The biggest challenge every year at Big Sound is developing an itinerary that enables you to see as many bands as possible across the myriad venues scattered throughout Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. This year was certainly no exception with 120 artists on the bill, embracing all musical styles and genres and leaving punters literally spoiled for choice. The two nights of live performances are part of the Big Sound Music Industry Conference, which also includes key note presentations from musicians and industry professionals, panel discussions, product launches and social events.
The opening night of the live component (Wednesday, September 11) kicked off in the best possible way with a rollicking set from The Delta Riggs at The Valley institution that is The Zoo. These guys didn’t hold back, combining their more recognisable radio tracks with a clutch of ballsy songs that proved the perfect tonic to get punters into the spirit of the evening.
From here I headed up to the somewhat confined spaces of the Black Bear Lodge to catch The Audreys strutting their stuff, with singer Taasha Coates charming all and sundry as she sashayed her way through a brace of feel good folky pop tunes.
Coniston Lane was the next port of call to take in the recently re-branded Cub Sport, who were musically solid but lacked the stage presence of other bands performing throughout the night, perhaps restricted by a lack of space or simply the fact that lead singer Tim Nelson is anchored behind a keyboard. However, the hometown crowd certainly responded well to their every tune and the vibe in the venue was infectious.
Next, I headed back to The Zoo to see Stonefield, who were absolutely sensational. The girls tore up the stage and I don’t think anybody wanted their blistering performance to end. With singer Amy alternating between front of stage and behind the drum kit, their set was bristling with the no-holds-barred rock energy that has made them so popular in such a short period of time.
Following Stonefield, bona fide Aussie rock goddess Adalita hit The Zoo stage for a stripped back set that comprised just her and her guitar. Despite a few delays throughout the set to make adjustments to equipment, the Magic Dirt front woman won the crowd over with a sedate, but highly evocative, set of songs.
After Adalita, it was time, in the words of Kevin Rudd, to zip across Ann Street to catch Eagle and the Worm in the makeshift stage in the bowels of Bakery Lane. The Melbourne seven-piece were in good form and pumped out a high energy collection of catchy tunes to an appreciative crowd.
Local legends Regurgitator closed the night with a sensational show at Electric Playground, a venue that was perhaps too small for a band of such stature, the packed house responding to every cue from front man Quan Yeomans. Resplendent in pink jumpsuits and with a great stage rapport, they combined new tracks with crowd favourites in a frenetic performance that probably couldn’t be truly appreciated by those at the back of the venue where vision of the stage is very limited.
For photos from the night, visit: https://mrcsays.wordpress.com/gallery/big-sound-2013/