Feature: A Tale of BIGSOUND 2018

Sunday, September 9, 2018

BIGSOUND 2018 took over the streets of Brisbane’s entertainment precinct Fortitude Valley, bringing together bands from all over Australia and the world. It was four days of incomparable music heaven and I cannot begin to pick my highlights.

In my excitement, I arrive way too early — but to my surprise, there are flocks of people already lining up to collect their passes. Once I clear the line and my pass is around my neck, I prepare for my first interview of the week, PLANET. I meet Matty and Tom in the heart of the valley and we have a chill chat about their EP, live shows and bands time travelling (catch that interview here). After finishing up, I decided to check out some scheduled events — because what's BIGSOUND without a few parties? Just a few steps down the road, to my surprise, I see a venue comprised of cargo ship containers. This was called X-cargo and hosts Q-Music were celebrating Women in Music. Many chit-chats later, I leave for my second interview of the day with Perth’s Demon Days and what a bunch of good-eggs! I left incredibly energized and happy that I got to meet the faces behind one of my favourite releases, their EP Magic Eye.

My third interview was with captivating rocker, Charlie Collins. I think at this point I had forgotten to eat and my body had switched to adrenaline as a food source. So after a quick Oporto wrap, my chat with Charlie began. I found her energy just as emotionally stirring as her debut single 'Wish You Were Here' and our talk was gracefully human and raw.

The very last interview for the day was with adorkable rock stars Sweater Curse. Such kind souls, we discussed why sweaters were cursed and their fave Brisbane acts on the line-up.

BIGSOUND has this ability to make you forget time and before I knew it, the showcases for the night had begun. Sadly not eating much and coming down from an adrenaline-fueled high caused my body to start melting down. Thus I only saw a couple artists before I retreated home.

First of the night were Demon Days, and they did not disappoint! Just as peppy and masterful as the EP. The whole band vibed as a cohesive unit and the crowd loved it! My second and last act for the night was my introduction to charismatic rapper T$oko, who along with his DJ, performed a stellar set which had me instantly following him on socials.

My first thought was food, so immediately after arriving I filled my belly and at around 10:45am I met up with singer/songwriter Sahara Beck. Sahara radiated warmth and my conversation with her was insightful and fun. But I was living that full BIGSOUND media life and had to rush off quite quickly to meet my next artists, Melbourne legends IV League. We talked image, their new single and future band goals. Once IV league and I had parted it had felt like excitement had replaced the blood in my veins. I needed a little R&R. So I caught up with some industry friends before I had the amazing pleasure to meet Phoebe and Joey from Two People. The ethereal pair were just as magnetically enigmatic as their releases — artists through-and-through we chatted in a quiet cafe about the importance of saying no, their music and past projects.

I think the most refreshing aspect about being on the ground for Wickedd Childd was how lovely all of the artists I interviewed were. My very last artist was no exception. HANDSOME is someone so unapologetically themselves. I felt immediately comfortable with them and had the best time.

Day two passed by so quickly and Wednesday was a much busier day at BIGSOUND with the bulk of the conferences and networking events starting. So I tried my best to weave between the interviews attending the ‘Managing Mental Health workshop’, ‘You Sound Good, But Do You Look Good?’ panel discussion, ‘BIGSOUND Gold Coast Showcase’ (Black Rabbit George, Electrik Lemonade and Phoebe Sinclair) and the session with Paces ‘From The Studio To The Stage’.

My body was finally getting used to the long days so I felt prepared to scurry around the night showcases and saw Edward R., Austen, Genesis Owusu, Sahara Beck, Didirri and CXLOE. I had a couple of definite highlights, one was Genesis Owusu’s back-up guys standing around him throwing rose petals and the other was Didirri’s set breaking my heart and making me cry in front of a crowd of strangers.

I had so much energy, so the 12am I Oh You party became tempting. The party featured Two People, Cable Ties and Triple One. Though obviously, I misjudged my body clock because after seeing an amazing set by Two People, I was ready for bed.

I had got home at 3:30am and fell asleep at 4am. After waking up even in a half-asleep haze, I was so excited to head back to the valley and do more BIGSOUND. The streets were still so alive with activity as I headed over to attend the Secondary Ticketing; Friend or Frenemy panel discussion. After exiting, the lack of sleep hit me and I accidentally fell asleep sitting in a cafe couch. Luckily I woke up all in one piece and in time for the Virginia Grohl Talk. Virginia is such a charismatic lady and her stories about the mothers of the artists Dr. Dre, Amy Winehouse, and Pharrell Williams captivated me and had me laughing, inspired and moved.

Today was a more relaxed day in terms of interviews — I only had one and it was late in the afternoon. So throughout the day, I made sure to make the most of BIGSOUND, meeting, talking and enjoying new and old friends.

After a much-needed burger, the time had come for my very last interview for BIGSOUND and it was with Melbourne Artist Edward R. In the relaxed environment of the GYROstream office, we discussed the evolution of the project and his favourites at BIGSOUND.

I ended the day watching the bands at The Oztix 15th anniversary party (Inigo, Tia Gostelow, Demon Days, Paces, PLANET, Secret Band, The Beths & STATESIDE). Night fell and it was here where I kinda just went nuts and attended as much music as I could. I saw Two People, Thando, HANDSOME, PINK MATTER & Charlie Collins. HANDSOME had such showmanship, and had an audience member up on stage dancing midset. Charlie Collins transported me and I felt like I was floating through a sea of distorted guitar. I attended the closing party at the Triffid and day three was over.

There was a breakfast event and I had my first bloody mary, and yeah, not sure if I’m a fan. Today was bittersweet, I was thankful for the experience but it was nearing the end. The last panel was called 20 Questions and it was a summative event and we all agreed BIGSOUND was beautiful, educational and made us all incredibly proud of Australian music.

Written by Roy Gordon (@yorgordon)

You can listen to our BIGSOUND 18 playlist below: