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Posts Tagged ‘disco nap’

 

 

I spent about two weeks trying to figure out who to see at my first ever Big Sound Live. I wouldn’t say the line up was spectacular but there was certainly a decent amount of acts to choose from, and at a variety of different venues around the valley.

 

My night started out at the Club House, under the Tempo Bar, waiting for New Zealand artist Kimbra. Performing a pop-soaked mixture of funk and soul, it was a great way to start the night. She has a voice to match Florence Welch and a seemingly endless amount of energy and charisma. It was a bit disappointing that nobody in the audience was really getting into it, but instead it was like the usual trench for Brisbane audiences lately – standing back with their arms crossed (I will admit that I fell into this category during the show). I liken it to a high school dance where the boys and girls really want to dance, but are just too scared to ask each other. You just need that one person to set it off and then you’re good. Despite all this though, Kimbra powered through her set. The layered vocal loops of ‘Settle Down’ worked amazing live and ‘Love is a Two Way Street’ saw Kimbra practically howling into the microphone. By the end of it a few punters were shuffling their feet, and I like to think that next time I see her (and there will be a next time) the atmosphere will be a lot more relaxed.

 

I dashed across the road to the Artisan Gallery’s outdoor venue to see Hungry Kids of Hungary. As expected, it was absolutely packed. What I hadn’t expected though, was that they had already started. I estimate that I missed maybe 10 or 15 minutes of their set since the rest seem to fly by. I still managed to catch the few songs of theirs I knew – ‘Let You Down’, ‘Scattered Diamonds’ and ‘Wristwatch’, which brought out the only real dancing I would see all night. The set lacked the intimacy I expected from Big Sound (and which I got to witness earlier during Kimbra’s set), and there wasn’t really anything spectacular about the performance, but the hungry kids still put on a decent enough show.

 

Next stop was the Troubadour to see Central Coast singer-songwriter Daniel Lee Kendall. This is exactly the kind of show I expected at Big Sound – talented artists who are still unsure of themselves, performing to audiences who don’t really know much about them. He mostly performed on his own, but was occasionally helped out by his lap top on keys or strings. I think utilising this more, like he does on record, would have benefitted him by added a lot more depth to his sound. It was obvious though from his guitar playing and ear for a good melody that he has potential to make something good from this. Or maybe I just have a thing for boys who play guitar. Either way I was glad I was there for his set.

 

 

After Daniel Lee Kendall’s set, the crowds suddenly rushed into the venue for Boy and Bear. The Troubadour was packed to a ridiculous degree, and my Twitter feed told me there were even people lined up past McDonalds. The band played through their singles – ‘Rabbit Song’ and ‘Mexican Mavis’ much to the crowd’s delight. Musically they were tight, and their signature vocal harmonies pitch perfect. The only downfall was when they sampled a new track with a much more country flavour. It was average sounding compared to their other songs and fell a bit flat. Even lead singer Dave Hosking seemed like maybe the style wasn’t the best suit for the band, adding after the song “I warned you all it was a country song…”.

 

I caught the end of Disco Nap at the Club House and was extremely surprised to find the place practically deserted. It must be hard for bands to maintain a decent level of energy when your crowd is so sparse, and it’s a shame these guys didn’t handle it too well. The two or so songs I saw were fairly bland and it seemed like they couldn’t wait for the set to be over. Maybe next time guys.

 

I had higher expectations for Bridezilla. I don’t know if it was an off night for the group, or if the balance of sound just wasn’t right. I feel like every instrument, including the vocals, was just completely drowned out. I’d love to see them again in a better context, because on record they’re absolutely brilliant, but this performance just seemed like a mess despite their enthusiasm.

And now I just need to catch my breath for tonight!

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Local lads Disco Nap began the night with an acoustic set. Normally a four piece, tonight the band was just vocals and guitar with synths. The two-piece ran through a few of the band’s songs, including ‘False Teeth’ and ‘The Soft Cell’, interspersed with somewhat awkward stage banter. A sad, though amusing, story about a missing cat, who is aptly named Donnie Darko brought lead singer Ross Hope to dedicate ‘Don’t You Miss Her’ to the cat. It was a relaxed feel for the sparse crowd, and a pretty good way to ease into the night.

Lion Island took the stage next, with all of the members of the band barely fitting on together. Between three guitars, bass, drums, trumpet and violin they had a fantastic energy. The band is likely to draw comparisons to the Arcade Fire for obvious reasons, and they could easily match that grandeur. With seamless transitions between styles of folk and indie rock with jazz undertones, their live show was seemingly perfect. Confident and attention grabbing, they were relaxed and natural.

Next up were Ball Park Music, who began their set with the ballad, ‘Western Whirl’. Featuring just guitar with male and female vocals, it was a very interesting way to kick things off. They powered through their set, which included tracks from their latest EP, such as ‘Sea Strangers’ and ‘iFly’ as well as older tracks like ‘All I Want Is You’. It was an energetic set which showed off the bands talents, and they were actually the first band of the night to get people standing up and dancing along. We even got to witness some new material, with some of these new tracks sounding really promising.

Ernest Ellis took the stage with full backing band for his first headlining show in Brisbane. Opening with ‘Want for Anything’, it was obvious that this set would be a very different sound to that of his album. Ellis’ style is difficult to pinpoint. On record is it folk inspired indie rock with ambient synths backing traditional guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Tonight the synths seem to sit on the backburner, and a much stronger focus on the indie rock side of the band shone through.

Next song ‘Pulse’ detoured mid-way through into a hypnotising rendition ‘The End’ by The Doors and then back to normal after a bit of a jam. Ellis performed ‘Valley Song’ acoustically, backed only by tambourine and light backing vocals. It was fairly reminiscent of the way Conor Oberst performs acoustically – heart on sleeve for all to see. ‘Heading for the Cold’ and ‘Loveless’ closed off the set beautifully, with the crowd swaying along and enjoying the atmosphere. All in all the set was far too short; especially considering his debut album reaches almost an hour. While enjoyable, it definitely left many wanting more.
 
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