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Kicking off the evening’s proceedings was Brisbane three piece Massai. There were a few sound issues in the first few songs that drowned out the band’s laid back classic rock style. Members swapped between instruments and lead vocals seamlessly. “I’m Not Insured” was enjoyable, and the real highlight of the set was their lead single “Blow up the Sun”. Cheers of ‘one more’ from the crowd unfortunately weren’t met, likely due to the already behind set times at the venue, but it was refreshing to see such appreciation for a lesser known local band.

Next up was Sarah Chadwick from Melbourne grunge outfit Batrider doing a solo set. Unfortunately she didn’t make a strong impression, with the chatter amongst the crowd becoming louder and louder as her set went on. Chadwick lacked an engaging stage presence for the majority of the set and her grungier style didn’t suit the guitar and vocal set up.

Matt Banham easily made the best stage entrance of the night, covering Ice House’s ‘Electric Blue’ and backed only by his iPod and sporting some pretty wicked dance moves. There were times when it was hard to tell whether this was serious or not, but for the times he lacked in genuine musicianship, he made up for in entertainment and charisma. A few punters recognised some of Banham’s tracks such as “TTRR” and “Death Mocks Me in my Sleep” and offered some cheers of appreciation, but overall the crowd didn’t seem too phased by the performance.

Brisbane locals The Belligerants were up next, and despite the small crowd their catchy funk-rock style remained energetic. They powered through an impressive set, with recent favourites “Bye Bye Bye” and “These Hands” received particularly well from the few dancing near the front of the stage. The band showed off their obvious talent while they changed tempo and pace quite fluidly within each song. “Heart Beats” was a bit heavier than most of the other songs performed and seemed a little out of place in the set. “Take Me Back” closed the impressive set to the best applause such a small crowd could offer.

The Paper Scissors took to the stage surprisingly late, shortly before midnight, with lead singer Jai Pyne claiming “Our bar tab ran out so it’s time for us to play!”. Unfortunately this late start made the set seem rushed, and also made it seem a lot shorter than it should have been with the band only playing for about 45 minutes. Doubled with a smaller than expected crowd, the band’s energy didn’t seem completely there. Despite this, they still delivered an enjoyable and musically impressive set. The chorus of “We Don’t Walk” was barked out vigorously and “Howl” was a highlight. The band closed with a fantastic rendition their latest single, “Long Sum”, which hinted that perhaps on a different night the entire set would have been just as energetic.

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If you’re looking for some new local music and don’t know where to start, try having a search on Bandcamp. It’s a great site that more and more bands are using to sell their music. Individual tracks or full EPs or albums can be posted and put at any cost (including free!) that the band would like. You can browse through artists or search by tags like location or genre….which brings us to the point of this post.

A Brisbane search will bring up a few pages of bands (some known and some unfamiliar names) from Brisbane. Likewise, you can do a search for a different city, state or country. Most of the music is pretty cheap when it’s not free, and it’s a great way to support independent artists. Need to recommendations on where to start?

  • Hunz is pretty much the king of Brisbane artists on Bandcamp, with practically all of his releases being able for download. You can also get some of his chip tunes stuff there too.
  • Alan Boyle’s ‘Oxygen’ EP is available for download for only $3 (or more if you like), which I think is a complete steal.
  • Massai’s latest release is available here – I think they’re mainly releasing this digitally so this is likely to be the only place people will be able to get this

There’s also a crapload of stuff from Montpelier, Ed Guglielmino and Blunt Instrument.

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