There is nothing better than a hugely ambitious large scale birthday party, and on Thursday night we got just that. Out to celebrate their 7th birthday and raise funds for the charity Beyond Blue, Sydney based booking agency Select Music put on a live music extravaganza across four venues: Upstairs Beresford, The Standard, Oxford Art Factory and Pheonix Bar.
Booking agents may not be the most public figures in the music industry, but they are incredibly well-connected when it comes to getting quality gigs and artists. Bringing together a vast array of truly lovable Australian acts to play at these four venues, punters were left to very seriously deliberate over their choice of artists to see in the lead up to the night. Much like picking the stages that you will go to at festivals, such decisions are never easy and indisputably risky.
For me, my decision to enjoy The Standard’s line-up across the course of the evening meant missing out on top acts including Hungry Kids of Hungary, Bluejuice, Josh Pyke, Emma Louise (pictured above), Millions and many more. That said, this did mean that I got to see Nantes, The Jungle Giants, The John Steel Singers and Ball Park Music, making for a great night of music.
The first gig that I caught for the night was the indie-rock outfit Nantes. Putting on an energy packed show, this three-piece had the crowd hooked as they delivered a strong set-list of songs. Bringing out tracks from their recently released self-titled EP including “Fly” and “Charlie”, Nantes showed off their talent for writing numbers that build up into catchy, punchy choruses. Having David Rogers sing the bouncy tunes with his deep, laid-back vocals certainly makes for an interesting dynamic, and I look forward to seeing where they go from here.
Next up were The Jungle Giants, the Brisbane based four-piece. Performing jangly guitar pop that had the audience bouncing along enthusiastically, these guys gave punters one of the best sets of the night. Bringing the joyful, bubbly indie-pop of bands including Hungry Kids of Hungary and Jinga Safari to mind, The Jungle Giants have already released a few hit songs including “Mr Polite” and “No One Needs To Know” (which they closed with to the crowd’s great excitement). Also treating us to their brand new single “She’s A Riot”, another infectiously upbeat number, The Jungle Giants put on a memorable show.
Following The Jungle Giants were The John Steel Singers, an ensemble that have come to be known as playful, unique and always a whole lot of fun. Delivering quirky lyrics and melodies along with a strong serving of trombone, this Brisbane based five-piece have found a sound that is very much their own. Playing a whole lot of new tracks on Thursday night, these were certainly enjoyable; yet could have done with a much stronger dose of brass. That said, this was The John Steel Singers’ first time to play a show in Australia for a year, and it was nice to have them back.
The final band to take to the stage for the night was Ball Park Music, yet another playful and rather eccentric ensemble that loves to surprise us with their many quirks. Receiving the greatest crowd response for the night, this hyperactive five-piece certainly knows how to deliver entertaining music that has the whole crowd singing along. Performing a number of cheeky numbers including “Sad Rude Future Dude”, Ball Park Music once again made it clear that they do not take themselves seriously. Yet, these guys still stand as impressive musicians who can write an interesting and truly captivating mix of songs, such as the extensive track “Happy Healthy Citizen of the Developed World Blues”. Closing with the sweet pop number “It’s Nice To Be Alive”, Ball Park Music had the entire crowd dancing along.
Bringing us a fantastically energy-packed night of quality music, there can be no doubt that Select Music put on a memorable 7th birthday party. Offering an impressive number of artists and venues, here’s hoping that we get another dose of Select Music birthday celebrations next year.