Last year, Tuesday night was the informal pre-party of BIGSOUND with many artists having unofficial shows for any industry types who had come up early or any Brisbanites who wanted to see some of the bands without a festival pass. Without the strong industry focus, these proceedings were loose and laid back, leaving some delegates already a little tired and worse for wear on the first day of the conference. This year, BIGSOUND has extended the official program to in engulf the Tuesday and extend the opportunities for artists to showcase. Although there was a reduced smattering of conference sessions on opening day, the night was when the festival went into full swing.
Here are some of the highlights of the Tuesday night showcases:
This Melbourne six-piece impressed a packed room with their incredible immersive performance involving music, projection and costuming. Installing three scenes, the arresting videos by visual band member, Stephanie Peters enhancing the impact of the dark cinematic art rock. The originality of their performance style is a standout, yet the five musician members of the band also put on a dynamic and tight performance.
This charismatic songstress is obviously destined for great things. Her incredible voice, diverse use of instruments and dynamic presence were the perfect match for her catchy yet intricate songs. Thandi Pheonix also manages to nail the mix of star quality and down to earth personality. The polished performance of her and her accomplished drummer and synth player is definitely something to see.
Two Steps On The Water
With the mesmerizing June Jones at the helm, Two Steps On The Water puts on an affecting show that is raw, beautiful and painful all at once. Jones’ distinct vocals swing between croons, whispers, harmonies, and screams, describing personal stories of pain and self-discovery. The combination of organ and violin give the sound a haunting quality while also gives them a unique musical style.
This Sydneysider is incredibly hardworking, and it shows in her unique live performance. Her very slick aesthetic matched by a dynamic lineup of electric drums and a violin plugged into a large effects board is utterly entrancing. Lupa J‘s use of a double microphone also showcased the way that heavy sampling and looping technologies can work live to produce a sound that is of a high sonic quality.
It was only by chance that I caught the end of this Perth based six piece and what a lucky encounter it was. POW! Negro are a group of amazingly talented musicians who incorporate jazz, hip hop, pysch and funk into an unforgettable live performance. It is such a pleasure to see such rapport on stage between the band and it comes across in the responsive and cohesive live show. MC Nelson Mondlane is a particular highlight with a unique rap style and a stage persona dripping with charisma.