Bridie’s Top Ten Moments of BIGSOUND 2016

BIGSOUND was upon us once again and anticipation was in the air.  Every street corner was dotted with lanyard-cladded delegates and guitar carrying musicians, the Valley was home to 150 artists and bands playing over 15 stages over three days. It’s was lot to take in, so I’ve given you the highlights.

1) Surprisingly not getting hungover even once

And I drank my fair share of $5 beer. Somehow frantically running from one venue to the next and staying up past four am for five days straight really kills the struggle street. Don’t worry, my sleeping pattern is now wrecked and my body doesn’t know what night-time is anymore.

2) Seeing Good Boy about 50 times in three days 

I saw these guys first on Wednesday afternoon at the Barbara showcase. Courtney Barnett was there but I was a bit too tipsy to make a good impression so I just stared at her from across the room. Playing the majority of their No Love From Back Home EP,  Good Boy made a great first impression. I saw them again at A Big Mess on Thursday afternoon in a New Farm backyard, which was easily the best venue of the festival. Again at Oh Hello for their BIGSOUND showcase, and lastly at The Triffid for the official closing party. In all these performances, songs like Poverty Line, Transparency and Punch to the Gut really showcased Good Boy’s raw energy. We also heard a few new gems which will be featured in their upcoming EP, Plum. The music was sort of angsty, sort of happy, with easy going melancholic undertones in the rhythm section. If I’ve  learnt anything this week, its that Good Boy are rapidly becoming one of Brisbane’s best live acts.

3)  Awkwardly watching Flowertruck alone at their soundcheck

You know when you get yourself into a slightly weird situation but you just have to ride it out? Well on Wednesday afternoon I was walking past the New Globe, still tipsy from sundowners when I overheard I Wanna Be With You from below. I sprinted down the steps, thinking that I missed the gig only to find it was soundcheck and I was the only person in the room. It was worth it though because these guys are incredible. Strong 80s instrumentation accompanied by deep eclectic vocals from front man, Charles. If you’re ever driving around on a sunny Saturday morning, I highly recommend putting on their DIRT EP and letting the good times roll.

4) Watching the Queen that is Sampa The Great 

What a queen she is. This woman is an inspiration to us all. Taking the stage late on Thursday night, she brought a thick and sticky crowd to the Triple J Unearthed stage at Oh Hello! Soulful, energetic and ballsy, Sampa The Great’s backup singers and band created an aura of self love and fierceness. I walked out clicking my fingers and feeling empowered to be a FEMA-LE.


5) Eating 5-Dogs five days in a row

Nothing is better for the stomach at 2am than an original dawg with extra mustard and extra sauerkraut. I had so many I’ve sadly become a regular. If you ever want to know where I am after lock-outs on a night out, you’ll know where to find me.

6) Going out and getting drunk tonight with Alex Lahey 

“LETS GO OUT AND GET DRUNK TONIGHT!” This may have been my motto for the week, but it’s definitely not the only good song from this incredible young talent. Bold and comfortable on stage,  Alex Lahey blew me away on Wednesday night at the Unearthed stage. Her style was relatable and charming, singing songs like Ivy League, which is about getting an arts degree and not getting enough shifts at work.

8) Being mesmerised by guitar guru, Harts 

This man knows how to work a damn instrument. Never before had I seen somebody play a full-on guitar solo behind their head without watching. Prince vibes, audacious charisma and great hair; Harts has a magnetising quality, you can’t help be drawn in.
9) Gabriella Cohen’s intimate set at A Big Mess in New Farm.

While watching Gabriella Cohen and her band play before the sun set on a balmy Thursday afternoon, I was hypnotised by her bluesy, sultry style. Far from her new home of Melbourne, we were treated to an intimate yet alluring showcase of eclectic pop and rock-and-roll. Interesting and edgy, big things are surely on their way.

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10) Watching my friend fall asleep at Barbara after a full week of BIGSOUND 

After a week long bender, my BIGSOUND buddy was done. We did quite well though, seeing a grand total of 23 bands over eleven venues while getting only ten hours sleep respectively. As I left in what felt like my millionth Uber for the week, I felt inspired and humbled about the incredible array of new music that our country has to offer, particularly proud of the Brisbane input.

PS. You don’t need a pass to experience the magic of BIGSOUND. There’re plenty of free options everywhere you look. Whether it be the unofficial gigs in the surrounding cafes or bars, or the many buskers that line the sidewalks. It’s a great week for Brisbane music, but the music in Brisbane is always here, and can be enjoyed any day of the year, not just for three days.


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