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BIGSOUND Roundup: Day 2

If you're feeling anything like us today then you're 100% ready to climb into bed and rest your weary head and body. But before you give in to the BIGSOUND (music?) hangover, let us walk you back through the wonder that was Day 2.

Sydney blues rock band The Snowdroppers started the night with a bang at The Winn stage with their infectious set. Lead singer Johnny Wishbone could easily be a stand-up comedian if he changed his mind about singing, but we hope that day never comes. Playing largely from their new album ‘Business’, The Snowdroppers brought the guitar heavy rock and on-stage irreverence, with Wishbone deep throating the microphone mid-song and thrusting to the beat. What a great way to start the night.

Charged with opening The Zoo were Sydneysiders I Know Leopard. With a sound not too dissimilar to Snakadaktal the 5-piece’s brand of dream pop kept the crowd swaying and happily glued to the stage. Their upbeat number Close My Eyes saw keyboardist Jenny McCullagh instead swap to a violin, adding a cool folky element to their sound. The set ended on a high with single Perfect Picture,with McCullagh’s violin beautifully embellishing the song’s hook whilst she effortlessly partook in a three-way harmony during the song’s bridge. 

BANFF lit up the Elephant Stage with his possy of talented Brissy mates, proving once again just how prolific the Brisbane music scene is. Playing some of his classic songs as well as some new material, the crowd was sizeable for one of the first acts of the night.

Up next was The Ocean Party, a six-piece from Wagga Wagga, who brought the sweet indie-pop vibes to The Foundry. The combination of four guitarists, drummer, and keyboardist created a heady and enveloping sound, with the crowd swaying back and forth from the start. The singing seemed to be shared between all the members, even the drummer, and this created an interesting dynamic to each song, although some were better singers than others.

Jesse Davidson took to The Zoo stage, with a dynamic set to rock the house. Known to us from his cameo appearance on Japanese Wallpaper's swirling electronica track, the set that was presented was unexpected. With a funky bass line and some super sexy sax, all we have to say is wow. This guy is definitely one to add to your list!

Jericco have been kicking around for about six years, making heavy rock with an interesting Middle Eastern twist, and they definitely know what they’re doing. The four-piece delivered a high-energy performance, bounding through their set with searing passion. Their bass heavy sound was infused with elements of gypsy/Middle Eastern, with the bassist playing a solo on a sitar-like instrument set up on stage. They were heavy, passionate, and intriguing to watch live.

Brisbane’s Hey Geronimo exploded into their set opening with the equal parts euphoric and zany single Laser Gun Show. From the first chorus of Laser Gun Show to the last strum of the set, the crowd was hooked on what surely was the cheeriest set of BIGSOUND. Their non-sensical love songs and boppy melodies created an infectiously joyful vibe no one in the crowd could, or wanted to, escape. The harmonies between frontman Pete Kilroy and keyboardist Pluto Jonze were fantastic and were only topped by some epic psych-rock breakdowns that few saw coming. 

Machine Age blew up The Brightside with his one man live band/electronica hybrid that left the crowd buzzing. A local favourite of ours, we were delighted to catch the energetic, albeit at times slightly weird set which is all a part of his charm. It's the kind of music that makes you want to get down and dirty, and looking around the room not a single soul was standing still.

Brisbane local Gabriella Cohen was a late addition to the BIGSOUND line-up, but showed all the charm and confidence of someone very deserving to be there. She had a four-piece backing band, almost all female expect for the bassist, and played an endearing set of indie/pop goodness. Cohen’s unusual but enchanting vocals were at the forefront of her often sparse tracks, like new single I Don’t Feel So Alive. She’s definitely one to watch.

Over at The Winn stage both young and old filled in, all itching to hear one of Brisbane’s hottest bands of the year The Belligerents. The five-piece dropped a set full of groovy rock mixed with the right amount of incoherent psychedelic babblings and fuzz-drenched solos. The pick of the set was the silky psych trip Voices. But the real highlight was the highly creative interpretive dancing from frontman Lewis Stephenson, who channelled some classic Peter Garrett moves. The psych rockers lived up to their hype and delivered one of the best sets of the night. 

Wollongong duo Hockey Dad finished the night at The Alehouse stage inside the Woolly Mammoth, playing to a packed and very excited audience. The sound coming from just two guys was remarkable, and they confidently moved through their surf rock set. The lead singer was in a self-confessed “Colonel Sanders” outfit and the drummer was just a mass of hair, but they belted out their high-energy, distorted surf rock tracks effortlessly, playing a few of their new songs for the crowd.  

Winterbourne took to the Winn stage all leather jackets, man buns and humble folk rock. The audience were some of the first to wrap their ears around the boys new single 'To Get To Know You' and a selection of other new songs from their upcoming EP. It's a been a while between releases for these guys, but as the age old saying goes 'absence makes the heart grow fonder.' While people queued up the street for Gang Of Youths and headbanged their way through Tired Lion, there was no place we'd rather have ended our BIGSOUND.

Perth’s brightest new export Tired Lion wrapped up night two at the Triple J Unearthed Stage. Playing to the half of BIGSOUND not seeing Gang of Youths, who were on at the same time at The Zoo, the Perth rockers put on a garage rock master class. Fronted by pocket rocket Sophie Hopes, the four-piece smashed out a set full of, what they called, “punk bangers”, providing plenty of head banging fodder for the distortion hungry crowd. The highlight of the set was the crowd interaction and vocals of Hopes. In some songs her voice stole the spotlight by delivering surprisingly soft and delicate tones, almost as if she was singing a lullaby rather than a punk banger. Also in light of R U OK? Day she dedicated several songs to those “who aren’t doing OK” and revealed a few songs are about her “being in a dark place”. Even ongoing issues with leads didn’t dull Tired Lion’s roar, with their closing song I Don’t Think You Like Me invoking a sizeable mosh and screams for “just one more!” as they moved to walk off stage.

So there it is, another year, another BIGSOUND successfully completed. Verging on a complete music and happiness overload, we'll bid you adieu and see you next year!

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