Rainbow Chan live at BIGSOUND 2015 / Photo: Rebecca Reid

BIGSOUND Live 2015 Day 1 – Fortitude Valley, Brisbane 09/09/15

Holy Holy drew a huge crowd to close the first night of BIGSOUND Live at the triple j Unearthed stage.

The boys, Brisbanite Tim Carroll and Melbournian Oscar Dawson, showcased tracks from their debut album When The Storms Would Come, one of the best releases of the year. A bit The Eagles, a bit Boy & Bear and a bit Eskimo Joe, they have an onstage confidence and knack for storytelling that makes it hard to believe the group is only a year old. After debuting a new track Heartbreaker, the boys saved their best, the riff-heavy and introspective You Cannot Call For Love Like A Dog, for last.

Now in its 14th year at its permanent home in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, the famous tastemaking BIGSOUND Live festival showcases a truly overwhelming number of artists tucked into bars in all corners of the Valley. With bass drifting out of doorway after doorway, there are countless gems to be found and cruel act clashes to be negotiated with across the event’s two nights. Thankfully, all 15 venues again had extremely speedy access for both types of BIGSOUNDers: the meticulous planners and the casual drifters.

Melbourne funk-rock guitar genius and undisputed next big thing Harts took to the Foundry’s stage and validated every single breathless comparison to Jimi Hendrix, disco legend Nile Rodgers and Prince (who found Harts online and invited him over to jam) as he shredded his guitar through Red & Blue, Lovers in Bloom, Breakthrough, the defiant and Daft Punk-esque Leavn It All Behind.

Sydney act Le Pie, who’s attracted buzz from far and wide off the back of her first two singles Secrets and Josephine, was another standout. Evoking images of a ’60s girl group with her pink blouse and flowers in her hair and flanked by an onstage band, the Sydney singer delivered a half hour set of her soothing grunge-meets-vintage pop from last month’s And Honey, He Said You Looked So Fine EP.

Photo by Rebecca Reid

Melbourne’s Ella Thompson, the charming vocalist of a number of bands in the last five years, struck out on her own with debut album Janus in May and caught the eye of the likes of Mark Ronson, who took her on tour with him. Her impressive BIGSOUND set gravitated between the dreamy, cosmic aesthetic of singles like Arcade and the heavier Gave It All Away featuring the urgency of the almost Kill Bill-style sirens.

Melbourne artist Rainbow Chan was waiting at the end of the labyrinthine Brightside bar, floating her hypnotic and repetitious soprano vocals amongst an eclectic mix of electronic and acoustic samples and live loops on drum machines, sounding somewhat like Australia’s answer to Bjork.

Elsewhere, Witchgrinder, A Breach of Silence, In Death and their metal kin mowed down crowds all night at Crowbar. The punks from Adelaide three-piece The Grenadiers got the night off to a solid start with punk-and-rock-straddling selections from both of their albums. Crunchy guitars and anthemic, shout-along choruses added up to one energetic set.

Later, Brisbane’s party-oriented garage-pop four piece Babaganouj finished their set with the drunken-back-seat-of-the-car-karaoke-ready and quite brilliant Hitsong, while crowds packed The Elephant Hotel to hear one-time San Cisco support Methyl Ethel’s ambient, experimental pop from their beautiful debut album On Inhumane Spectacle.

BIGSOUND continues today, stay tuned to Music Feeds for all the latest photos, stories and coverage!

Gallery: BIGSOUND 2015 Day 1 09/09/15 – Photos: Rebecca Reid

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