GIG REVIEW: Jollee + Supports, Greaser, Brisbane, 07/03/2020

Words by Tracey Moyle – ‘The Music Maven’ – Music Maven Events.

Another Saturday night in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley and another weekend of kick arse music.

Tonight Good Call Live’s “Music Maven” Tracey Moyle wove her way though the alleyways  venturing deep into the secluded Greaser basement bar, popular amongst the city’s live music lovers. 

The concert saw local rockers Jollee launch their much awaited sophomore single Gypsy Man with some rocking support from Passion Cactus and alternative fun guys GUS.

The venue was buzzing and cozy and the room was close to full when Passion Cactus –alias Tom, Steve, Jessy and Sam – took to the stage.  These guys bring a 90’s post grunge rock sound reminscent of bands like Collective Soul, enveloped in the heavily psycodelic sound of the 60’s and 70’s, warranting thoughts of Cream and The Doors. They opened with the slow, steady instrumental number Crushing The Sun, an introduction to the beautifully crafted musicanship we were about to get carried away by. An electric barrage of the perfectly timed lead , rhythm, bass and drums all merging together mesmerizing the audience reminescent of a time of peace, love and acid trips. Show Me God demonstrated their control over building the music, riding it through its peaks and valleys.  Their new single Honey opened with a hypnotic tempo that built into urgency through the chorus followed by the perfect storm of guitars, feedback and belting rhythmic drums. Time was running out leaving room for a only couple more tracks, the mood morphing into something a little more upbeat with Like A Tin Teardrop giving that night’s music lovers something to dance to in a 60’s psycholdelic fashion, complete with a funky riff that still buzzes in my head a day later.

There was a great vibe running through the crowd and everyone was enthralled with the hypnotic nature of the music that surrounded them. They wrapped up the set with If God Is Willing, pulling it back a pace again, creating an almost hypnotic lull but then building to a electric frenzy, ending with vocalist/guitaris Tom on his knees draining the feedback from the amp like a musical dementor.

The crowd were pumped, what a way to open the night. 

Passion Cactus – quick phone snap by Tracey Moyle – Edited by Elizabeth Sharpe – Ummagummamumma – Live Music Photography

The stage was quickly reset with the next band setting up as the last one packed. GUS engulfed the stage and took us into Sit Right Down with a great lead in by  Bren on bass this track has a light upbeat alternative/indie rock feel, with the band also using the music as an effect creating a whole new sound.  Their style of indie rock has a familiar tone yet holds a unique infusion of what may even be subliminal influences with tiny flickers of the quirkiness of The B52’s popping into my mad musical brain.  Their single Golden Kisses follows this impression with a big dose of that unequalled Aussie Indie rock feel.

They keep the crowd entertained inbetween numbers with their mantra “Gus is…..”   reciting a new random nonsensical statement after each break.

Gus is….  taking us on a crazy upbeat journey with the next song Mysterious Stone Cat bringing out a mix of sounds, from the appeal of the aussie narative in the verses with a blend of indie/psychodelic tones through the track.  A unique sound is just what you want to hear from the emerging artists around town.  The room was full with a GUS following taking over front of stage.

Gus is…  taking us on a melodic musical journey with Saturn View up next, begining with the perfected harmonies of Bren and Tim. The music built up slowly with drummer Lochie creating an ambient mood through gently striking the cymbals, using the rhythm seciton to build the song to its peak then back down again to it’s ethereal vibe.  The song takes you into almost a dreamstate with hyptonic ambience, dripping with a kaliedoscope  of sound taking you to the tripping 60’s with a perfectly timed dreamy narative like they were chanelling a hippy from 1969. 

Gus is…    musical fusion.  High In Fibre took us around another corner and back into the  indie rock pace, faster and poppier than before.  The crowd shook themselves out of their dreamstate and got themselves into dance mode again.  Bin was short and quirky and they followed up with a cover of Ganggajang’s classic aussie anthem Sounds of Then, just with their own spin on it. Adding a GUS feel to a popular choice with almost everyone knowing the words, well, the chorus anyway.

Gus is…   unique.   Their latest release Next was up next, ending their set with Blindside, taking the ending to a intense peaked outcome.

Gus is…  completely different to anything I have seen in a while and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Gus is… Bren – Bass/Vox, Lochie – Drums, Tim – Guitar/Vox, Jimbo – Guitar.

GUS – quick phone snap by Tracey Moyle – Edited by Elizabeth Sharpe – Ummagummamumma – Live Music Photography

Another speedy pack down/set up and we don’t have long to wait before Jollee take the stage and make it theirs.

Jollee are Brooke – guitar/lead vocals, Luke – guitar, Marco – bass and Baidon – drums.  Jollee are bringing rock back into the hearts and souls of music lovers.  Praise the Gods of music. Although they are relatively new on the music scene the word is spreding and the following is growing. They open their set to a roar of adoration with I Want You.   Opening with a killer riff with smooth and bluesy, Brookes’ expression vocally and visually brings the whole thing alive.  You can just tell the band love being on stage as much as the gathered fans love being there.  The stage seems too small for such a big sound.  Baidon looks cramped behind the drum kit in the corner but still belts out the rhythm perfectly.

White Woman Wasted, the bands first single, is up next.  This popular debut for Jollee had punters singing along, oozing sultry blues vocals, as Brooke doesn’t just sing, she tells the story of this ‘White Woman Wasted’ –  “Here’s to the woman at the bar and all the pretty boys get the white woman wasted. Keep the secrets at the bar”. 

An inflatable Unicorn swim ring is making its rounds around the room and, as if there was any more space left in the corner behind the kit, it makes its way to drummer Baidon’s waist for the next song Clubby.  The song has a brilliantly classic rock intro with drums carrying the pouding rhythm with support from Marcus on the bass.  Brooke works the crowd, the band love the fans and visa versa.

The room is hyped as the next track Doorman tells yet another story and shows off the lead songstress’ vocal range.  The band come together brilliantly in this dynamic song with perfectly placed leads riding over it with force.

Night Owl comes next, a song the band wrote together. Brooke loses the guitar giving her all in the vocals.  Her range is perfect for rock with the power to push out the song with force but hit all the right highs giving the song body and soul.  The band are, as always having fun on stage and the energy from the stage is pouring over into the crowd.

Jollee – quick phone snap by Tracey Moyle – Edited by Elizabeth Sharpe – Ummagummamumma – Live Music Photography

I Got Love has Brooke playing on her own with a classic blues cadence bringing a sultry mood to the set she wows everyone her natural stage presence.  Her vocals demand the spotlight and the fans are happy to have her in it with cheers intermittently coming from the adoring crowd.

The new single is next and Gypsy Man is unleashed to the waiting crowd.   Having the room clap the intro in, Brookes’ vocals ring out “ I gave my heart to a Gypsy Man ,yeah yeah”….., guitar riffs carry it forward, drums belt out like a pulse, it all comes together in a blues-rock number capable of carrying this band to a wider audience. Gypsy Man is a bluesy rock track that oozes cool vocally and musically with a sound so contagious you can’t listen to it without belting out the beat yourself. 

Up next, Middle World see’s Brooke resting the guitar again. With hands free, her stage presence is amazing.  This track has a classic 70’s rock vibe. Brooke grabs the guitar rejoining halfway through. Luke’s solo toward the end is a standout.

Cowboy finishes the set with again, no guitar for the lead lady.  Her stage presence is simply amazing. The number has a Western feel producing and almost Rawhide-esque undertone mixed with Brookes’ vocal urgency giving it a unqiue sound all of it’s own, showing off the bands versatility.   This is a big finish with all the energy going into the songs climax. 

The band finish on a high, the crowd are happy, the night is a success. 

I heard the statement early on tonight ‘people don’t really listen to rock anymore’ and it made me sad, but only for a second. As the night carried forward at Greaser Bar in a hidden alley in the music hub of Brisbane, the crowd grew and grew and grew.   People came out to see the bands tonight because, simply, they rock.  They all have a different sound, they are all unique but their core sound is set solid in the roots and influences of rock music.   Real rock music.  Jollee have a brilliantly blues based rock sound that almost any classic band has as its heart.  The Rolling Stones, Cream, AC/DC even Metallica (that Enter Sandman riff) is all blues heart and soul.  Rock is building in this country and I could name 50 new bands right now that are out there waiting to her heard.  But that’s another article another time. 

Get out and support our local artists.  We do not want bands like this, beaming with talent, to disappear. 

Catch Jollee on their Gypsy Man Single Tour now.
14 March – Vinnie’s Dive, Gold Coast
21 March – Pacific Hotel, Yamba
28 March – The Exeter, Adelaide
3 April – Waywards, Sydney

With thanks to Wedge Head Events

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