With a wildly summer-like spring hopping into Bris-Vegas this week, it is a delight to be on the buzzing streets of BIGSOUND Festival again for 2019; our annual opportunity to see what’s hot and happening, groovy and grungy, moving and shaking and who’s about to kick off big time. Although we can never see EVERYTHING we want to see, join us for the wild ride of four nights in Fortitude Valley and a glimpse of a musical wonderland!
There was no mucking around as we bounced straight into the blackest of venues – Crow Bar – to see SCABZ from south of the border. Hilariously self deprecating punk (the song ‘Shit Cunt’ is a self portrait) with niche stories (‘Brett Lee’s got no ID’ and can’t get into the pub) had the packed crowd laughing as they thrashed along.
Downstairs was no less intense with more chicks rocking the stage in the form of Being Jane Lane. Moon boots and spilt drinks (Bourbon? Anyone?) could not slow these mighty GC women down. Their star is rising with a slew of high profile support slots and an album out in October. And of course the best way to launch such a thing is via a jelly wrestling drag queen show. Get amongst it, if you dare.
Allowing us to catch our breath at Famous was Melbourne teen yergurl (aka Fae Scott) performing with her twin sister Marcy / Marcie and Nate on the sticks. Her dreamy, introspective pop beats are self written and produced in her bedroom (it’s a thing). Whatever angsty emotions she’s exploring really resonated with the solid crowd in this big venue. yergurl promises an EP out soon.
It’s not everyday you pop into the Empire Hotel and hear a duo from Ottawa, Canada singing in English, French and Inuktitut, playing traditional instruments and mesmerising a crowd with their story and song. But that happened. Chelsey June and Jaagi are couple with a higher purpose – connecting us to our humanity through their art. Definitely our find of the night.
Ramping up the attitude back at The Elephant was Gold Coast via Auckland rapper from left field Saint Lane. Wearing a wild, shiny floral suit like he was born in it. Saint Lane (aka Lane Muir) is clearly channelling difficult and challenging life experiences in his music. The crowd was invested in picking up what he was putting down complete with literal musings between songs to pre-prepared segues to his hit song ’Compliment My Shirt’. Despite being confused for Post Malone at a South Korean music festival, it won’t be long before the reverse is true.
Gorgeous ethereal dreamscapes from Sydney-sider-via-Gold-Coast Aquila Young and her all black clad crew on stage at Famous Bar. Such polish and poise, depth of vocals, excellent production and a cool ease drew the crowds to be lulled into her spell.
From the sublime to the ridiculous at the Wooly Mammoth Mane Stage with RedHook: smashing, blood pressure rising, punk rock fusion artists from Sydney. So much sweat and energy packed into a unit of nuclear fission in Emmy and her tartan dress and the outrageous core strength of the bass player Maverick. The band has just returned from Download Festival UK in June, smashing it in the company of giants past and present. It wouldn’t have been a surprise if they’d toned it down a bit for BIGSOUND. But no. Full. On.
The last hurrah for the evening was a goodun’ – a packed house at The Elephant for genre-busting duo Electric Fields. There were some dodgy sound glitches and vocalist Zaachariaha was in fierce and fiery mode but it did not detract from the fantastic music and intensity factor. Having didgeridoo musician Jamie on stage gave a depth to these robbed-of-Eurovision musicians. They are compelling and demanding of our attention. Worth staying up for.
Words: Alicia Kent-Rooney
Images: Simone Gorman-Clark + NJA Photography