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Posts Tagged ‘woodland’

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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Brisbane electronic act Re:Enactment will be celebrating the release of their debut album Sport at Woodland on Saturday night (14/05).  Have a listen to ‘Nintendogs’ (which also featured on last year’s EP Talent for Retail) to get a taste of what you might be in for.

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Just a quick, casual review today – I didn’t spend too much time taking notes on the night, but instead decided to actually enjoy the show in my tired haze (shocking, I know!). Locals outfit Feathers kicked off the night, playing a somewhat similar set to when I saw them support The Like the other week. They ran through a similar set listing – ‘Early Morning’, ‘Cruel for Love’ and their stock standard ‘Play with Fire’ cover. They definitely seemed a lot more confident, and a lot more rehearsed though still lacking in energy for the first half of their set.

I was a bit sceptical about how Woodland would be at full capacity, but it was surprisingly comfortable.  Best Coast took the stage with minimal fuss. Performing as a three piece now – Bethany Cosentino on vocals and guitar, Bobb Bruno on lead guitar (that more often than not ends up sounding like bass) and former Vivian Girls drummer Ali Koehler on drums, the album sound is really fleshed out, barely identifiable as ‘lo fi’. ‘Bratty B’ and ‘Crazy for You’ were early highlights in the set. Cosentino made for a surprisingly charismatic frontwoman, demanding “MORE BUBBLES!” when the bubble machine dwindled.

‘Goodbye’ differed from the album version a fair bit, with some additional guitar layers courtesy of Bruno. ‘Boyfriend’ was of course a massive hit and the crowd provided a fairly good sing along to ‘I Want To’.  The biggest surprise of the night was the fact that Beth Cosentino could actually sing. I had never pinned her down to have a great live vocal performance, but she certainly proved otherwise holding all of her trademark melodies with great finesse. Closing couplet ‘When I’m With You’ and ‘Each and Every Day’ really got the crowd dancing and both proved to be highlights from the set. Disappointingly there was no encore, and even more disappointingly the crowd didn’t even try to bring the band back onstage despite it being such a fantastic set from the three piece.

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Brisbane locals Inland Sea opened the night’s proceedings with their acappella ‘Lord I’m Waiting’. Barely fitting onstage, the group squeezed in front of the microphones -harmonies, tonality and rhythm all spot on. They launched straight into ‘Traitor’ from the debut EP, receiving a generous applause from the unfortunately small crowd. The combination of cello, violin, ukulele, guitar and bass make for a gorgeous texture, and solid drumming helped the group gain an energy almost comparable to Arcade Fire during ‘Burning Lifeboats’. ‘All Fall Down’ proved to be a crowd favourite and one of the most memorable songs from the set.

Headliners The Honey Month opened timidly, with ‘Cold Light’. Not having a strong opening meant that it took a little while for the crowd to warm into the set, but breakthrough single ‘Foliage’ managed to help the mood along nicely. The track is obviously well rehearsed – hypnotic and attention grabbing with lead singer Thomas Kulich pounding away at a floor tom. The group continued to prove themselves to be decent multi-instrumentalists, swapping between piano accordion, guitar, double bass, organ, glockenspiel and any other percussion that they could get their hands on.

One would think that for a single launch, the single in question would get a fairly decent introduction. I’m sure there was something murmured about ‘The Owl’, but it certainly wasn’t fussed over, which put a damper on the night. Along with ‘Foliage’ though, it was one of the best performed tracks of the night with a high energy coming from the vocals, and especially from the bass player, who completely rocked the fuck out though most of the set. The harmonies and tone of ‘Mother Mercy’ were quite nice, but failed to perform as well as the recording. The Honey Month’s songs are short – they never overindulge in musical journeys or expand too far on ideas. This works for them most of the time but coupled with the fact that the music coming from the surrounding venues could be heard over the quieter moments (obviously not the band’s fault), it was pretty hard to really get into the set at times. There were some nice moments, especially the added trumpet of ‘Home’, but for the most part I left the night feeling a little unfulfilled, like I could have witnessed a much better show, because they certainly have the potential for it.

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‘The Owl’ is the latest single from Brisbane indie-folk band The Honey Month. They’ll be officially launching it this Friday at Woodland, supported by Inland Sea. Hope to see you all there!

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