BIGSOUND Day Three Review Part One

Reliqa at 2019 BIGSOUND. Reliqa at 2019 BIGSOUND. Image © Conor O'Neill

With livers running at 200 per cent capacity and the memories of a normal routine feeling distant and fuzzy, it's time to dust ourselves off and give it another crack at BIGSOUND's third official night (5 September) of live music.


First up at Crowbar Black is Towns, playing their twelfth show since Saturday. The Adelaide duo immediately set the scene for a tip-top evening with a charismatic, funny and skilful set of punk/ pop/ rock numbers.

“I'm so f...ing happy!” says frontman Aston Valadares, grinning ear to ear, before throwing a bunch of t-shirts into the audience, Oprah-style. A medley of television themes, including 'Home and Away', ''Round The Twist', 'Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air' and 'Friends' provide a fun counterpoint to their admittedly “little sad” track, 'Bleach'.

Over at Black Bear Lodge, Sunbeam Sound Machine's Nick Sowersby and his band are making a gentler, more blissed-out sound, including tracks from new record, 'Goodness Gracious'. 'Talking Distance' goes over particularly well in a venue that is perfect for the intimate feel of the group's music.

At The Elephant, Reliqa vocalist Monique Pym is more into demanding intimacy from her enthusiastic audience. “Tell someone you love them – the person right next to you!” she suggests, to awkward glances from strangers taking in the Gosford collective. Pym is a powerhouse of energy with a towering voice that must place Reliqa as one of the most exciting young, metal bands in the country.

Mermaidens are certainly not the demanding types at the Ivory Tusk, saying they “don't want to get in trouble” if they play over their time slot, although they do mention their new album being out tomorrow (6 September) several times. They do exactly as their bio describes, and do it extremely well – all dreamy vocals, hypnotic guitars and more charm than you can poke your hangover at.

At The Outpost, Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers are simultaneously expressing their gratitude for the presence of a sizeable crowd, generating considerable industry buzz, displaying their Canberra home-town pride and playing a collection of rock and alternative numbers like its some of the best parts of the '90s all over again. 'I Like That You Like That' is their best song and marks them as serious contenders.

Following a solid first-night show, the draw towards Laura Imbruglia at Black Bear Lodge is almost irresistible, and going against some imagined principle/ protocol/ ethic/ whatever of BIGSOUND and seeing the same artist twice suddenly doesn't seem in any way criminal.

The Melburnian and her band, the Bin Chickens, are, quite simply, a class act. 'Tricks' and 'Carry You Around' allow lead guitarist Alex MacRae to flex his considerable chops as the quartet settle into a potent groove for another evening-winning set.

What a bloody great three nights of live music.

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