Taking a more mellow approach to night two of BIGSOUND Live proved impossible, given the plethora of talent to be seen. Slipping out of the funky Slip On Stereo set, I visited Alhambra, hosting Tasmanian band The Middle Names. Smashing out songs energetically, their latest single ‘Full Friends‘ lost none of its power. Song-writing is singer Ben Wells strong suit, and you could feel the passion for his lyrics – he wants to tell you his story.
When Hey Geronimo performed in Brisbane on their last tour, the band were a little loose, having just introduced a new bass player. This time round the group were missing keys player Andrew Stone, but the confidence was shining. Their performance was full of clever stops and drops, with Pete Kilroy and Bill ‘Bingers’ moving all over the stage with an energy that matched the songs.
Pete’s voice was a little thin, likely to do with the mix through the speakers, but he delivered an otherwise solid vocal performance. The final song ‘Why Don’t We Do Something?‘ was the one that really kicked the crowd into overdrive – flawlessly brilliant.
Canadian band Your Favorite Enemies (Canadian spelling) inherited Tempo’s stage for an emotional, heavy set. Alex Foster presents an intense show, combining the drive of a punk band with a moody ambient atmosphere. His incredible stage presence drew all eyes towards him. This gig made it clear why they record in a church, because they fill the space with everything they have, especially those guitars, layered with effects that toy with your emotions.
The band who are scorching right now, Sheppard, kicked it off at the [V] Stage at Coniston Lane. The shiny happy crowd pressed themselves up to the stage, as the band siblings led the charge with the most beautiful array of warm pop sounds.
A particular highlight was George Sheppard pounding on percussion whilst singing, complimenting the beat being laid down by drummer Dean Gordon. So much enjoyable indie pop to dance to. It’s perhaps neither here nor there, but Amy Sheppard’s candy blue hair was a perfect visual metaphor for that performance.
Having seen The Jungle Giants play more times than any other band this year, I can safely say that they played one of their better sets at Bakery Lane. Like all the BIGSOUND performances, it was over too quickly. As expected in the tightly packed space there was an epic crowd surf – not by a band member this time, but a plucky, tipsy dude from the audience.
The relatively calm Cesira Aitken was the counterpoint to Andrew Dooris‘ wild stage bobbing. It all went nuts during ‘You’ve Got Something’, and no one seemed to mind the strong smell of weed that permeated the crowd. Highlight: Sam Hales managing not to fall off Keelan Bijker‘s kick drum.
Back to where it all started the night before, Oh Hello was cram packed with KINGSWOOD’s army. The jam jars had clearly kicked in across the boisterous and rowdy denizens. Much akin to Templeton the night before, the inability to see in no way diminished the awesome punch of KINGSWOOD’s indie guitars and snappy vocals. As disheartening as it was to be stuck all the way at the entrance, I took satisfaction in knowing that this was perfect band to finish of two nights of bloody awesome music. KINGSWOOD – you need to not live in Melbourne and stay here.
Keep an eye out for the final part of this BIGSOUND review – you might end up discovering your new favourite band!