Even from the street (26 July) they sounded amazing: Big, beckoning and enticing.
friend & me is like Taking Back Sunday and Silverstein adopted a hardened street child that no one knows about yet.
It's unbelievable this is the 3-piece's first real show – partly because The Zoo's sound techs are so completely on point. We drool as drummer Sam adds glossy smooth harmonies and stand alone clean vocals to Isaac's raspier blend of all-night-breakfast nourishment.
friend & me - Image © Korren Winters
Toowoomba lads Venice On Fire (VOF) have braved the traffic to spread their own jam of light and shade with their prog punk paintbrushes. Singer/guitarist Tom's in his signature Ocean Grove Blockbuster-parody shirt bangin' on about "sweet love going 'Cheap'..."
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Bass player Jarrod busts his finger open by the end of the second song, appropriately just before they kick into 'Trainwreck', but soldiers on sans-Bandaid like a samurai. Apparently it's rude to mention the hair of a chick in a band – is it okay to say that Jarrod's locks are delicious?
Venice On Fire - Image © Korren Winters
VOF do a beaut cover of Post Malone's 'I Fall Apart' before trying to destroy their drummer, Darcy, for a few more tracks off their 2017 debut album 'Tempt A Saint'.
Back to the delicious part, Guava Lava turn the sweet fruit into hot sauce, just like the publicity suggested (nice work, Zoo, though I do think you missed out on an opportunity to use 'Zoo Keepers Only' above the 'Zoo Staff Only' door).
If you're into goon and banshees, these folks have the prickly punk fruit thrashed right off the tree for you.
Merch queen Jo (you’ve seen her before, on tour with, um, everyone including King Parrot), is actually having a night off, wishing to be treated like a regular punter – but she's a queen with an incredible band shirt collection and heart for honouring musicians, songwriters and showmen.
Guava Lava - Image © Korren Winters
Lotus Ship is the perfect name for Mitch Watterson's revolving line-up vessel of glam-funk crooner rock. What else would you call a blossom if it were cultivated from a Wolfmother cutting that’s grown roots, wings and lifted off into the frangipani breeze?
After pounding the Gold Coast scene for years, Lotus Ship has finally sailed her wares up to Brisbane and her goodness is aplenty. Its warmth is a gentle fireside banter with spoonfuls of molten chocolate fudge folded in, smoothly swirling between your eardrums and voila – an explosion of velvet electricity in your brain.
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Convincing as both a lead guitarist and sometimes instrument-free frontman, Mitch has a voice as vast as the ocean surface: rolling, steady and strong, with an accuracy apt for slaying dragons, vikings and probably their maidens.
The band is tight, carefully cradling delivery of Mitch's songs. He talks after the show of how despite the changing line-up over the years, the tracks remain strong and he has a vision for them. On stage it looks like the other lads believe it too.
Lotus Ship - Image © Korren Winters
Mitch introduces Christian on bass, continuing: "this is 'Tony Chicken Parmy' on the Les Paul, and, this guy," (gesturing to the drummer), "I dunno, I just picked him up, his name’s Ben though."
"This song’s called 'Remember'. I actually don’t remember it," he says, after prompting from one of the others before one track starts, which includes the lyrics “I just don’t remember, anything at all”. That's okay Mitch, we will.