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Valley Fiesta: Saturday Roundup

Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley played host to the 19th Valley Fiesta, an annual event showcasing the best of the suburb’s vibrant culture through a three-day program of music, food, art, fashion, markets, and photography.  We joined the thousands of Brisbanites who braved the drizzle to catch some of the amazing local and national talent performing across the second afternoon and evening of the fiesta.

The Jensens

Sporting some gloriously cultivated moustaches, bug-eyed sunglasses, and a majestic 60’s era Bob Dylan fro, The Jensens opened the Brunswick Street East stage with plenty of colour. From the first smack of the snare drum in opener Fears the Brisbane 5-piece had the crowd completely transfixed. Frontmen Joe White and Nathan Kendall were at their charming best with pitch perfect harmonies, trading guitar parts, and carefree stage antics. With the combination of good looks, great catchy melodies, and a contagious energy, it wasn’t hard to become an instant fan. They played a faultless set of indie-surf rock that for many wasn’t long enough. 

Art vs Science 

Following The Jensens on the Brunswick Street East stage were dance inducers Art vs Science. Due to scheduling commitments, one of the main draw cards of this year’s lineup was on at the unusual early time of 4:30pm. However, not even the mid afternoon timeslot and threat of rain could deter the hundreds who filled the street eager to catch the alt-dance trio. Led by main vocalist Dan McNamee, the trio proved why they’re known as one of the best live acts in the country with a fantastic set of quirky (and sometimes just plain weird) dance music. After a few lukewarm opening songs McNamee strapped on his guitar and the trio hit their groove on their latest single Tired Of Pretending, off the recently released new album “Off the Edge of the Earth and Into Forever, Forever”.

The slow building tune sounded even better live, ending with McNamee escaping from his self-imposed cage of keyboards for an extended guitar solo. With the crowd warmed up the trio launched into Parlez Vous Francais? The song is truly a timeless dance track, and coupled with the trio’s unbeatable live energy no one in the crowd remained stationary. The trio kept the great tunes coming with the nonsensical A.I.M Fire! and Create/Destory.  After a humorous ringmaster style prologue by McNamee the trio drop the ’10 Schoolies anthem Magic Fountain, AND IT WENT OFF. Led by the spring-loaded legs of keyboardist Jim Finn the crowd and band jumped in unison, creating a sea of flailing limbs and screams of “Magic! Magic! Magic! Magic!”. McNamee and Finn then became a blur of motion as they jumped between keyboards during an epic improvised bridge section. After a break, which McNamee justified by explaining that all the sounds in their songs are created live, “it’s like a rock band…but dance”, trio finished on their hard dance track In This together. The trio threw everything at the song including a drum solo, rib cage shuddering bass, and dueling synths, evoking another frenzy of flailing limbs in the crowd. Both the band and the crowd left the stage dripping with sweat.

Resin Dogs

Spearheading a fantastic evening program on the Brunswick Mall stage was Brisbane-based Hip-Hop group Resin Dogs. Featuring DJ Katch on the decks, Dave Atkins (Wolfmother) on the drums, and the “Horn Dogs” brass section, the group delivered a high-energy set of hip-hop mixed with soul and funk beats. The large crowd gathered to catch the Brisbane legends were also treated to a number of guest appearances including MC Kel on Earth and MC Lazy Grey, who easily got the mosh jumping and the crowd chanting. Even coming up to their 20th birthday the ‘Dogs still pack a punch live, sounding as fresh and funky as in their glory years.


Sydney producer Ned East, better known as Kilter, took to the Brunswick Street East stage with an amazing lighting display. Refreshingly performing without the aid of a laptop, Kilter delivered a humble and engaging set of pop electronica. Rarely still, the producer moved between twisting knobs on hardware and a plethora of electric drums, cymbals, and hit-pads to add beats and layers on his backing tracks. The crowd happily grooved along to his 2014 single They Say and his re-mix of Odesza’s All We Need received plenty of “woos”. However, the highlight of the set was his super cool re-mix of Snakadaktal’s Fall Underneath with an virtuoso live guitarist who would give Tommy Emmanuel a run for his money.


Tasmanian born songstress Asta kept the fiesta going on the Brunswick Mall stage with a sensational set of indie-pop and 80’s styled dance tunes. Backed by a trio of multi-instrumentalists, the winner of 2012’s Triple J Unearthed High competition was hard to miss in glossy black boots, ruby red tights, and a skin-tight top. The outfit, combined with Britney Spears-esque dance moves and a vocal power and range comparable to fellow Aussie diva Sia, made it impossible to take your eyes off her. The set perfectly balanced her older indie-pop sound in songs Escape and Need Some Answers with her new 80’s inspired sound, as heard in her new single Dynamite. During songs she looked and sounded massive, but between songs she showed surprising coyness when engaging with the large and enthusiastic crowd. This persona however only increased her likeability and by the end of the set she was having as much fun as the crowd.

Check out Live Photos of Valley Fiesta 2015 HERE 

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