BIGSOUND 2017: Day 2 Roundup (Part 2)

By on Monday, 25th September 2017 at 2:00 pm

Following the first day of official conference sessions at BIGSOUND 2017 plus a visit to the Cattleyard Promotions’ sausage and beer party with music at Ric’s Backyard Bar, I was excited for the second evening of showcases. My first band of the night was a Brisbane group who had actually spent some time living and writing music in Manchester. As mentioned in my best bets preview back in August, Osaka Punch (it’s a pun, say it slowly with me) winningly meld funk, metal and prog and do so in a way unlike any other act you’ve ever heard. To be honest, how they sounded on the internet seemed to be too good to be true for real life. After seeing them live, I’m happy to report that they are exactly as advertised.

Osaka Punch Wednesday night at BIGSOUND 2017

The shape of 256 Wickham, the venue Osaka Punch opened Wednesday evening, seemed to be perfect for them. The stage itself had enough real estate to let frontman Jack pogo and roam around the stage like the crazy cat he is, the band tearing through energetic number after number. Local fans (or those from further afield who love their 2016 album ‘Death Monster Super Squad’?) filled the cavernous club, all more than willing to headbang along to the group’s brash tunes. They are unique with a capital U, and you should check them out.

From Wickham Street in the north, I headed south on the Valley’s main drag Brunswick Street to Heya Bar for a bit of a change of pace. From nearly 3,000 kilometers away from Brisbane in isolated Alice Springs smack dab in the middle of Australia, you could almost believe that Resin Moon (electronic producer Dave Crowe) travelled to BIGSOUND in his own spaceship. Indeed, his baggy white jumpsuit outfit for the evening seemed to suggest this and wasn’t lost on this child of a NASA scientist.

Resin Moon Wednesday night at BIGSOUND 2017

The futuristic feel of his brand of electronic fits into the image, too, and if you think about it, the Northern Territory’s desert must be as lonesome to make music in as the moon. Moving between boppy pop to tap your feet to and more chill, dreamy soundscapes effortlessly proved Crowe’s chops as a talented producer.

ELKI Wednesday night at BIGSOUND 2017

ELKI was my biggest surprise of BIGSOUND. As someone who has never felt any sort of affinity to Kate Bush (I know, I know, it’s like hating Radiohead, complete heresy!), I was expecting to react to a set by a woman who makes “subversive, melodic pop” by running away and screaming. Instead, I found ELKI playing the downstairs Alehouse stage at The Woolly Mammoth to be magically mesmerising, her performance theatrical and wholly engaging, with songs oddball, yet also smartly written and most of all, fun. I ran into the lovely lady the next day while waiting at the crosswalk on Ann Street and gushed over this performance of hers. She just grinned back in appreciation.

Seavera Wednesday night at BIGSOUND 2017

Then it was a quick stop up the stairs to the Mane Stage to catch a brief bit of Seavera. The male/female duo from Melbourne excel at sweeping vocal harmonies placed on top of electronica. But don’t worry, they’ve got both electric and acoustic guitars in the mix, so it’s not just synths, okay, guys? Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay long, as I headed over for my first visit to The Empire Hotel, where Mama Kin Spender had already begun their set.

Mama Kin Spender Wednesday night at BIGSOUND 2017

I’m not sure when or why soul singer Mama Kin (from Fremantle near Perth) and producer Spender (Melbourne) decided to put their individual careers aside to join forces. But you’ll find the point is moot when you experience them live. The combination of gospel/roots with pop in an excellent one, and joined by a chorus who, according to Mama Kin, only had a few short weeks to learn and practise before coming along with the two of them to BIGSOUND, it was an ambitious, soulful, foot stomper of a performance that worked. Mama Kin worked hard to win the audience’s approval, and she got it through their repeating back lyrics to her. To get an idea of what this sounds like live, watch the music video for ‘Air Between Us’ below.

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