Top 5 Quirks, Standouts and Staples of The Blurst of Times 2017
Kicking off in 2013, Blurst of Times is now on its fourth iteration of being a self-described ‘dank one day-er’, bringing together an overwhelmingly interesting selection of bands. Mixing together big names, up and comers and a wonderful mix of Brisbane’s tried and tested staple performers. If you are a fan of live music but wouldn’t dare to regularly brave the Brisbane Valley, Blurst of Times Festival is for you. It’s a concentrated taste test of what Australia has to offer, each year dishing out the acts you should have been watching from the get go – think of past headliners, Violent Soho, Dune Rats and DZ Deathrays. Sure, Blurst of Times does favour the big boy bands – a Blurst Of Times embroidered cap would go down well as festival merch. But, it’s Blurst’s keen ability to sneak in an intriguing set of musicians that keeps it fresh and succumbing to being one Big Boy’s Club/Dune Rats Dress Up day.
Taking over the fabled venues of live music in Brisbane, The Foundry, Black Bear Lodge and The Brightside (both in its hallowed halls and its carpark), Blurst spread out and sent festival goers all over the valley to catch the immense local talent. With great care to place performers in the appropriate venues as Blurst while dank and cheeky had a neat organisation to it – Ngaire’s voice was perfect to fill the vaulted ceilings of The Brightside, Morning Harvey need the main stage of the carpark to catch their pure rock energy and the intense presence of Mezko suits the Foundry’s intimate but expansive set up. Blurst is a tried and tested festival that knows what it is doing but, excitingly so – it’s got its quirks, standouts and staples.
- 100% give a 110% (sometimes twice a night)
100% aren’t your standard band, nor are they your standard performers – the entire band has a stoicism that is quite unique. It’s understandable why keyboardists Chloe and Grace have the their concentration faces on, the mechanical beats and cold synths of 100% demand it. But what is truly remarkable is lead singer Lena’s intense glare; she isn’t staring into the crowd, there doesn’t exactly seem to be a focal point. She’s wrapped up in the music, the repetition and lo-fi intricacies. She doesn’t move too much, she is locked into the energy she is providing. 100% are synth-punk, it’s not music that is abrasive in a violent way – your ears wont split but there is an attitude that comes with it. You can’t shimmy to 100% but once you are in the right crowd of cold-wave appreciators, you’d understand. 100% are giving it their all in their less mainstream appeal style and it’s wonderful they were given the chance to showcase it at Blurst. Yet, Blurst wasn’t even their only performance of that night, as after their set finished, they packed off and played the Total Attack After Party at Netherworld.
- Elvis is alive in all of us.
Sauntering at the front of The Brightside, crooning and charming the adoring durry-punchers of the festival as they recoup, was the most glorious Elvis Impersonator. His get up, pictured above, was true to form and his voice, well – what decade Elvis he was impersonating is up for debate. Impressing those around and also marrying the brave punters who wanted to take a break from live music and well, make life plans. Elvis also didn’t even stop at his own musings of love, he even covered love ballads of the past 40 years – prompting many a festival goer to turn their head in confusion. He was a pure highlight of the festival, right on trend with the cheeky nature of the day and the tongue-in-cheek approach to a good night out. Good live music can be found in all places, especially among the puffs of smokers trying to make it through the long haul of Blurst of Times and well, Elvis was a quirk that paid off.
3. It was Just Like Heaven for The Creases
It wouldn’t surprise anyone that The Creases are big fans of The Cure; their jangly indie rock sensibilities are most definitely synthesised from a deep appreciation of Robert Smith and his antics. So it was a fit, a match made in heaven if you will, that The Creases surprised the crowd of The Brightside Carpark with a cover of The Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven’. Turning it into a song that could, without prior knowledge, easily be one of their accessible and groovy tunes that keep the crowd content and loving what The Creases put out, these Brisbane boys brought the house down with it.
4. Ngaiire is the queen to save us all
Somewhat bizarrely bookended by competing stages hosting the likes of Skeggs, Royal Headache and Alex Lahey was Ngaiire. A soul queen amongst rock dogs was always going to be a bit odd, but, like the true star that Ngaiire is, she absolutely delivered to the scattering of committed fans that stuck it out all day just to catch her. It’s one thing to command a crowd of 400 people, but it’s even more impressive to command a tenth of that, but such was the absolute power of Ngaiire‘s set, she had the crowd absolutely locked on her, her band and her incredible back up singers for the entire set. It was all over too quickly, she could’ve easily played for much longer and we would have all been still been rapt. Flawless, practically regal and so much fun, there’s no denying that Ngaiire is one of the best performers in the country right now.
5. Mezko spin us right round, baby
If you’re familiar with Mezko, you’d understand the confused delight of the punters present for their blistering set when their robotic voices began singing the absolute 1985 classic from Dead Or Alive, ‘You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)’. Like a futuristic Ladytron, but so much more than that, Mezko are on a level entirely their own, and while they did have the crowd in the palms of their hands for the entirety of their set, they took things up to 11 with this cover. So damn good!
The Blurst of Times 2017 was an absolute rager of a day, bands such as Body Type, Nice Biscuit and Sweater Curse while having played early, made absolute impressions on all who attended. That’s the fun thing about Blurst, the festival caters for all, not just bands for crowds but crowds for bands. The wide range of music and the spread out venues gave punters options to see bands they’d never consider, by pure chance of being in the same venue waiting for another band, or having an hour so to spare. Blurst while cheeky and dank has a general appreciation for Brisbane music and providing it a space in which all can appreciate it. It’s an interesting festival where Ngaiire and Skeggs are playing at the same time and it is important because often, it’ll be the live performance that can kindle that spark of appreciation in someone who would normally consider it out of their taste. But hey, that’s the Blurst of Times.
All images by Claudia Ciapocha via The Blurst of Times page