Being asked to play Brisbane Society of Sound’s launch party was a real honour. My band The Halls has been looking forward to playing this event for a while, so it was a thrill to finally take to the stage of Oh Hello! the evening of Thursday the 10th January.
Shamefully, I must admit I had never been to Oh Hello! before! Immediately upon walking into the club for band load-in, I was impressed. The Brisbane Society Of Sound (BSOS) made a good decision in their choice of venue. Every aspect of Oh Hello!’s space is carefully placed to create an eclectic, playful and welcoming vibe, very conducive to entertainment. The venue name even has an exclamation point in it; if that doesn’t scream ‘fun’, I don’t know what does. The ceiling is covered in small paper lanterns, scrawly murals adorn the walls, and creative drinks (skittles and marshmallow cocktails!) are served in fun coloured cups reminiscent of childhood birthdays. The room is a great intimate-but-not-shoebox size, there are two large white projection screens behind the bar, and the well-positioned stage is spacious enough for a band to thrash around on. And the sound guy (Sasha) is actually friendly. What more could you ask for?
This was my first time meeting the BSOS team in real life, as opposed to over the internet. Everyone I came into contact with was friendly, well-organised and welcoming. Much credit must go to the members responsible for spearheading the launch party, especially Brittany Eddy (BSOS president), Aly Grace (Vice President) and Kimberley Hanson (Events Coordinator). Upon observing the dynamics of BSOS throughout the night, it was evident that they work well as a team. All dressed in matching black BSOS shirts, with their area of expertise emblazoned on the back, it’s obvious this is an inclusive collective made up of great young Brisbane go-getters. It’s a well thought out initiative, comprised of every aspect of entertainment: BSOS has someone to take care of everything, whether they specialise in live sound, events coordination, journalism, publicity or the arts. This collective has some really exciting things planned for Brisbane in 2013, and will be injecting a lot of life into this city’s scene. Check out Dan’s previous interview with Brittany Eddie here. (link: https://heavyandwierd.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/brisbane-society-of-sound-helping-save-the-brisbane-music-scene/)
After headliner Jakarta Criers’ sound check, BSOS rounded up The Halls for a video interview with journalism student Madison Nunn. Madison was really friendly, and you could tell she cared about doing a quality interview. (Our random waffling didn’t seem to put her off, which is always a good sign for a journo! She also displayed the ability to go ‘off script’, asking us a random funny question in response to one of our answers.) You can see our interview with her below:
After our interview, we ran off to quickly grab some yummy food in Chinatown. The location of Oh Hello! is super central – situated on Anne St in the heart of Fortitude Valley, it’s an easy place to get to. It’s always handy when a venue is near a variety of food and public transport options.
We headed back after chowing down, and immediately set up our gear onstage. It wasn’t long until we launched into our set. Obviously it would be impossible for me to review our own gig, but we had a lot of fun onstage. It was great to see that the venue was half full already when we started playing, and nearly full by the end (this is a real testament to BSOS’s promotion of the event. Sometimes it takes a while for people to show up to these things).
I was a little worried at first, as our drummer James had been away at Woodford for a month and we hadn’t gotten to practice much before the gig. It took a few songs for me to feel comfortable with the onstage sound (whenever it’s hard for me to hear my vocals, it’s a struggle). However we all really had fun thrashing around, and sound-wise, things soon sorted themselves out. The audience was responsive, dancing around and happy to yell back at me when addressed. Then before I knew it, it was over!
After the set, we got a lot of positive comments from BSOS and the crowd, and our Facebook page ‘likes’ jumped up by about 20 the following day! So I think it’s safe to say we went well. I was really happy to have a chat with Rory from BSOS (the guy who ‘discovered’ us on Triple J’s Unearthed website and told BSOS about us). He really enjoyed our EP, and plays bass in a kool as band called Skin and Bones himself. It always makes me so happy to talk to people who genuinely love our music. And if they’re a musician themselves it’s the icing on the cake…nothing like a bit of peer respect!
After an impressively quick changeover time, the Gold Coast’s Oceanics took to the stage. I’ve seen these talented kats play before, and they are still as amazing as ever. Their brand of indie surf rock is catchy, melodic and energetic. The words ‘big fun’ come to mind. In a genre where things can get derivative fast, Oceanics somehow manage to keep it all very original and fresh sounding, a feat that demands respect. Their set’s sound itself was great and well-balanced – every instrument was well placed in the mix, and vocals were nicely in your face. The crowd was totally into it, jumping around and having a joyful time. It’s clear that Oceanics are a top-notch band who kick ass live!
Finally (after a very entertaining tipsy speech from a certain BSOS member, giggle), it was time for headlining band Jakarta Criers’ set. Recent Unearthed feature artists on Triple J, it’s clear this band is as tight and well-oiled as a German auto factory. The deep, resonant drums and smooth bass worked well to create a funky, slightly blues influenced rock groove, while swirly guitars interacted to create a beautiful sonic landscape on top. During this set was when the crowd really went nuts, and it was fun to see all the BSOS members letting their hair down and moshing in the front and second rows. Did they deserve to let loose? Hell yeah! This was their launch party, their hard work had paid off, and it was an unequivocal success. What a great start to 2013 for these young future powerhouses.
As much as I enjoyed Jakarta Criers’ original songs, they did a really awesome cover song that got probably the biggest crowd response. It was one of those things people will be telling their friends about for weeks to come. When you blend 5 songs into one, its gonna do that! Combining Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”, Nirvana’s “Come As You Are”, and other nu-classics into one, it was a really entertaining mash up that reminded me of “4 Chords” by Aussie band The Axis of Awesome. Only, you know, not comedy.
Jakarta Criers ended the night on a bangin high note, saving a rocktastic number for their finale that really got everyone moving. Later, a DJ (name?) took over, and the evening faded into a sea of happy bodies, dancing to the beats of the city and their dreams.
After this genuinely great launch, I’m really excited to see what BSOS have coming next! I can also let you in on a fun new secret…I will be assisting Kimberley as vice events coordinator of BSOS this year – and I’ll also be working with BSOS to bring an event idea of mine to life! So, 2013 looks to be an awesome year for Brisbane’s events scene. Get involved, and stay tuned!
Keep up to date with Brisbane Society Of Sound and all the aforementioned bands here:
By Bec Wolfers