Messy strands of coloured bulbs. Bare faces, bare legs. A glorious beard, and a torn poster against the wall. Brisbane’s The Brightside recalls to mind an earlier period in the Valley’s history; a grungier, more casual night out. An edgier vibe.
It was the perfect setting for the Gold Coast’s Amy Shark, who, despite uproarious national acclaim for her most recent single Adore and a recent worldwide management deal with Sony, still likes to keep things real. In a casual outfit with face devoid of makeup, Amy let her music do all the talking. A smaller, tentative crowd grew to a base of avid fans who crowded the front of the stage, cheering louder for each song in her too-short 30 minute opening set. Adore had the triple j lovers singing loudly along. No one who arrived not knowing who she was, left with the same impression.
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Debbie Harry lookalike Bec Sandridge was next. Another no-fuss performer, the red-lipped chanteuse with the platinum bob channelled the eighties as she delivered a tasty indie set peppered with some quirky Regina Spektor-ish keys and solid guitar work. With a fair few throwback synth sounds and plenty of catchy hooks, singer-songwriter Sandridge seems to have captured her brand cleverly, playing plenty of dance-along tracks from her upcoming EP In The Fog.
CUB Sport may look understated (a definite theme of the evening) but they can sure fill a venue with sound. Their multiple layers and texturing gives their sound a maturity which is belied by their young faces. The haunting vocals of baby-faced lead singer Tim Nelson bring Jeff Buckley to mind at times. A mix of their earlier EPs was appreciated but it was when they brought out the tracks from this year’s debut album This Is Our Vice that the crowd really turned it up a notch. Singles I Can’t Save You and Come On Mess Me Up had hands in the air, and whatever wiggle room you managed to carve for yourself in the tiny Brightside became valuable real estate, indeed. A bright night, and a bright future await all carefully chosen acts on the evening’s lineup.
IMAGES (c) Briony Masters