One of my favourite things about the Brisbane/Ipswich music scene is the sense of camaraderie amongst fellow musicians, and that dynamic is never more prevalent than when you get DAZEY, Northern Lights, Canny and Hall and FriendlyFire together on one show. Four bands made up of musicians who have all worked and played together for years, trading band members between themselves and the various associated side projects creates a special kind of magic.
Dustins Birthday show at Banshees had all of these elements and more. Up first were DAZEY, a band I’m a little too biased to comment on, but we definitely got the crowd off their feet and dancing (from what I could see on stage at least).
Then we had Canny and Hall, an hilarious comedy band I can guarantee will have you laughing and dancing in equal measure. Alex from FriendlyFire jumped up on stage to do some backing vocals and people were calling out their favourite songs throughout the set, including the highly requested God Of Sex- a perfect blend of head-bobbing beat and low-key, self-deprecating humour.
Next on the bill were Northern Lights, grunge rock baby of Dustin Schmidt (also of FriendlyFire) whose birthday we were there to celebrate. Opening with a killer cover of Freak by Silverchair, they perfectly set the tone for the next 40 minutes of Dustin's soulful platitudes about love, heartbreak, partying and everything in between, backed up by loud and focused drums, forgoing fancy tricks for a solid driving rhythm, and sleazy yet melodic bass lines that keep us grooving in time. Throughout their set multiple members of DAZEY and FriendlyFire made vocal appearances.
Last up we were treated to an un-advertised FriendlyFire appearance. Chaotic as always they delivered their signature brand of rock/metal/performance art. Playing only a few songs from their debut album Anti-Human, we were instead treated to a set consisting mostly of brand new songs, showcasing the interesting direction they’ve taken with JP on board playing drums and Tre moving to bass. Whilst you can still hear elements of classic FriendlyFire, it’s clear to any long time fans how their sound has changed as they’ve all grown as musicians together and separately. Again, we were treated to guest vocals from various members of the other bands present.
All in all it was a fantastically fun night, with drinks and good cheer flowing, a birthday I’m sure Dustin will remember fondly.