Brisbane Sounds

Jean Nicotine - Ben Salter & The Young Liberals

Blair and Vicki from The Zoo put on a showcase night of local bands as a fundraiser to raise money for a promotional CD sampler of Brisbane bands.  You can read more about it here. 

Of all the major cities I’ve lived in/near – Exeter, Newcastle, Birmingham, London, Sydney and Brisbane – Brisbane has by far the best local scene.  Even leading US industry bible, Billboard magazine recognised this, rating Brisbane as one of the top five musical hotspots in the world for 2007 (the others being Beijing, Birmingham, Berlin and Marseille, so Birmingham must have gone up in the world since I left. 

One of the best things about Brisbane is that there is a happening music scene as opposed to a scene with music.  Unlike bands from a certain other Australian cities that have the same collective haircut and have a record collection of three albums, two of which are by The Cure and Joy Division, there is a real eclectic mix of bands in Brisbane.  (Although, having said that, it probably could be argued that Brisbane does have a big alt-folk scene…)

There’s a benefit in that by not being Melbourne (allegedly the best music scene in the country) or Sydney (Australia’s music media and industry centre), Brisbane is somewhat detached from the industry; people play for fun and even those in the more successful bands play in a plethora of other bands the rest of the week.  The downside is that by being far away from the industry, Brisbane bands seem to be consistently overlooked in favour of geographically-advantaged, less accomplished and less interesting bands.  

SBS had an interesting series in 2007, ‘Great Australian Albums’.  There was much comment in internet chat rooms and forums on the choice of albums (Born Sandy Devotional by The Triffids, (I’m) Stranded by The Saints, Diorama by Silverchair and Woodface by Crowded House).  To me the albums were chosen on a New South Wales/Victoria/Queensland/Western Australia basis, with the program makers having go to Newcastle to find a great NSW album (with the most debatable of the four albums chosen) and having to get a New Zealand band to find a classic VIC album. 

Seems nothing much changes; Brisbane still able to more than hold its own compared to the other main cities in Australia when it comes to producing great music.

More photos on Flickr.

Ben Corbett - Six Ft Hick

Little Vegas & The Fuzz Parade
Sarina - Little Vegas & The Fuzz Parade

Ben Salter & The Young Liberals
Ben Salter

Warm Guns
Amy - Warm Guns

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