Posts Tagged ‘ball park music’

Acts Seen:

Imaginary Cities, Boy in a Box, Emma Louise, World’s End Press, Evil Eddie, The Jungle Giants, Little Scout, DZ Deathrays, Jonathan Boulet, San Cisco, Oscar and Martin, The Adults, Eagle and the Worm, Seals

I went into Big Sound Live with one goal – to only see bands I had never seen live before. The thing with this showcase is that it can be so easy to go see the acts you know will be good (Ball Park Music, Velociraptor, The Cairos, The Paper Scissors, Inland Sea etc etc) but for me that seems to kind of defeat the whole purpose. Isn’t the whole idea to help punters discover new local bands and showcase local emerging artists? I mostly succeeded, I had seen a bit of Little Scout earlier this year at Belle and Sebastian and I heard a bit of World’s End Press at Splendour in the Grass but for the most part I saw a lot of acts I had never seen before, or even heard of before.


World’s End Press – I stayed around to catch their whole set and it was well worth it. A genre I can only describe as retro electro, they’re very 80s complete with the loud shirts and bad awesome dancing. Lots of synths and grooving basslines. I compared them to a more subdued !!! (Chk Chk Chk) – well worth seeing again.

Oscar and Martin – I’m still trying to work out how I would describe these guys, because pop or RnB simply don’t cover it. They had two of the most amazing voices I’ve heard in a while and a really unique approach to their music.


While there weren’t exactly any acts that I would say that I would never see ago, I felt a little let down by Emma Louise. With the amount of hype she’s had over the last couple of months, perhaps I had just set my standards too high. Or maybe it was an off night or a bad venue to see her in or the crowd was just too loud. It could have been anything, but I wasn’t blown away and I’m struggling to even remember anything about her set.

The Venues:

I managed to make it to every venue available for the event – Electric Playground, Bakery Lane, Black Bear Lodge, Ric’s, Tempo Hotel, Woodland, The Aviary and the Zoo.

It was actually my first time to Black Bear Lodge and I was quite impressed! I never thought the atmosphere of the Troubadour (RIP) could be matched, but Black Bear Lodge could even be an improvement. Lots of seating at the back and just generally a more open feel, I’m excited to return to this venue at some point.

Electric Playground was certainly an interesting choice of venue, but it seemed to work out okay. The sound was okay, the stage set up was okay, the scantily clad girls taking drink orders on the floor was a bit out of place but overall it’s an okay small venue. I don’t see it turning into a live music venue full time but it would be interesting to have the odd show here and there.

The only venue I was disappointed in was The Aviary. Absolutely no airflow, and beyond packed both times I went. I swear it was over capacity for Jonathan Boulet judging by the amount of people crammed into the stairwell between The Aviary and Birdees.

The Verdict:

It’s one of those ‘the more acts you see, the more you’ll enjoy it’ kind of events. It’s nice to be able to move around between different venues, and it’s nice to see members of local bands wandering around seeing other acts as well. I felt like I probably enjoyed last year a little bit more, but for the most part this year was very enjoyable and it was great to be able to see some bands I probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

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You better get to know about the Jungle Giants quicksmart, because they’ll be showing up more and more on the Brisbane indie radar. I spoke to frontman Sam Hales about the band’s debut EP and their first interstate tour.

The Jungle Giants are still only a relatively new band, having only played your first show late last year. How do you feel about how quickly this has all come together?
It’s been a little bit of a blur, but we are having heaps of fun. It’s a great feeling to be recognised for something we love doing.

Can you walk us through the beginnings of the band – who’s in it and what do you all do?
We all met during high school and formed the band right before graduation. I [Sam] started the band and [am on] Vocals/Rhythm Guitar. Cesira is the lead guitarist. Andrew is the Bassist/Backing Vocalist, and Keelan plays Drums.

You’re about to play some shows interstate for the first time, what are you looking forward to most about playing in different cities?
We’re super excited to see how our music goes down in the other states, we’ve never played anywhere other than Brisbane, so we are looking forward to having a dance with some Sydney-siders and Melbournians.

How has the EP been received since its release?
We’ve been hearing a lot of good things, so we are really glad people are enjoying it.

What was the writing and recording process like it?
The writing process was really simple because Sam wrote the songs a while before the actual recording. Our time in the studio was great, because we were working with a great local producer, Yanto Browning. We only had four days to get it all done though, so there was no time to waste.

Your lead single ‘Mr Polite’ has received a fair bit of attention – can you tell us a bit about the song?
It’s a pretty simple song with some fun melodies and rhythms. It’s about an on-off relationship, but plays with idea in a positive light.

Who have been some of the main influences (musical or non-musical) in forming the sound of the Jungle Giants?
Acts like Two Door Cinema Club and Bon Iver are major influences. Their music and stage presence is amazing, and really inspires us to get better and better.

You’ve already supported some fairly notable bands in your short musical career, what has been the highlight so far?
Our favourite show by far was Track & Field. It was a boutique event that we played at alongside The Belligerents, Ball Park Music and Last Dinosaurs. It sold-out and was absolutely mental.

Are you looking forward to playing the Big Sound Conference later this year? Will you have anything special in store for us?
We definitely are! We are super excited to present ourselves in a in such a wicked setting. We have a few new songs and some other special things prepared. Will have to wait and see!

What does the future hold for the Jungle Giants?
A stack of great shows, with some sweet bands. We are also hopefully getting back on the road for another tour later in the year.

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Just thought I’d share the official video for Ball Park Music’s current single, ‘It’s Nice to be Alive’. I posted about it a few weeks ago but there was only audio at the time! Enjoy!

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Local four piece Millions opened the night to a half packed Alhambra Lounge with their retro sounding garage pop. Triple J favourite ‘Citrus’ got the ever-growing crowd enthusiastic early on in the set, though attention started to wane towards the end, with crowd chatter dominating between songs. ‘Those Girls’ finished the set off nicely with its catchy bass hook, but for the most part the set was rather same same. Individual songs were enjoyable but a full set from the band was rather bland.

Adelaide’s City Riots were up next, marking a very noticeable difference in energy from Millions. Upbeat and continually encouraging clap-a-longs, City Riots powered through their set confidently. Latest single ‘In My Head’ was a highlight and the set ended magnificently with a guest appearance from Dan James of Drawn from Bees to cover Bruce Sringsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’.

Ball Park Music opened strongly with their single ‘iFly’ which got most of the sold out crowd singing along. There’s really not much left to be said about Ball Park Music. You know straight up that you’ll be walking into a fantastic show, and you’re guaranteed to get exactly that. Sam Cromack is easily one of the best frontmen Brisbane has to offer with his quirky sense of humour (“This next song is by Coldplay, it’s called ‘Clocks’…of course it’s not you fucking idiots”) and crazy stage antics.

They played a perfect mix of old and new from ‘Culture Vultures in the Year 2008’ and ‘All I Want is You’ right through to latest single ‘It’s Nice to be Alive’. The group somehow managed to pull off an awesome no-frills cover of ‘Peaches’ by the Presidents of theUSA. I can’t possibly imagine another band that could have done such a straight forward cover of such a ridiculous (by which I mean ridiculously awesome) song.

As usual, the six-piece played spot on – musically tight and absolutely entertaining and energetic. Ball Park Music are easily one of the most exciting live bands to watch at the moment. They closed their set with crowd favourite ‘Sad Rude Future Dude’, consisting of a great chorus sing-a-long, a second verse reprise and some pretty impressive crowd surfing from Cromack.

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Adelaide quartet City Riots have had a busy couple of years. Now they’re about to do another national tour, this time with local Brisbane band Ball Park Music. Frontman Ricky Kradolfer sat down to chat about touring locally and internationally and fondly reminiscing on times spent with grunge gods the Smashing Pumpkins.

Can you tell us a little bit about how City Riots came together?

My dad used to be a drummer, so we always had musical instruments lying around the house when we were kids. I went from playing saxophone to drums to piano before finally settling on guitar. My brother Dan now plays drums. There was always music being played in the house, but it was when my dad bought me Springsteen’s Born in the USA record that really kicked things off for Dan and I and we soon started jamming every night, pissing off the neighbours and writing songs. We met Matt Stadler (keyboards/guitar) at a local hangout in the west end of Adelaide one night. Matt was impressed with Dan’s – and I quote – ‘hi-hat skills’ after watching a City Riots show. Dan was equally impressed with Matt’s hair and thought Matt should be in a band. Incidentally we needed a keyboard/guitar player. Matt could do neither, but within two days he was sitting in our lounge room learning the song. Three weeks later he was on tour with us. As for Matt Edge, we knew him from Sydney band Traps. When the Smashing Pumpkins tour was offered to us and we needed a bass player, he was the first guy I thought of. He is an incredible songwriter and player in his own right and luckily he said yes to joining the band.

How would you describe your sound?

Guitar driven, indie rock, creating pockets full of pop gems

Who have been your main musical influences in forming the sound of City Riots?

Anything that has great melodies and great hooks. We’re all fans of Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Fleetwood Mac, Prince , Ryan Adams, My Bloody Valentine, Icehouse, The Smiths, The Cure, The Kinks.

You’re about to embark on a tour with Ball Park Music, what are you looking forward to most?

The best thing about doing a run of dates with another band is the comradery you build with the other band through the tour. We haven’t actually met any of the BPM dudes yet and from some of there videos they seem like a lot of fun, so we really looking forward to hanging with those guys. Perhaps there will be some kind of on-stage collaboration too!

I’ve heard that you played a few shows over in the States recently – what was that like?

We had spent a fair bit of time in the US in the past 3 years or so. We were recently over there at the end of last year to play Filter magazine’s ‘Culture Collide’ festival as well as the CMJ festival and support Boy and Bear. The US is always a lot of fun and the audience really love Australian music and there are always lots of venues to play. Plus, there is also nowhere else in the world where you can order eggs, bacon, tomatoes with a side of waffles, French toast and get a complementary stack of pancakes on the side and receive it all on the same plate.

What was it like to support the Smashing Pumpkins on their most recent Oz tour?

It was one of those tours that went way to quick. We didn’t want it to end. It was a great experience and we learnt a great deal from it. On one hand it was a lot of fun, on the other hand it was like bootcamp. We had toured a lot in the past, but had never seen anything like this. Just the logistics of all the backline and staging alone was mind boggling. As for the shows, it was actually really tough. Pumpkins fans don’t take any shit, and to be honest, when you go to see a seminal bands like the Pumpkins you don’t really give a shit who is the support act. It was a hard, gruelling and amazing experience on how to win over a crowd. We had to work for every clap we got, but 3 or 4 songs in, when people began responding more and more, we knew that what we were doing was working which was a good feeling. We also had the chance to hang out with Billy where I had some of the most interesting and insightful conversations I have ever had, and at other times, the weirdest, intimidating and uncomfortable conversations and situations I have ever experienced. It was one hell of a trip and something we will never forget.

What can the uninitiated expect from a live City Riots Show?

A show full of rocking pop gems that we aim to have you unknowingly singing the next morning while drinking your coffee.

What’s your favourite thing about playing in Brisbane?

The weather is always warmer in Brisbane, so Brissy people are always happy and in the mood to have a good time, which is such a great, infectious vibe and atmosphere to be around. We also get to see our lovely friends in Drawn from Bees, Hungry Kids and John Steel Singers who live up there.

What has been your most memorable moment as a band so far?

Supporting Smashing Pumpkins at the Tivoli in Brisbane. It was the last show of the Pumpkins tour, at such a beautiful venue, we were hitting our tour stride having played quite a few dates in a row. Billy Corgan asked if he could iron his pants in our tiny dressing room and James Hetfield from Metallica said ‘nice set’ then later accidently belted me in the arm when he was air drumming to Bullet With Butterfly Wings.

What does the rest of the year hold for City Riots?

Our new single “In My Head” was just released! It comes with ‘She Never Wants to Dance’ and a previously unreleased track called ‘Stupid Questions’. We’re looking forward to hitting the road and having a blast on and off the stage with Ball Park Music through July before we record a sneaky little track that we’ve recently come up with that we’re excited about which will be on the EP that comes out this October.

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More new music from one of Brisbane’s favourite bands at the moment, Ball Park Music. The group only officially released their music video for ‘Rich People Are Stupid’ a few weeks ago, but we already have more new music from this lovely six-piece. It’s called ‘It’s Nice to be Alive’ and is from their debut album that will be released later this year.

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Not far from kicking off the first ever headlining tour, I asked frontman Sam Cromack a few questions about how the band been going lately.

You’re about to embark on your first headlining tour – do you have anything special in store?

In about half an hour I’ll be heading to our first rehearsal for this tour. We have a bunch of things to learn: some new songs and another cover. If all goes according to plan, we’ll be busting out our most fabulous cover yet.

Your new video for ‘Rich People are Stupid’ is pretty crazy – did you really smoke your own moustache?

Yes. It’s not half as bad as everyone assumes it would be. Not like I had to eat vomit or poo or anything.

What have been your main influences (musical or non-musical) when writing?

I like lots of different styles of music, so I won’t bother boring anyone with which particular bands I like. I try lots of different styles of writing too. Sometimes I’ll sit about with a guitar and just noodle, sometimes I’ll work at the computer and experiment with recording. Sometimes a tune will just “come”, and I’ll sing it into my phone so I don’t forget it. I just do whatever. There’s always music to be written.

You seem to be very busy touring all of the time – what do you like to do in your downtime?

I like to go to work and earn some money so I can stay alive. I like to spend time with my girlfriend. I like to cook and drink alcohol. I’m open to anything. Do you want to take me somewhere?

You’ve had some pretty awesome support slots over the last couple of years, who has been amongst the favourites?

Even though we know them quite well now, our national tour supporting Hungry Kids of Hungary was undeniably good. It was their album tour. They’d done the hard yards; we just got to play in the big venues full of screaming Hungry Kids fans. They may have hated our band for all I know, but who cares. I had a good time.

You’ve also had some overseas shows as well, in Singapore and Vietnam, how have you been received overseas?

No-one knows us there, but it was still a gnarly adventure. The people and the lifestyle there, especially in Vietnam is a great experience. It’s very different there. The audience aren’t exposed to a lot of live music, so they’re very grateful for anyone who’ll come. The bands we played all have a different attitude too. Western bands are very sombre and serious; they’re shit-scared of putting on a ball-busting show at the risk of being uncool or daggy. But this suited us very well. We just wanted to behave like dickheads and have fun. The Vietnamese can really party. I miss them.

What can the uninitiated expect from a live Ball Park Music Show?

We insist on keeping our live show slightly unplanned. Spontaneity is at the heart of a great performance. I mean, sure, it’s lovely to play your songs well, but you want to give the audience good reason to be in attendance. I like to think anything can happen. We’ve removed clothes, auctioned fingernails, dry-humped patrons, climbed on people, run away, spat wine on people’s clean clothes. The more people the come, the better it will be. Also, the more alcohol I consume, the better it will be.

What’s your favourite thing about playing in Brisbane?

Brisbane crowds are always large and they’re never pretentious. They like to get pissed and have a good time. Not likeSydney.

What has been the highlight of Ball Park Music’s career so far?

Playing at CAMA Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam was one of the greatest and most surreal moments of my life. I will cherish that memory for a long time. I also loved play ‘Apartment’ with Custard singer Dave McCormack at last year’s Triple J AusMusic Month party. That was equally surreal, and banging that out to a sold-out crowd. Ripper.

What does the future hold for Ball Park Music?

Hopefully a lot. We have a lot planned for the near future. I hope we can stay busy and enthused about our music. As long as we remain on an upward climb, you can count me in.

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