Posts Tagged ‘the troubadour’

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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The news spread quickly today that one of Brisbane’s most loved venues, the Troubadour, will but shutting its doors for good by the end of the month. It hasn’t been said exactly why the venue is closing down, but details are supposedly coming soon.

I can’t even begin to imagine the impact this might have on the local scene, particularly with the recent news that Lofly Hangar will also be shutting down within the coming weeks and the uncertain future for the Globe. The Troubadour has always been one of my favourite venues and I’ve never had a bad night there. I’m pretty devastated that it’s shutting down, especially on such short notice, and I can’t even imagine finding an equal replacement for it.

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The Medics kicked off the night, with the Cairns quartet having a slow start to their set. While musically tight, the four piece wasn’t very engaging, and this can most likely be attributed to lacklustre vocals. While the energy of the band fluctuated a bit throughout the middle of set, the performance remained mediocre. Unfortunately the set then ended in complete disarray, in an almost punk style – a long way from the near ambient sound we heard at the start of the set. The guitarist jumped between guitar, auxiliary percussion and xylophone, giving their closing song a disjointed sound. The bass player leapt into the crowd, tambourine in hand and the song come to a feedback filled stop.

Skinny Jean were up next, beginning their set strongly and impressing the ever-growing crowd immediately. Clearly a group of incredibly talented musicians they made their way through some of their live classics such as ‘Search and Progress’, ‘Ajax’ and ‘Atlas’. ‘Army Wife’ was a stand out, with the band doing a switch around of instruments, and the only song of the night where female vocals dominated, which left the crowd absolutely captivated.

The Boat People took to the stage to the sold out Troubadour, announcing that since this was of course an album launch that they would try and play as much of their release Dear Darkly as possible. Kicking it off with ‘Under the Ocean’ and jetting through ‘Soporific’, ‘Antidote’ and ‘Cat’s Collar’, it was clear why this local band has become so popular. As seasoned musicians they have an amazing and confident stage presence, while delivering a tight and flawless performance.

Mixed in with entertaining stage banter, the Boaties are renowned as great live performers, and tonight certainly didn’t disappoint. Shared vocal duties between James O’Brien and Robin Waters keep it interesting, with both singers having different styles and inflections but having a similar earnestness in the way they sing. Older tracks ‘Awkward Orchid Orchard’ and ‘Born in the 80s’ made an appearance, though it would have been nicer to see a few other older tracks. ‘Echo Stick Guitars’ was a clear highlight amongst the crowd, and ‘Damn Defensive’ even got the placid, but appreciative crowd singing along. An amazing return for the Boat People.

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Who is he? Ernest Ellis

Where is he from? Sydney

What does he play? modern folk

You’ll like him if you like: Bon Iver

Ernest Ellis has been a bit of a buzz name since his album dropped a few weeks ago. The guy has managed to make a gorgeous, modern folk record. Much more than just vocal and guitar, Ernest has embraced modern technology to include reverb and layering to make a pretty unique sound. As you would gather from a quick Google search, Ellis wrote the album while holed up in the Blue Mountains by himself and I would say that this had a definite impact making the tracks quite intimate to listen to.

He’s playing this Saturday at the Troubadour – I’ll be there so much sure to come over and say hi if you see me!

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