May held one of Brisbane's premiere arts events. The Brisbane Indie Project is an organisation that gives local artists & musicians the opportunity to promote themselves and rock the house down. There were five bands and 16 artists, with the music line-up consisting of Dusty, Business, Blonded, Allora and Radium Dolls. The art encompassed a range of mediums, including print, photography, ceramic, crochet, jewellery and even cool projection stuff. The event went down at The Zoo and I'm just gonna say it right now, the music was actually sick. So let's start with the opening acts.
Dusty took to the stage first; a four-piece hailing from the river city. This female-led indie group consists of Annie Newcombe on master vocals and guitar, Tannum Portelli on the bigger one, Harley Meszaros on the lead and Willow Giles on the pitter pats. They're a force to be reckoned with and a name to buy tickets for, so watch out. Surprisingly bubbly vocals mask some real talent and phrase turners. There's also some freakish guitar, check out their single 'Do You Care?' and yous'll know whart I mean, mayts.
Next up we see BUSINESS. I actually had the honour of covering this ragtag trio way back in October, and by golly b'gosh have they turned up the megahertz. The Gold Coast musketeers have evolved since their A Weekend at Finn's EP, with their latest single 'Gamble' taking all the songcrafting lessons they've learned and tying them up with a punchy drum shuffle. The room swayed with BUSINESS walking the floorboards. They've got gigs coming up in Brisbane on June 9th, Gold Coast come June 10th & a spicy tour leg downtown to sunny Melbourne on June 16th.
Brisbane - Stage Right - Tickets
Gold Coast - Burleigh Heads - Tickets
Melbourne - The Leadbeater Hotel - Tickets
Assailing the senses and wailing into the night, next we get a fistful of Blonded. It starts with bass in the face. They combine groovin', chuggin' psych guitar with surprising vocals from their nosferatu singer. At times gutturals, at times croons, he's debonair but a killer. My face was sufficiently melted by their single 'Make Me Feel,' shifting from jungle drums to smooth spoken word to sludge groove. A bit of eyebrow raising sweep-picking action and the move into a song they never play live - "A treat for you guys." 'Like An Elephant' booms and they take us from pub licks to reminiscent storytelling. They ooze rapport with the audience. They bring up their special guest, Cassandra, and Count Orlok whips his shirt off to reveal that he's surprisingly tatted. All is well until his strap breaks.
This is where it gets sufficiently gnarly, because they jam the fuck out while a new strap is procured. My face. My beautiful face. Cassandra straps him up mid hellhound blues, and they go into their final hoedown: 'Titanic.' Incredible crowd work and gory guitar murder. Blonded are a band you have to see to believe.
Allora rustles the crowd next. Crazy clean vocals, with ladies to the front. I wonder how long they've been a band, because they are TIGHT. They're professionals of schralp, and know a thing or two about timing. We get a partial introduction: "Alana singing, Izzy on the bass and Nathan on guitar. And that's all ya get for now!" They combine summer So Fresh Hottest Hits guitar with 90s nostalgia from the future. They play a mix of old and new until they really take off the gloves and go full Winehouse on us with 'Bad Attitude.' I'm talking big voices and big energy. Alana takes to the strings and they start a clap. All in all, jolly good show old chaps.
And then we have our final Elden Lords. Radium Dolls show us the true meaning of schralp. All I'm gonna say is that the singer has some real moves. X-ray vision eyes, blonde little rat mullet and audience engagement out the yinyang. This guy's a freak. In fact, the whole band is. Equal parts punk and guitar slash, Radium Dolls really flop it on the table. The crowd moves and so do they. Of all the bands this night, if there was one I could get to burst out of the coffin at a funeral, it's this one. They'd talk the ears off all the mourners and get their shoes muddy in the headstone pit. It's rare to see a band so animated. More chatty than a West End crackhead, you just want to roll them up and take them home so the party never ends. They can do sad & discerning, and they can do hard & fast, and always with a real Australian darlin' drawl. If you're ever given the chance to see them live, take the ticket and run with it.
A huge thanks to all the bands, and a massive shout out to all the artists who made it possible: Amy Jane, Adam Southgate, Eye Fleur, Groovy Grandma, Hannah Rose Brown, Imogen Corbett, K Shirley, Lauren Clarke, Lorissa Toweel, Margot Stewart, Miktangle, Over It Man, Pipier Weller, Sophie Delaney, Sooky Princess and Yulia Skorina. The Brisbane Indie Project was a real rowdy Randal of a night, and I hope they do another one next year. Check out the bands and get yourself to one of their gigs asap. No ragrats.