Words by Shannon-Lee Sloane – The Colourful Writer.
There is nothing quite like a boat cruise along the Brisbane river…a peaceful moment drifting along the water… Yeah. Scratch that! Let’s add 4 killer sludge and metal bands, a good chunk of the local metal crew and a good selection of beer, wine and spirits and turn up the sound to full volume! Saturday evening the serenity on the Brisbane river was stolen by the Sludge On The Seas boat cruise number 2 and we ‘aint apologising for it for one minute!
Organised by the lovely Pete Saunders and the guys from Evil Eye, this year we have had not one, but two Sludge On The Seas, last one was back in January and featured Flaming Wreckage, Evil Eye, Hobo Magic and Budd. Now that was a time! This time was equally as awesome with 4 hours of sludge and metal madness delivered by Piston Fist, Massic, Motherslug and Evil Eye.
Up first was Piston Fist. I had a mate comment to me recently “Holy shit these guys have come a long way really fast” – well yes, they have, but that’s due to the fact these guys are not here to mess around. Long time musicians and having a big part in the local music scene in different ways for many moons, they know what they’re doing. To top that off, they are really nice blokes. Having been around the music scene myself for a while now, it is clear to me what it takes to be a successful band in your local scene. Real talent + dedication + gig hard + play hard + be nice to your fans, promoters and fellow bands + don’t be full of yourself + not being a dickhead = success. Piston Fist do all this to perfection and this is why they are so loved. With frontman, Geoffro O’Leary interacting with the crowd throughout the set, commenting “How good is the Brisbane metal scene!?” to an enthusiastic reply from the crowd in agreement. Piston Fist bring a combination of heavy rock and sludgey metal, for me their sound is reminiscent of Kyuss, Clutch with a little bit of early Black Label Society and Metallica in there too. They played a killer set which had the crowd so enthusiastic a few of them had to be asked to calm down a little or surely someone was going to end up thrown off the side of the boat! Unfortunately, a handful of people made it hard for others to get up front with the moshing a little too extreme, being absolutely covered in beer and spirits from the very beginning was not pleasurable, but it is what it is. No fault of the bands or the organisers and of course if you’re at a metal gig, you have to expect the mosh to be full on, but you know, being on a boat and all I thought people would be a bit more responsible. Anyway, Mum rant over. Sorry/not sorry about that. Back to the band! Piston Fist delivered a brilliant set and kicked off the night to perfection. Every time I finish watching these guys live, I just can’t wait to see them again.
Next up it was time for some MASSIC!! My love for these guys is immeasurable. There is just something about them that takes my breath away. Every. Single. Time. They took the stage with eager fans awaiting the onslaught of brutal groove metal we were about to witness. I was concerned how the guys would go on such a small stage as they are a band who like to move around when they perform, but they somehow managed to still bring an energetic performance even with the restricted space they had as their platform. With both frontman, Simon and bass player, Rashid venturing down into the crowd a few times. With the mosh again getting a little too hectic and myself and others being slammed into each other and the metal bar on the stairs up to the stage, Simon shouted mid song “Take care of each other!” and later going on to say “Take care of each other or we will fucking stop!” – another example of how awesome the band really are, always considerate of their fans and making sure everyone is ok. The crowd settled a little and the rest of the set was enjoyed by everyone. Playing one of my personal favourites 4 tracks in, Devolve had fans singing and screaming along whilst necks were wrecked by many as the set went on. Mid set the boat got really rocky at one point with Simon commenting “I’m not even drunk but it’s really fucking hard to stand up on this boat!” – the beauty of playing a gig on a fucking boat huh!
Melbourne’s stoner doom legends, Motherslug hit the stage next, much to the delight of many in attendance. This was something special having these guys in Brisbane and playing on the boat. The sludge really hit the seas when Motherslug started playing. I had not heard much of their music until recently but have become a big fan, especially after seeing them play last night. I stood next to a good mate of mine who is a massive fan of this band and her energy and pure love for them was felt by myself and I am sure those around her, including the band. Although of course they had more than just one die hard fan there. The first thing that stood out to me was Cyn on bass. She stole my attention with her stage presence and clear passion for her music, clearly enjoying being up there and very much in the moment. In fact, watching Motherslug took me to an almost trance like moment, I was lost in the sludgy magic of the band’s music and performance and they had pretty much the whole boat feeling it too. Motherslug are the epitome of doom and sludge goodness and I am left wanting more.
Finally, EvilEye took to the stage. With the recent release of their new EP ‘Look Into My Eyes’, EvilEye are playing a series of shows to celebrate the release. Having just played Brewtality Festival in Melbourne alongside a massive line up of bands including Psycroptic, High Tension, Frankenbok and heaps more. Their next stop was Sludge On The Seas 2 and they played a killer set to local fans which opened with the last track from their last EP, Disobey that flowed into the first track from their new EP, Change. A very clever smooth move and a great way to introduce the new EP. Once EvilEye hit the stage, the mosh went up a notch yet again with fans sporting EvilEye shirts to the front. The beauty of bands playing on a small boat is that no matter where you are on the boat you can hear them loud and clear so escaping downstairs for a moment during the set meant I didn’t really miss a thing. EvilEye ended the night with a bang and the boat cruise is done until the next one, which I am sure everyone who attended is keen for! Bring on Sludge On The Seas 3!
I have a lot of respect and appreciation for how much time, money, effort and passion goes into putting on a show like this and I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to Pete, the bands and all those involved in putting on such a cool show and on a fricking boat no less! It’s a really cool concept and it’s a really good time. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the next one!
You can grab yourself a copy of EvilEye‘s new EP ‘Look Into My Eyes’ HERE.