The Jungle Giants @ The Triffid, 3rd October
Brisbane’s sweethearts The Jungle Giants are playing at The Triffid tonight, fresh from releasing their ambitious second record, Speakerzoid. It’s a beautiful evening in the courtyard and I’m already broke from buying too many $10 ciders, as the indie rock crowd gathers thick and proud to watch surf rockers Hockey Dad kick things off.
Unfortunately for Hockey Dad, vocalist Billy Fleming’s flu has other plans for the night. It’s hard to notice though, as he hits glorious falsettos with ease. Drummer Zach Stephenson is by far most enthusiastic drummer I have ever seen; with a massive cheesy smile, his hair goes wild, and it’s actually a wonder that he can see what drum he’s hitting. The set is short but sweet, finishing with Seaweed, when Fleming, not coping with the flu, asks an audience member to come up on stage and help him with the chorus. An equally enthusiastic front-row-er jumps up and quite impressively nails it, ending the set on a high.
Sydney indie rockers/man-bun enthusiasts, Art of Sleeping, are up next. The mood of the room becomes intense and focused when front-man Caleb Hodges launches into a heavy performance of Above the Water. The sound is dark and razor sharp. Ambient synths and weighty drums circulate the room and grow in complexity when the band plays some of their newer material like Bleeding Out and The Cage. My favourite song from set is Like a Thief, which robustly showcases the band’s unique Australian sound.
The silo is filled to capacity now, as we all wait patiently for The Jungle Giants to enter. Finally, it’s time. Beginning with crowd pleasers Way Back When and I’ll See You Tomorrow, the Giants pitch a fun, laid-back atmosphere with their signature indie-pop riffs. Older songs such as Mr. Polite and She’s A Riot prove to be more popular with the audience, while a few tracks from Speakerzoid become lost in translation. Lemon Myrtle, however, is a hit, complete with a flute solo from front-man Sam Hales. Hales tells us that when he learned the flute when he was younger, kids would throw grapes at him. “So I guess this is a bit of a fuck you,” he jokes before knocking out the solo.
I Am What You Want Me To Be goes off like a rocket and Kooky Eyes gets everybody boogieing. I must congratulate the builder who put the insulation into the walls at the Triffid, because I feel like I’m on the sun right now. Towards the end of the performance, Cesira Aitken’s guitar stuffs up, and she turns into a gloriously fierce rock star and throws it on the ground before leaving the stage. She comes back with another to play Every Kind of Way, which showcases the more experimental direction that the band is taking on. I leave the venue feeling sweaty and sore: two very good indicators of an excellent night of music.