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Live Review: ‘Deadlam’ – Bedlam Records Halloween Eve Showcase

Over a hundred zombies, vampires, and other ghoulish characters packed The Brightside in Brisbane on Halloween Eve for the second installment of Bedlam Record’s ‘Deadlam’. Playing over two stages, the best of Bedlam’s artist roster dressed up in their spookiest attire and delivered a unique and entertaining night of live music.


Shady Bliss

Opening the night on the outdoor “Elm Street” Stage were psych-rock quartet Shady Bliss. Looking dapper in 1920’s inspired attire with a splashing of fake blood, the four-piece delivered an interesting set of psych jams and pop-rock tunes with sprinklings of jazz and blues for good measure. Keyboardist Chrissa Stiliano’s soft soaring vocals were a great counter to frontman Morgan Brown’s growls and Hendrix-style guitar breaks. They ended on a bang with the heavy riffing Thanks For The Ride, which brought out some wild vocals from Brown and a captivating psych jam and guitar solo.

The Pinheads

Following Shady Bliss on the Elm Street Stage were Wollongong rockers The Pinheads. Looking like something from a Mighty Boosh episode, the six-piece launched into a raucous set with a wall of reverb-drenched rock. The band were in fine outrageous form, lead by frontman Jez who couldn’t get enough of the crowd, spending more time rolling around on the floor and teepeeing the crowd than on stage. However, The Pinheads novelty quickly wore off after Jez hurled unwarranted and appalling verbal abuse at the sound engineer.


Sydneysiders Zeahorse did their bit to suitably darken the Halloween Eve atmosphere with thundering set of brooding hard rock. Their sound, a mixture of DZ Deathrays and vintage Violent Soho, conjured an army of headbangers eager to dance with costumed devils and the undead. With monstrous bass drops and droning vocals and lead guitar Zeahorse were the perfect balance of grim and distortion.

The Jensens

Warmed up by their appearance at Brisbane’s Valley Fiesta only six days prior, The Jensens hit their straps from the get go to deliver the most enjoyable set of Deadlam. Dressed as a Witch, Vampire, Caveman, Power Ranger, and Sexy Joker-Nurse, the five-piece played a faultless set of indie-surf rock.  They easily won the crowd over with opener Fears and started a crowd sing-a-long with A New Hope. Frontmen Joe White (Vampire) and Nathan Kendall (Witch) were in particularly mischievous moods, continually poking fun at Jordan Aston’s (Joker-Nurse) mysterious crotch ‘Bulge’ and asking the crowd for smokes and beers. Both the band and the crowd become more delirious as the set wore on, possibly due to the thick haze of cigarette smoke that had filled the outdoor marquee. Microphone problems and guitar tuning plagued their set but the Brissie boys couldn’t put a foot wrong. Even when their kick pedal broke a replacement was almost ceremonially carried through the crowd and handed to the band. 


After a final puff on their smokes the sizeable ‘Jensens crowd joined the revelers inside The Brightside at the “Camp Crystal Lake” Stage to catch hometown heroes Baskervillain. Going from strength to strength since releasing their debut EP “Modern Lows” early last year the four-piece were fittingly one of Deadlam’s main draw cards, and they didn’t disappoint. Sounding like well oiled machine their energetic psych-rock rolled effortlessly along with full psych breakdowns, blistering guitar solos, and great rocking choruses. Lead guitarist Tom Spurgin was in sensational form, while the exquisite gravely vocals of bassist Jack McKenzie were a welcome departure from the raspy vocals of previous bands. All Eyes On The Prize was amazing to experience live with frontman Daniel Mahler and Spurgin in perfect sync as they swapped intricate phrases and guitar nailed a superbly arranged and executed guitar harmony.

Twin Haus

Last to play and headlining the Elm Street Stage were Brisbane’s ambient-rock kings Twin Haus. The dark stage lighting combined with the band’s choice to don Islamic headwear created a very topical and spooky visual, made even eerier by frontman Dan Grima’s reverb drenched vocals. Using delay as their weapon of choice the four-piece attacked their set with vigor. Compared to their ambient-rock recordings Twin Haus is a very different beast live, cranking their soft guitar tones and turning into a psych math-rock machine. The overdriven ambient crescendos by lead guitarist Zach Degnan sounded huge under the stage’s marquee and kept the crowd company while they attempted to keep up with changing rhythmic structures. Blood Tapes was sublime, with Grima’s delicate melodies and harsh growls masterfully carried the song towards its climax before Degnan ripped an intense and complex solo.

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