With the confidence that radiated on Triple J’s Unearthed stage tonight, you wouldn’t think that Brisbane’s indie rock group The Furrs only started writing songs last year. Since the release of their self-titled debut EP in October, the band have quickly gained a strong following and have quickly built a respectable reputation and have supported acts such as America’s The Cults and Sydney newcomersDMA’s. Their performance tonight cemented why this is the case, and they made sure they got the party started on the first evening of BIGSOUND LIVE. They were full of energy from the start and had the room dancing in no time. The confidence in particular that the lead singer Gabriella Cohen manifested on stage was electric and the other members fed off it, and as a result the whole band killed it. Keep your ears open for these guys, if the last year and tonight’s performance is anything to go by, we will be hearing more of them in the coming year.
I managed to catch the very end of Teeth and Tongue’s set when they supported Megan Washingtona few weeks back and I knew I had to see them again. Starting off as a solo musical project by lead singer Jess Cornelius a few years ago, the group have become a solid unit, releasing their third albumGrids earlier this year. Tonight they played Black Bear Lodge and played what felt a rushed set due to the festival’s limited time restraints. I guess that’s the one downside to such an event. Each artist has thirty minutes to demonstrate their talent, which allows little time for on-stage banter, which would usually give us some insight into the personalities behind the music. While the band played some really great catchy numbers including “Easy Living”, “Newborn” and their single “Family Home” which had a fun swing to it, there were other songs in the set that were a little flat. The consistency isn’t quite there yet, but it will come with time and experience.
While BIGSOUND is all about celebrating up and coming Australian musical talent, it’s also about recognising up and coming international talent. Ontario’s July Talk are one of a handful of international artists that are showcasing their music at this years festival and with their debut album dropping later this month, they had everything to prove to their Australian audience. And prove their talent they did and a hundred times over. The five-piece indie rock band put on what could be one of the best performances of the event. Musically, they know how to create and play old school American hard rock and roll, but they also know how to put on one hell of a performance. The chemistry between Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay was palpable and is very much an important element of the band’s on-stage persona. Thinking Fay’s lipstick had got all over Dreimanis’s mouth, we soon realised he was experiencing a nose-bleed but that didn’t stop him from continuing rock and rolling. The performance was super energetic, we were all dancing by the end of it and I was truthfully devastated when the set finished. As I waited for The Creases to start their set, I was pretty sure no other performance would beat it.
One of the youngest groups to feature at BIGSOUND this year were Brisbane’s own four-piece act The Creases, who brought their indie rock to The Globe Theatre. They had the crowd dancing in no time with their fun indie tunes. What would of made this performance reach a more enjoyable level would have been more interaction with the crowd and more emotion. While the music was enjoyable, the lack of energy on stage made the performance a little flat, which is disappointing because they are a talented group of guys. Their energy during their boogie-tastic single “Static Lines” however was better and highlighted why they are a band to keep an eye on in the coming year.
One of the fun things about BIGSOUND is the crazy schedule to cover as many bands as humanly possible which requires bolting from one venue to another. So sure enough, in a BIGSOUND fashion, I bolted from The Globe Theatre down to the Elephant Hotel to catch the end of Thelma Plum’sperformance. When I arrived, she was settled into her delightful set. Her sweet vocals radiated through the venue as she sang songs from her EP Monsters, and she owned the stage with an intimate presence. She sang with integrity and restrained emotion during “Around Here”, but sang “Monsters” with emotion and presence. She finished her set with the energetic and catchy “How Much Does Your Love Cost”, and received a massive applause from the very large and loving crowd.
The Kingswood boys concluded the first evening of the festival at the Brightside Outside Stage. The boys have come a long way since winning a Triple J’s Unearthed stage spot at 2012’s Splendour In The Grass. This year so far they have toured nationally to promote their single “Suckerpunch”, and they are currently in the middle of another massive national tour promoting their long-awaited debut albumMicroscopic Wars, which has received massive support. These boys have brought rock and roll back big time, with their massive vigorous performance that is hard hitting and they have the attitudes to go with it, although tonight I felt they held back somewhat. These guys are getting stronger and better as time goes by, and they will continue to grow their already large and loyal fan base. With this in mind, they are a strong contender to become one of Australia’s biggest rock bands in the coming years.
Photos and review by Kimberley Salmond