Night One

Easy Life
West Thebarton
Sloan Peterson
Maddy Jane
Drown This City
The Beautiful Monument
Dan Cribb And Friends

Fortitude Valley, Brisbane 05/09/2017
Words and iPhone footage: Matt Doria

Though we’re pretty sure he didn’t mean for it to be strewn positively, music journalism prodigy David James Young tweeted yesterday that BIGSOUND is “schoolies for people who refer to bands as ‘clients’,” which we (in the interest of not succumbing to the pressure of speaking in first-person, ‘we’ means I, Matt Doria, alone) kind of agree with – it’s four days of drinking, chatting shit and losing our minds over some of the most exciting new tunes in the wider Australian music industry. Sure, there’s a layer of professionalism slicked over it all, but at its core, BIGSOUND is meant to be fun.

With no conferences catching our eye today, our BIGSOUND ’17 experience kicked off with a brutally sweaty and deliriously energetic set from UNFD newcomers Easy Life. The four-piece have kept a relatively small profile until now, but with cuts from their forthcoming debut full-length tearing the Crowbar to shreds, we’re confident that won’t be the case for long. They revelled in thick, djenty chugs and dangerously crisp screamed vocals – a little more on the predictable side of the UNFD-core spectrum, but their callous hardcore stylings made for a killer start to the festival, and a beatifully effective hype-builder for Adelaide punks West Thebarton.

Formerly known as West Thebarton Brothel Party, the now-somewhat matured (heavy emphasis on the ‘somewhat’) septet were the underdogs of our BIGSOUND ’16 coverage – they were great, and we waxed lyrical about how tight they sounded in our printed recap, but this year, they were miles ahead of their former selves. The set was comprised almost entirely of new songs (fan fave “Red Or White” and recent single “Moving Out” the exceptions), and all of them boomed with the type of glorious messiness that only they can pull off without looking daggy. There was a lot going on in their short set – to be expected when you’ve got seven members jamming out to their heart’s content – but the standout was easily multi-instrumentalist Brian Bolado, who traded seamlessly between bass, guitar, backing vocals, tambourine, maraccas and drums. With their debut album set to drop early in 2018, we’re expecting to hear a lot about West Theb in the near future.

Thus brought us to one particularly stinging clash: would we see retro-pop gem Sloan Peterson, or indie-pop rising star Maddy Jane? Both shine with buoyant, groovy guitar lines and choruses that stick to your brain like whiskey to your liver, and both have produced some of the biggest lazy day anthems of 2017 so far – so, because decisions are too hard for us, we decided to catch the first 15 minutes of Peterson and the last 15 of Jane. Both sets were equally poignant, with Peterson’s rollicking ’50s pop stylings injecting her crowd with only the bubbliest of good vibes, and Jane’s twangy folk-infused energy spurring a sea of bouncing shoulders. We chased both of those sets with the end of Drown This City‘s at the Brightside – the Melbourne fivesome were a far cry from the lowkey vibes we’d just spent the past half hour melting into, waking us right the f*** up with their course and crushing tinge of seven-string metalcore.

We’ve still got a hell of a lot of bands to suss over the next two days, but we’ll be extremely surprised if anyone blows us away more than local punks WAAX did. The trailblazers were our #1 band of last year’s festival, too, and it seems their prowess for surging bouts of shred and wail has only surged upwards with an extra twelve months of exposure under their belts. Cuts from the recent Wild & Weak EP had the outdoor mosh a heaving mess, but it was a new song – one that swayed and swerved between heavy, melodic and just downright danceable – that left us really polarised. We’re fairly certain Marie DeVita is the best frontwoman in Australian music right now: the way she sinks herself into every biting verse and searing chorus is simply unparalleled, and met with Chris Antolak and Ewan Birtwell‘s driving riffs, she was at the very top of her game tonight.

Fresh out of Norway with their debut LP set to drop next week, punk-pop hellions Sløtface made a case for why we should be paying attention to them that was damn near impossible to argue. They didn’t quite match the white hot insanity that WAAX nailed straight before them, but it only took a few seconds for the quartet to have an alley crowd thrashing like fish out of water. The collaborative dynamic between guitarist Tor-Arne Vikingstad and bassist Lasse Lokøy was unlike any we’d seen in recent times, and tied up with the most enigmatic vocals from frontwoman Haley Shea, their riffs bounded through the venue with resounding strength. We managed to catch the last song from The Beautiful Monument after – I’m The Sin standout “War” – and though it seemed like most partygoers had thrown in the towel by that point, the band crushed it with vicious aplomb. We’re stoked to suss more of them out on Thursday.

Dan Cribb And Friends weren’t technically on the BIGSOUND program, but their last-minute Brightside set was essential viewing at the end of the night: partially because they sounded like the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtracks of our youth – musical comfort food right there – and partially because their entire set was built on punk covers of choice cuts from The Simpsons. If you’re not already across Cribb’s continually-unfurling tribute project, Worst Tribute Ever, do yourself a favour and suss that out; the band mowed through an impressive amount of its gems, highlights coming in a Green Day-esque take on “Can I Borrow A Feeling?” and a riotous hardcore-ish spin on Hank Scorpio’s theme, which featured guest vocals from West Thebarton frontman Ray Dalfsen.

Here’s a handful of our iPhone-shot highlights, in order of the bands we spoke about above:
(There’s only a few right now, but more will come once we figure
 out why the rest won’t upload to Facebook)

BIGSOUND Festival – Complete Artist Lineup
Abbe May
Alex The Astronaut
Alexander Biggs
Amyl and The Sniffers
Andy Golledge
Angie McMahon
Annie Bass
Ara Koufax
Ariela Jacobs
Baker Boy
Belle Haven
Bespin (NZ)
Big White
Billy Davis and The Good Lords
Body Type
Braille Face
Caiti Baker
Camouflage Rose
Confidence Man
Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird
Cub Sport
Daggy Man
Dear Seattle
Donald Hugh
Donny Benét
Dream Rimmy
Driven Fear
Drown This City
Easy Life
Emerson Snowe
Endless Heights
Evan Klar
Fanny Lumsden
Fierce Mild
Golden Vessel
Good Boy
Good Morning
Haiku Hands
Hayden Calnin
Hockey Dad
Holiday Party
Horace Bones
Horror My Friend
IV League
jade imagine
Jess Locke
Jess Riberio
Jim Lawrie
Kardajala Kirridarra (Sandhill
Karl S. Williams
Kylie Auldist
Laura Jean
Lupa J
Machine Age
Maddy Jane
Mama Kin Spender
Manu Crook$
Merk (NZ)
Miss Blanks
Nice Biscuit (Unearthed winner)
Nick Hill
Obscura Hail
Ocean Alley
Oh Mercy
Osaka Punch
Paddy McHugh
Party Dozen
Peter Bibby
POW! Negro
Press Club
Resin Moon
Sloan Peterson
Slow Dancer
Spirit Bunny
Stella Donnelly
Suicide Swans
Taj Ralph
Tempest Rising
Thandi Phoenix
The Beautiful Monument
The Cactus Channel
The Comfort
The Creases
The Harpoons
The Teskey Brothers
Tia Gostelow
Tom Stephens
Two Steps On The Water
Vandetta (SIN)
Why We Run
Wild Honey
Willaris. K
Winston Surfshirt
Yoko-Zuna (NZ)
Ziggy Ramo

Speaker Announcement #3
360 – Artist (AUS)
Allysun Marshall – Sugaroo! (USA)
Alex Zaccaria – Bolster (AUS)
Amelia Jenner – FBI Radio (AUS)
Andy Kelly – Winterman & Goldstein (AUS)
Aniela Swiatek – Thinking Loud (AUS)
Anthony Zaccaria – Bolster (AUS)
Bec Sandridge – Independent Artist (AUS)
Brett Cottle – APRA AMCOS (AUS)
Brian Turner – WFMU (USA)
Charlotte Abroms – Hear Hear Group (AUS)
Chris McDonnell – Eventbrite (AUS)
Chris Scaddan – ABC (AUS)
Claire Riordan – Inertia Music (AUS)
Craig Spann – The Appointment Group (AUS)
Damian Cunningham – Live Music Office (AUS)
Daniel Dewar – Paperchain (AUS)
Danny Kier – Sound Diplomacy (UK)
Dave Faulkner— Freelance Artist/Journalist (AUS)
David Grice – Musitec (AUS)
David O’Rourke – Nightlife Music (AUS)
Denis Ladegaillerie – Believe Digital (France)
Dominic Furber – 1990 / Audiopaxx (AUS)
Eoin McCarthy – Hydric Media (AUS)
Gary Seeger – peermusic / Trackdown (AUS)
Glenn Dickie – Sounds Australia (AUS)
Hans van Vliet – 7bit Hero / IV Motion (AUS)
Helen Marcou – Bakehouse Studios (AUS)
Henry Compton – The Orchard (AUS)
Jack Ball – Hit 105 (AUS)
Jacqui Louez – Jaxsta (AUS)
Jacqui Walter – Stage & Screen Travel (AUS)
Jaime Gough – Native Tongue Publishing (AUS)
James Cheatley – Screen Producers Association (AUS)
Janine Morcos – Cooking Vinyl (AUS)
Jared Kristensen – Audience Republic (AUS)
Jennifer Taunton – Midnight Choir (AUS)
Jenny Valentish – Woman of Substances (AUS)
Jess Carroll – Inmocean (AUS)
Joel Edmondson – QMusic / BIGSOUND (AUS)
Joel King – Evolve Media LLC (AUS)
John Ferguson – Griffith University (AUS)
Jonathan Hermawan – Apakatjah (AUS)
Kate Ben Tovim – Arts Centre Melbourne (AUS)
Kate Bradley – Everywhere Roadie (AUS)
Kate Hennessy – Journalist (AUS)
Kathy McCabe – News Corp Australia (AUS)
Katie Cunningham – Junkee Media (AUS)
Laurence Plant – IBM (AUS)
Leanne de Souza – AAM (AUS)
Leko Novakovic – Novatech (AUS)
Luke Girgis – Seventh Street Media (AUS)
Maize Wallin – Maize Wallin (AUS)
Matt Walters – Parlour (AUS)
Matt Wilson – Novus Res (AUS)
Matthew Rogers – Unified Music Group (AUS)
Matty Woo – Macro Music (AUS)
Michael Crutcher – 55 comms (AUS)
Michela Ledwidge – Studio Mod (AUS)
Michelle Buxton – Buxton Walker (AUS)
Michelle Johnson – SuperMusicVision (USA)
Millie Millgate – Sounds Australia (AUS)
Mo Jalloh – Zimrii Music (AUS)
Monique Bour – MTV ANZ (AUS)
Namila Benson – Independent Freelancer (AUS)
Nate Auerbach – Versus Creative (USA)
Neil Robertson – Music Glue (AUS)
Nick O’Byrne – Look Out Kid (AUS)
Niriko McLure – Wonder (AUS)
Oliver Knust Restucci – IMICHILE (CL)
Rhianna Patrick – ABC Radio (AUS)
Rob Cannon – AIM (AUS)
Rod Yates – Rolling Stone (AUS)
Ryan Walsh – SST (AUS)
Samuel Bright – CLIPPED Music Video Fest (AUS)
Shaad D’Souza – Writer (AUS)
Sophie Roberts – 13 Artists (UK)
Stacey Piggott – Secret Service (AUS)
Stephen Phillips – PopGun (AUS)
Stu McCullough – AIR / Amplifire Music (AUS)
Stu Watters – Nightlife Music (AUS)
Stuart Field – Oztix (AUS)
Stuart Rogers – Sydney Festival (AUS)
Teresa Patterson – NZ Music Managers Forum (NZ)
Tim Shiel – Double J / Spirit Level (AUS)
Tom Hajdu – Sia Furler Institute (AUS)
Troy Sincock – Fresh 92.7 (AUS)
Triana Hernandez – Mellum PR (AUS)
Udaravi Widanapathirana – Mellum PR (AUS)
Wenona Lok – imagikai (AUS)

Speaker Announcement #2
Kenny Gates – PIAS (BEL)
Sadie Dupuis – Speedy Ortiz (USA)
Aminé Ramer – States of Sound (USA)
Ben Godding – AWAL/Kobalt Music Recordings (AUS)
Ben O’Connor – Chapter Music (AUS)
Ben Swanson – Secretly Group (USA)
Bill Wilson – Music Biz (USA)
Cameron Schaefer – Vinyl Me, Please (USA)
Carl Young – Vevo (UK)
Charles Kirby-Welch – Kartel (UK)
Chris Twite – Secret Sounds / Brisbane Festival (AUS)
Clémence Bizien – Super! (France)
Dan Rosen – ARIA (AUS)
David Sheils – APRA AMCOS (AUS)
Elspeth Scrine – LISTEN / Huntley (AUS)
Emma Calverley – Australian Cultural Fund (AUS)
Emily Kelly – Deathproof (AUS)
Farinoush Mostaghimi – SynchAudio (CAN)
Haley Connelly – Little Press (UK)
Heath Miller – Webster Hall & Excess dB Entertainment (USA)
Hugh McClure – Good Manners (AUS)
Jackie Nalpant – Paradigm Talent Agency (USA)
Jake Friedman – We Are Free Management (USA)
Jane Gazzo – Triple M (AUS)
Jeff Owens – Felte / Ghostly International (USA)
Jennie Sager – Twitter (AUS)
Jeremy Yohai – Imagem Music Publishing (USA)
Dr. Jess Carniel – University of Southern QLD (AUS)
Jillian Mapes – Pitchfork (USA)
Joe Greenwald – C3 Management (USA)
Joel Connolly – Blackbird Ventures (AUS)
Karl Richter – Level Two Music (AUS)
Kate Mills – Native Tongue Publishing (AUS)
Keith Tan – Slate Entertainment (SIN)
Lars Brandle – Billboard (AUS)
Leigh Treweek – The Music / Handshake MGMT (AUS)
Marshall Betts – Paradigm Talent Agency (USA)
Matt Fiedler – Vinyl Me, Please (USA)
Mel Yong – Village Sounds & Other Sounds (AUS)
Mike Sniper – Captured Tracks (USA)
Nic Warnock – R.I.P. Society Records / Repressed Records (AUS)
Paul Barclay – ABC RN (AUS)
Peymon Maskan – Media Arts Lab (USA)
Shelli Trung – QUT CEA (AUS)
Simon Napier-Bell – Pierbel Ltd. UK (UK)
Steel Hanf – WME (AUS)
Tom Taaffe – United Talent Agency (UK)
Zena White – Partisan Records (UK/USA)
Ziggy Ramo – Artist (AUS)

Speaker Announcement #1
Archie Roach (AUS)
Tina Arena (AUS)
Adel Hattem – D Music Marketing (Brazil)
Alison Wenham – Worldwide Independent Network (UK)
Andrew Jervis – Bandcamp (USA)
Ash Kerley – Girls Rock! (AUS)
Bill Roe – Trouble In Mind Records (USA)
Bob Van Heur – Le Guess Who? Festival / Belmont Bookings (NL)
Eva Trifonas – Ninja Tune (AUS)
Isla Angus – ATC Live (UK)
Ivy Yuen – Magnetic Asia Limited (Hong Kong)
James Clarke – Aeroplane Agency (AUS)
James Moodie – Vevo (UK)
Jane Abernathy – 4AD Records (USA)
Jenn Yacoubian – Goldenvoice (USA)
Lucy Wood – Festival Republic (UK)
Mary Ramos – Saturday Music Inc. (USA)
Mazin Tappuni – Communion Music (UK)
Mel Brown – Impressive PR (UK)
Melissa Woods – Third Side Music (USA)
Mike Ajayi – All My Friends (UK)
Nick Findlay – triple j (AUS)
Paul Adams – New Community Management / Roc Nation (USA)
Peter Berard – Domino Recording Co. Ltd. (USA)
Poppy Reid – Seventh Street Media (AUS)
Rebecca Young – Collective Artists (AUS)
Ric Leichtung – Adhoc (USA)
Roy Amar – Bear Parts Music (AUS)
Stuart Meyer – Sub Pop (USA)
Sullivan Patten – Sullivan (AUS)
Sylvie Piccolotto – Rock City (Argentina)
Zan Rowe – triple j (AUS)

Venue List
256 Wickham
Alehouse Stage @Woolly Mammoth
Black Bear Lodge
Empire Hotel
Heya Bar
Mane Stage @ Woolly Mammoth
triple j Unearthed @ Oh Hello!
Ric’s Big Backyard
The Brightside
The Brightside Outdoor Stage 
The Elephant Hotel
The Flying Cock
The Foundry
The TBC Club
The New Globe Theatre
The Zoo

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