Updated: Oct 17, 2021
Last Friday Santa came early. With his broad shoulders and muscular forearms, he produced from his vast sack two tickets to see WIIGZ at The Zoo, Brisbane. And he said to me, in his burly Father Christmas voice, "Hark, mine child, and steel yourself. For tonight, you party. Let it be known that WIIGZ are the greatest disco band of our time, and all time. And they bring with them their allies, BBTK and KALOPSIA. Go forth now, and groove."
And with that, he left.
So there I was, two hours early for the sickest gig my peepers have ever peeped. What do you do with this abundance of time?? Drink and punch durries in the alley. And then interview the bands. So here you are, my doidsens, drink in these sweet, sweet words from everyone's favourite badass birches. Starting off with new challengers approaching, BBTK:
I’m curious to know how you all met. How did BBTK form? What’s the story behind the band?
"We used to meet up every week at our friend’s house to create music as part of the collective called 'Bunch of Us'. When we all hung out together for the first time, the chemistry was just amazing. We had so much respect and love for each other that the inspiration for our music just flourished. In December 2020 we each had an individual artist slot at a Brisbane warehouse event and backed each other up for each of our sets. The incredible energy and reception from this gig made us realise how much we enjoyed performing together."
I loved how your songs are about empowering women and getting all the ladies dancing. It was a really great gig and it was cool to see everyone going crazy on the dance floor. What message would you like to send out to any other women out there who might want to give music a go?
"We say absolutely give it a go! There is room for everyone to express themselves; especially in an industry that is male dominated. If you are feeling alone, there are safe spaces where you can find people who share your same goals and values. Get out there, connect and don't be afraid to make mistakes, learn and grow!"
I can’t wait to see you guys live again, it’s so refreshing to have some super cool 2000s RnB vibes come back to the live-scene, no one’s making music like you anymore! Bring it back! What can we expect from BBTK next? Do you have any other gigs lined up, or song releases in the future?
2000s RnB is definitely a big influence to our sound! We can’t wait to release songs within that same genre as well as a mix of new age and alternative R&B. We are currently working on recording more songs and releasing them soon! So stay tuned! Until then, you'll have to come to a show or two! We have NO.1 BLOCK PARTY (as part of Valley Fiesta) on Oct 29th and Yonder Festival coming up (performing under No1 Network). Get your tickets and come see us so we can shower you with some good good RnB love!
BBTK knocked my fucking socks off. The band name is an acronym for the four members' names. Their set began with 'Pussy Power,' a song about releasing your higher self & loving yourself. This one gave me major Destiny's Child vibes, and they just don't make music like that anymore. The band has incredible choreography & oh my goddess, they can sway. They got the whole audience movin' and groovin'. The voices of these ladies are spiritual, it's pure smoothality. They promised us this song would be coming out on Spotify soon.
Their second song, 'Spectre' was about how women are sexualised, and about empowering women. It starts off with the tippety tap of the old killer keys, Dre style. This is the ultimate club dance track. Look no further than the D. Floor, "LADIES TO THE FRONT," the women on stage scream. Amazing crowd work, "Girls make your way to the front," and boy, they did. This was incredible - a real safe space with no lechery or buffoonery. Just. Pure. Dancin' Fury. And I'm going to be the first to say it, these queens have got fuckin' bars.
The rest of their set had amazing choreography, and when the beats drop, everyone's moving. They can move between slower, tender songs & fast dance tracks, but always bring the beat, the voices & the moves. We heard the songs 'Flower' and 'Get Up.' But it is the final song which I want to really delve into...
I'll start by saying it's really hard to do a cover. It's hard to make it your own, it's hard to get other people jiggy with it, it can make or break a show. The music starts rolling, and it's a mystery interlude. We're told we all will know this song, but I'm scratching my head.
And then the beat drops, and you know what the fuck's up.
The fucking balls of the women, bringing an ABBA cover up in here and tearing the house down. Give Me a Man After Midnight! This was the shit I signed up for. They nailed it. The crowd nailed it. Everyone. AND THE FUCKING MOVES. By golly have BBTK got some crazy stage presence. In 'Spectre,' they said "Ima fuck you w/ mah energy," and they did. Never before seen at The Zoo, gigs like this just don't happen anymore.
Thus concluded our jaunt into the glory days of old, when dancing to noodle-hair Justin Timberlake was the norm. Take me back to a 2001 club any day. No phones, only Nokia bricks, and dancing. Oh, the dancing.
And with that, we move onto the second-course of the evening. Get your tastebuds ready, because we're getting freaky. In struts Kalopsia.
Featuring building grooves, Kalopsia brings synth and instrument together in a perfect pairing. Smooth, bare & surreal, it leads us into a false sense of security. And then the drums come in.
It sounded as if all your dreams came to life and invited all your friends round to pass around 'cigarettes,' whilst all the while a drummer just kept on going. It's like if Alice in Wonderland was on vinyl and it just couldn't stop while a snake kept hissing at you. These are the only ways I can articulate the sound. It's freakadelic.
The drummer and baguette-wielding bassist in perfect tandem is what makes it. And then the tone changed. Dissonance starts to creep in. We get a Daft Punk cover. Kalopsia's set was pure cybernetic bubblegum. Smoothness incarnate with the groove. The two singers' voices intertwined to become one, it was the equivalent of an aural question mark.
This set featured more shadowplay than Ian Curtis. Dark and twisted bopping vocals with ivy-entwined synth. Halfway through they really started getting in the zone, with enormous dreamy soundscapes and eyes wide shut. The cymbal work from El Signor Drummelio was just delissimo. And their next song, 'Reflections,' blew the roof off. You know we're getting serious when someone rips out a tambourine. Just like in Hardcore music, the most important thing here is not the notes themselves, but the silence between the notes.
They had it all. They sounded like if Lilly Allen had a techno phase and made synths walk like cats. The bassist took a break to delve into the heart of the matrix, and the drummer made it sludgy. We got funked out with some slappatista movement on the basso-continuo like a mighty Thunder Cat. The singer brought out a new dimension of smoky vocals with more husk than my bob-sled. All I can say is, it got freaky.
Avoid if you're allergic to the rhythm, you'll go into anaphylactic shock.
Kalopsia will be freaking the squares this October 31st at The Brightside, with tickets available HERE.
AND NOW! LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THIS IS THE MAAAAAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING! ANNNNND NOW! PRESENTING, THE REIGNING UNDISPUTED DISCO CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD! FIGHTING! OUT OF BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA! THE ONE, THE ONLY! WIIIIIIIIGZ!
WIIGZ are comprised of Zoë Hilditch (Zobot), the Kath Day-Knight of the equation and Hannah Brydon (GNJA), the Kim. Zoë is on the slippery-4 strings, with Hannah wrangling the mic in a choke-slam.
The lights go dim, the scent of dry-ice stings the nostrils. The audience packs in and assumes peak dancing formation. The girls come out in some lace and latex numbers, and the set starts with 'Foxy,' with the bass going crazy. To put it into terms you may understand, YEAH NICE T.A.'s (Lords of Dogtown reference).
'By My Side' is locked and loaded next, and just like apple bottoms jeans, we get down low-low-looow. "I can feel it in the air." WIIGZ fucking rock, and they don't even know it. Not yet anyway. This song is ridinki donk. Next we hear 'Comatose,' with John Fusciante on the guitar and Zobot riding fat worms under her fingers.
They're really feeling it once 'Stuck In My Head' comes round. We lowly audients are but slaves to the bass drum here, thumping away and telling our hearts when to beat. This song goes up high on the guitar, straight to a sultry 70's sweaty soiree.
Hannah is a born frontwoman. Like Kylie Minogue and Bobby Farrell's fucked up baby, she's cutting shapes. She's got the moves. She's a maniac.
"Who, What, When, Where, Why / Do you want to break my heart?" The lights turn red, and everyone in the audience knows what's up. 'Red Hot Pants.' The whole building was shaking. They unleash a literal break down all over our chests and faces, and the two leading ladies disappear out stage-right.
The remaining band deliver a spacey fallen interlude, 182-style, with drums and keys. The frontwomen emerge, and I'd like to say that I'm a major fan of costume changes. I grew up listening to Visual Kei music. And the Japanese artists really know the power of a good costume change. It must be done. It is my humble opinion that every band should do one. And we weren't disappointed. High fashion only, with red latex and sizzles galore. Shout out to the seamstress in the crowd. And with that:
"ARE YOU READY TO DANCE?"
They dial the funk up to three-thousand-and-one killerhurtz (sic). And the crowd work here is insane in 'Get Down.' GNJA! Born performer! She works the crowd like Freddie. It can't be tamed. Sensational stage moves, persona & presence. If she'd never discovered her incredible talent for performance, just like Shannon Noll, the world would have been robbed.
They even provided food & sustenance for the crowd, in the form of delectable sour patch kids. Now that's the good shit. Moving on we heard my pick for the absolute super-secret best-song-no-jutsu: 'Bitch Shit.' This one came complete with golden oldies in the crowd repeating the lyrics to each other in between gasps of "my word," "In my day" and raised eyebrows. Bless their hearts. You know it's hot fire if the elderly don't know if you're allowed to say that.
The final song graces our hot and bothered ear holes at this stage, and again HANNAH CUTTING SHAPES. THE FUCKING MOVES! Sledgehammer bassline punching the lights out with 'Look Good Feel Good.' The audience was really reacting here, with call & response, shouting the words and full-fledged tanz tanz happening up the walls and out the windows. My only response to this Bassy McBass line is a shit-eating grin with the words "YEA BOIZ" trickling out. Fluorescent and glossy, WIIGZ don't just put on a show. They wear it around and take it for a walk around town. The next big thing, is all I can say.
As I said at the start, I was lucky enough to pick the dynamic duo's brains before the gig. Shamelessly gliding over while they practiced with vocal warm ups & scales. Not a note off-pitch, mind you. I bequeath unto thee, the teachings of these master discomancers:
What are your thoughts with the pandemic affecting the live music scene?
"I had a cry this morning. But then this morning it changed to be half capacity, last minute. 2 hours before you arrived, we found out we could dance. But we'd already cancelled our disco floor!"
"It's a relief to have dancing. We figured it was the universe telling us to go on, you know?"
"The last venue was smaller, you can just do whatever and get away with it. But it's daunting with masks. Everyone staring at you."
I can only imagine, but I wish we got to see that light-up disco dance floor!! Next time, next time.
How did you guys meet?
"Fun fact: we did meet at film school."
"We produce, direct, style, edit And do the audio for our videos. I guess you could say we also do the cinematography."
"It costs a lot of money to get someone else to do it."
It was then that I found out they have actually had a few videos blow up on TikTok, with millions of views. These guys do all their own videos, and the quality is just amazing.
Will you be performing any new songs tonight?
"All but two songs haven't been released, and we're playing ten songs!"
I can solemnly say that the entire set was incredible. WIIGZ took over The Valley! end-to-end there was nothing but brilliant crowd work, mind-boggling dancing, the fattest bass on this side of a treadmill, and 100% certified bangers from an alternate-timeline where Disco reigns supreme.
I'll be going to their next gig. Fortuitously, it is coming sooner than you think - the 27th of October. Come see the 8th wonder of the world. I know where I'll be that night. Decked out in my finest duds, wig on-head and voice hoarse. EXTRA looks & high-fashion only.
WIIGZ 'Reel Music Video Festival' @ The Tivoli
Wednesday, 27th October - Tickets here
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