It’s BIGSOUND season again, and my humble home of Brisbane is ready to prove that we can do urban pretentiousness as well as the other east coast heavy hitters. We have a gluten-free brownie shop, those fucking donut milkshakes and even a cat cafe – because, shut up. More relevant to the swarm of music journos and broke-as artists about to descend on our fair city is that Fortitude Valley, home of the BIGSOUND conference, has a tobacco shop three doors down from Maccas – and at least two pubs where you won’t be the first person to order a drink at 9am.
Our relative smallness certainly hasn’t restricted our output when it comes to musical talent, it just makes the scene…well, a little incestuous. This has more of a talent incubating effect than birthing bands with mutant third limbs. Although there are plenty of great venues spread across the city and its suburbs, there’s no denying the few seedy blocks of the ‘Valley’ contain the city’s most well-loved live music institutions.
We gathered some Brisbane bands on this year’s BIGSOUND bill to share some stories. Here’s what Morning Harvey frontman Spencer White (far left) had to say:
Spencer: I was actually thinking about this the other day, comparing Brisbane’s nightlife precinct to Sydney or Melbourne’s. We don’t venture out to ‘The Valley’ (where all the BIGSOUND magic happens) anymore unless one of our bands, a friend’s band or a touring act is playing. Nonetheless, I personally feel more comfortable going out in Brisbane to Sydney. It’s pretty mental on a Saturday night but it’s fairly controlled chaos. All the bars are in one place so you have so many kinds of people in a four block radius. I don’t really know what the difference is between the cities, maybe I’m just a sook.