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Posts Tagged ‘live music’

So I haven’t particularly been doing a lot of music reviews lately, but instead making music of my own. I’m in a band called Chase Scenes and we’ve been ‘together’ in some way, shape or form for a few years now but only really started to buckle down in the last 6-12 months.We’ll be putting on our first ever gig on January 14 at the Waiting Room in West End with The LoveBuckles and Go Go Go Go!. So if you enjoy some listening to some fuzzy rock come along and see us all play. Entry is from 8pm and is $7 – but the best part of all, BYO alcohol. For any more info, hit me up or come have a look at our Facebook Event. Hope to see you all there!

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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.

Highlights:

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.

Lowlights:

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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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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So it’s almost September, and that means that Big Sound Live and Valley Fiesta are just around the corner. I’ve never been to a Big Sound Live and I can’t remember if I’ve been to a Valley Fiesta since I turned 18, so this year I’d really like to make the effort to get out there. Slack of me, I know, but generally September was always a bad time for me as a uni student and who the hell knows what I did last year.

I won’t be attending the Big Sound Conference, but I’ll definitely be going to the live showcase on Wednesday September 8 and Thursday September 9. If you’re keen on local, live music (and other Australian acts) I would recommend that you go. Tickets are $44 for both nights or $27.50 for one night, which is pretty good value considering the amount of bands you could see. The timetable is available online, and I’m stressing a bit trying to figure out who to see.

Has anyone gone before and has a good attack plan? Is it best to just stay at the one venue? When considering who I want to see, I’m also looking at the Valley Fiesta lineup where there a lot of similar bands playing. Valley Fiesta goes over Friday the 10th of September and Saturday the 11th (for the live music at least, there is also more to see and do on the Sunday). This line up can also be viewed online (opens as PDF).

Both events are located in various stages and venues around Fortitude Valley. I love the way the Valley transforms into a much friendlier, albeit busier, place when events such as these are on.

I’ll admit, I’m tempted to go see the bands I know and love (like Ball Park Music and Ernest Ellis), but if there is anyone I should check out that I may not consider please let me know!

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I thought it was time to put some stability into this blog. Introducing Sunday thoughts – basically me just music about a different music related topic every Sunday. I’m hoping to get some dialogue happening here though – so call comments are loved and appreciated.

Last Tuesday I went to the Pixies concert alone. I’ve been finding that I’ll do this more and more often. Going to shows alone, that is. There are a few different reasons – sometimes I’ll get a single review pass, or other times there just won’t be anyone who wants to come with me. Or I just don’t meet up with people who are going because they have seats and I have standing or something else along those lines.

I don’t really mind going alone, as such. I just hate those moments when you’re waiting. And there’s nothing to do, no one to talk to. But like I said, I don’t really mind it, I just get a little bored. So Tuesday night I went on a little bit of a Facebook and Twitter frenzy while waiting for the Pixies to take the stage.

The topic seemed to divide people. Some would only attend gigs alone, others would never dream of it. I received advice to start talking to the people around me and start making friends, and offers to go to whatever next gig with me so I wouldn’t be alone.

But truth me told, once the music started I really didn’t care. So on the way home it got me thinking of which way was better – going solo or going with some friends? I suppose it’s all circumstantial – what band, what venue, what kind of mood you’re in. The Drowned in Sound forums had some pretty good arguments pro going alone. But is the line drawn at all day festivals? Weekend festivals? Week-long festivals?

Again, I went to Laneway alone. It was a long day not talking to people. Between sets that is. But then again, several years ago I met some of my closest friends from going to gigs alone. But on the other other other hand, I once went to the Big Day Out alone, and naturally didn’t take care of myself in the heat and got quite sick. Luckily I recognised this and made my way out of the mosh, but if something had happened, no one would have been there for me.

So what does everyone think? Anyone indifferent like me? Or strongly believe in one or the other? Stories about meeting people, or even bad experiences going alone would be greatly appreciated.

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