Words by Tracey Moyle
Photos by Dalton Collis – Full Gallery
Thursday night the Woolly Mammoth Mane Stage came alive with a mixed bag of brilliant artists showing off the versatility in the Brisbane music scene with Patient Lounge, PURSE, and Being Jane Lane hitting the stage to kick off a long weekend of brilliant music.
Restrictions have eased in Queensland just that little bit more in past days and it couldn’t be better timing with The Valley Fiesta kicking off its four day celebration of local music for 2020.
This year, Valley Fiesta 2020 is a beacon of light for the battered and bruised local music industry. The four-day line-up of live gigs, across 14 venues featuring a jam-packed program of homegrown acts, once again, has music pumping like adrenaline through the veins of the Fortitude Valley live precinct and straight into the hearts of the fans of our incredibly talented music scene.
Opening tonight, local rock act Purse is the new music project and aka of talented young artist Lachlan Pearson. Holding full creative licence over Purse, Pearson performs alongside trusted mates, guitarist Logan Eckersley, Tyler Ascouth on bass and drummer, Nick Keogh-Peel (also Patient Lounge).
They took to the stage set to impress with a riff heavy Intro, capturing the crowds attention from the first note. And thank the musical Gods we could now stand and dance at gigs (even if we had to stay in our places), because opening track Burning Out was a belter you would have found hard to stand still to. Purse have captured good solid rock vibes with hints of indie creeping in to their sound. YMMFTW had Pearson playing solo powering the tempo right down. Although the pace dropped the intensity didn’t, capturing the crowd, showing his finesse on guitar along with intense but melodic vocals. Purse putting his musical storytelling abilities on display. The band came back in for Over The Wait, a solid rock track with a whisper of reggae beat.
Cigar brought on a smooth groove. Pearson’s dulcet tones carrying the crowd away with a 90s rock (Powderfinger-esqe) feel. A personal number about doing it tough, Blue took the tempo down but rock is still very much the driving force. They covered 7 by Catfish and the Bottlemen, the song seemed the perfect fit for the band. Back to originals with closing tracks Something New and latest single Speak, an obvious favourite with the fans, the crowd taking advantage of the new dancing rules. Purse were a great opener for the nights mixed bag of music.
Being Jane Lane are without a doubt one of Brisbane’s favourite punk bands and the crowd were eager to see their return to the live stage. Next Step was the first track, opening their set with a power punch, the energy and enthusiasm from the band emanating out into the crowd.
They kept the punked up pace solid with Little Fat Lamb, the energy on stage not letting up for a minute. Vocalist Teigan fuelled the energy of the crowd shouting out – “How are you all feeling? Are we ready to rock n roll or what?” They took us into 2019 single Be Okay, pouring out those upbeat feels that punk music does like no other genre, then picked it up to a frantic pace with Glad You’re Here. Drummer Ami, controlled the pace leading with a rapid beat, directing the tempo and leading the band through this classic fast/slow punk track. Running ebbs and flows with sparks of energy bursting from the band, followed by Marathon starting off at a slower pace. This track having more of a pop punk feel, and is perfectly placed in the middle of the set.
Quickly Interrupted continues on with the slower pace, taking a breather with a big alternative influence coming through. A cover of Habits (Stay High) followed giving this Tove Lo track their own flavour. Then finished the set with pace and energy taking us through the fast pace of Savage Sunday, and upcoming new single Trouble with it’s circle-pit worthy momentum (except we had to stay in our seats). The belter, Less Is More finished their set with heavy riffs and pounding drums, taking the crowd out on a frantic high.
Being Jane Lane always leave the crowd happy and wanting more and didn’t disappoint the Valley Fiesta 2020 crowd.
Headliners, Patient Lounge hit the stage soon after and instantly the mood lifted. The night has offered a contrast of musical genres, each band nailing their set. The room was charged, obviously ready for what these guys were about to inject into the already pumped room.
They brought an air of energy to the stage that sent a buzz around the room, channelling that energy into opening track Bedga. The crowd came alive and you understood, without doubt, the hype around our country’s newest prog rock powerhouse. With a melting pot of styles woven through their music this opener embodies pure prog form with an undeniable groove building throughout. They started out in full force and rocked the Mane Stage from the start. Singer/guitarist Zach Eather’s vocal power was fuelled with, what I can only describe as, melodically raw force. The band work the stage exuding copious amount of energy.
They took us straight into All You Want with Eather’s jazz infused vocals flowing along perfectly with Lucas Montgomery’s bass driven, progressive funk. With Montgomery, Keogh-Peel, and guitarist Eric Moors building the musical framework, Eather overlaid it with aggressive vocals to create a brilliant progressive rock, jazz laced number. The crowd were there for every note. Treehouse deceptively lulled our senses, taking you into somewhat of a dream state, before jerking the room into semi consciousness, then in a perfectly prog way, took you back into the songs tale, with perfected ebb and flow musical storytelling. Eather’s vocals mesmerisingly carried you through the journey.
The bands most recent single, Places showcases the skill of lead guitarist Moors, with perfect control, his sound is intricate and coherent and embodies the essence of progressive rock with a subtle jazz undertone. Montgomery stood out amongst it all with heavy bass elements keeping a steady pace with drummer Keogh-Peel, setting a faultless rhythm creating a strong foundation allowing guitar and vocals to build the depth.
Eather’s vocals literally sent shivers up my spine with Sacred. Vocally producing a husky smoothness that seems completely contradictory but as a vocalist, had a mesmerising yet commanding timbre that kept you fully engage.
By this stage I had all but abandoned my notes, focusing completely on the energy encompassing the room. In true progressive rock form, the tracks were long and intricate. We were down to the last two with Useless taking us into a heavier track, the band putting everything into the performance. If I had to find a term to describe the energy of the song I’d say heavy hitting, progressive jazz infused rock. (Complex but accurate.)
Closing the night with New Man, another recent track released earlier this year, they took us out with bass and drums leading the way, supporting massive riffs and a dynamic intensity in vocals. The whole band had their own musically creative aura that just perfectly came together to create a unique fusion of progressive music. Rock, prog, metal, jazz, funk all colliding in a state of musical synchronicity that left you feeling a sense of elation. Patient Lounge added a new dynamic to a genre that already has so many levels.
Tonight’s gig brought together three very different acts, all very much in control of their own musical expression. The fact that the that crowd headed out to see their chosen flavour, rock/indie, punk or prog, but pretty much stayed for the whole show proved the quality of the nights performers. Music is magic. Music heals. Music is Life.
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