Sounds of Spring 2009


Words, complex statistics and photos by Josh Donellan

You’d be forgiven for thinking that 2009’s Sounds of Spring was a government conspiracy to lure all the violent bogans in Brisbane into one concentrated area for scientific observation. Whilst shirtless, ass-grabbing, beer can-hurling jerks are an unfortunate certainty at just about any festival, today it seems like they constitute the vast majority of the crowd, by way of illustration:

SOS 09-3

Astronomy class
One of many elefant traks artists on the S.O.S. bill. Astronomy Class deliver a solid, high energy set. Bass lines from here ‘til new year underpin fluid flows and rapid rhymes. This is a group that obviously loves what they do and they crowd responds enthusiastically. Although, just quietly, most of the people in the tent appear so blitzed that you could just place one of those toy monkeys with a cymbal and a motorised disco ball in front of them and tell them it was the chemical brothers and they’d be happy.

Another elefant traks act, this is a duo that not only takes the cake, but remixes it into a delicious funk and hash laced truffle. This is top level instrumental hip-hop. Fuzzed up, dubbed out, spliced up beats and scratches all cut up with the samples that matches. It’s not every day you see a group that can seamlessly blend dubstep, dancehall, salsa and aussie hip-hop all within the time it takes to prepare a pack of maggi noodles. Hermitude pull out some crowd pleasing scratch technique and keytar solos that leave an already ecstatic crowd nearly catatonic with glee.



The Fauves
Stalwarts of the underground rock scene (I was going to say indie, but that word has been inconveniently re-appropriated) the Fauves are a solidly entertaining act. Bouncy basslines form the backdrop to some very catchy melodies and hilariously self-effacing banter; both in lyrics and between songs. If you want to quit your job, start dating a girl who works in a comic book/record store and start a band then this is the perfect soundtrack for your misadventures.

British India

Obviously a band that is well suited a festival crowd, British India tear straight into a riotous set that has punters singing along at the top of their soon to be dust-encumbered lungs. The radio singles are the obvious highlights; ‘run the red light’ in particular is well received. The band don’t waste a lot of time with banter, but make use of the ol’ live version breakdown/build up and give the crowd more they want in spades. A mid set power cut only serves to enamour punters even more when the amps click back on. The band rip through a selection of old and new material, before departing to thunderous applause.

British India

British India

The Panics

The WA based 5 piece draw their material tonight almost entirely from the excellent ‘Cruel Guards’ record. Making their way through the uplifting JJJ favourite ‘Don’t fight it,’ the majestic ‘Get us home’ and the sombre but enchanting title track of their recent album. ‘Ruins’ would have been a set highlight for me, if not for the couple who instead on furiously macking in front of me. Just a note to you two lovebirds: singing along to a song where the lead vocal hook is: “I don’t know what we’ll become / I just know that I’m not the one / Yeah I know that I’m not the one.” with absolutely no trace of irony whilst staring sickeningly into each other’s eyes may have been hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic.

Little Birdy

Fellow Perth pop-rockers (what the hell do you call people from Perth? Help me wikipedia help me!) Little Birdy take the stage next, opening with catchier than syphilis-on-a-convict-ship single ‘come on, come on.’ A black and white clad Katy Steele leads the band through a wide selection of material old and new including ‘Relapse,’ ‘Beautiful to me’ and other helium voice drenched pop melodies. The songs form a strangely sweet sonic backdrop to the arrival of a dust storm that makes the sky resemble the set of Apocalypse now.

Little Birdy

Little Birdy

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly effect deliver everything you’d expect and then some, their set is a sonic wall loud guitars paired with Clint’s distinctive melodic roar backed by a solid rhythm section. No strangers to the festival stage, the Brissie quartet have the crowd in the palms of their sweaty hands. Regardless, all I can think whenever I see this band’s name is how pissed off they must have been when that 2004 Ashton Kutcher movie came out.

Unfortunately at this point I was forced to depart due to the least rock and roll end to an evening possible: severe and heinous reaction to tiny dust particles that caused my brain to feel as though it had been invaded by two morris dancing elephants. I’ll make up for it by getting into a fight with a bouncer Lady Sovereign style next weekend, I promise.


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