Tucked into an unlikely corner of South Brisbane is The Milk Factory Kitchen & Bar. Taking its' name from the Parmalat factory opposite, this small venue has been hosting some fabulous local bands of late.
Among these locals are Don and the Mobsters. Launching their latest single Fandom, they invited a couple of their favourite local groups along to celebrate.
Kicking off the evening was Mango Sun, a three piece retro-rock act, opening with a dreamy pop track which drew punters from the street at a rapid pace. Suddenly, the trio turned hard and accelerated onto the funk freeway. Feet stomped and knees knocked to the powerful groove. The night had certainly begun. A Hendrix cover (Crosstown Traffic) kept the funk going and the feet stomping. A lively set worked its' way into the bodies of all attending.
Taking to the stage to what was now a mostly full room, Brendan The Bard and The Broadsides treated us to their Triple J featured single S.S. Swann with their usual grace and aplomb. Breaking a guitar string just one song into the set, Brendan kept on truckin', changing the string right there as he stood and sung, a skill the crowd showed their appreciation for with deafening cheers. Good Kid, a recent addition to their set was received well, along with a brand new, as yet unheard track which made full use of Brendan's very talented band and began with a slow burn towards a soaring final vocal passage. Ending their time with up-coming single She'll Be Right, Mate, the band swayed and sung their way into the hearts of the crowd. Look out for this track when it drops in the near future, it's likely to be an instant classic.
Welcomed with a hearty cheer, Don and the Mobsters wasted no time in putting down the f(ph)attest beats of the night, picked up immediately by the now full room. Their funky sound brings to mind 70's soul artists such as Lyn Collins and Rose Royce; perhaps Sharon Jones as a modern equivalent. Don uses her presence to pull the crowd in and her command of stagecraft to keep them there. The sound and the stage had a gravity of their own that drew people ever closer. Crowd favourite I Don't Need A Man showcased Don's voice in a celebration of all that is woman and caused much excitement when she announced that "This song has feminist themes".
Displaying their range by slowing down but not losing any intensity, a sultry soulful lullaby in the vein of Roberta Flack was powerful and captivating.
Returning to the hard-edged funk of the top of the set, everyone was now bumping and grinding in time, totally taken by this quality quartet.
Inviting Brendan The Bard back on stage for a medley of modern hits whipped the crowd into such a frenzy that the small room was noticeably heated by the dancing bodies.
The atmosphere of this show was electrifying. Seeing such talented local groups perform to a level of musicianship usually reserved for more acclaimed acts is heartening, and a reminder that fans of live music need only visit their nearest venue for a deeply satisfying experience.