FEBRUARY 14TH

An excerpt from my Valentine's Day adventure that wasn't exactly roses and chocolate...and no less chock-full of heart:


"Brisbane has unwittingly wound up as one of the country's (if not the world's) epicentres of culture and nightlife, and these musicians are among some of the mind-bogglingly talented creatures who've crawled out from the cover of darkness to play. I actually can't emphasise enough how immeasurably lucky we are to be able to appreciate art and creative expression like this in the flesh; to dance and mosh and move our bodies without restriction (as many in the crowd did; you can't not when Wayward Suns are performing); to feel those gnashing, effervescent decibels and reverberations rock our entire collective being."


Would love for you to take a look, have a read, and show some love for not only my work, but this host of exceptionally talented musicians as well.


On the line-up:

Jungle Juice

Passion Cactus

Goldie Horn

The Wayward Suns


Massive thanks as always to Karen of MMK Music Promotions - lady knows her way around a line-up - and Woolly Mammoth Mane Stage for putting together this showcase as delightful as any Valentine.


"I walked out of Woolly Mammoth on Valentine's Day having lost my mind because it'd been blown into little-bitty smithereens by this line-up. Every time I think I have seen the crème de la crème of what our local music scene dishes up, another band sneaks in sideways out of Toowoomba or the coast and wipes the table clean before we've even had a chance to close our jaws. I felt a surprising surge of love that day; not the rose-tinted, Hallmark card variety characteristic of this holiday, but the kind which ripples outward from the deep wellspring of one’s soul that also houses gratitude, awe, and the flow state.


Brisbane has unwittingly wound up as one of the country's (if not the world's) epicentres of culture and nightlife, and these musicians are among some of the mind-bogglingly talented creatures who have crawled out from the cover of darkness to play. I can’t emphasise enough how immeasurably lucky we are to be able to appreciate art and creative expression like this in the flesh; to dance and mosh and move our bodies without restriction (as many in the crowd did; you can't not when Wayward Suns are performing); to feel those gnashing, effervescent decibels and reverberations rock our entire collective being.


Cathartic pleasures like this are what imbue our days with zest and colour…and sadly, what covid (as well as the relentless busyness of adult life) hints at confiscating on the daily. So, let’s make the most of this current fortuitous musical swell by getting out and supporting our local venues and musicians as often as we can — starting with these guys.


Jungle Juice was the first cab off the rank; a cooling tonic with surprising kick in the form of its lead singer, who bounced around his placid bandmates and delivered post-punk vocals down the reggae stream to a thirsty audience. A little bit Sticky Fingers, kind of like The Clash; they quenched our thirst in anticipation of the three scorching acts to come.


Passion Cactus were a thrashing hot mess, the audial equivalent of raunchy graffiti on a dive bar dunny door. Watching them was like peeking through a garage window into an intoxicated (yet no less artful) jam sesh — and we were all-bloody-for it. Their riffs were tight and loose, both at the same time, and attention largely directed toward one another; nonchalance towards their listeners punctuated only by the occasional jovial rant about a song (tumbler in hand) and the lead singer gifting a rose to his girlfriend in the crowd.


Convinced the night couldn’t get any gnarlier, Goldie Horn bust in out of butt-feck nowhere and blew my expectations right out of the water. Think hard-hitting vocals delivered by a sassy, six-foot-something bear of a man covered in almost as much dreadlocked hair, coming together in transcendental unison with a military-tight bassist who mesmerizingly lost himself in his own riffs, and a boisterous drummer who provided hefty beats that had everybody on their feet…and you’ve a glimmer of an idea of what these guys are about. This small band is most definitely one to watch.


And finally, Wayward Suns…how to adequately ensnare their essence? They’re a seven-piece extravaganza from the Gold Coast; a musical piñata bursting with tasty bites of genre-fusion you can’t quite put your finger on. They’re funky, groovy, gravelly, and chock-full of soul, smashing reggae with rock with rap and buffing it all over with blues and a hint of brass. They’re Matchbox 20 crossed with Hilltop Hoods crossed with Cat Empire and more; bombastic, fantastic, and infused with love. Whoever wasn’t on their feet by then was happily whirling and stomping away, infected by the malady of melody.


I was charmed and transfixed; the smile on my face and awe-struck gleam in my eyes fossilised for the remainder of the night. Go out of your way to catch Wayward Suns when you next spot them on a line-up.


Massive thanks as always to Karen of MMK Music Promotions — lady knows her way around a line-up — and Woolly Mammoth Mane Stage for putting together this showcase as delightful as any bundle of roses or block of chocolate."


- Synaesthete Media, Lauren Crabbe