BIGSOUND 2017: Day 3 Roundup (Part 2)

By on Thursday, 28th September 2017 at 2:00 pm
 

My schedule for my last night at BIGSOUND 2017 ended up being mostly changed last minute. Deciding that I wanted to mix things up a bit, I started at the venue that was farthest north, The New Globe Theatre. The name of the place sounds more highbrow than the band from Melbourne I was there to see. Post-hardcore group Deadlights opened the venue for the night with ferocity. While electronic might be getting more attention on radio in these parts, it’s clear with fellow Melburnians Belle Haven who I saw Tuesday night and Sydneysiders Polaris that Australia that the hard rock scene is alive and well and worthy of attention too.

Deadlights Thursday night at BIGSOUND 2017

I got the sense that Brisbane girl duo OKBADLANDS had been riding on a wave of hype and wanted to see if the hype was deserved. Kate Gurren and Sally Latter and their live band were playing the upstairs Mane Stage at the Woolly Mammoth. Their combination of percussion with pop and r&b sensibility were a much easier listen than the onslaught on show at the Deadlights set just before. I like the fact that the sound of OKBADLANDS isn’t obvious for a two-girl act. That is, they don’t play the cloyingly too precious pop that seems to always show up on mainstream radio, yet it’s all too easy to get pulled in to their rhythmically engaging tunes.

https://flic.kr/p/YZFxti]OKBADLANDS Thursday night at BIGSOUND 2017

Having some time before my next act, I decided to duck into The Zoo and see who was playing. Do you remember a band called Kins? I sure do. I remember seeing their name on The Great Escape grid for a few years in a row, and now it all makes sense. Turns out they were originally from Australia. Their drummer, Alex Knight, now has his own solo career as singer/songwriter Brightness. He released his debut album in June. His gentle brand of indie rock reminiscent of Sweet Baboo seemed too small for a venue as big as this. Then again, if someone like Conor Oberst can play bigger venues, maybe Knight’s day for that just hasn’t come yet.

Brightness Thursday night at BIGSOUND 2017

I had somehow avoided Oh Hello! and the triple j showcases there all week. I wasn’t doing it on purpose, it just so happened the acts I wanted to see weren’t playing there. As I had hoped to hit every BIGSOUND venue, I stopped in to get a feel for the place and to snap some photos of the talent. Or at least that was the idea. Young singer/songwriter Ruby Fields, whose popularity has blown up just this year, no doubt on the back of triple j’s support, was on stage and in front of a packed club. See the photo below, that was the closest I could get to the front. Don’t doubt the power of triple j’s reach: the Australian radio station most popular with the young’uns, equivalent to BBC Radio 1, brought in hordes simply because they curated this showcase. Here’s to hoping that she’ll appear at SXSW 2018 and I can see her in a venue where I’m not gasping for air and having a panic attack. We shared this adorable exchange on Twitter; I appreciate her appreciation for me trying to get in there and do my job.


Ruby Fields crowd shot at BIGSOUND 2017

Time for a much more relaxed environment, The Empire Hotel. Thomas Calder, who I had seen in Sydney 5 years ago previous as the frontman of The Trouble with Templeton, a band we’ve written a fair bit on. He now performs under the moniker Daggy Man. As one might expect from a singer/songwriter performing alone, his songs are stories from his life or observations on life. While he didn’t have anywhere near the same size of audience as Ruby Fields, he’s got very vocal, devoted fans, some of whom sat cross-legged on the floor to listen to their god dexterously play his guitar and emote through his softly sung vocals. Maybe the Conor Oberst comparison I used earlier applies better here?

Daggy Man Thursday night at BIGSOUND 2017

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