a pop in, see what was happening before catching the full set of Tin Sparrow, but I was captivated and did not want to go anywhere.
I walked into Mustang Bar in the middle of Tin Sparrow’s rendition of “Bricks”. This is such a heartfelt song and it was moving to hear it performed live. The harmonies created by the four piece are truly stunning. In their other songs, the arrangements get a little repetitive at times, with the same vocal harmonies being repeated for entire sections of the song. I do love this band though.
Moving next door to Oh Hello, Argentina was playing strutting his stuff on an extend stage. His music is always different, regardless of when you hear him. The arrangements are always slightly different. This is what makes this group so amazing to listen to time and time again. It would have been so good to hear all of the set but alas. At BIGSOUND this is a hard thing to achieve.
The closer for BIGSOUND Live 2012 was The Aston Shuffle at the Bakery Land Stage. This was nothing less than a dance party. Their music is cleverly constructed electro, and was an amazing way to finish the night. They played a good mix of old and new tunes. But the new tunes were a little rough around the edges. They fell apart at time, and at the end of their set it was a serious anti-climax. They had put all this work into creating the perfect dance environment, and then the last section of the last song had no weight behind it. Regardless, great set.
And done. Over the two nights, I managed to fit in 18 bands, over 8 stages. This is something that never happens in Brisbane. Over half of these venues do not usually exist, or do not play live music on a regular basis. And it’s so disheartening to see! This BIGSOUND week shows just how important the music industry is, and how it can all come together to create something truly amazing. It’s not everyday that you can pick a name off a list in ignorance, walk in and discover something sensational. That is what BIGSOUND is to me. A showcase of artists that you may not go out of your way to see, because you’ve just not heard of them before, but stumble in and think wow.