My second night of Big Sound action (Thursday, September 12) began at The Black Bear Lodge for Gossling, who charmed and entertained the crowd in equal measure. Her unique voice is perhaps most well known for her contribution to 360’s Boys Like You, but Gossling (aka Helen Croome) certainly proved herself to be much more than a bit player with an impressive set of songs what was a good start to the night.
Next stop was the Press Club to see Ride into the Sun, an Adelaide-based collective who certainly packed the stage and brought plenty of noise to the venue. Whilst the crowd was small, anybody who, like me, was unfamiliar with the band should have left suitably impressed with what they heard. I initially wandered in out of curiosity during a break in my planned schedule and I ended up staying for the entire set.
After a lengthy wait outside due to the size limitations of The Black Bear Lodge, I eventually made it in just as Thelma Plum was hitting the stage. Not surprisingly, the crowd were in full voice for her radio tracks Around Here and Dollar, but she had trouble engaging the packed house with her other songs, which included a cover of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game. Although, to be fair, she was plagued by rude audience members, which included two women in the front row who insisted on yelling to each other in conversation throughout the set and the couple in front of me who went out of their way to prevent me from grabbing any photos.
Following Thelma Plum on stage at The Black bear Lodge was the fabulous Megan Washington for what was, ostensibly, a showcase for her new music. She was in great spirits and put on an enthusiastic performance despite the oppressive conditions with the venue bursting at the seams. If what she presented here is any indication, hew new album promises to be a cracker.
I finished my night at The Zoo with Way of the Eagle, an eclectic ensemble led by producer-songwriter Jan Skubiszewski. Stonefield’s Amy Findlay made an appearance on vocals for one track and the set drew to a rousing close when the somewhat sexy Dan Sultan hit the stage for the high rotation radio single Rattlesnake.
However, it wasn’t over yet because the next day (Friday) saw Megan Washington back on stage at Ric’s Café & Bar for a midday gig that was equally as good as the night before. In fact, with great weather, a more spacious setting and a really relaxed vide, this was a great gig. Again, the focus was on new music, the only exception being an energetic rendition of Cement.
Overall, Big Sound seemed, to me at least, to be a huge success. Crowds were strong at most performances I attended and the atmosphere in The Valley over the three days was fantastic. In fact, if anything, the demand for some of the artists far outstripped the capacity of the venues in which they played. The variety of music was extensive though and I certainly look forward to doing it again next year.
Photos from all three days can be viewed at https://mrcsays.wordpress.com/gallery/big-sound-2013/