LIVE REVIEW: Foxsmith, Lita and The Bird and Little Planes Land (Black Bear Lodge, Sunday 16th June 2013)


On Sunday the 16th June 2013 I had the pleasure of watching my two favourite Brisbane bands perform beautiful music at Black Bear Lodge. The two bands I’m speaking about are of course Little Planes Land and Foxsmith who were also joined by Lita and The Bird on the night. What made this night so special was the fact that I would finally get to witness Foxsmith with a drummer after only getting the chance to catch an acoustic set of theirs back in February 2013. I couldn’t care less if it was Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday, any night of the week is a good time to witness the amazing music made by the above mentioned artists.

From the moment Little Planes Land enters the stage you know this will be a special night of music. For those who don’t know Little Planes Land is the solo vehicle for Jen Boyce who does amazing things with Ball Park Music. I’ve always felt that Jen was the real star of Ball Park Music and tonight she proved why she is so amazing. The music of Little Planes Land can be described as a beautiful collision of minimal swoons and aches with a lot of the songs touching on that deep internal pain we all feel, you know all that love lost and general disappointment with people but Jen frames it all with a wonderful quirky sense of humour. This is important when you sing about your deep internal world; make sure you scatter some humour in the mix. Tonight Jen is in fine form and after seeing her play a number of different times under the Little Planes Land banner I’d have to say this is by far the best I’ve seen her.  I could listen to Jen sing all day, there is so much swoon and wonder in her voice, it surrounds you and draws you in with its sweetness but that buried plea and ache is what gives her voice the power to soar into each of us tonight and leave us totally changed. All I can say is, fucking wow, every time I see Little Planes Land I want more and tonight’s final song consists simply of Jen’s voice, no instruments and fuck, it just sails into your soul and heals the hurt and puts a smile on your face. Simply beautiful stuff, I can’t wait to see where Jen takes this project and I reckon she could do some really radical things with her songs when she finally records them.  Go out and see Little Planes Land as soon as you get the chance and have your life changed.

The second band to take the stage this evening is Lita and The Bird who I’m experiencing for the first time. The band’s laid back folk strum and peppering’s of indie pop sounds powerhouse and fills the room adequately. My first thought is that it reminds me of Mazzy Star with the warmth of Crowded House but communicated musically with the modern flare of a band like The Jezebels and the enthusiastic crowd soak it all in. There are some incredibly interesting moments musically during Lita and The Bird’s set and the diversity and dynamic range of the songs really showcase the talent this band clearly possess. I just loved that there was an amazing soul power dripping from Lita and The Bird’s performance, I believed it and whenever I see a band live for the first  time that’s all I want, sincerity. I highly recommend this band and it’s very clear that success awaits this fine collection of songwriters.

This then brings us to tonight’s headliner Foxsmith who are without a doubt one of my favourite bands in Brisbane right now. They are so fucking unreal, the perfect coin and a band that have maximum amounts of that Kool Thing star power, you know that kind of cool that oozes from people like Kim Deal, it’s all natural. When I watch Foxsmith tonight I start to think to myself that they are the kind of band that you’d just drop everything for and follow around the country on tour. They have that kind of appeal and whilst watching them tonight it is abundantly clear that this band will mean a great deal to people in the coming years. The thing that I love most about Foxsmith is that you can tell, just by watching the way they perform, that they are all deeply in love with music. On a performance level, the band rocks harder than any band I’ve seen in the past few years, fuck yes, Foxsmith are indeed a breath of fresh air. The way this band can sing about their collective pain with such a joyous sound musically is just amazing and it hits you directly in the heart. There are also hints of Psychedelic Freak-outs during tonight’s set and I’m very excited at the prospect of the band exploring this area of their sound. Tonight felt like a teaser of what Foxsmith have in store for the future and the sound really is moving towards a “Space Jam Pop” sound with scatterings of “Psyche Rock” and “Indie Pop” dynamics to help make it sound so incredibly unique. At one point my trusty wookie co-pilot T.French claimed “It’s like fucking Deep Purple being played by The Breeders, fucking badass” and I think that is a very apt and right on description on the scope of music this band can cover as an indie pop outfit.  As a fan I am going to do everything in my power to spread the word about the amazing human beings in Foxsmith because they will be stars.

I left tonight’s gig feeling incredibly satisfied and I had my faith restored in the power of our local music scene. What people have to understand about music is that it is essentially just a vehicle of communication. To survive life you’ve got to be a strong communicator whilst also understanding that anytime a relationship or a situation breaks down it is because there is a severe lack of successful communication. A bad communicator will deliver bad music, full of clichés and dynamics aimed at selling you a product. They will mimic instead of showcasing what’s really in their soul, opting for fear over love. A good communicator will deliver good music, the kind of music that shows us what beats inside their heart and what they believe in. That is why good music can almost provide a spiritual experience for the listener because the artist has taken the time to harvest their deepest most intense emotional world and using music and their imagination they will deliver us a glimpse of their internal world. It is like a pure hit of rapture when good communicators make music. To connect to people with your music you need to be a good communicator because whether human beings are conscious of it or not, we all gravitate towards music and art that understands us, we want to feel both vulnerable and comfortable, the latter being the result of the intense musical journey presented to us.  Good communication requires a talker and a listener with good music having the capacity to do both (talk and listen). Adhering to these qualities as a human being will ensure that people will follow and believe in you.

Foxsmith, Lita and The Bird and Little Planes Land are all great communicators and as a result their music is beyond fantastic.

It is as simple as that really xo

By: Dan Newton

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