The Hoist x BIGSOUND: Our Top Live Acts (2015)
SYN’s flagship program The Hoist headed up to Brisbane last week for BIGSOUND and amongst all the interviews and running between venues, Bridget, Seonaid and Liz somehow managed to catch a LOT of live music from some of the country’s most exciting bands and artists. Here are their top picks:
Seonaid Drummond (Presenter)
As an avid Milwaukee fan, this was my first time seeing the guys in a live setting — and what a setting it was! Backdropped by an expansive visual display, rapper Dyl commanded the stage and the room. Bouncing around up front to producer Edo’s killer beats, their live show is one not to be missed.
Perth’s Tired Lion brought the grunge to a clearly enraptured and sweaty BIGSOUND crowd inside The Brightside at the Title Track pre-party. The energy these guys unloaded was palpable with lead singer Sophie Hopes engaging several headbangin’ hair flicks and bassist Nick Vasey finishing the set by throwing his bass to the floor and storming out in true rockstar fashion.
Moses Gunn Collective
My first introduction to these dreamy Brisbane locals was definitely an eventful one. The last act to play on the outdoor stage at The Elephant for night one of BIGSOUND, Moses Gunn Collective were clearly at odds with their sound guy. Starting behind schedule after some time sound checking, the Moses clan weren’t happy with the BIGSOUND crew — and they told us so many times. Yet that didn’t matter to me and only seemed to add to their charm. Their psychedelic tunes, falsetto vocals and glitter infused outfits were enough to win me over.
Closing the Mane Stage at the Woolly Mammoth on the last night of BIGSOUND was Perth’s Koi Child. This funky hip hop outfit hadn’t ventured outside of WA before but truly came out all guns blazing. With a full band that included a brass section, keys, drums and bass, MC Shannon Cruz Patterson had the Brisbane crowd in the palm of his hand.
This Melbourne duo recently added a bassist to their lineup, expanding their live set to a fully fledged rock band. And rocked out they did with an explosive sound and set, playing plenty of catchy tunes from their debut Cruel Kids EP. Highlights include an insane drum-off whereby lead singer Michael swung his guitar over his back to bang one out side of stage for a mid-song jam.
Bridget Hustwaite (Executive Producer)
Holy smokes, I don’t even know where to start with this one. I’m a bit of a softie when it comes to music – I like my folk, my gentle ambient electro, my pop etc. I’m not usually one to thrash around to anything too heavy, but Tired Lion are THE exception. What an incredible, explosive 30 minutes this was. Loud and demanding, frontwoman Sophie Hopes is so intense to watch and commands your attention from start to finish. Major 90’s badass rock vibes from this Perth outfit, a true highlight for me.
Like Seonaid, I was pretty blown away by these guys. It was only a few weeks ago that I caught Halcyon for the first time and I’m kicking myself it wasn’t earlier as I would have really loved to compare their presence as a duo versus the newly formed trio. Regardless, this new dynamic is punchy and explosive as ever and they are really cementing themselves as one of the strongest live acts going around.
I’ve been dying to catch this band for a while now and man, they were worth the wait! There is something extremely polished and professional about their stage presence but the alt-rockers were anything but boring. My eyes were constantly drawn to the intense shredding of lead guitarist Oscar Dawson and the explosive percussion courtesy of drummer Ryan Strathie, who was utterly captivating to watch – in fact, he’s one of the best drummers I have ever seen. Their stunning debut record “When The Storms Would Come” translated beautifully live and I will definitely be seeing these guys again.
Ben Wright Smith
Another artist I have been really keen to catch and funnily enough have somehow failed in recent times despite living in the exact same city. This guy has a lot of character on stage as he warmly engaged with the crowd between songs as well as his band which may I add was a lot more elaborate than anticipated. LOTS of guitars! All in all a really impressive set, latest track “Born Yawning” sounded killer live and we can expect some great things from the singer songwriter.
I remember my mind blowing into pieces late last year when I first heard “Sunday” and ever since I have kept a close tab on this guy. He was one that I highlighted as a top priority to catch live at Bigsound and despite our crazy schedule between 9 and 10pm on this night, we managed to catch about half of Robbie’s set. But half of it was I all needed to add him to this list – his vocals are seriously heart melting as are his meaningful lyrics and gorgeous acoustic melodies. Get yourselves familiar with his work and don’t miss him in Melbourne next month.
Elizabeth Rosero (Local Talks Manager)
The Zoo, to those not familiar is one of the larger venues on the Bigsound ticket; is the perfect location to house big band performances and in that second night of Bigsound, Jesse made the room a near one on one experience. His entire performance was understated to a fault; mixing a delightful amount of awkward charm and boyish confidence in order to deliver an outstanding performance. Some short and sweet banter broke up his explosive and stunning tunes, definitely the most memorable of all the live performances for the festival. His soon to be released EP ‘Lizard King’ is definitely one to keep an eye out for.
Moses Gunn Collective
This Brisbane powerhouse quintet promised dancing and glitter, and boy were we covered in dancing and glitter. These musos were stunning and vibrant right up to the last song, where Konstantin saw it fit to amp up the psychedelic environment, quite literally. Regardless of some sound issues during the set, an all round good time and the forever catchy ‘back into the womb’ topped off our first night at Bigsound.
The first cab off the rank for our live performances at Bigsound, Sui Zhen set the bar for the incredible acts we were in store for. An outdoor area setting coupled with the enchanting mix of electro pop tunes made her set almost dream-like. I fell in love with the artist and the person behind the brand when a bottle of honey was nonchalantly consumed during the set; I don’t know about you, but anyone with initiative to comfort their stomach with honey is just the bee’s knees.
I was snapchatting the entire set mostly because of the massive FOMO I would be sending down to my friends back in Melbourne. Tim was visually captivating as he danced and gyrated around the stage; there was a joke Bridget told me that all the denim jackets at Bigsound tied end to end would reach the moon twice, and they rocked the look to no end. The real gem of the set was seeing how amped up the crowd was the whole way through, a solid fan base Holy Holy has cultivated through their music career together.
I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing this wonderful person prior to her BIGSOUND showcase at The Elephant. Caitlin is in a league of her own, her sampling and tunes are so eclectic and somehow succeed to streamline into a beautiful and damn catchy collection of songs. Although no stranger to hard work, Caitlin has made the pursuit for musical perfection seem almost effortless.