Returning for 2017, The Mountain Goat Valley Crawl had Fortitude Valley buzzing early and expectations were high for this sophomoric festival. Here’s PART II of our review…
WHALEHOUSE @ THE ZOO
Heading into the newly refurbished Zoo with the remains of the late summer sun burning through the windows, WHALEHOUSE conga-ed onto stage in a cardboard box ship (of sorts) which, when dropped, revealed marine themed smocks. Kicking straight into high gear with their trademark high energy punk, the early party-goers were dancing before the end of the first song. After covering Bikini Kill track Rebel Girl they introduced their new bass player “Squidney” (a bright orange plush octopus, obviously), whom lacked any actual signs of life but had great stage presence nonetheless.
A Ramones-inspired track, No-one’s Allowed, pulled the growing crowd closer to the stage, some in WHALEHOUSE T-shirts and some most likely soon to be, especially after the banging sing-along favourite Hot Chips and covering Devo’s hit Girl You Want. Bringing the audience into their latest single, Sexy Whale Beach Party, with their every own part, the trio surf-rocked it up more energy than a toddler on red cordial can muster, following on with Fresh Bread, a favourite from their debut EP, singing at the top of their lungs “Fresh bread tastes great and I know this is true”. I must concur; if eating fresh bread was this good it would be a class-A drug.
AVERAGE ART CLUB @ THE ZOO
As the sun finally set on a hellish Queensland summer day Average Art Club were belied by their name by being anything but average from their first note onwards. From a darkened stage a slow, sexy groove wormed its way into hips and shoulders and drew bodies against the stage. Their last single Devine featured a trio of beautifully blended harmonies and chiming guitar that was dark and soothing – a signature sound for the group. Coming up the stairs two by two and drenched in sweat, punters paid no mind to the heat and crushed in for the best spot. After artfully covering a Warpaint track the group announced a new single, Unfold, which the band has recently finished recording. A highlight of the night, the vocals were full of passion and feeling; look out for it soon as it won’t disappoint.
LUKE DANIEL PEACOCK @ THE BRIGHTSIDE
After crossing paths with a growing number of ‘valley crawlers’ I stepped into the (mercifully air-conditioned) Brightside to catch Luke Daniel Peacock & Band. Opening strongly with a unique new-wave interpretation of Americana and folk, Luke poured on the broken heart feels without an ounce of pretension. Upon trying a “really new one” the arm-waving and head-nodding of the audience told of a deep appreciation. Landing somewhere between Australian Crawl and Counting Crows the music is complimentary to the stories told in the songs, and the crowd were attentive to every word. The energy in the room rose up as the band transformed a slow dance number into an atmospheric screamer with epic solos and guitar noise, with more people following the sound into the venue. The slow waltz of Alphabet City featured a gentle and mournful slide guitar and vocals tastefully harmonised by the band. So slick and professional this group is that they pushed through their set with word uttered until their last two songs which drove the beat hard and drove the crowd to their feet.
MALLRAT @ THE ZOO
Returning to The Zoo and being confronted with a line that stretched to the end of the block I flashed my media pass (yeah we have perks) and made my way in to see Triple J Unearthed favourites Mallrat. The heat of several hundred bodies neutered the effect of industrial fans, punters audibly gasping as they climbed the stairs into the thick air. Enjoying the largest audience of the night so far, the duo calmly took position and dropped their brand of beats above the din. The crowd thrust forward, craning their necks (and their phones) to the stage. The opening track Smile For Real ever so effortlessly made the dancefloor bounce and continue through another winding number worthy of a top forty spot. Treating guests to a track she wrote when she was only seventeen (!), another wave of fans rushed forward. Singing locally inspired rhymes like “I don’t like the valley but I’ve got nowhere to be”, Mallrat took cues from urban storytellers like Lily Allen and The Streets. Screams greeted Triple J hit, Inside Voices, and the hundreds of fans sung along. Upon announcing their last song suspicious clouds rose from the crowd and the floor began to shake again.
In only two years the Mountain Goat Valley Crawl has managed to create a winning formula for showcasing local music as well as Brisbane’s premier music venues. Bring on 2018! Read MGVC Review PART I HERE.