The Squeeze Festival Brisbane Review @ The Triffid

Bootleg Rascal played The Squeeze Festival at The Triffid (Brisbane), 27 May, 2018.
Solar-powered journalist with a love for live reviews and the challenge of describing sounds with words. Always: cooking, often: thrifting, sometimes: playing the piano, rarely: social, never: late. Living abroad in Japan.

Standing before a sparse crowd isn’t an aspect of performing I envy.

Though despite the minimal audience, Ivey carried themselves with plenty of poise and enthusiasm, vocalist and guitarist Lachlan McGuffie warmly welcoming the crowd at The Triffid (27 May), bursting into the set with dynamism.

Millie Perks’ impressive pipes were an immediate standout, the pocket rocket packing an admirable punch. She bounced on stage all blonde and petite, but her voice screamed years of experience, surprisingly rich with a twang.

Her harmonies with Lachlan were faultless, a rare feat; the two meshed wonderfully with evident ease. He oozed with personality (think Sam Hales from The Jungle Giants), charisma palpable a mile away, an example: “This is our new single, ‘Always’. It’s a big f$%^ you to my ex.”

My pick was ‘Last Week’, acoustic guitar a nice addition, though I can see why set closer ‘Smell Of Smoke’ is their leading track. Verses driven by pretty guitar plucking and dictated by soulful lyricism, it’s breezy pop at its finest.

Interestingly, Ivey instantly reminded me of Vacations: a serene, summery sound; I wasn’t surprised to learn the two recently toured together. While their music is relatively void of a definitive genre FOR NOW, I can see them sailing towards something very sweet.

First Beige have been on my must-review list for months, their star single ‘Rumours’ having made an impression. It started the set, a lengthy, funk ballad, embellished with a twittering flute (“Who’s ready for a flute solo?” met with cheers) and a strong bassline.

Their discography drifts from standard song structure, disregarding a regular meter, beat or formal structure. Each track pieces together so many different musical ideas it almost felt improvised at times, similar to free jazz.

While occasionally the loose format made the music lack cohesion, in no way do the band members lack ability. They demonstrated an extraordinary amount of multi-instrumental skill (even playing the triangle, at one point), incorporating a variety of techniques that prove they’re venturing from safe territory, bravely experimenting while composing.

Credit to First Beige for the genre they’ve adopted, as well; disco has disappointingly taken the backseat to surf rock, in recent years. If Byron Bay band Parcels were picked up by Daft Punk, these boys don’t feel too far behind.

Wharves first made their way onto my radar at Bigsound; a lot of fans insisted they were one to watch. I can see why; they’re tight, all four musicians obviously talented. You could instantly sense how well-rehearsed and well-practised they are.

They remind me of City Calm Down, similar vocals, though their sound has more of a punk edge. Think early 2000s classics: Good Charlotte, Blink=182, Fall Out Boy – a bold choice, considering its decline in popularity.

The end of the set was a highlight, the music heavier, less pop-like, a direction I believe Wharves would thrive in. In saying that, their cover of ‘Whip It’ was also worth a mention, perfectly mirroring DEVO’s original, if not topping it.

I’ve admittedly disregarded Bootleg Rascal in the past, falsely presuming the trio were too reggae for my liking. Listening live I realised they’ve only dipped their toes in the genre; they’ve aptly dipped their toes in multiple genres, in fact.

At times, their music felt soul-influenced, others showcased frontman’s Carlos Lara’s notable hip hop ability. ‘Drop The Gun’ (played towards the end) was sway-worthy, strangely nostalgic, easy to sing, while set-closer ‘Coming Home’ reminded me more of Gorillaz.

Ultimately, Bootleg Rascal are performers, they’re entertainers, they’re crowd-pleasing and without trying. It’s hard to dislike an Australian underdog and the term describes these boys to a tee; all down-to-earth and nonchalant and easy to connect with – even still, don’t underestimate them, they can captivate a crowd.

My mind was a blank canvas in terms of expectations for Lime Cordiale, though the boys painted a positive picture. It can be tricky for music to truly distract from your mind’s inner workings, though I assure you, from start to finish, I was floating.

Even knowing little of the band’s discography, the set was undeniably elating. Their music is exceptionally positive, it’s infectious, smile-inducing and quite colourful, similar to Bootleg, seemingly influenced by various artists and genres.

For one, it seems impossible to fault the inclusion of a brass instrument; the trombone was a brilliant addition. Shared vocals created a lovely mix, as well; it was the first time I’d seen a bassist sing lead.

The Squeeze Festival’s line-up of artists was an eclectic mix, no doubt. It simply served to prove that the emerging music industry in Australia is squeezing talent from every ‘fruit’, every facet, every direction.

Let's Socialise

Facebook pink circle    Instagram pink circle    YouTube pink circle    YouTube pink circle

 OG    NAT

Twitter pink circle    Twitter pink circle