The Blackbear Lodge Brisbane – June 13, 2019 – words & pictures by Bec Harbour
Most people would be familiar with Ezekiel Ox from fronting funk metal band Mammal (who are on the line up for Dead of Winter festival this year). With a new EP Cheering Bombs from Deckchairs and touring Australia from top to bottom, the prolific Ezekiel Ox brand has a refreshing urgency not often heard in music right now, with the funk element making you want to dance right along to some hard rocking music.
Supporting band Born Lion from Sydney were first up, they were loud on their soundcheck, and they were loud during their set (thank fuck for earplugs). A hardcore influenced punk outfit, that would seem right at home in the 90’s, their blistering set should be taken in by more people (get there early to the gigs people – I can’t say it enough, there is a reason your band have chosen their support act – THEY like them).
Ezekiel Ox and band were up next and tore through the new music from the EP (check out the video for Meglomania in fact you can check out the whole new EP here) as well as some older stuff. Zeke was off the stage early on, interacting with the audience and making the most of the small space.
The band was tight, and the front man was charismatic and fully engaged with the small crowd. I highly recommend getting along and seeing them as they are another step up live from their recordings (Adelaide and Darwin still to go).
I first saw Charlie Collins at A More Perfect Union last year, supporting Gang of Youths. Charlie was wearing this jumpsuit which she told us needed a good wash, then played some of the most amazing country inflected music.
Support act Jaguar Jonze has been on my list to catch live, I have crossed paths with Deena, the amazing person behind the “Jonze” brand at industry events. Jaguar Jonze was the perfect starter for Charlie Collins with her own brand of alt-country.
Charlie Collins came with her band and played a rocking set that had an interlude where she played with just her accoustic and then some violin. The set culminated with her single from late last year ‘Mexico‘.
Charlie said at the start of her set that she hadn’t expected the amount of people that came. Charlie captured Brisbane peoples attention at A More Perfect Union, and kept their interest by making really great music. Don’t be surprised if you’re at a bigger venue next time you’re in town, Charlie Collins.
First things first – I owe this gig to the tenacity of my friend Scott who contacted War on Women and suggested that if they wanted a photographer for their Brisbane gig that I’d be a good one. War on Women were supporting Converge on their Australian tour after the Download festivals (come on bring this festival to Brisbane!).
War on Women released their album, Capture the Flag in April last year. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this band is another punk band singing angry love songs, they have strong feminist, political and societal commentary to share.
The band tore through a solid set with singer Shawna Potter engaging with her audience – leaping in at one point, quite a few had come primarily to catch War on Women. I was so caught up with the energy of their set that I found myself forgetting to take photos (a hallmark of a great gig for me). The front row of punters were screaming along to everything they played.
Listen to this bands lyrics, they have an important message to share. They also have a perfect platform to deliver this, through music. I hope they do more festivals where people can discover them, engage with their messages and make a change, even just in themselves.
I saw Tape/Off at the Valley Drive In during BIGSOUND 2018, all I could hear was a wall of sound coming from behind the Brightside, and I wanted to know more. I checked them out on their Triple J Unearthed and Facebook profiles later on and realised that their favourite bands included many of mine. I like a noisy band.
Tape/Off released ‘Broadcast Park’ last year just before BIGSOUND and the latest single ‘Vigorous Lover’ is a step away from their usual sound dynamic. Cnt Evn, Minor Premiers and Requin as supports were thematic choices with their own brands of quality noise.
Tape/Off played a solid set that included ‘Wake in Fright’, ‘Micronation’ and ‘Day In, Day Out’ and of course ‘Vigorous Lover’. ‘Vigorous Lover’ shows the melodic chops the band has and some clever lyric play: “She wanted a vigorous lover, that would go all night, I’m not such a vigorous lover, but I go alright…”
Get and see Tape/Off, especially if you like noise in abundance. The tour namesake single ‘Vigorous Lover’ shows a bit of a sardonic side through the lyrics and softer sound that you might not realise Tape/Off possess.
What do you get when you band 10 live music venues together to put some seriously great bands on? The Mountain Goat Valley Crawl is what! Spread across 3 blocks (so easy scramble distance between venues) and some of the best up and coming as well as established bands from Brisbane and beyond, this always promised to be a good night.
As I got my wristband, I realised that I had left my glasses at home (hurrah for living very close – boo for disorganisation and bad eyesight!) so had to scoot home again leaving me with minimal time to catch Perve Endings at The Foundry.
Perve Endings do great synth punk pop – a lot more punk than their Unearthed Profile would suggest, and a lot noisier than their recordings there too. They had a decent sized crowd for a 6.30 slot – the hard work they have been putting in (Voiid’s Sludge Session to name one) has paid off.
The Bonnie Doons were on at the Crowbar in my 7pm timeslot. I have almost seen them countless times, only to have a scheduling conflict – interestingly enough there was one with this line up for me too – Being Jane Lane at Blutes. If you like a laid back, almost reggae tinged sound (think surf-punk-coastal music) you will love these guys. I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of their set – get on their Unearthed page and have a listen.
Being Jane Lane were in full swing when I arrived at Blutes. By full swing, I mean going off. Blutes stage area is small and the band had spilled off the stage onto the floor area, merging with the audience. I saw them last supporting Horace Bones (I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, a criminally under attended gig – RIP live music at the Bloodhound Bar) and missed them at VB Hardyards. I was trying to work out out where their lead singer Teigan was, she was in the crowd much to everyones delight.
After a quick dinner break, I went back to the The Foundry, where Tiny Castle was playing in the Back Room (AKA The Bowie Room). If you like bands like the Killers and City Calm Down, these guys are for you. It seemed that the audience was filled with friends and family (grandparents included). The Back Room at the Foundry has surprisingly good acoustics – it felt like we were at a house party in someone’s lounge room.
My must see for the night was Cry Club. Their recordings only give half the indication of the energy and noise that comes from a live show. Heather is the consummate front person – high energy and engages with every member of the audience. I love noise pop that I can dance to and Cry Club are a band delivers this in spades.
My first band at the Zoo for the night was Minor Premiers. This band sounds like they are from another time, like something off the early 90’s Merge Records roster. They had a bunch of loyal fans ready to go. I had been waiting to see them for some time and they did not disappoint. It was then off to Barbara to see Pool Shop.
I had popped into Barbara earlier to do a light reading – it seemed darker and more crowded when I went back. Barbara is not really geared for this type of live music (and frustrating sound issues as well as lack of lighting) and the punters were all squashed in, with more trying to get in. I took my shots and went outside to listen to the rest of their set. Pool Shop is one of my favourite Brisbane bands, fantastic shoegaze style, melodic power pop.
My biggest scheduling clash of the night was Raave Tapes and IV League. I went over to the Brightside to catch IV League first. IV League put out a solid beginning to their set (was hoping for Superstar – maybe I left before it?) then off to the Zoo for Raave Tapes.
I have been singing the praises of Raave Tapes to whoever will listen – I saw them live for the first time as the “surprise” band at the end of the Against the Grain festival. It seems that the rest of Brisbane has arrived – the line to get in was down to the convenience shop (thank you media wristband). It was already packed upstairs too. It was already heaving – Raave Tapes are a band that will make you have a good time, and all your friends as well. They invited a big pile of their friends up for their song “Corridor”, members of Bugs, Sweater Curse and Stumps and other randoms. The crowd loved every minute of it.
After that little bit of excitement, it was back to Blutes for the “surprise” gig of the night – Washington. New songs and old favourites were performed. It seemed that not everyone got the memo about Washington playing straight away – the line up at the door started well into the set.
Once again, Mountain Goat Valley Crawl put on a stunning array of talent. Because you can’t be everywhere at once, I missed Selfish Sons, Sleep Club and Requin – bands I really wanted to see. Stumps I missed due to utter confusion with the schedule (sorry guys – next time?). I’m looking forward to seeing some of these bands around this year.